Thursday, July 20, 2006

The 'Cost' of Democracy

Just how much is one's vote worth? Just how much does one need to be cajoled, bribed, or prodded to become a participating member of a democracy?

We're not talking Iraq or Haiti or Mongolia here. We're raising Arizona as a model of democracy.

According to a front-page article (at least the front page of the papyrus edition) in The New York Times of July 17, 2006, someone named Mark Osterloh is pushing a drive to award a million bucks in every general election to one lucky Arizona voter. If the measure were to be enacted, the winner would be selected by a lottery run by Antonin Scalia Enterprises, LLC -- correction -- by a lottery run by the state.

The Times goes on to say that the voters (based on 2004 statistics) would have about a one-in-two-million chance of winning, compared to Powerball, which offers roughly the same odds as I have for a night of playing "Who Stole the Kishka?" with Salma Hayek.

This raises a number of intriguing questions and observations (if indeed an observation can be raised, with or without pharmaceutical assistance):

1. What would the prize be for a hanging chad?

2. Does the U.S. Supreme Court receive an equal or greater quantity of political or fiduciary capital compared to its 2000 election compensation?

3. Does New Jersey know about this?

4. Will a similar program implemented in Iraq show us the "light at the end of the tunnel"? (The Quote Verifier has some interesting scholarship on this popular Vietnam War-era phrase.)

5. Can a similar application of this lottery provide a solution to immigration issues?

6. How many Viagra prescriptions will Rush Limbaugh trade for his chance of voting, or winning, in Arizona?

7. Does this have anything to do with next year's final episode of The Sopranos?


meloncutter said...

I am poor at math, how much do multiple votes by a voter cut the odds? And does this mean that voting will be done in Arizona on scratch off ballots? Get three matches and the match gets a vote?

LOL Only in America...

Later Yall

MyHeartHurts said...

Ok, maybe my coffee hasn't kicked in but... is this right? Crazy world we live in. What's next? Never mind it's never a good idea to ask.

Mistress Regina said...

From what I see here, you and your wife are likely to be the types connecting with intelligent women...creative sorts perhaps.

Should you share my blog with some women, Ladies, Goddesses And Bitches I would appreciate it.

As birds of a feather flock together, I will return the favor and refer you to someone with whom you should work well,
Fear and Loathing In The Blogosphere.

Happy Blogging!

hagaki said...

Ella nunca llevaba vestidos. Acostumbraba a usar, siempre que no trabajaba, ropa cómoda y barata, sin ningún maquillaje, normalmente con el pelo desarreglado, sencillamente recogido.


Andrew said...

Hey, I've got it! What if every guy who does the dishes on a particular night gets entered into a similar state-run lottery? Think we could get all the gals to put a buck each to make a plan like that go? Sounds like a winner. The gals get a break, the state gets a profit, and we get ... dishpan hands?

jbwritergirl said...

Hey Pawlie,

I do believe that this is an immigration sting. National efforts have sprung up for those seeking the easy way in and it has ben noted that qualifiing for falsified ID's has become much easier over the past year.

Rumors are spreading fast throughout Los Angeles and illegals have been seen jumping yet another border hoping for a chance to turn their lives around.

Officials are hoping to catch and deport as many as 10,000 illegals through this effort.


Michael C said...

This sounds like something Ross Perot might have tried back in '92. I don't like the odds of winning, but I'll be across the border in no time voting for anything from school board member to water department treasurer guy if this were to ever actually happen!

Alas, I won't hold my breath.