Vote rigging

Running an election on dirty tricks

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, August 15 1988

The man most likely to become the next President of the United States, Michael Dukakis, has spent much of the last two weeks denying that he has ever been treated for mental illness. This raises two points.

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Power passes to the powerful

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, October 24 1988

Republican hopeful David Karnes stood up at the state fair in Nebraska to launch his campaign for election to the US Senate and effectively smacked himself in the face. "We need fewer farmers at this point in time," he told his audience, which happened to be almost entirely composed of farming families who immediately broke into a chorus of jeering and booing.

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Why so many liars and hypocrites end up in the White House

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, November 7 1988

Evelyn Waugh described the character of Rex Mottram in Brideshead Revisited like this: "He isn't a real person at all. He's just a few faculties of a man, highly developed." Mr Mottram had the makings of a President.

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How to fiddle an election

The Guardian, November 2 1994

It was an almost invisible event. Far away from the high-profile politics of Westminster, in the pebble-dash suburbs of north London, in a cramped and over-heated room on the first floor of Barnet magistrates court, Mr Miles Parker, aged 29, was convicted last month of two criminal offences. The case was barely reported. Yet it deserved a little more attention.

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Vote-rigging is easy

The Guardian, May 9 2001

The whole world threw up its hands in horror at the electoral malpractice which was revealed in Florida in the long harsh climax to last November's presidential election. As though election-rigging were new. As though election-rigging were some kind of American disease, which couldn't happen here.

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Stephen Harper - the very model of a modern politician (and rogue)

The Guardian, October 15 2015

An unkind cartoon this summer showed the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, kneeling before the statue of another politician, asking "What now, O Great One?" That in itself would not be unkind. The problem is that the statue is clearly labelled as that of Richard Nixon, famed above all for his attempts to corrupt democracy.

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