Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Now This Is How An Election Should Be Done!

Have you ever used a coin as a tiebreaker? I know you have. We've all done it, right? Heads or tails? I don't know where that one went. But a quarter was used in a very unusual vote here in Temple City, California - an important one, nonetheless. Let me tell you about it.

A city council seat in Temple City was decided by a coin toss Friday, after two candidates wound up tied in the election for three open seats on the five-member council. Newly elected Temple City Councilman Fernando Vizcarra won the seat over incumbent Dan Arrighi, after city officials discovered a quirk in the state elections code that allows ties to be decided by chance and Vizcarra won the toss. According to the "Los Angeles Times," although runoff elections are an option, the two candidates decided that they would decide their fates with a toss of a quarter. Vizcarra is a former councilman who had lost reelection two years ago.

Temple City has no provisions for runoff elections, Flandrick said, and in their absence the city follows state election law, which call for picking a winner by chance - drawing lots or a coin flip. Vizcarra said a runoff election could have cost the city $35,000.

In Florida a Democratic primary runoff for a seat on the Gilchrist County Commission ended with John Rance Thomas and Edwin Douglas tied at 909 votes each. The tie remained after a recount. Under Florida law, a tie in a primary runoff is to be broken by drawing lots, like a coin toss or drawing straws. The candidates chose a coin toss.

Why just apply this principle to local politics and runoff elections. Let's put it to the test in our Federal government. Why spend lots of money and time with the candidates having us think about things like how much we care for the preservation of the American Wilderbeast? Let's just flip a damn coin.

Let's put both presidential candidates on a stage, let them debate the facts a bit, then bring out Bob Barker and a couple of NFL referees and have them do a coin toss to elect the president. Now that would be simple and hell, it could even be a Pay-Per-View event!

Heads, you lose. Tails, you're elected.