Friday, June 24, 2005

Hatcher Saves Republic from Hillary

Yesterday I systematically proved that a second Clinton presidency would provide us our second confirmed rapist in the Oval Office, a contingency that scares me despite the fact that I will bet scores of money on it and become a rich man. That's small solace, though, because she'll just tax it all away when she's not too busy stealing the White House furniture. So here I propose a market based solution to a potentially seriously flawed election process (although the process ran great in '80, '84, '88, '00, and '04).

It seems to me that many voters would like to mitigate the risk of certain people on the other side of the aisle from ever becoming president. Many deals come to mind – possibly going as far as to commit to voting for a more moderate candidate from the other side of the aisle should that candidate secure his party’s nomination. For example, I might offer up a deal where I would commit myself to voting for Joseph Lieberman (trying to forget that whole association with Al Gore) should he be nominated by his party, or more generally to voting for a group of candidates that do not make me physically ill. If I could bind myself to this agreement, and others would follow suit, that would be a powerful incentive for Democrats to nominate someone other than Hillary. It could work the other way as well. Alternatively, I could agree to vote for a Republican candidate acceptable to Professor Vic in the primary season in exchange for him doing the same on the Democratic side. We’d then both be free to vote for whomever in the general election.

Absent the ability to legally commit, there would be incentives to abide by a voluntary commitment insofar as elections are a repeated game, and if enough people have signed on to such a deal mass cheating could be detected. But going beyond that, it would seem to me that people who wish to make their vote public information should have that right, although clearly not the obligation (except for dead people in Chicago). People could then legally bind themselves in a contract that allowed for horse trading. These exchanges would not be permitted to involve any cash transfers, although cash punishments could be permitted for breach. So DNC activists picking up homeless people and giving them $10 and a pack of cigarettes would still be illegal.

There would be a coordination problem, but this would probably be less severe now that we have the internet. Establish a website, perhaps by state, where people sign up to exchange and stake some money to cover breach on their part. Both sides subscribe to the same site; if more people sign on one side versus the other by a certain date, randomly choose a subset from the larger group that will be bound to the contract, and inform the others they are permitted to vote freely. Monitor that people have abided by the contract, and keep the stake of those who haven’t to be distributed to those on the other side of the contract on a pro rata basis.

Can you tell I sit up at night thinking of creative ways to ensure that Hillary never becomes President?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and we can have Card Systems International protect the information. Oh wait, they can't protect the credit card holders info to begin with so we would have questionable election results. Oh wait, the year 2000 had questionable election results and we ended up with GW. Oh wait, we had questionable, now known to be doctored to fit the profile, intelligence regarding WMD's in Iraq and ended up responsible for that country. Oh wait, we have zero in the way of leadership on either side of the aisle. Damn, can't there be someone to save ourselves from ourselves? I guess not. We are all screwed either way.........

12:31 PM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

"Oh wait, we had questionable, now known to be doctored to fit the profile, intelligence regarding WMD's in Iraq and ended up responsible for that country."

Now known to be doctored to fit the profile??

Whatever gets you throught the night, Chief.

2:35 PM  

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