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Cheers - AE

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Democracy in action.

Deciding a tied vote isn't often a problem at the level of national politics but I suppose it might not be that rare at a very local level, particularly in the US where they practically elect the post man. So it's interesting to read how a town in Arizona dealt with the problem.
Thomas McGuire and Adam Trenk each won 660 votes in an election last month for a seat on the Cave Creek council.
A recount was considered too expensive and insufficiently entertaining.
Entertaining? That's genius to start with.
Instead, town leaders invoked a 1925 local statute that calls for such eventualities to be settled by a game of chance.
Previous deadlocks have been decided by gunfights but the pair opted to draw cards instead.
Well, I can understand choosing cards over guns, but in defence of the gunfight idea it would thin the competition for the next election to serious candidates. Worth considering in the UK, though I'd prefer to see the two tied candidates settle it with grenades.
At a ceremony at the local town hall on Monday, George Preston, Cave Creek's judge, selected a pack of cards from a stetson and shuffled it six times.
Mr McGuire, 64, a retired teacher who has served two terms on the council, drew the six of hearts.
He was beaten by Mr Trent, 25, a law student and newcomer to Cave Creek, who got the king of hearts.
All I can say is that it sounds an interesting place to live. Deciding a tied election on the draw of a high card not only seems fair but rather appropriate for a small town in the American west, and would certainly have been more entertaining than flipping a coin. Good for them.
Mr McGuire, who moved to the town 10 years ago from suburban New York, said he knew Cave Creek was different when he went into a bar and found a horse inside.
I want to visit. I really, really do.
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