Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 Voting Guide: Which lizard best suits you?

Percussivity duped me into reading his favorite pentalogy, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which at least I could read for free online as opposed to buying a hard copy cleaverly disguised as a Bible so I could read it during church services like some people). In book four, 'So long, and thanks for all the fish', there is a very profound passage that really spoke to me about the current conundrum of American presidential politics.

To set the background for you a bit: a spaceship has just boldly landed in the middle of London, on the earth as we know it...

After a long, heart-stopping moment of internal crashes and grumbles of rending machinery, there marched from it, down the ramp, an immense silver robot, a hundred feet tall.
It held up a hand.
``I come in peace,'' it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, ``take me to your Lizard.''
Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this, as he sat with Arthur...
``It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see ...''
``You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?''
``No,'' said Ford, ``nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.''
``Odd,'' said Arthur, ``I thought you said it was a democracy.''
``I did,'' said Ford. ``It is.''
``So,'' said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, ``why don't people get rid of the lizards?''
``It honestly doesn't occur to them,'' said Ford. ``They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.''
``You mean they actually vote for the lizards?''
``Oh yes,'' said Ford with a shrug, ``of course.''
``But,'' said Arthur, going for the big one again, ``why?''
``Because if they didn't vote for a lizard,'' said Ford, ``the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?''
``I said,'' said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, ``have you got any gin?''
``I'll look. Tell me about the lizards.''
Ford shrugged again.
``Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them,'' he said. ``They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it.''
``But that's terrible,'' said Arthur.
``Listen, bud,'' said Ford, ``if I had one Altairan dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say `That's terrible' I wouldn't be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin. But I haven't and I am...''

I hope this guide helps some of you to sort out this election, especially for those who are going to vote for 'Party A' simply to stop 'Party B' from gaining a victory. A vote for 'A' or 'B' is really a vote for the lizards. Choose wisely, lest the wrong lizard should win! And thanks to Percussivity for taking a few minutes to create the pic for this post!


The Irascible Neufonzola said...

They're all lizards as far as I'm concerned, whether major party or obscure party! Although I may in fact be a lizard myself... But seriously, it is interesting to look at other nations that are not as enmeshed in a two party system as us. Vietnam for example is a prime example of a one-party state. And look at the political parties of the UK...there are so many fractionalized mini-parties it would make your head swim. One nice thing about the two party system that we Americans love to hate is that with a two party system, you are less likely to have a tyranny of a minority. In a, let's say, 7-party system, if they vote as follows:

Dirty Red Commie Party: 19%
Right Wing Nutjob Party: 15%
Libertarian Party: 12%
NeoCon Party: 9%
Global Warming Party: 14%
Whig Party: 18%
Breakfast Cereal Liberation Front Party: 13%

Then with only 19% of the vote the Dirty Red Commies take control of the government. A two party system is often more representative.

And thanks for the tip on my Hitchhiker's Authorized Version to read during sermons, absolutely brilliant idea! ;)

Percussivity said...

If I were going to be a lizard, I think I'd like to be a sarlack from the old Saturday morning "Land of the Lost" show. Either that or one of the aliens from 'V'.

Oh and Neuf that would be a bad idea... you don't want to bust out laughing (at the Hitchhikers Guide) right when the pastor is talking about lost people going to Hell and then look up all embarassed.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Sarlack? Or Sarlacc?

Percussivity said...

Freudian slip there... I meant Sleestack

CurbDestroyer Chronicles said...

I think Ron Paul has got it figured out

The Angry Coder said...

I really like Ron Paul. I think he's legit and would've acted on principle, even despite the great Republican sell-out. I would have voted for the Republicans had he took the nom. But alas, he's too "radical" for the mass of lemmings that just want more government, although a more "conservative" form of more-government. This year I'll be throwing my support to the Constitution Party. They hold to a lot of the same principles and ideas as Ron Paul.

A Pilgrim's Porridge said...

I don't know why it has taken me this long to read this post but here I am.

Concerning Nic's point - I understand the concern.

But then again, in your example, a 7% swing in votes could put the Libertarians ahead of the Dirty Commies. I don't mind those odds.

Look at the constant swinging of percentages in the poles of a two party system, even when there is an obvious favorite.

I respect your argument and agree 7 parties would lead to lots of political irregularity (nothing would be achieved) but the two party system leads to too much regularity (and we all know how bad diarrhea sucks):)