Friday, October 26, 2012

United Nations to Observe American Elections

There are generally two views of the United Nations. One is that of an insidious, oppressive organization hell bent on world wide government, and the other is that of a flawed, but indispensable organization that helps resolve conflict and has given us a better world.

The UN has many obligations and branches, all given authority by its member countries. One of their functions is to help ensure a fair, peaceful, and democratic election process.

Ever since 2002 the UN (via the Department of Political Affairs/Electoral Assistance Division and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) has sent observers to monitor US elections, both local and national. This has given a measure of assurance to some and dread to others. And while I personally do not treasure the prospect of seeing the "blue shirts" looking over my shoulder (which they can't literally do) and understand that it could raise questions for some, I also don't see them as a military force that has been placed here to ensure the election of a New World Order approved candidate.

When you look at the issues raised by many anti-UN/NWO groups, one of their key messages is that the US election system is rigged and that it's little more than a distraction aimed at keeping the unwitting masses thinking they still have some real freedom. And that the UN, our government, and others have worked to destroy our constitution and liberty worldwide. While there have been instances of voter fraud and intimidation from both the left and right, that isn't conclusive evidence that the system itself is rigged. And while it's easy to disrupt a local election where literally a single vote can change the outcome, altering a presidential election would require many thousands of invalid votes across multiple states - something that has been studied and and largely debunked.

Since 2005, the US based think tank Fund for Peace has issued a yearly index titled the "Failed States Index". This index grades every nation on a 120 point scale from "sustainable" to "alert" (or failed). This index looks at many different factors including political corruption, social pressures and economic issues. According to the index the United States is actually in the "more stable" category, number 158 out of 178 countries.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that these observers are either UN troops or that they can actually interfere in the election, e.g closing a polling station or preventing a person from voting. In fact these observers have zero power to interfere. The UN article on their observer missions states "In extraordinary circumstances international observers or supervisors in post-conflict countries may even be given the authority to certify or invalidate election results. Generally, however, observers have no power to interfere in the election process, but may only observe, assess and report."

The US is not a "post-conflict" country and in reality the observer missions are often more about training their people to see what a relatively open voting process looks like as much as it is to report any problems they may see. The UN sends observers to dozens of countries, and while the US does have some issues, the fact remains our election process is an ideal that many countries strive for and so it makes sense that the UN would send people here.

Another misconception is that the UN has forced themselves onto our territory to "observe and report". The truth is that over the years they have been invited by federal and state governments, as well as US based organizations, to come and watch. What seems to be left out of all this is the fact that just about anyone in the US can monitor an election, and that localities can invite international organizations to observe too.

While their reason for coming in 2012 was a bit of a farce (due to the erroneous allegations of a voter disenfranchisement scheme aimed at keeping millions of voters home), it is a sad fact that our system is not 100% fair, just not in the same way the folks at the NAACP and others think. The two-party duopoly we have in America is a real threat to democracy and our basic freedoms, and I would think many would be glad to see people keeping an eye out for any fraudulent activity. However, that isn't the same as saying the actual electoral process on election day is rigged.

Donald Trump likes to point out the Democratic National Committee's behavior toward Bernie Sanders as proof of a "rigged system". Well, the primary system is rigged. Primaries are the exclusive domain of two private clubs: the Democratic and Republican parties. That's a world away from how the actual election works. And claiming the media is "rigged" against him is likewise silly. The American media has been left leaning for generations, yet somehow the Republican Party has managed to win election after election. Indeed, over the last 8 years the only real defeats the Republicans have had are the two presidential races. The GOP controls the Senate, House, the majority of state houses, and the governorships. Simply being an unpopular candidate with some questionable positions, doesn't mean the universe is arrayed against you.

I do not relish the thought of having UN personnel in US cities, but they are not here in any policing fashion, and since we do have some problems, perhaps they could help bring them to light.

Jacob Bogle

Additional Reading:
1. Trump, NATO, and Nuclear Proliferation,
2. UN Dept of Political Affairs, UN
3. UN Group Will Monitor US Elections, ABC News
4. UN Electoral Assistance General Assembly Resolutions, UN (1991-2012)

(Originally published on October 26, 2012. Updated on October 26, 2016)

No comments:

Post a Comment