Well, the media is just not letting Jimmy Carter go away, The New York post had an Editorial today, and some highlights (Thanks Ed):
“It is unconscionable,” Carter added, “to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation.”
Funny, Carter quickly endorsed the results of last month’s recall effort against Venezuela‘s President Hugo Chavez.
Carter’s election observers were supposed to do a wide survey of the more than 20,000 electronic voting machines. Instead, they did only a quick check of a few. Only days later, in the face of major criticism, was an audit made of 150 of the machines — too late to affect any result.
Gov. Bush also gets into the fray saying of Carter’s comments:
“There’s this constant haranguing of nonsense, including by President Carter, which is a huge surprise to me because I have admired his compassionate actions in his post-presidency,” Bush said. “Without talking to a single person, without getting any information, he joins up with the MoveOn.org crowd, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am.”
And this blog also gave Mr. Carter a hard time; the comments may be as good as the post (Thanks Guillermo):
You should not only complain about the swing state of Florida, when the conditions that you claim do not meet “basic international requirements” exist in many states, including Democratic ones. Focusing only on Republican-controlled Florida might give people the misimpression that you care less about electoral justice, than in getting your own guy into the White House By Any Means Necessary.
LGL comment: They did not do a very good job at monitoring the procedures, and since the government controlled all the options in the game such as deciding not to allow the counting of the paper receipts printed along with the touch screen voting.
F. Toro comment: Well, from a Venezuelan perspective Carter’s little ditty was simply incredible. Not two months ago Carter was signing off on an election run by certainly the most partisan Elections Commission in Venezuela’s history, calling it free and fair, and saying allegations of wrongdoing have to be based on more than a systematic pattern of partisan behavior from the elections authorities…(you should see the crew that ran our referendum – ideological hardliners handpicked by Chavez’s handpicked judges.) Now…this!
Not, of course, that we’re not used to double standards coming from the north. Florida, of course, must have elections authorities purer than the virgin snow…but it’s ok if the barbarians in South America get one of the sides to run their polls…
A. Boyd comment: As everyone knows there is a huge fraud cloud above Chavez’ recent electoral win. The reason is quite simple, the international observers -namely OAS and Carter Center- did not do the job properly nor were they allowed to conduct and control the audits that would have cloaked with legitimacy the end result.
Anne Haight comment: I can’t imagine that anyone is actually impressed by Carter anymore, about anything. His performance in Venezuela was nothing less than grotesque. For him to point fingers at Florida is blatantly partisan, since the sorts of issues he complains about are 1) not confined to the state of Florida, and 2) not confined to one political party.
How can you possibly certify an election when the ruling party doesn’t allow a recount or an independent examination of the ballots? Apparently Carter has some magical ability to do so in places like Venezuela.
Daniel’s comment: It is indeed fitting to observe Carter’observer role observed in turn.
The Florida comments of Carter smack of third world contempt for us in Venezuela who have now to pay the consequences of a failed observation. Regardless of his hurried comments on August 16 at noon (and being contradicted during the press conference by the OAS head, incidentally), the Carter Center appears now to have failed at observing adequately the rigging of the electoral system BEFORE August 15 Venezuelan referendum.
This story will eventually be told, of the spineless Carter Center role in June and July 2004, not to say even encouraging the Venezuelan opposition to “play” the game under the pretense that the Carter Center would ensure a fair result. The governmental electoral abuse was for all to see and the Carter Center cannot not have seen it.
Thus, for one, I am not surprised at the different democratic standards that Carter applies in Florida. If anything I am embarrassed that I have supported him for so long in my blog. Whatever good he did in Venezuela was not only wiped out in a few days, but the peace maker probably left us closer to violence than when he started his “services”.