Friday, November 01, 2013

Pope Fraud!

Allegations of widespread "voter fraud" is a story I've followed with some interest over the past few years, despite the fact that "voter fraud" in the United States is virtually non-existent. This factoid seems not to discourage anyone, and certain themes stand out in the attempts to stir up a panic about it:

1) Voter fraud is an organized part of a vast conspiracy to bring America under the dominion of scary Marxist brown people, probably at the orchestration of ACORN.

2) Voter fraud is epidemic, despite its empirical rarity.

3) Relatively minor instances of voter irregularities will be drummed up and exaggerated beyond all reason as proof of said epidemic.

Following these conclusions gives a rather different spin on this report about the circumstances of Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis') election to the papacy:
What happened? After the fifth ballot was cast and the ballot box containing the votes of the 115 cardinal electors opened, the ballots were counted as always before being scrutinised and the resulting number was 116. There was one extra ballot. One of the cardinals had mistakenly placed two ballots in the box without realising it: one contained the name of his preferred candidate and the other was blank.

The mistake meant the whole voting session had to be cancelled, without the ballots even being scrutinised. If they had, Bergoglio would probably have probably come out on top. It was decided that another vote should be cast immediately. The mishap would not have influenced the cardinals in any way as none of them knew what name (in this case none) was on the extra ballot. On the sixth ballot and after the fifth scrutiny, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires won a clear majority: way above the expected quorum of 77 votes. Then the white smoke billowed out of the Sistine Chapel chimney and Pope Francis greeted the crowds for the first time.
Seems an amusing if innocuous story. But translated into the American fever swamp coverage of voter fraud, and we'd get something like this:
Catholics were shocked when Hispanic Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected to the Papacy. His radical views and known ties to Latin American Marxists have already manifested in a papacy that has at every turn eviscerated traditional Catholic values. But the mystery may have been solved: A Breitbart exclusive reveals that his "election" may have actually been the result of widespread fraud in the sacrosanct election proceeding. Sources inside the Vatican have confirmed that one of the election rounds simply wasn't counted after an unrevealed Cardinal was caught trying to stuff the ballot box. Despite evidence of a potential corruption scandal, allies to Cardinal Bergoglio not only refused to tabulate the ballots, they forced a highly irregular immediate revote where their preferred candidate surged to a shocking victory .....
And so on and so forth.

1 comment:

Josh said...

I think this experience cuts the other ways. The regulations on voting for the next Pontiff are extremely strict. The franchise is limited to a select group of cardinals. All of the Cardinals must show ID (their credentials from the College of Cardinals). Each vote is counted individually in public with several people watch. If a vote doesn't match the correct total, or there is a blank, the vote is recalculated. The rules to make sure the vote is fair are really, really strict. And as a result, they caught a potentially serious error that could have impacted the entire Church.

This is not to say any such rules are needed in America. But I don't think this history tells the story you suggest.