Voting for EconTalk, Chicago-Style

by Russ Roberts on December 15, 2006

in Podcast

Today is the last day to vote for EconTalk over at the 2006 Weblog Awards. Voting ends at midnight. Although corpses cannot vote, it is legal to vote every 24 hours. So if you haven’t voted or haven’t voted often enough and want to support EconTalk, please head to the voting booth.

Thank you for your support. We are now in second place and closing on the leader.

For the best account of the real thing (Chicago-style voting), read Caro’s bio of LBJ. The first volume is magnificent, the best biography I have ever read. The second volume is mostly the incredible story of how Johnson stole the 1948 Senate race. It is riveting. Both volumes are an extraordinary picture of one man’s relentless ambition. It is a must-read for understanding the American political system and the human taste for power.

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{ 1 comment }

lowcountryjoe December 15, 2006 at 3:23 pm

During a year in grade school in, I believe, the 4th grade, our teacher conducted an experiment in democracy.

She had four jobs that she wanted four students to do and she wanted us to vote on who those student would be — the job would last for approximately a month and then we'd hold another 'election'. One of those jobs was to hand out the equipment…the kickballs, soccerball, tetherball and the like. The student holding that job would get to dole out the equipment to the other students as he or she deemed fit. The 'job holder' played favorites, no doubt.

The teacher prompted the class to think of a nominee (other than yourself) and raise a hand when you'd thought of a person. Four nominees were picked [she made sure she called on two boys and two girls] and then they were voted on. The nominee with the most votes got the job. As it happened, girls always voted for girl and boys for boys [God forbid, you might be accused of liking another student of the other gender if you voted for them]. Now, in our class, the girls outnumbered boys. Needless to say that our democracy had produced a situation where the girls held the jobs and the boys were denied equipment (among other things).

But then one day I got a bright idea: I'd "man-up", take a little ridicule, and nominate a girl that would split the vote. It worked and the guys got to do what we're best at…playing with their..eh..nevermind.

You know, that was the teacher's last forray into the voting scheme; from then on the jobs were by appointment only. But it did work long enough for us to win within the framework of the existing — dare I say — 'laws'.

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