Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Another part of the problem 

Thanks to Joanne Jacobs for linking to the article on Harry Potter. I think Mitch has put his finger on part of the problem as well, in discussing the uproar over planning on postponement of the election in case of terrorist attack.
On the one hand, "if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail". If the nation doesn't consider what to do in the event of a rending national catastrophe, then if it happens we will have no idea what to do - guaranteeing an election dispute that'll make this last four years look like trying to figure out which movie to rent at Blockbuster.

On the other hand - as we saw during last year's Terror Market controversy or the "Duct Tape" advisories last year, if a government institution even considers a point that is emotionally loaded enough to torque a significant minority, then that point will go unconsidered. Every time.
Readers of the Volokh Conspiracy will have already found several examples of how the law is already elastic enough to handle the possibility of voting interruption, just as markets can handle predictions such as whether Osama will be caught by Christmas. (About 3-1 against; look under Current Events->Intl Events. Zarqawi is about 50/50 to be neutralized by year-end.) And if you go to US Presidential Election, you can see the bet that the election is certified on December 13th, the current date set for meeting the Electoral College (a little less than 5-1 in favor.)

There are always plans. There are always obstacles. There is always creativity, if only it is allowed to work.