|low graphics version | feedback | help|
|You are in: Talking Point|
Friday, 17 November, 2000, 10:00 GMT
Presidential race: How can it be resolved?
Re-counting votes in the state of Florida could take days. The legal challenges which loom could take weeks to sort out.
The country that prides itself on being the most advanced democracy in the world remains unable to elect a president.
Late night chat shows and satirical publications are having a field day trying to find ways out of the impasse.
Suggestions have included dividing the White House into sections, with Gore and Bush taking the Presidency on alternate weeks. Others say the country should be run without a president.
Do you have any bright ideas? Talk show hosts will need plenty of good jokes in the next few weeks. Help them out.
Matthew Ogie, London, England
Why don't we genetically engineer a Bush-Gore hybrid and let it be President?
How about seeing what Dan Quayle is doing these days?!
Please send in UN observers to ensure that the vote counting is democratic and fair.
Belinda McCarter, Phoenix, USA
A game of hot potato should sort it all out. Or, hang on, should that be "hot potatoe"?
It's so simple if you look at the map of results: Bush will be President in the blue states, and Gore in the red ones! The White House can be turned into an entertainment centre (no big change there!). And the nation will continue to be ruled by the real top central authority and decision-maker - Alan Greenspan.
Ian Summers, Dublin, Ireland
A penalty shootout is the only sensible way to solve this. Have Bush and Gore choose the best five footballers from their respective campaign staffs with the two candidates playing keeper. Of course, you could also allow Gore and Bush to spend even more millions than they have already spent campaigning and hire professional players to play for their squads. Make and event of it, sell tickets, and take bets on the game, with the proceeds being used to add to the budget surplus. If one of them starts another legal case and argues over this, just send them off!
Oh, all right then. I'll do it.
In response to Colin: with the Rock/Paper/Scissors - best 2 of 3, unless Gore loses. Then its Best 3 of 4, unless Gore loses, then best 4 of 5.
You can argue until you are blue in the face that this is democracy in action, but until the Americans realise that an election is only fair and over until ALL the votes are counted, I'm afraid it is tantamount to manipulating the result. Who ever heard of a UK MP being announced with some ballot papers uncounted!? USA sort yourselves out you are becoming a lot of critters! Hypo - critters!!
Hey it could be worse - there could be metric and imperial methods of counting votes, and NASA could be doing the counting.
D. Smith, London, England
Why not give each an anonymous run of a month alternately - then see if the public can tell the difference.
Either Judge Judy or wait for Jerry Springer's "final thought".
One should be president, the other vice-president and the first item on the agenda is call another election and design the voting cards properly this time!
In view of America's position as a world leader, the rest of the world has a legitimate interest in who becomes the next President. I'd say take it to the United Nation's General assembly, and decide between the two candidates on the basis of one member, one vote.
The candidates should appear on a show called "Who Wants to Be a President?", where they'll be asked a series of progressively harder questions about principles and the lives of real everyday people. Of course neither has any chance at winning, but it would be fun to watch them sweat.
What I am waiting for is what they are going to do in 4 years time to prevent this from happening again.
Let Maggie Thatcher become President! After all she and her poodles spent half their lives pandering to the Americans in just about everything - economic and foreign policy, welfare and education.
So she would do just as well as any of the presidential candidates!
Does it really matter who is President? We all know that Elvis is really in charge...
Simon Gleave, Hong Kong
I've got it! Offer Gore an administrative position with AOL (he invented the internet...didn't he?) and let Bush be the president.
The solution to this is obvious.
Just leave the White House
vacant. A vacuum in the White
House didn't hurt anything under
President Hoover, and it won't
hurt anything now. Just think of
the rent that can be collected to
further pay down the national
debt. If Clinton can rent out
the Lincoln bedroom while he's
still living there, imagine what
we could get for the whole White
House for four years!
Both Gore and Bush lose. Jeb wins. He's obviously smarter than his brother!
I think we should let Fidel
Castro decide - after all he is
the one with the longest
experience in dealing with the
John Rehagen, Cypress, California
Let Bill and Hillary repeal the Constitution and crown themselves the King and Queen of America. Or, if all else fails, link back up with Britain and throw tea all over the place.
How about a sudden death, winner-takes-all game of the quintessential American game Monopoly!
According to Gore, you should just keeping voting until you get the result you want!
How about the one who got the most votes - or am I missing something!
How about transplanting Gore's brain into Bush's head. That way everyone will be happy, both candidates will get the White House, and we'll all have a president who can smile and think at the same time..
Earl, New Jersey, USA
Now that extra time has been played out, it will surely have to go to penalties.
Tell your former PM; the Lady Thatcher to start packing. We have an opening in the states for the job she really wanted anyway.
The impasse should be resolved by both candidates selecting a darts pro and then taking part in a Bullseye tie-break. Jim Bowen would compere with the non-darts players to throw first.
Make them take part in the BBC programme "Weakest Link", subject them to gruelling questions, then set Anne Robinson on them "You are clearly the weakest link -Goodbye!"
Tim, Conway, SC, USA
Let the media decide.
They already have twice!
In a 1 to 10 contest, G. Bush is required to describe as best he can how he spent his summer; Gore has to, as best he can try to utter a phrase which does not sound pre-programmed: the winner then gets to debate with Nader, whereby we get a chance to see real issues discussed. Never mind the current problems, it is the best thing these two clowns could have done for democracy.
A. Loth, CT, U.S.A.
The Bland leading the blind
Give it to anyone who can say
Conduct the recount under the scrutiny of foreign observers, e.g. a team of politicians from, say, Russia, Serbia and Belarus. Results in no time!
Looks like the biggest democracy in the world (India) had less trouble electing it's leader.
Stephen Crouch, Valencia, Spain
Take the tally of IQ for the total voters of each candidates and the highest IQ wins! Se ya Gore! Bingo players won't overrule corporate intelligence in this day and age. You Brits are great with your comments! Keep 'em coming!
The candidate who's less likely to fall asleep at his desk and accidentally press the red button should win
The real answer: emergency amendment to the constitution, such that, in the event of an unresolved election, the outgoing president's spouse takes charge. Hillary for the White House!
To the citizens of the United States of America, Following your failure to elect a President of the USA to govern yourselves and, by extension, the free world, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume a monarch's duties over all states, Commonwealths and other territories...Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).
(Not my own "original thoughts" but well worth sharing!)
Why not let Wall Street pick directly? After all, why should the US public decide who will represent capital?
Why don't we do what Al Gore has done and keep asking people until we get the result that HE wants? Gore should just give in and accept defeat - next time you play scrabble and you are behind, keep re-counting the points until it works out that you win (it'll happen eventually!)
The answer is obviously Paper, Scissors, Stone. No doubt about it... lets say best of 3?
Observer, Perth, Australia
As both men come from important American political families, there is really only one way - Family Fortunes.
Let Bush and Gore fight it out in the courts for four years. Problem solved!
Do you suppose we could appeal to the Queen to take us back?
The only way to resolve this dispute is a good, bare-knuckle fight. First to go down loses. Easy, eh?
How about a drinking contest with William Hague as a judge?
Try Saturday Night Live style - guest Presidents each week.
There's only one way. It has to be through competition in a sport that has captured the world's attention like no other this year. Beach volleyball.
Both should be Presidents, the US is a big place.
Since the US is making such a big fuss about the Amazon, I would suggest leaving both candidates in the middle of the forest. The one who can return home on his own, wins.
John Yates, Finland
How's about job sharing? Al Gore mornings, George Bush afternoons.
The whole election process has been undermined by this debacle. The only way forward is to scrap all votes and quickly hold another election. As things stand, whichever candidate gets the key to 1600 will be viewed with suspicion and will have a mammoth task uniting the country behind their leadership
Al Gore won the popular vote. He has the most Electoral College votes so far and there is strong evidence that he won Florida. So Al Gore should be the next President. However the USA hasn't been so divided since 1968 so the new administration should reflect this when it assumes power on 20 January 2001. So Al Gore should nominate George W. Bush to be his new Vice-President (subject to approval by the Senate).
Welshmun, Morayfield, Australia
I like the idea about a President for the North and one for the South. England tried it, we had Thatcher for the South and...er...oh that's right, we didn't get one for the North. Seriously though folks! How about doing something democratic like having the one who got the most votes over the whole of the country be president? Doesn't America usually invade countries or bomb them or something if that country puts someone in power who didn't get the most votes? I think we should have foreign UN officials come to Florida to monitor the recount.
Let's take another 3 or 4 billion dollars,
2 or 3 more years, countless man hours,
and all the yearning for real goverment,
put it all togather. Then see if we were lucky
to end up in another lovely gridlock.
In true American style, they should have a chocolate chip cookie eating contest - the one who reaches the average American voter's weight first (approx. 220lbs) wins.
If the USA is having trouble electing a decent head-of-state they could ask our Queen to do it again! Directly elected heads-of-state have too much power for one man anyway !
As Greece invented democracy why don't
they just poll the Grecians?
Send Bush and Gore to South America to pick coffee beans with Jaun Valdez, and hire Colin Powell for the job of president. On the other hand that wouldn't work, he's too smart to want the job.
Toss a coin boys!
All the candidates should be locked, "Big Brother"-style, in the White House, where they will be watched 24 hours a day by the American public, who can vote out their least favourite contestant. Alternatively, they could give the presidency to whoever has the prettiest intern.
Khalil Alkathiri, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
One solution is a shoot-out at the OK Corral.
Legally or constitutionally whoever wins in recount in Florida should be the President. If the issue still remains unresolved then Americans should have a new experiment and appoint either Saddam Hussein or Fidel Castro as the new president.
Nick H., UK
Convene Congress to change the constitution so that Clinton can serve another four years. In those four years get the Republicans and Democrats to find serious contenders for the post of President. Neither Gore nor Bush really excite the electorate the way characters like Clinton or John F. Kennedy have in the past.
Form a national reconciliation committee composed of neutral experts on international and domestic issues. Quiz Bush and Al Gore. Who scores best will be in the White House
We could all learn a lot from the Bush camp in our daily lives. The next time you play a game with someone just declare yourself the winner and don't wait for the end! For instance the next time you play scrabble, you're 80 points adrift, no problem, just say you've won and insist your opponent give in!
Gordon Waller, UK
Gore is president Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; Bush on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; Nader gets Sundays.
When faced with the choice between a clever but un-charismatic candidate and a candidate with limited intelligence and ability only the Americans can choose the latter.
I remember a sketch on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In when an American tried to explain the presidential election process to some 'savages'. The savages put the candidates in a ring with a gorilla - last man in the ring was made leader.
Divide the number of votes by the amount spent. The guy with the highest vote yield per dollar wins. Unless of course it's Bush then we have to think again.
Ian Mehrer, London, England
I think both candidates would agree to the following: Gore gets to be President when there's a vowel in the month, and Bush when there's a "W".
Job share - Gore can do the mornings and Bush can take the afternoons.
Exile both Gore and Bush to the British House of Lords where they will be permitted to sit only with the hereditary peers (where they truly belong.) Call a new election asking John McCain and Bill Bradley to represent their respective parties in debates, outlawing political advertisements which benefit only those who have made promises to the largest group of the wealthy corporations and hear the citizens of the United States breath a collective sigh of relief!
Richard Wingrove, York, UK
Make them sail to Bermuda from 2 different directions. The first one to get sucked in - WINS!
I think the UN should impose an economic embargo and cut off all aid. How can a man get the most votes and still not be a president? This IS a banana republic!
Why not put both of them in a cage with a rabid dog and see which one it attacks first?
The winner is the one that gets attacked by the dog as the other one is obviously so slippery the dog can't even get hold of it!
A solution to fit both candidates, lifestyles..
Why not one president for the north and one for the south?
James Dawkins, UK
As I'm a Gore supporter though, I would suggest a spelling contest, just to make sure. Or Kerplunk.
Arm wrestling. It's the only way.
May I suggest staging a bare knuckle Ultimate Fighting Contest.
One Cage, Two men and 100 million screaming Americans.
Come on people, its what you really want.
John B, UK
How can Simon Millard suggest that something so important be resolved by something as trivial as the turn of a card? There is ONLY way to resolve this fiasco:
How about cutting cards, highest card wins!
Since the two candidates are so similar that this issue has occurred, why not try something different and let the people decide.
They say this is going to make a great movie one day. Well, why not go the whole hog? User test both endings in special Palm Beach screenings, and see which one wins on the clapometer. Failing that, why not organise a fistfight?
How about the loser admits defeat gracefully and doesn't cause a fuss or make a legal challenge. Now that would be a radical idea.
Why not this radical idea - have a nation-wide vote where the most popular candidate loses. Then scrap the nation-wide result in favour of one chosen state. Have a ballot in which half the populace can't understand the ballot paper then lose most of the remaining ballot boxes Finally and most importantly ensure that anyone who doesn't like the governor's big brother is kept well away from the polling booths.
Whoever gains a simple majority of the remaining three votes wins!
13 Nov 00 | Americas
US elections: Your suggestions
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Other Talking Points:
Links to other Talking Point stories
|^^ Back to top
News Front Page | World | UK | UK Politics | Business | Sci/Tech | Health | Education | Entertainment | Talking Point | In Depth | AudioVideo
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy