Tuesday, November 07, 2006


1. Instant-runoff voting (IRV) (also known as the Alternative Vote (AV) and by several other names) is an electoral system used for single winner elections in which voters rank candidates in order of preference.


-Hello, would you like to help us out today?

-People, people a moment of your time...

-Can I interest you in voter reform?

-We have a petition here...

-Thanks for coming out today, we’re trying to get something on the ballot...

-Mom, mom!


-Hey, do you want to sign something?

2. In an IRV election, if no candidate receives an overall majority of first preferences the candidates with fewest votes are eliminated one by one, and their votes transferred according to their second and third preferences (and so on), until one candidate achieves a majority.

-Dinosaurs, bring back the dinosaurs.

-What are you talking about?

-Dinosaurs, we have a petition to put an initiative to bring back the dinosaurs on the ballot.

-I don’t understand

-Bring the dinosaurs back to life, you know, like in Jurassic Park.

-Can we do that?

-Well, we need signatures

-No, I mean do we know how to do that, like cloning and stuff?

-This isn’t about cloning. It’s about dinosaurs. You know, tyrannosaurus, brontosaurus, mechasaurus...


-The question is not why, but when -and the answer is, a long, long time ago. And that’s the wrong answer. The right answer is today, yesterday and tomorrow. Possibly forever. We want to bring them back.

-Yeah, but you’re going to like, clone them, right?

-This isn’t about cloning. I said that already.

-Well, where are we going to get the dinosaurs?

-I’m glad you asked that question. There are no easy answers when it comes to bringing back the dinosaurs. But that does not mean we should be afraid to vote our consciences and bring back the dinosaurs.

-That doesn’t answer my question.

-Well, they could be living on an island somewhere. Or a lake. Some say that Loch Ness....

-Yes, but in what sense would we be bringing them back?

-Well, yes, but I’m getting to that, see because this is not really about clones, islands or time machines -no wait, -it is about time machines...


-We’re bringing the dinosaurs back, right? From where? Answer: the past. Not clones, or fake dinosaurs, but real historical dinosaurs from actual history...

-So, like, with a time machine?

-So, right, so this is also a time machine initiative, but that’s really complicated. So we focus on dinosaurs which everyone likes and can relate to.


-Well, I thought the movie was cool. I mean, it was the biggest grossing movie of all time and I think the book did pretty good...

-What, The Time Machine?

-No, Jurassic Park. I mean, that’s like a mandate if there ever was one.

-That was a movie.

-Well, first it was a book.

-A book of fiction.

-Right, so if people are lining up around the corner to see dinosaurs that aren’t even real -or are like fake clones or something, how do you think they’ll react to actual historical dinosaurs that are part of our nation’s history?

-So real American dinosaurs?

-Yes, exactly. I’ve tried to communicate this in this poster, which I drew to the best of my ability and this hat I am wearing with the dinosaur on it and my shirt with the American flag.

-Oh, right.

-I also have a hat with an American flag and a shirt with a dinosaur, but I felt that this being election day ...We want to emphasize that these are American dinosaurs and so, like, we have both dinosaurs and time travel, so they can, like, travel through American history.

-The dinosaurs?

-Right, right, I mean there’s a lot in this bill, for everybody, big business, little business, working families, firemen, dinosaurs, dinosaur hunters, cavemen...


-Well, as we all know, dinosaurs and cavemen never met.


-But wouldn’t it be cool if they did? Or, like, Moses, or any other significant American figure.

-Wait, so the dinosaurs stop off at different places in time?

-I don’t see why not. I mean it’s a long way... I mean imagine if like, the South won the Civil War -with dinosaurs. Like an army of dinosaurs tearing into the White House and, like, biting Lincoln in half.

-That would be horrible.

-Or like World War II -with dinosaurs. Nazisaurs. Commiesaurs. Bit-In-Half-Lincoln Brigade-a-saurs.

-So dinosaurs would be everywhere.

-Basically. American History becomes Dino-land U.S.A. History and a hell of a lot more interesting. And they’ve always been there. So like a lot of people worry, like, “What if the dinosaurs get out?” and we’re like saying, if our initiative is successful, you won’t even ask that question.

-Are they many of you?

-There could be. There could be millions: time machine, you follow me?

-Are you threatening me?

-I’m saying, there are going to be a lot of signatures and dinosaurs and you’re either for or against us. You sign this now, we never have this conversation and maybe you’re like a rich dinosaur rancher or a famous dino-hunter with a cool scar and a sexy savage cave-girl girlfriend. Or maybe you don’t sign...


-Well, let’s face it, if we bring back the dinosaurs and the Confederacy and Hitler a lot of people are going to die. I don’t have any illusions about that. Neither should you.

-Can I think about it?

-You don’t have a lot of time to decide, in a sense, I mean that’s the thing about time travel. One minute you’re here talking to me, next thing you’re naked in a Colosseum running away from a triceratops. It’s not a pretty picture and there’s nothing I can do about it.

-Can I take this thing home and read about it?

-You’re not gonna sign it.

3. The term 'instant-runoff voting' is used because this process resembles a series of run-off elections.

-Thanks for taking the time to sign and fill out this petition.

-It's a good cause.

-Great, so we have your phone number -so if there’s any problem with your form, I could like call you.

-Is there a problem with the petition I signed?

-Oh, no, no. I’m just saying if there was, we could like, meet, like over coffee or something, and like talk about it.

-Talk about...

-You know, the form, instant runoff voting, you... movies, you like movies?

-I guess...

-Do you live far from here? My feet are killing me...

-I’m going to work, actually

-Or a shower, I mean I’ve been standing the rain with this petition and I could really use hot shower...

-Actually, I’m going to the gym first...

-You see, I knew that, I knew you worked out. I mean you look great. I’ve so been really wanting to go lately. But I've been so busy. With things I've been doing.

-Well can you do that? I mean don’t they need you?

-Oh hell no, I mean like it’s a totally lost cause, I mean I’ve got this thing for losers, you know?

-Well, okay. I’m over here...

-Yeah great, let me just find a place to throw these away...

TURN #87: WEEK 73; WORDS: 81,558