The Arizona Desert Lamp

ASUA Election, Day 2: The Horse Race Continues

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 4 March 2009

Horse RacingWe’re now t-10 hours until the election ends and the results are released. If you haven’t already, vote for Nick Jones.

Meanwhile, though, here’s another idea to increase participation in the elections: display a live graph of the election results, starting around four hours into the race. This would ideally be shown as a line graph, with each candidate assigned a line. Every five minutes, the position of the candidate would be shifted with respect to their total votes.

Since there are no polls of any kind during an election, it’s hard for even the candidates themselves to know where they stand. Providing this live display of results will put the heat on the candidates in the bottom two thirds, leading to some pretty crazy eleventh hour campaigning tactics.

More importantly, it would allow for some great betting markets. Futures markets would be hard to establish (what superior knowledge are you using to make money?), but we could definitely put the literal ‘horse race’ back into the electoral metaphor. Hell, appoint an ASUA bookie and have them take trifecta bets up until the start of the election. (Of course, establishing odds will be difficult; yet if this ‘Be the Change’ survey program gets off the ground, this could be a key project of theirs.) You could also reopen betting after the first day, allow for new bets with new odds (but less overall return). Incidentally, the UA happens to have one of the top programs for the race track industry – perhaps they could help? When you’re dealing with fairly severe budget cuts, raking in gambling revenue really doesn’t sound that bad.

Now, it’s easy to complain that this could lead to some pretty fraudulent electioneering on the part of interested gamblers. But it’s not like we’re dealing with free elections anyways; we might as well have a little fun in the meanwhile.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Will Palmer

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