Pyrrhic Victories

The French got a big laugh out of the U.S. presidential election fiasco. Americans are always giving lessons on democracy to the rest of the world, they chortled, but can't even count ballots. Worst of all, they make a travesty of popular government by giving the leadership of the free world to the guy who came in second. On a smaller scale, but with huge political implications, the same thing happened in Paris last week: Socialist Bert-rand Delanoë won only 49.6% of the popular vote but picked up a majority of municipal council seats because of a precinct-based voting system roughly...

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