Dead Man Wins Election: Bizarre But True Politics from Around the World by Phil Mason
In 2000, voters from Missouri elected a dead man as their Senator. He had died three weeks before polling day, but he still won by a 2 per cent margin. When the residents of Sunol, California, elected their Mayor, they chose a dog in preference to either of the two humans standing. When a Colorado town wanted a name for its new bridge, they decided on 'Bob'. Welcome to the bizarre side of politics. Dead Man Wins Election collects the wackiest tales from the Parliaments, Council chambers and voting booths of the world. We uncover the least competent politicians, the most outlandish government decisions and the strangest elections. Whether it is the mayoral candidate who got his twin brother to stand in for him or the most unsuccessful politician who was last heard of standing in his 103rd lost election, every tale pushes the boundaries of our assumptions about politics. The theory of democracy is that we elect our politicians on some basis of trust that our futures lie safe in their hands. Practice often tells a different story. Very, very often. Perhaps the Americans knew more than they realised when they chose as their national motto, 'In God we trust,' for we have been taking a risk with our earthly rulers ever since.