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In his Commentary "Our Imperial Judiciary" [VIEWPOINT, Dec. 4], Charles Krauthammer decried the Florida Supreme Court and all courts for "trampling the prerogatives of elected legislatures and elected governments." While I do not agree with a number of the rulings that the Florida court and the U.S. Supreme Court have made in recent years, I defend their right to make them. We absolutely need a court that will protect individual rights from majority rule and help interpret laws with conflicting provisions. I find that the Florida legislature has enacted laws that allow for manual recounts but do not provide deadlines with enough time to do such recounts. Perhaps the Florida Supreme Court is rewriting election laws, but someone must deal with the flaws that the Florida legislature has left us with. RONALD R. BRUCE Orwigsburg, Pa.
Krauthammer hit the nail squarely on the head. If we need to talk about the Electoral College or how voting is carried out, it is equally important for us to discuss the roles of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. Are they, in fact, equal? BILL BROUWERS Middlebury, Ind.
VOTE COUNTING, AMERICAN-STYLE
In Florida, only ballots that were not punched at all, nicked or partly punched should have been set aside [ELECTION 2000, Dec. 4]. Then those ballots should have been evaluated and recounted by hand and the total of valid votes added to the original machine count. This process should not take more than 48 hours. (It would take less than 24 hours in Canada!) Anyone objecting to it and finding legal reasons for multiple delays and a total recount is a partisan who has a vested interest in the result. If there is serious concern that the machine counts could be so bad that every ballot must be manually recounted, then all the counts by such machines are faulty. RODOLPHE MALTAIS Quebec City
What happened in the presidential election in Florida was a statistical aberration that the system will survive. The more important story is that American democracy is turning into a plutocracy. The best predictor of which candidate is going to win any political race is who spends the most money. DIANELOS GEORGOUDIS San Jose, Costa Rica
Only one reason explains why a dimpled chad next to a candidate's name does not demonstrate a person's intent to vote for that candidate. The voter, at the precise moment he was halfway finished punching the ballot, changed his mind and stopped. The situation is much like the classic movie scene in which the good guy faces the cornered villain and the dilemma of whether to shoot. The hero slowly pulls back the trigger to within a nano-inch of firing, hesitates--and stops. Makes great fiction, but do we really believe that happened thousands of times in Florida? DREW SUNDBERG Brussels
Democracy must invent something more intelligent. No Electoral College should be able to override the popular vote. The U.S. should provide a real model for democracy. As things stand now, millions of Nigerians believe that there was vote rigging in this election. MOSES IDA-MICHAELS Abuja, Nigeria
TAKE THE "A" TRAIN