Posthumous Election

A few years ago, a dead man was elected to the Senate. Whether it was done in loyalty to his memory, in opposition to his rival, in support of his promised replacement, or in sheer ignorance makes no difference to me. I'm all in favour of electing the dead. More dead should be elected. They are under-represented and underappreciated.

The dead are exemplars of democracy and statesmanship. They are generous, forgiving, far-sighted, and no longer subject to appetites that cloud the decisions of the living. The dead can't be bought by lobbyists of corrupt corporations. They can't be blackmailed by political opponents. Most importantly, they can't vote.

There was a legal principle in the Roman Empire called abstentia in absentium. Senators opposed to a certain emperor and his desired mandates were called to represent Rome in foreign countries as generals or diplomats. Removed from the Senate, they were not allowed to vote and the emperor could more easily push his agenda. But in our system, the abstention should be a positive force, not a negative one. Postive meaning it should limit legislation, not capitulate in silence.

Let the dead count, their abstentions a mandate for inaction, a veto of mucking in our lives by contentious, self-serving busybodies who could learn a few lessons from the dead if they weren't so noisy being noisome.