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Sunday, January 25, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Light Snow and Breezy
The Daily
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Voter ID needed for Dancing With the Stars
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The secrecy clouding the process that propelled Bristol Palin to the final round of Dancing With The Stars casts a chilling effect on the future of democracy in American television entertainment competition.

The People of Sconz Nation who protested Palin's controversial victory by shooting their television sets are only the preliminary victims of a corrosive process that threatens the very existence of the industrial political entertainment complex that our nation's founders envisioned when they crafted the U.S. Constitution.

"Frankly, the system of government our forebears developed was meant to serve as an example for the more important American institutions, such as sports and other leisurely activities, including theater and gambling," said Brian Gumble, a UW law professor and constitutional scholar. "The founders recognized that the most important social institutions were those that diverted the public's attention from intellectual matters."

According to Capital Times editor John Nichols, the founders would have cared very little about the level of the debt ceiling for the U.S. Treasury, but would have been appalled by the elitist nature of baseball, in which four umpires are entrusted with determining whether a player is safe or out.

"These were decisions they would have deemed best left to the people watching," he said.

While programs such as ABC's Dancing with the Stars celebrate the American tradition of determining quality through popular support, their processes are for naught unless they are transparent, and the viewers can be confident that every vote will be counted.

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