An Excerpt from NewsBlog 4000, Sept. 3, 1967
Monday, January 31, 2005
Vietnam Election Not Really that Bad
After all the talk of a Vietcong terror campaign during the elections, administration officials are pleased by the election turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.
Not every region saw the same amount of turnout
Sadly, not every region saw the same amount of turnout, some because of a primarily communist population and some were intimidated by violence in the streets. Also, voter turnout is expected to have been low in the western mountain region which is firmly in the hands of the VC and was being heavily bombarded by the US Calvary units just days before the polls opened.
The election is part of a constitutional process for South Vietnam.
The election is part of a constitutional process for South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of this process which began in January 1966, to which President Johnson gave his full commitment when he met Premier Ky in Honolulu in February. Johnson and Ky also sunbathed, spent the afternoon surfing and then made love under the bright Polynesian moon. Ky later stated that the meeting was very productive and that Johnson was a “surprisingly sensitive” lover.
The real winner in the election today is, of course, President Johnson, who promised elections would go on as planned despite the claims of the communists, his generals and his closest advisors. After mixed reports on the events of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Johnson had made the elections into a major test of the legitimacy of the war. And the President seemed to have been getting quite sick with anxiety about the elections taking place smoothly. Today, the President’s condition has been upgraded to smug, but restive.