Two former Hillary Clinton staffers started Vote Both.com after the primaries, a site advocating a unity ticket of Clinton and Obama. Key backers of the “dream ticket” include Sen. Dianne Feinstein of
I mention this because Westercon begins this week in Las Vegas, one of the rare conventions that changes sites each year as voted by the members, and I’m reminded that somebody once had the bright idea that “Both” would be the perfect solution for a pair of Westercon bids. Let me tell you how well “Both” worked for us. Then you may consider yourselves warned.
From File 770 #35, August 1982:
Even on the morning of its last day, [the 1982] Westercon had not exhausted its bag of tricks. Prelude: When Portland and Phoenix announced their 1984 Westercon bids, fans noted they were not bidding for the same days – one would have started before July 4, the other after. Certain pundits, who shall remain namelex*, conceived a campaign for BOTH. Let them both win. Let them both put on a Westercon. Let’s go to both. Witty, computer-typed flyers advocated, “If you are a Phoenix local or a Portland local, this is a great opportunity to get more con for your money: You can attend the portion nearest you if you’re on a budget; You can attend both cons for little more than if you were going to the con farther away; LA locals can check on their cats on their way to the other con.”
After a weekend of people running about asking each other whether they voted for “Both,” the bidders agreed to count the ballots after Site Selection closed Sunday, and not release the results until the next morning’s Business Meeting. Randy Rau (
Seeing as one of the bids had, indeed, won by one vote, Rau was infuriated. Other
“Bullets, not ballots,” suggested Seth Breidbart. After extended private huddling between the bidders and parliamentarian Fred Patten, a decision finally came forth. Rather than risk having to let the meeting vote whether to reopen balloting (which it easily would have done, considering the pack of irate
As she was preparing to leave the con, Genny Dazzo loudly announced that she was going back to New York and start a Phoenix in ’84 Worldcon bid, to repay the “Both” bidders for their hubris.
[* A reference to Lex Nakashima, the alleged mastermind.]
The Moral of the Story: “Both” seemed a clever idea to just enough Westercon voters to make the election three times as controversial as it otherwise would have been, and to leave the winner just about as unhappy as the loser. The saving grace in 2008 is that party delegates are much less likely to try and force “Both” on unwilling candidates.