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Database: Corrupt Practices Act

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ACS DB Corrupt Practices Act

Rigging elections was a national pastime in nineteenth-century Britain, and by 1868 things had gotten so bad it just wasn't sporting anymore. This, Prime Minister Disraeli introduced this bill in order to make the process interesting again. The bill's principal effect was to transfer responsibility for trying election petitions from-

You know what? Let's slow down and back up a bit. Prior to this Act, whenever the result of a Parliamentary election was up for debate, the result was decided by a vote in the House of Commons. Shockingly enough, this meant that nine times out of ten, the candidate from the majority party turned out to have won the election after all. Disraeli's new law moved responsibility for deciding election outcomes to a special triumvirate appointed from the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer of Pleas, or the Queen's Bench, which meant that to rig an election you now had to buy off two judges instead of an entire House of Parliament. A much more sensible and streamlined system of corruption. It's this slow, steady march toward efficiency that makes the British government the finest in the world.

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