Is political science the real dismal discipline? One might think so, given the head-shaking, hand-wringing, and tut-tutting for which political scientists are responsible during every election cycle. Too few citizens, we lament, take the trouble to vote, and too many of those who do vote base their decisions on superficial or whimsical grounds. The unease we feel as professionals-cum-citizens over the distance between the noble idea of elections-in-theory and the sorry conduct of elections-in-practice has a long pedigree. In the first century A.D., Juvenal decried the tendency of imperial politicians to sweep serious policy issues under the rug by satiating the populace with panem et circenses. Colonial-era British politicians also courted votes with food and drink. The famous 1757 painting “Canvassing for Votes” by William Hogarth depicts vote-seekers gaining electoral support based upon their skills as genial hosts, not policy advocates. In many American cities, elections have long been notoriously corrupt, the classic case being New York's Tammany Hall and its ethos of “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.” Today, as fledgling democracies around the world are holding elections, they are experiencing many of the forms of electoral corruption and graft that have become so familiar in more established democracies, and undoubtedly they are devising some new forms as well.