It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Unrepresentative American Election

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:11 AM
link   

The Unrepresentative American Election


watchingamerica.com

What is the people’s will?

Surveys show that Democratic contender Barack Obama will likely be elected president. That’s not as certain as some polls indicate, however, because the electoral system in the U.S. wasn’t created to best represent the will of the people. It was created to create the most stable majorities, in some cases even against the will of the people as we saw in George W. Bush’s first election in which his opponent, Al Gore, actually received more votes.

Individuals don’t vote for the president, they vote for “electors” who determine in the Electoral College who will be President. They are, therefore, committed to select the candidate who received the most individual votes in that state. It’s unfair, however, that all of the state’s electoral votes go to the winner. If this system were in place for primary elections, Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic candidate today.

The Electoral College system is skewed in favor of Republicans because the number of electors isn’t determined by the number of people who actually vote, it’s determined by the size of the population. Due to the fact that many people in the United States reside in “unincorporated” areas, an accurate population count is hard to determine. Census figures are notoriously inaccurate and, at best guess, only represent around ninety percent of the actual number. In states with mega-cities, population figures are glaringly underestimated. This means their importance in the Electoral College is diminished. Democrats, who are especially numerous in these states are, therefore, at a disadvantage.

There are other oddities about the American system. Why, for example, is the national election held on Tuesday, a workday for most people? Back in the 19th century, perhaps farmers and ranchers had little to do on the first Tuesday in November and the choice was popular. But that doesn’t hold true any longer in a world where the workforce is so specialized, where employees have to think twice about taking time off to vote. The bottom line is that the usual meager turnout at America’s polls, where fifty percent is considered a success, could spell doom for Obama.

In any case, one thing is obvious: Any telephone survey in the United States is more representative of the people’s will than the entire electoral system.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 11:11 AM
link   
Here is an interesting commentary from Germany on the American electoral process I found on one of my favorite political websites: watchingamerica.com...

Every few years we face elections but none are more complex and confusing to both foreigners and citizens than the presidential election. It is the only one that requires the electoral college, which in most people's opinions is obsolete but also one that shows no signs of going away.

What would happen next week if Obama is the clear winner, no 2000 but the clear winner and the Electoral college chooses McCain?

I have a feeling that it would not be pretty.

watchingamerica.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 05:48 PM
link   
An excellent article . One thing that isnt mentioned is that the fact the US electoral system is First Past the Post for both the Congressional and the presidential elections . First Past the Post is an enemy of democracy because it doesn't give a fair representation of how the electorate voted . In some ways I regard the US as how not to set up a electoral system . For the record Kiwis will go to the polls Saturday week .



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 07:57 PM
link   
You should keep in mind that America would not could not be the America of today had we not have designed and adopted this convoluted method of electing our Chief Executive. America in 1787 was 13 colonies each founded under a charter granted by the various kings and queens of England. Virginia was named for the first Queen Elizabeth, my favorite on a James I charter. Maryland for the Mary of William and Mary. New York re-named from New Amsterdam for the Duke of York. Georgia for King George I. Pennsylvania was named for William Penn who also obtained a charter from George I. T

he two Carolinas - North & South - were named for King Charles II. New Jersey? Perhaps for the Isle of Jersey? New Hampshire must also be for an English place or a high personage. The others took Native American - then called Indians - names. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Delaware which was the lone Swedish colony. I don’t know where Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - its first name - got its name but I’m sure Google does.

Tobacco and rice were the two major export crops in the southern states in the 1770s-1780s and those were dependant on slave labor. The first slaves were purchased from a Dutch ship’s master in 1619 in Jamestown, VA. Originally treated as indentured servants, white superiority versus black inferiority reared its ugly head and by 1680, the African blacks were treated as chattels, as property. See Note 1.

Everyone knew slavery was wrong. It remains the albatross around America’s neck in 2008. We have never got over slavery. Maybe we can’t ever. I think Obama is the likely winner because the 18-29 Millennium Generation want’s to elect Obama so they can put slavery to rest at last. If Obama was white and named Smith, he would be ahead of McCain by 20+ points. Millions and millions of Americans are still racists at heart.

The electoral college gave the slave owners of the south the assurance they could control the new nation despite that fact they have but 30% of the white population. The date 1808 - may have been significant in 1787 because after that date Congress could prohibit the importation of slaves. But the Electoral College along with the 2/3rfds vote of each house of the bi-cameral legislature and approval by 3/4ths of the states to amend the constitution meant slavery was secure for the indefinite future.

Although slavery is now gone from America, it is very unlikely that any of the 15 smallest states would approve an amendment abolishing the electoral college. It is going to be here for a long time to come. That is why I advocate a THIRD CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. We must get over this 18th century document and write one suitable to the 21st century!

Note 1.
Although slavery was legal in 10 of the first 13 states, the constant influx of new migrants who would work cheap, meant slavery was not economic on a small scale. Unless you could employ many to do a similar job like industrialized agriculture. In 1793 the invention of the cotton gin created the most valuable export crop in the world!



new topics

top topics
 
1

log in

join