Political Conundrums

Posted Wed, 05/14/08

While happy to hear that Hillary Clinton won the West Virginia primary, I detest the fact that the "super-delegate" factor takes precedence over the popular vote, and by those who apparently really decide who gets the Democratic nomination. What's the point of the stumping, speeches and campaign advertisements if it all comes down to swaying just a chosen few? It is total crap, and the American people know it.

If the election process relied solely on the popular vote rather then super-delegates and the Electoral College, I highly doubt Bush would have made it into the White House for a second hellish term in 2004.

To perhaps understand the workings of primary elections in the United States, I have quoted from my own article Political Parties below (which I wrote for Ambermont Magazine in 2004 but recently updated):

Electoral College:

Each American citizen aged eighteen or older has the right to vote in local, national and primary elections. People are encouraged to register to vote, to make their voices heard in every election. However, despite this process the Electoral College determines the outcome of each Presidential election.

When forming the United States Constitution, the founding fathers were uncertain how their President should be chosen. Initially, it was decided that Congress should select the President; this was later amended to choosing "electors," then back to Congress and finally, deciding on a system that is closely similar to the workings of the Electoral College today. Some original founders felt the people should directly elect the President, while others feared "the ignorance of the people."

Most Americans are unaware of the role of the Electoral College, instead assuming it is their collective votes that elect a President into office. In reality, when Americans cast their vote they are actually voting for officials who are assigned to each Presidential candidate.

The United States Congress determines the number of presidential electors to which each state is allowed. Currently, the total of state electors numbers 538. A majority of 270 is needed in order for an election to the presidency.

Electors must select the president and vice president in every election. Each presidential candidate has a group of assigned electors from each state; the electors vote for the presidential candidate who receives the largest number of votes in their state. In simpler terms, the Electoral College confirms the results of the popular vote.

In the majority of cases, the candidate who receives the popular vote will also come away with the Electoral College vote. If the election is close as it was in the year 2000 between George W. Bush and former Vice-President Al Gore, the Electoral College may select the candidate who did not receive most of the popular vote. The candidate who wins the job of President of the United States is also the individual who receives the majority if the Electoral College votes, rather than the majority of votes by the American people.

In essence, the American people do not directly elect their president and vice president. If this was the case, then the candidate with the most votes would win the Presidency.

Not much has changed in two hundred years. The general populace is still viewed as a throng of mindless idiots by the oh-so-intelligent members of the United States government.

Tags: Politics