The world backs Barack Obama

As The Economist points out all democratic systems have their quirks, and America's is no exception. The electoral college is a 200-year-old institution. According to its rules, Americans do not vote directly for their presidents. Instead they cast a ballot to decide who wins their state's electoral-college votes.
Stuart Bruce put me on to this. According to The Economist the number of these votes in the electoral college is fixed by the number of people the state sends to Congress, which in turn is based on its population. All states have a minimum of three votes and there are 538 electoral-college votes up for grabs in total. The presidential candidate who secures the most electoral-college votes ends up in the White House.
Critics of the electoral-college system say it can produce a president who has lost the popular vote, as happened in 2000. They also complain that the winner-takes-all system employed by most states leads candidates to focus on a small number of "swing states" and ignore more reliably partisan ones.
There have consequently been many attempts to reform the electoral-college system - over 700 so far - though until now nobody has suggested that the entire world be included.
Now The Economist has. If we could all vote McCain would be toast and Obama will be in power come November 5. Check it out.
Interestingly the only nations in favour of McCain are Macedonia and Georgia.


S said...

The National Popular Vote bill would make every vote in every state politically relevant and equal in U.S. presidential elections.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 21 legislative chambers (one house in CO, AR, ME, NC, and WA, and two houses in MD, IL, HI, CA, MA, NJ, RI, and VT). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.



Ian Green said...

Erm... I not sure what is the point you are making.