19 August 2013, 15:38

Who chooses the president of the United States

сша выборы сша президентские выборы 2012 голосование Нью-Йорк

The significant part of the US Constitution that was adopted in 1787 consists of the description of the election procedure of the legislative and executive powers. The Founding Fathers made the election process with the Congress clear enough (via the system of proportional and regional election). The situation with the presidential election is more complicated. The head of the executive power in the United States along with the vice-president is chosen by the states, or in other words by their electoral college. Their number (nowadays 538 people) is defined by the sum of all the senators and all the congressmen of the country plus 3 people from the District of Columbia.

Officially citizens of every state vote not for the president candidate of this or that party but for the list of electoral college of the party. Practically in all the states there is a “winner takes it all” principle: if the majority of people voted let’s say for republicans, all the electors are automatically included in the republican “piggy bank”. And the elector is ought to pass his vote to the candidate of his party – in the most states there is a punishment for avoiding that rule.

In the end of the XVIII century such two-level system represented social and material voting qualification and was invented with one main aim – to limit the president election from the influence of various marginals and other lumpen elements with guns and pistols, those people who were not ready to take responsibility for the political choice. Thus that made elections rather ordered and predictable. The same principle was taken later while establishing the two-party system. That maybe made sense for the young American republic back then. Nowadays the electoral college looks like anachronism and the cause of all trouble.

It happened before when the majority of the country voted for the candidate from one party but the president was elected from the other through the election arithmetic method. But that is not the only problem. The political system is turning into a 'bronze-age' one. It is well known that there are republican and democratic states where citizens vote accordingly. The outcome of the elections depends on the “indecisive states”, elaborating which is the main priority of both campaigns. This “indecisive states” are usually small with very limited amount of electorals. The fate of the future president lays in hands of few people.

It is no wonder that one Turkish newspaper paid attention to the fact that the Republican party who lost twice to the President Obama during elections started paying attention not to the policy of the Democratic party with which they win but to the people who vote for them. It is mentioned in the same article that the main body of Republican electorate consists of white Americans while in the Democratic party there are a lot of the minorities. The population growth rate in the US is higher among the minorities. The republicans started worrying that soon they will not be able to win at all. In different states there are trying to limit the participation of the democratic electorals in the voting process. For instance, they ask to present the photo ID. It is assumed that for the non-white citizen it is harder to obtain that kind of document.

Recently the National Interest magazine stated that the political discourse in the US depraved and turned to the everlasting campaign of choosing and rechoosing, when the word 'compromise' became cursed, and the ideas are turned into the simple sound scenes.

British Independent adds to this that in general Americans are very practical and conservative. But when they look at Washington the only thing they see is polarization and constant debates between the two parties. The policy in the States could be based only on compromise and the source of the compromise comes from the center. However, it is practically illuminated. For the majority of active senators and congressmen the main threat during the elections comes not from the competitive parties but from the more radical inside of the party rival primaries, the outcome of which is defined by the strongly configured minority.

By the hard work of the Barack Obama opponents in the eyes of many Americans he really looks weak. However, as one of the western political scientists has mentioned, the current president is not part of the mainstream: when the conversation goes to who and how often the US should invade or attack, the differences between the parties vanish. Maybe Obama is more flexible than his predecessor Bush Jr with his obvious non-intellectual cowboy manner. There are questions where the parties vary: for example, rebooting the relationship with Russia. The differences here look shallow rather than fundamental. In the end, despite all the beautiful speeches, Obama continues to create the missile defense system.

In opinion of several American experts, the new populist will appear soon on the local political stage. Maybe it will be a new democrat who will elevate (raise, lift) the new social ideas. Maybe it will be a Republican who will try to begin a new Cold War against everyone in the world.

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