Vote for Me

You know, I’m intrigued by the electoral process in the US. It’s July 2003 and the elections aren’t until 2004, but the election hoo-ha is well under way. It seems a lot more involved and, well, active than the Australian electoral process.

From my understanding of it, there’s the campaigning for the “pre-election race” to determine who will stand for President for each party has to occur. So many people want to be President but only one can. Politics1 lists 12 Republican candidates and 37(!) candidates for the Democrats whom they deem as ‘active’, not to mention independants and other parties.

Then there’s the campaign to get people to register to vote, particularly people who are going to support your preferred candidate. Not to mention the whole business of actually motivating them to turn up on election day. And, of course, one has to worry about dirty-but-legal tricks the opposition might pull to affect your voter turn out in a particular demographic.

And the campaigning by the candidates to get funding. A few dollars from this supporter. Quite a few more from this corporate supporter. And so on.

And then there’s the Electoral College that actually decides who is going to be President:

Under the Electoral College system, [US voters] do not elect the President and Vice President through a direct nation-wide vote. The Presidential election is decided by the combined results of 51 State elections (in this context, the term “State” includes DC). Your vote helps decide which candidate receives your State’s electoral votes. It is possible that an elector could ignore the results of the popular vote, but that occurs very rarely.
from NARA

I’m not saying that the Australian electoral process is without it’s faults, but it certainly seems more straight forward.


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