Wednesday, January 09, 2008

US Party Primaries

It's a beautiful morning in the state of Nowhere, USA and you wake up on voting day, today you get to vote in your party's election for the person you think should represent you for the presidential election. Switching on the television you change to the news channel which is hosting full coverage of the event. What's this though the two top contenders of your party are neck and neck. Your state's decision is going to be the clincher - will this affect your vote?

...rewind...

It's a beautiful morning in the state of Nowhere, USA and you wake up on voting day, today you get to vote in your party's election for the person you think should represent you for the presidential election. Switching on the television you change to the news channel which is hosting full coverage of the event. What's this though one of the contenders is so far in the lead that no matter how your state votes they're going to win. Your state's decision doesn't even matter - will this affect your vote?

...rewind...

It's a beautiful morning in the state of Nowhere, USA and you wake up on voting day, today you get to vote in your party's election for the person you think should represent you for the presidential election. Switching on the television you change to the news channel which is hosting full coverage of the event. What's this though the state of Somewhere has voted in a landslide for A.E. Mouse. Are you going to go along with their decision - will this affect your vote?


Sounds silly, but this is pretty much how I think of the Party Primaries currently being held in America. Iowa votes for Barack Obama, New Hampshire votes for Hilary Clinton. Now did New Hampshire vote that way because of Iowa? There's no way of knowing.

The main purpose of a secret ballot was to prevent bribery and intimidation, but it also had the effect of allowing the voter freedom to chose who they thought was the best candidate and not be influenced directly by their peers; but this makes a mockery of that. Why are the results displayed, would anyone hold a presidential election in the same manner? to be blunt the states that hold the elections to last might not have a real say at all, or might find themselves in the position of holding all the aces. How will this affect the nominees' canvassing of the state? There's no way of knowing.

4 comments:

Tav said...

One thing we do know: In American you vote for the head of state, here we can't. Yet we still regard Bwitain as a democracy!

FlipC said...

"In American you vote for the head of state"
Actually they vote for an elector who then in turn votes for the head of state. If you consider the head of state in Britain to be the PM (effectively) then in reality we have a similar system.

Tav said...

The Monarch, Elizabeth Windsor, is the head of state of the United Kingdom of Great Bwitain and North Ireland, the prime minister, Gordon Brown, is the head of government. The Bwitish don't get to vote on either of them. The American's get to vote on the president as well as Governors (The Bwitish have denied an English Governor) as well as Senators (The Bwitish don’t let us vote on our equivalent _ The House of Lords) as well as Representatives as well as local leaders (mayors, police chiefs etc..) (denied again by the Bwitish) as well as district/city/town councils. See a difference here?

Yes they are voting for an elector, but still afterwards they vote for a president. I remember when Gordon Brown came to power, people were complaining that it must be unconstitutional (The American's have a written constitution, the Bwitish deny that!). They obviously didn’t realise that they didn't vote Tony Blair for prime minister!

Did you get a vote for leader of our council? Did you get a vote for your mayor? No, neither did I!

FlipC said...

No I know you're right about Our 'Liz being the head of state, and no we didn't get to vote for her. Saying that though Parliament might decide to skip Charles and give the position to William, so that's a non-direct vote.


"Yes they are voting for an elector, but still afterwards they vote for a president." No they're still voting for electors who then vote for the president. In some states it's illegal for an elector to switch votes, which suggests in others they can change their minds and essentially disenfranchise all the voters.

So it's still an indirect vote though in the American case you do know who the people you're electing to vote say they're going to vote for.