Baku. 29 June. REPORT.AZ/ A strange trend has emerged in the world in US electoral system a parody of democratic elections
Recent years: regardless of the geographical location, international public opinion about elections held in any country of the world is formed by America. It is on US initiative that international organizations start issuing their verdict of elections before the official outcomes become known, the votes are counted and even before polling stations are closed. In the end, the customer comes out and, depending on the opinion of international organizations, either condemns or approves the election. This leads to a legitimate question: is the electoral system in the USA, a country claiming to play the role of a world gendarme, so ideal? And who has actually given Washington the right to decide whether an election in another country is legitimate?
This question is made particularly relevant by the fact that the US election system has a number of anti-democratic and unfair aspects. The US public is also aware that the system is outdated and needs profound reforms. However, the country’s political elite is in no hurry to conduct political transformations. After all, this system serves the interests of the very political elite. First of all, it is worth mentioning that the president of America is elected not by means of a direct ballot, but by means of electoral colleges determined by the electorate. According to the US Constitution, a person gathering the absolute majority of electoral college votes, i.e. at least 270 votes, is elected president. Therefore, in a country of 320 million people, the American president is not elected by its people, but by 538 electoral colleges.
In addition, there have been cases when electoral colleges voted not only for the party they represent, but also for the competing party, which defies all logic.
Another undemocratic aspect consists in the fact that a candidate gathering fewer votes on a national scale may receive the majority of electoral college votes and become president. In 1876, for example, republican candidate Rutherford Hayes beat his democrat opponent Samuel Tilden by one electoral college vote. Tilden had received the majority of individual votes – 47.95 percent voted for R. Hayes and 50.97 percent for S. Tilden. This, however, did not prevent R. Hayes from becoming president.
The same scenario was repeated 12 years later. This time republican Benjamin Harrison, who received 47 percent of the votes, beat Grover Cleveland, who had 48 percent, and won because Grover received the support of only 168 electoral colleges, while Harrison had 223.
The latest absurdity of this nature was experienced in modern times. In 2000, while democrat Al Gore received the majority of votes, George Bush became president.
The existence of such an unclear and unfair electoral system represents an explicit violation of people’s right to elect. Another object of criticism of the US election law is the principle that “the winner takes all the votes”. If, for example, one of the candidates in California receives 30 out of 55 electoral college votes, his opponent’s 25 votes are taken away in favor of the candidate gathering more votes. In addition, the absence of political pluralism and numerous irregularities with the registration of voters are among other assets of the US “democracy”.
As if this wasn’t enough, international observers are not allowed to monitor US elections. In 2012, for example, Texas State Attorney General Greg Ebbot prohibited OSCE observers to approach polling stations by closer than 30 meters. Those disobeying this ban were threatened with arrest. The attorney explicitly stated that the services of international observers were not necessary, saying that “the OSCE may have its own view on the election, but this opinion does not have any legal power in the USA.”
All these are an integral part of “exemplary” American democracy. If we look carefully at these traditions, we have to repeat the question we asked at the beginning of the article - who has actually given Washington the right to decide whether an election in another country is legitimate?