Friday, 4 November 2016

The US Presidential Winner Is?

Well its make your mind up time for millions of US voters, as the long drawn out saga that is an American Presidential election campaign, finally draws to a conclusion next week.

What A Choice ....

With a choice between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, its not an enviable one to have to make (the best of the worst so to speak), and its feared that millions may not even bother to make it, and that this election could set some sort of record for a low turn out.

This of course matters a lot in a popular democracy, because if the winning candidate in what is essentially a two horse race (there are two other small party candidates running at about 2% and 6% respectively), can't get:
  • At least 48% of the popular vote (if minor candidates take around 5% of vote), and
  • The election doesn't attract at least 48% of the electorate to turn out (and that's two very low bars already).

Voting By Percentage Of Electorate

.... Then the legitimacy of the US President can be called into question.

Historically US Presidential election turn out has recently hovered between 48% and 57% since 1980. Previously it was not always so, as it was seen as something of a patriotic duty to vote, and turn outs were often higher .... it should be noted that the change to much lower voter turn out seems to have occurred shortly after the turn of the 20th century (when it was still largely white voters), and been influenced by increasing urbanisation .... Hispanic immigration and Black American enfranchisement, while not improving matters. also don't seem to have brought the average turnout down overall.

The Trend Has Been Clear In The US Elections ... As This Excerpt Shows ....

Even at its recent best, the figure of a 57% turnout compares fairly badly with other democracies such as France, where turnout regularly tops 80% ... I am ignoring countries such as Australia where voting is mandatory. Only Japan is lower on average, with a turn out at about 53% .... The UK by the way is hardly much better at around 62% turn out.

So while much interest will be taken by psephologists in the final turn out figures, we still have the question of who will win? If I was an American, I doubt that I could ever vote for Donald Trump (lots of reasons, but who really talks like that apart from him?). Similarly Hillary Clinton is a career politician whose naked ambition shines far brighter than her talents, and is hardly an attractive choice. Both of them appear to harbour a belief that the rules are for other people (him with taxes, and her with email servers), and not them.

So I am afraid to say that my vote, if I had one, would either be for one of the minor candidates (if they weren't mad as hatters, or even probably if they were), or none at all. I can honestly say that in none of the previous US Presidential elections that I have witnessed, have I ever come to that conclusion before.

If that doesn't sum up the poorness of the choices available, then nothing does .....


  1. I put Billy Carter on the postal ballot form. It counts.

    1. LOL ... what can I say. Thanks for the comment.


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