Currently showing : the U.S. Election Spectacle


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+Mirumir

Currently showing : the U.S. Election Spectacle

Over the last 30 years, no U.S. presidential election has signalled a change in Washington?s foreign policy. Important decisions have been made outside this timeframe. It is quite obvious that the president is the superintendent of a policy of which he is not the architect. Will Yankee imperialism perform better under Obama?s or Romney?s smile?

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President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sharing a hearty laugh at charity gala held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City.

Every four years the U.S. presidential election becomes a planetary spectacle. The dominant press attempts to convince international public opinion that the American people are democratically designating the leader who will direct the affairs of the world.

In certain countries, notably in Europe, the media coverage is at least as saturated as the election of their own leader. Implicitly, the press is indicating that while these states may also be called democracies, their citizens have no real voice in determining their own future, a future subject to the good graces of the occupant of the White House. So how can it be said that these states are really democracies?

The problem is that voting has been conflated with democracy. This remark also applies to the United States. The electoral spectacle is supposed to be the proof that they are living under a vibrant democracy, but this is all smoke and mirrors.

Despite the widespread conviction that the president of the United States is elected directly by the people, he is not, not even secondarily. In the United States the people are not sovereign and the citizens are not electors. The choice of President and Vice-President is determined in a winner-take-all process by an electoral college of 538 people where electors are designated by voters? and party choices at the state level. To win, the candidate must have at least 270 electoral votes, a number based on the population of each state. States are the true locus for presidential selection because they are subject to the politics of choosing electors. The national popular vote does not count; if no candidate reaches 270, the choice is made in Congress. The Gore vs. Bush election of 2000 and the Kerry vs. Bush election of 2004 were potent reminders that the voice of the people can be out-manoeuvred. In 2000, the Supreme Court decided that it was not going to wait for a recount of votes in Florida before proclaiming the winner. All that mattered was the Court?s decision that in turn confirmed the Electoral College numbers despite anything the voters had said.

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The daily agenda of a U.S. president consists of ceaseless audience appearances, speeches and ceremonies. How can this individual find the time to really familiarize himself with the topics of his speeches? He is no more president than the newscasters on TV are journalists. They share in fact the same profession: teleprompter reading.

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Breathtaking suspense: who will be chosen to read the Presidential VSS-20 teleprompter, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?

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