Monday, February 13, 2017

Marginal Acceptance

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

All you need is 50.01% of the electoral vote to be put in power.  Democratic societies typically need only a simple majority in most circumstances to put someone in power.  The simple majority is what puts one in power over 100% of the people.  Most democracies work thru varied structures of voting to elect the leader based on majorities in localized electoral process, where a majority as defined in each of these circumstances elects a leader.

In the large democracies such as the USA and India, the local leaders (typically representing a party that is contesting the elections) are elected and they in turn project a national leader of their party, who when his party obtains a majority in turn becomes the leader of the nation.

In the USA, the Electoral College elects the president, simply representing the states choosing their electoral college, which elects the national leader.  For each state there are a certain number of electoral votes, and majority of voters in each state determine the electoral votes.  The majority of the electoral votes choose the leader.  Sometimes the majority of the electorate doesn’t represent the majority of the national vote.  As it happened in the USA with 2016, and the election of Trump, although the national vote count was about 3.0 Million less than his opponent.  Something similar happened between Bush and Gore in 2000.

As of now the USA presidential elections are framed in such a way the Electoral College picks the president.  Trump in 2016 as was Bush in 2000 both elected as president in the frame of the constitutionally mandated process.  Bush went on to be elected again, and Trump is just a couple of weeks into his first term.  Marginal acceptance is irrelevant to the presidential election, number of real votes don’t count, only the Electoral College prevails.

A normal election focuses on majority of the votes.  The state and local elections are only on the basis of the majority of the vote, even if it is by a single vote.  Only the national election is based on the Electoral College.

Almost 3 million more people voted for Clinton than for Trump on 2016, but it really did not matter.  If we relegate 2000 and 2016 on learning about the democracy and it’s functioning, both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton will take their real voter majorities to their memoirs.

The power of the slimmest margin is still the most powerful position for politicians and democracies.  Weather we like it or not, that faction will determine the likes and dislikes, of the general population.  While we appreciate the process of democracies (when free and clear of any stress to the population) the process also pits likes and dislikes, and who you choose typically is representing only half of you (the whole population). So, marginal acceptance is not overrated, it really is very much underrated.

We will all not get what we voted for, and almost half of us get what we voted against, and in 2016, USA had more than a half plus and a great deal more of the voters, have to live for at least thru 2000 with this.

The Holy Grail for human beings is the process of democracy.  Choosing a path to live in a democracy is fluid, and people again with a simplest majority can decide on what their chosen options are.

Trump or anyone after him (or before him), are in the office because of the process itself.  The brouhaha about legitimacy of the election is really a matter of what the democracy created, and not an anomaly.  As long as we choose to be free in our thought process, democracies will function and also self-correct.  It is always better to be free and make a choice, it will allow us to vote for change, just as and when we need.

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