5:57 am - Sunday February 17, 2019

हिलरी क्लिंटन ट्रम्प से अधिक वोट पा कर भी क्यों हारीं : SO IS “ELECTED” THE US PRESIDENT !!

हिलरी क्लिंटन ट्रम्प से अधिक वोट पा कर भी क्यों हारीं : SO IS “ELECTED” THE US PRESIDENT !!hillary-trump

                       ramakant-tiwari                                                     रमाकांत तिवारी

इस अमरीकी राष्ट्रपति चुनाव ने सब को चौंका दिया . अमरीकी मीडिया बार बार हिलरी के जीतने की भविष्य वाणी कर रहा था . उन्हें अपने प्रत्द्वन्दी ट्रम्प से वोट भी अधिक मिले पर फिर भी वह चुनाव क्यों हार गयीं ?

अमरीकी चुनावी प्रक्रिया भारत से अलग है . वहां हर राज्य के पूर्व निश्चित वोट हैं . हर राज्य मैं अधिक वोट पाने वाले को राज्य के पूर्ण वोट मिल जाते हैं .  इस तरह यदि किसी छोटे राज्य मैं आपको बहुत वोट मिल जाएँ तो भी आपको राज्य के पूर्व निर्धारित वोट ही मिलेंगे . इस के बारे मै नीचे का लेख पढ़िए .

donald-hillary SO IS “ELECTED” US PRESIDENT !!

Election of US President is not a direct one based on principles of One Voter / One Vote & Highest Vote Catcher Wins. It is indirect and a bit complex that sometimes not only confuses some but also raises controversies like the one George W. Bush Jr. encountered in the state of Florida in 2000. Common American citizens elect those who finally elect next occupant of the White House. Here is how it goes about for those interested in having a glimpse of the convoluted process.

It is the Electoral College having 538 members that elects President and Vice-President every four years. These 538 electors are apportioned across 50 states and the District of Columbia as under –

2 Senate members per state for 50 states make 100 Senators.

435 members in House of Representatives.

3 members from Distt. Of Columbia.

Electoral College members are known as Electors who directly elect President. They are not allowed to hold an office of profit to be eligible to vote / elect President. Every Party choses their own set of electors in every state. Electors are either nominated in Party conventions or elected by central party committee vote.

Modus Operandii of election is Winner-Takes-All route. For example, if out of 20 electors in the state of Illinois, Republican candidate wins 12 votes, he / she shall be awarded remaining 8 votes too. So in every state, majority vote catcher appropriates all electoral votes.

Presidential candidate who wins more than half of 538 Electoral College votes, dwells in the White House with a licence to rule over the country for next 4 years.

In case no candidate succeeds with a clear majority, House of Representatives is assembled to elect President. Similarly, House of Senate is assembled to elect Vice President.

Nationwide votes cast is known as Popular Vote. Since popular votes do not elect President, it is possible a candidate may win popular votes but lose the election. Similarly, winner may have received less popular votes than the loser. There have been four Presidential elections so far wherein winner did not receive majority of popular votes with fourth one being that of George Bush vs. Al Gore.

November 8 is the election date while January 20, inaugural of the tenure.

States and their respective number of electors are as under –

Alabama (AL) – 9, Alaska (AK) – 3, Arizona (AZ) – 10, Arkansas (AR) – 6, California (CA) – 55, Colorado (CO) – 9, Connecticut (CT) – 7, Delaware (DE) – 3, Florida (FL) – 27, Georgia (GA) – 15, Hawaii (HI) – 4, Idaho (ID) – 4, Illinois (IL) – 21, Indiana (IN) – 11, Iowa (IA) – 7, Kansas (KS) – 6, Kentucky (KY) – 8, Louisiana (LA) – 9, Maine (ME) – 4, Maryland (MD) – 10, Massachusetts (MA) – 12, Michigan (MI) – 17, Minnesota (MN) – 10, Mississippi (MI) – 6, Missouri (MO) – 11, Montana (MT) – 3, Nebraska (NE) – 5, Nevada (NV) – 5, New Hampshire (NH) – 4, New Jersey (NJ) – 15, New Mexico (NM) – 5, New York (NY) – 31, North Carolina (NC) – 15, North Dakota (ND) – 3, Ohio (OH) – 20, Oklahoma (OK) – 7, Oregon (OR) – 7, Pennsylvania (PA) – 21, Rhode Island (RI) – 4, South Carolina (SC) – 8, South Dakota (SD) – 3, Tennessee (TN) – 11, Texas (TX) – 34, Utah (UT) – 5, Vermont (VT) – 3, Virginia (VA) – 13, Washington (WA) – 11, West Virginia (WV) – 5, Wisconsin (WI) – 10, Wyoming (WY) – 3   

270 is the magic number of electoral college votes that the prospective winner is obligated to win. Tradition has it that losing candidate calls winner to concede defeat the moment winner is deemed to have earned the number for himself / herself.   

First President George Washington (1789-1797) was the only non-partisan one. Subsequent Presidents have been Federalists, Whigs and some Democratic-Republicans. American Whigs, active in mid-19th century, were opponents of President Andrew Jackson. One Free Soil Party too, existed from 1848 to 1854. 1870 onward, Presidents have been either Democrats or Republicans. 

The Republican Party  Also known as Grand Old Party (GOP) modified from Gallant Old Party, it was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers. Elephant happens to be their mascot. Their political philosophy relates to conservatism, free market capitalism, free business, strong defence forces, deregulation, restrictions on labour movement, opposition to abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage etc. Extreme right-wingers started Tea Party movement within Republicans that stoked voices against illegal aliens, free-loaders and demanded tighter immigration checks. First Republican President happened to be Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and the most recent one, George W. Bush (2001-2009). President Lincoln is immortalized in US history by his anti-slavery proclamations while George Bush, for his anti-Taliban military moves as well as invasion of Iraq hunting for weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be Fiasco Of The Century.

The Democratic Party  Founded in 1828, they claim to be the “oldest active party” in the world. The Party owes their roots in Democratic-Republican Party that delivered Thomas Jefferson in 1801 and James Madison in 1809 as Presidents. Democratic Party was the official name in 1844 only. As President Andrew Jackson used to be ridiculed by his opponents by being called a ‘Jackass’, Democrats adopted jackass i.e. donkey as their official mascot. Presidents Woodrow Wilson amended US Constitution to grant women right to vote, Franklin Roosevelt ensured augmented social welfare programs for distressed ones, John Kennedy decided to land on the moon by 1970, Lyndon Johnson legislated civil rights, voting rights and banned racial segregation in all places.

In addition to these, Libertarian Party founded in 1971 with porcupine as their mascot and Green Party founded in 2001, do exist though they have not been able to register any impact so far on American politics.

US elections are held in November as decided by US Congress in 1845 on a standardized voting day based on availability, convenience of US farmers after harvesting and mild weather. Tuesday was the day finalized for voting so that farmers are free to attend Church on Sundays, then start journey to nearest poll station on Mondays. Now 34 states allow no-excuse early voting, 6 states allow excuse only voting while 7 allow none of these. Washington, Oregon and Colorado have only mail-in-voting.

US votes across 6 time-zones with no EVMs like in Bharata, no election commission and every state counts and declares their own result. After the last voter has cast vote, election judge at each polling station ensures, ballot boxes are sealed and dispatched to central vote counting facility. At the facility, certified observers representing parties / candidates watch actual process of counting to ensure fair game of election. Paper ballots are officially read out before being counted while punch card ballots are first counted then read out by a punch card reader.

Venue for victory party is decided in advance. For Election 2016, New York Hilton Midtown has been selected by the Republican Donald Trump while Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York by Democrat Hillary Clinton.   

Election 2016 has been contested on under-mentioned issues –

Employment  Jobs have been declining and incomes going down for the past several years.

Racial Policing  Several cases of deaths of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of armed Police has been a sore point and agitation in America.

Abortion  Freedom to abort so-called unwanted pregnancy is now a bone of attrition in American society.

Climate Deterioration  Global warming is an issue inviting wide range of views and comments.

China  They have been unduly aggressive in South China Sea, unfair trade practices and cyber crimes.

Syrian Refugees  Fleeing Muslim refugees from Syria have become a headache for US Government.

Supreme Court   SC Judges have been adopting political positions in their judgements with the Court split between 4 Republican and Democrat Justices each.

Foreign Policy  Whether ‘International Partnership’ or ‘America First’ would enjoy supremacy, is yet to be finally settled and seen.

Gun Culture  Unrestricted liberty to possess arms vs. calibrated freedom of gun ownership is going to be a knotty issue before next incumbent of the White House.

Healthcare  Universal healthcare law shall stay but Obamacare may not depending upon who wins. It may be replaced by another health protocol by the incoming President.

There have been occasions when election results were not accepted initially by the loser. Abraham Lincoln’s victory in 1860 acted as an immediate impetus for his three losers to declare secession which led to civil war, then defeat of those Confederates.

Democrat John Kennedy won over Richard Nixon by a slender margin of just 0.2% votes in 1960. Nixon however, turned down President DD Eisenhower’s appeal to contest the result.  

In 2000, Al Gore lost to George Bush in Florida just by a few hundred votes. Finally Supreme Court intervened and Bush was declared winner.

In 2004, John Kerry did not challenge the winner George Bush in spite of several concerns being raised. However, Libertarian Party and Green Party obtained a recount order in the state of Ohio. It did not affect final outcome.   

Entire process is deficient in transparency and clarity inviting comments like US President is nominated, not elected. Had it not been to their political maturity and sagacity, every election would have led to an avalanche of litigation. Elections are worthwhile and meaningful only with principles of ONE VOTER-ONE VOTE and MAJORITY WINS as in Bharata  conducted by an autonomous election commission. Let us hope, USA shall realise that one day and switch over to the Bharatiya  system of elections.  

Ramakant Tiwari


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