Trump – and the system

I was sharing a meal with a number of people, and the discussion turned to the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the US.  It was clear that this outcome didn’t meet with favour amongst some of our number – but the discussion went further:   it was said that a system that allows a person such as Trump to be elected is “wrong”.img_8705a

Now I guess that, even in Australia, we’re entitled to our views about Trump.    However, to suggest that the system is “broken” because this outcome occurred?   I don’t think so.

Perhaps indeed we struggle to understand the system of primaries and the way in which the electoral college works – but to suggest that because it’s “different” and has produced a result that at least some of us don’t favour, the US system is “all wrong” seems a lot like “shooting the messenger”.

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2 thoughts on “Trump – and the system

  1. Did your interlocutors say which bit of the system is defective? Perhaps the bit of the USA constitution that recognizes disparate local interests, and which Australia copied so that Tasmanians and South Australians have disproportionate influence on Australian politics? The zeitgeist is equalitarian.

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  2. Re comment by aynton: yes, indeed the different weighting of votes in various states was mentioned, but the point wasn’t pursued, no doubt because, as stated, the same system applies in Australia but to an even greater extent (after all, in the US, there are only 2 senators per state).

    But the points more strongly advocated were the whole electoral college system resulting in the President-elect receiving fewer votes overall than the other main contender (but no alternative solution was put forward), and the absence of the peculiarly Australian system of compulsory voting (I’m still uncertain what difference it was thought compulsory voting might have made).

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