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If you get more votes, shouldn't you win?

(26 Posts)
ego147 Wed 09-Nov-16 12:09:53

At the moment, it's 47.5% Trump, 47.6% Clinton.

The US electoral system is very strange.

If you were going to elect a President, AIBU to think you'd elect the person who most people wanted?

IAmAPaleontologist Wed 09-Nov-16 12:12:34

Well it doesn't work like that for us either does it. But yes the us system is even odder than ours. Maybe.

ego147 Wed 09-Nov-16 12:13:55

Apparently Al Gore won more votes than George Bush.

History might have been very different.

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 09-Nov-16 12:15:19

It doesn't work like that in the UK either, though.

AuntieStella Wed 09-Nov-16 12:15:50

Yes, I think it's weird but there is precedent for it. Ask Al Gore.

But the US can have exactly the system it wants. And the outcome it delivers needs to be respected.

jayisforjessica Wed 09-Nov-16 12:29:29

Well, I think it's odd that a person can be literally about to go on trial for sex related charges, can be vocally and publicly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and ablist - on the record, and via Twitter as well as in multiple interviews - and can then vigorously deny all of these things despite overwhelming evidence... and still be allowed to run for president.

But this is the world we live in.

TheNaze73 Wed 09-Nov-16 12:42:00

As its been pointed out, it doesn't work like that in the Uk (thankfully) UKIP would have 30+ MP's. Hideous thought

ego147 Wed 09-Nov-16 12:46:47

If your MP received less votes than the other candidate but still won, that would be a bit strange. Our country is a bit different as we are voting for representatives who come together - but yes, even our system is strange.

But if you were going to elect a President, I don't know why you'd go for the electoral college system. I don't know how other democratic countries elect a President (as opposed to a Parliament).

Andrewofgg Wed 09-Nov-16 13:39:48

The Electoral College system is very eighteenth century and twice the candidate with fewer popular votes has won - but not this year. In the end more Americans voted Trump than Clinton. Sad but true.

In 1951 more people voted Labour than Conservative but the Conservatives won a small majority. Labour politicians banged on about that until 1974 when they won fewer votes but more seats and formed a [minority] government. Short of pure p.r. which leads to endless coalitions it will sometimes happen.

SmallBee Wed 09-Nov-16 13:45:11

Can someone please very kindly explain the electoral college system to me? Using small words? I've looked it up online but I really don't understand what it is.

TeenAndTween Wed 09-Nov-16 13:49:21

Small Each state has a number of delegates depending on its population. Whoever gets more votes in that state gets all the delegate votes, even if the popular vote was say 51/49. Some states always vote Democrat, some Republican (just like safe Labour or tory seats). So the focus is on 'swing states' which switch sometimes going Republican and sometimes Democrat. The delegates then 'vote in' the president, so basically if you get the majority of delegates you get the presidency.

SoftBlocks Wed 09-Nov-16 13:52:56

Thanks TeenAndTween

Andrewofgg Wed 09-Nov-16 13:56:11

And the so-called College never meets! The electors meet in their own States and send their votes to Washington. In most States you don't even see their names when you vote.

ego147 Wed 09-Nov-16 14:03:19

It also seems strange that some States have all their college votes go to the winner whereas other states have the votes go on a proportion depending on the actual votes.

SmallBee Wed 09-Nov-16 14:24:25

Thank you 😊

WackyWalrus Wed 09-Nov-16 14:26:07

Same as the uk tho. UKIP got enough votes that they should have had more MPs than lib dems (or something like that) they were the 3rd most popular party but ended up being screwed by the system

x2boys Wed 09-Nov-16 15:33:25

can someone explain the system to me do you vote for the party or the person and how do you vote for senators etc?

redexpat Wed 09-Nov-16 16:06:34

All those of you with questions need to watch the West Wing!

TeacupDrama Wed 09-Nov-16 16:08:40

each state has 2 senators regardless of population who are elected for 6 years so 1/3 were elected just now 1/3 will be up for re-election in 2018 and the remainder in 2020. A state may have 1 senator for each party or both from one party Bernie Saunders was is an independent senator for vermont there is 1 other independent

members of house of representatives are on a population base so california and texas have a lot more representatives than maine or wyoming just like manchester has more MP's that scottish highlands despite highlands being 20 times plus the area
both of these are first past the post systems

a president can get elected without most votes but with most college votes just like it is just possible to have a slim majority in commons depending on seats winning big is of no great advantage
ie if you have 10 votes spread over 4 seats and your vote is split 3, 3, 3 ,1 against 2,2,2 4 both sides have 10 votes but the 3331 split party have 75% of the seats winning 3-2 is much better than winning 4-1 then losing

Believeitornot Wed 09-Nov-16 16:11:30

It is similar to us because while MPs come together, they generally are from one party.

That's why there's a massive fuss when they change the MP boundaries as this is seen as a way to fiddle the system

I do think they should factor in the popular vote somehow.

x2boys Wed 09-Nov-16 16:25:07

so how was it possible for Donald trump to run for presidency are they not usually Senators first?

LurkingHusband Wed 09-Nov-16 16:28:55

and, as Veep fans know, it's entirely possible to have a hung presidential election where each candidate gets 269 votes (unless that was made up).

I was kinda hoping that would happen here.

QuinionsRainbow Wed 09-Nov-16 19:20:31

If your MP received less votes than the other candidate but still won, that would be a bit strange.
But they can, and do, still win with less vote than all the other candidates together.
e.g. Party X - 40%, Party Y - 35%, Party Z - 25%
Party X has more votes than Party Y and more than Party Z, so under our "first-pas-the-post" system, Party X wins. But 60% of the electorate DIDN'T vote for Party X.

steff13 Wed 09-Nov-16 19:25:12

so how was it possible for Donald trump to run for presidency are they not usually Senators first?

Any natural-born US citizen age 35 or older can run for president. Many of them have been in office prior to running, but it's not a requirement.

x2boys Wed 09-Nov-16 20:59:29

thanks steff!

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