28 October, 2020

On The Sharp Edge Of Power

The hair-thin result could spur demands for a review of the US Electoral College system

On The Sharp Edge Of Power
It was easily the most extraordinary week in American politics. Accustomed to instant election results, and dependent on opinion polls and analyses of TV anchors, the people of the United States watched with bated breath as the electoral pendulum swung between US Vice-president Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush through much of last week. Bitterness and anger rocked the democratic system, allegations of election irregularities sent the political temperature soaring and the faith in the peculiar electoral college system stood eroded. And among the casualties of the election, one was the powerful American media.

Says Michael Krepon, president, Stimson Center, "This is an unusual election, to say the least. One likely consequence of a hair-thin election outcome and minimal majorities on Capitol Hill is that major policy departures would be very difficult to implement." Adds Anupam Srivastava, director, South Asia Program, University of Georgia, "If Bush wins Florida and the presidency, the demand to remedy or remove the electoral college system will grow again."...


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