On November 6, the sophisticated election mechanism that looks more like a game for rich adults, in which presidential candidates are like tokens as in “Monopoly”, will make its last turn before coming to a standstill until the next election season. But no matter who wins, the general line never changes. Some people are joking that the name of the new president is Obamney.
The U.S. electoral system has suffered almost no alterations since it was first launched in 1787. Like more than two centuries ago, the president-vice president tandem is elected indirectly by a national vote during which voters in each of the state first choose delegates or electors to the Electoral College that consists of 538 members equal the total number of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate plus three delegates from the District of Columbia. Wyoming, the least populous U.S. state, delegates 3 electors the College, and California, the most populous state, delegates 55. The “winner gets all” principle is used in most of the states. Thus, if the Republican Party comes first in some state or other, all the electors from that state will be Republicans. Voters actually vote for a party-list team of electors.
The election race begins almost two years ahead of the general election with so-called primaries, or primary party elections during which parties or political alliances select potential presidential candidates through caucases or local conventions. Three months before the final vote, a national party convention decides which of the candidates should run for the White House.
Why is it all so complicated? Because, says French political observer Dmitry de Koshko, it’s a tool of control over people.
"That old electoral system has been preserved for the interests of those who hold the levers of power in politics and the economy to enable them to maintain their influence and the opportunity to choose candidates."
Ukrainian analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky echoes that the U.S. electoral system enables the oligarchy to stay at the helm through allegedly democratic means.
"Some classic once said that the difference between alternative elections in the United States and non-alternative somewhere in Old Russia is that in America, despite alternative elections, it doesn’t matter who wins, because it’s always the same elite that rules. And in Russia, a lot may change, so the winner is known in advance."
After George Bush-junior’s lame victory in the 2000 election, many Americans did not conceal their disappointment with the U.S. electoral system where the voices of ordinary voters are actually irrelevant, since the entire model of American democracy, including elections, is a sort of fun for the rich.