America needs a new revolution

Where is the revolution from below? : The unjust US electoral system must be scrutinized

It is time to take a closer look at the distrust of state institutions and the dissatisfaction with democracy that are rampant in the USA. And maybe now, after this election battle, a grassroots movement will develop that will undertake and change the electoral system in the interests of millions.

Isn't it also unfair that someone can have the majority of citizens on his or her side, but not the majority of the electoral votes - and thus not become president? One can ask this question.

The answer: yes, polls show that a majority of Americans are in favor of the direct election of the president. But since 2000, since Al Gore's defeat by George W. Bush, and since Donald Trump was elected by the electoral council in 2016, despite the fact that the majority of voters voted for Hillary Clinton, there has been growing displeasure in the country.

Initially, of course, with the defeated Democrats, but now also with moderate Republicans.
So far it has been like this: Whoever achieves a simple majority in a country receives all electors. Up to 49.9 percent of the votes can become ineffective. Is it really supposed to stay that way? No better not. The "winner-takes-all" model that applies in - almost - federal states should be re-examined.

[The election remains exciting because of the large number of postal votes, even in the days after election day. Until November 8th Twenty / Twenty, our newsletter for the US election, is therefore published daily. You can register here for free.]

Why? According to surveys, dissatisfaction with democracy has risen by a third since the mid-1990s and is now half the population. Democracy experts such as those from the “Freedom House” think tank also name the electoral system as a problem. In addition, the US's overall reputation for democracy has fallen dramatically. In the magazine "Economist" they are ranked 25th as "incomplete democracy". (Germany as "full democracy" is in 13th place.)

Changes to the electoral system now depend on the individual states - and the will of the individual. Maine and Nebraska have changed the system and distribute their electors proportionally. More states can do that.

Some plus Washington D.C. have already agreed in the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" that they want to assign their electoral votes to the candidate who knows the majority of citizens in all nine regions behind him - regardless of the result in the individual states. That's how it has to be, at least. Perhaps it will also move the many millions who do not even register for voting.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page