The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147991 Message #3432933
Posted By: sciencegeek
08-Nov-12 - 07:33 AM
Thread Name: BS: Election of the US President
Subject: RE: BS: Election of the US President
the USA was set up to be a representative democracy... our founding fathers were distrustful of excessive goevernment control - as in the monarchy & parliment that they had just rebelled against. but they were also concerned about letting the common folk just decide on their own. you need to understand that the foundling fathers were decidedly upper class members who did think less of the ability of the little guy to make good decisions.
and quite frankly, elections can easily turn into popularity contests even today... rather than selections of the best qualified candidate.
so to answer your question... every citizen who is eligible to vote can do so and the total number of votes cast is known as the popular vote. but each state has a fixed number of electoral votes that is based upon the total population of each state. so a small state with a small population get a small number of electoral votes and vise versa for larger, more populous states.
the total number of electoral votes ( the Electoral College) for each candidate is what determines the who wins or loses the election.
considering that monarchies go to either the oldest son or male relative that can fight ( with weapons) off his competition, this is much less violent way to chose a leader.
it can happen that the overall vote by citizens goes to the candidate that has fewer electoral votes... but in this race Obama came out ahead on both counts.
three cheers for the middle class!!! hurrah!