Governance in Australia

Elliot Birch

Politics and Law 3A/3B


America and Australia

Mr Parker

Research Notes - America

  * The American system of the Electoral College Votes can give a disproportionate value to swinging states that hold significant power (ie. Have a large number of electoral college)
  * This can mean that states such as California, Texas, New York and Florida hold 27% of the vote (four of the fifty states have over one quarter of the vote)
  * This means that the Presidential candidates can heavily focus their campaigning on the larger states, and disregard the minor states – which can potentially lead to the larger states getting what they want, while minor states are completely disregarded
  * If a candidate wins by only a small margin, or any margin for that matter, they attain all of the electoral college votes that the state holds – This creates a very large and disproportionate winners bonus, which is undemocratic as votes won, should be transferred to electoral college votes attained, which would be a more democratic system
  * This can lead to an event where a candidate can win the majority of the popular vote from the entire country, but still lose the election – this occurred in the 2000 election when Al Gore won a majority over George Bush
  * Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution specifies how many electors each state is entitled to have and that each state's legislature decides how its electors are to be chosen – “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”  
  * This means that the largest states have a major impact on the election outcome, and this can be viewed as a strength and...