Friday, October 5, 2012

Bigger Issues of the U.S. Presidential Debate



Since the first U.S. presidential debate (in Denver, Colorado), the media focus on has been on who won the debate, and what are the implications of the debate outcome for the presidential election race and outcome. That's it.

The FDA believes that the first U.S. presidential debate raised broader and more significant issues:
  1. Only two presidential candidates were allowed to participate in the debate. In essence, the American electorate are given a choice of "A" or "B". In contrast, American society is abound with consumer choice, and yet when it comes to the most important political position in America, the electoral system only gives the choice of "A" or "B".
  2. Due to the Electoral College and U.S. Constitution, the American electorate do not directly elect their president. The Electoral College electors determine who are the U.S. President and Vice-president.
These are some of the other American presidential candidates who are rarely mentioned in the American major media:

Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party)
Jill Stein (Green Party)
Virgil Goods (Constitution Party)

Information on the American legislative provisions regarding debates from the 2012 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Report on the United States:

Any corporation or labor organization may donate funds to support a debate conducted by a nonprofit organization. The debate must not support or oppose any candidate or party, must be sponsored by a broadcaster, newspaper, magazine, and/or other circulation periodical publication, must include at least two candidates who meet face to face, and does not promote one candidate over the other. In a primary election, organization staging debate may restrict candidates to those seeking nomination of one party, and in a general election may not use nomination of particular party as the sole basis for criterion for debate participants. Staging organization must use pre-established objective criteria to determine participants (Code of Federal Regulations, Article 114.4(f)).

Information on who elects the U.S. President and Vice-President from the 2012 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Report on the United States:

The U.S. President and Vice-President are not selected directly by vote of the people. They are selected by appointed electors from each state as per directions of each legislator: the number of electors from each state corresponds to the whole number of Senators and Representatives, which each State is entitled to in Congress. No federal Senators and Representatives may appoint electors. The electors vote by ballot for two presidential candidates and one of them must not be an inhabitant of the same State as themselves. The person having the greater number of votes will be the President, if such a number is a majority; if there are two majorities with equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives will choose by ballot the President; if no person has a majority, then from the five highest candidates on the list, the House of Representatives will choose the President with the representation from the States having one vote; quorum is two thirds of the States. After determining the President, the person having the greatest number of votes shall be the Vice-President. If two or more candidates have equal votes, then the Senate shall choose by ballot the Vice-President (U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1).

The U.S. President and Vice-President are selected by the state electors based on first-past-the-post. The presidential candidate with the most Electoral College votes wins the presidency. The number of state electors each state has is proportional to the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. congress (U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1).

The presidential and vice-presidential candidates having the most votes shall be President and Vice-President, as long as the number of votes for each candidate is a majority of the whole number of electors appointed. If no majority exists for the presidential candidates, then the candidates with highest number of votes (not exceeding three) shall choose the President via ballot and based on votes taken by states with each state having one vote. This vote requires a quorum of two-thirds of the states and a majority of the states. If there is no vice-presidential candidate with a majority of the vote, then from the two candidates with highest number of votes, the Senate shall choose. This vote requires a quorum of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators and a majority of the Senate (U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment).


Question for Readers: 

Is the limited electoral choice for the President and Vice-President consistent with freedom? Is the no choice for most Americans in choosing their President and Vice-President consistent with freedom? Would American society be more fair and free, if all the American electorate had equal say in who are the President and Vice-President, and more choice in who are the President and Vice-President?

No comments:

Leave a Comment

Thank you for sharing your perspective.