will win - but it won't change a thing
By Wednesday it will be known who won the Presidential election
in the United States of America. Or perhaps not. The race is so
close that there is a chance, even though remote, of an Electoral
College tie of 269/269. Chaos will ensue - and amidst charges of
fraud, the election will be decided in the House of Representatives.
column says however that John Kerry will win the election. Having
said so, we have to add "who cares?'' Bill Van Auken the Socialist
Unity Party candidate for the American elections who was featured
in these pages last week said that citizens all over the world and
in Sri Lanka should have a chance of casting their vote for US President.
A columnist in the latest issues of Time magazine Simon Robinson
also echoes the same sentiment. He writes: "If the CIA used
to decide how elections turned out in other countries, it is time
we foreigners played a part in deciding who sits in the Oval office.''
The benefits, he says, are obvious. The world "will have a
real choice in deciding who will govern it in the next four years.''
lot it will do, I say, with two candidates like George Bush and
John Kerry. Kerry vows to continue the war in Iraq, and he too,
in Presidential debates, had nothing to say about the innocent Iraqi
citizens being killed in the guise of attacks against insurgents
by American troops in that country.
the choice between Bush and Kerry is not a choice at all; not for
Americans, not for the rest of the world, even if we outsiders had
a voice in the outcome of these polls.
yet, it won't be wise to be tuned-out. There is more than a grain
of truth to what Auken and Robinson say. The rest of the world should
have a say in who elects the American President, given that this
superpower is running amok in the world, not jut being policeman
but also calling shots in the world economy with its dollar hegemony
and militarily clout. But that's not the issue for the day. John
Kerry will win on Tuesday, most probably, because the American system
is hard-wired to present the most deceptive picture of America to
the world. George Bush has done the dirty work. He has invaded Iraq,
and created a precedent for breaking all international laws to advance
the American agenda.
has reduced America's image to that of a cheap international thug.
The upshot is that the American "system'' itself will want
to compensate and make it appear that Americans do care. So the
election of John Kerry will do much to salvage the American image,
though it is obvious that Kerry's election will not change anything
is correct that the polls say that the candidates are in a dead
heat. This has been repeated for months with an obscene almost sexually-charged
overtone. "They are in a dead heat'', scream newscasters.
the time of writing Saturday morning, the US Reuter/Zogby tracking
poll again had the two candidates in this (obscene) dead heat --
with Bush and Kerry both at 47 per cent. According to this poll,
just 3 per cent of the likely voters remain undecided.
can be safely said then that in a poll as close as this, the opinion
polls themselves will be quite useless in predicting a winner except
perhaps to indicate that the race is truly close. This is where
a certain gut reading of events can help predict the election outcome
better than all the scientific polls devised by man.
the winner of the US Presidential race is eventually decided by
the Electoral College. To put it as simply as possible, any state
in which a candidate wins a majority will send a certain number
of electors to the Electoral College - on a winner take all basis,
except in one or two states where the electors are divided proportionately
among candidates. Only a few states are up for grabs however. The
others are already as good as decided, because polls indicate that
these states are 'locked.' New York for instance is for Kerry and
Texas is for Bush.
are shouting themselves hoarse meanwhile, saying there are ten battleground
states, and that who wins the majority of these states wins the
election. On this basis, a CNN poll taken on Thursday says that
Kerry will get 55 electoral votes, and Bush will get 49 in the battleground.
This poll also says that Kerry is favoured in the state of Ohio,
which is a "litmus state'' (that's my own homespun idiom) because
all candidates winning Ohio have won the Presidency in the last
26 out of 27 outings.
why rely on a poll having said that polls are useless? Too true.
Other polls say Kerry will lose. So, this prediction that Kerry
will win is not necessarily predicated upon any poll. But rather,
it's based on some gut instincts and educated guesses combined.
example, there is this thing about the voter turnout. It is acknowledged
wisdom among the political pundits in America that high voter turnout
is bad news for George W. Bush. Please refer Michael (Fahrenheit
9/11) Moore's books for this purpose. In one book, Michael Moore
describes with great rambunctious prose, how George W. Bush and
his brother actively disenfranchised several thousands of black
voters in the state of Florida. It appears that voter turnout will
be sufficiently great this year that in some places, contrary to
opinion polls, Kerry might even win by almost landslide proportions.
for example, the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida reports that record
numbers are coming out to vote in various South Florida locales
because the Democrat drive to get-out-the-vote in the state has
been a huge success. "People are so upset and distraught by
the last four years of this President that they want to exercise
their constitutional right to vote as soon as possible." said
the Mitch Caesar the Chairman of the Broward country Democratic
party to the Sun-Sentinel in Florida.
sort of record voter turnout, this column wagers, will be duplicated
in many more of the battleground states than pollsters account for.
There seems to be a record disenchantment among the American working
classes about George W. Bush, and they will probably turn out in
record numbers ("record numbers'' relative to the usually poor
American voter turnout) to elect anyone but George W. Bush. This
may especially be so in states such as Ohio even though polls do
not necessarily reflect this. Again, to use the vogue word, "record''
numbers of jobs have been lost in Ohio during Bush's watch.
American President is boxed in so there will not be a lot of movement,"
says Philip Davies, Professor of American Studies at de Montfort
University to BBC. He is putting in polite terms, what was stated
in this column at the beginning. Kerry will not be able to change
a thing if he wins, by and large - though certainly he can change
some details of American foreign policy in particular.
the other factor that pollsters do not seem to consider, is that
there is a deep-going collective embarrassment in America about
what the current President is doing. Therefore, he is a very weak
candidate - - but the only problem is that Kerry is a weak candidate
also because he lacks qualities of charisma and conviction. If Bill
Clinton was to run - - or any newcomer of his quality - - this election
would have been won by the Democrats in a landslide.
yet, looking at the electoral map, it appears to the tyro as if
Bush is going to win. The map is all red -- with a few blue spots
denoting states likely for Kerry. Do not be fooled. Even if Kerry
wins, the map might look a little like that. Most Americans are
now against the Electoral College -- 52 per cent - - because they
felt that due to the quirks of the system, Bush stole the last election
from Gore even though he lost on the popular vote.
the Electoral College is a good thing because the 'founding fathers"
(so-called) of America were onto something when they figured that
if not for such a system, candidates will concentrate on large high
population density cities in the East and West coast and ignore
the rest of America. Electoral College or popular vote - Kerry is
bound to win this time. But if he doesn't -- don't blame me. I am
not responsible for election malpractice in America….