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Dear Tom,


I'm aware of all this, and it is not my point that Bush did not win the
electoral college (though it is very unclear whether he did:
NYTimes and Washington Post studies showed that it depended
on which votes were counted and a choice was made by the
Court); my point was that the European anger at Americans for
Bush is not really fair since in fact we did not choose him by a
majority.

I do not think the parliamentary system is analogous since it builds
in plurality decisions.  Margaret Thatcher never had a majority.
But the US system assumes a majority of the Electoral College
and assumes that will also be true of the popular vote--though the
possibility of it not doing so is clear.
Nancy



On 7 Oct 2003, at 13:52, Tom Gray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> --- Nancy Gish - Women's Studies <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > My only point about Bush is that he was not elected
> > by a majority
> > vote--a fact.
>
> In Canada, there have two recent instances of
> provincial governments being elected but only getting
> a minority in the popular vote. This occurred in eh
> election of the Parti Quebecois government in Quebec
> and in the election of the NDP government in British
> Columbia.
>
> This can occur in any electoral system which relies on
> hierarchical majorities. The government is made up of
> the party which can command a majority of seats in the
> legislature and seats are given to the party which
> obtains the most votes in a riding (constituency).
> Usually the government party will receive the most
> votes but this is not always the case as the two
> recent examples indicate. In the Quebec example, the
> Liberal Party vote was concentrated in only a few
> regions. They elected members there by wide margins.
> The PQ having support over more regions were able to
> elect more members with smaller majorities.
>
> The US presidential system as everyone knows requires
> not a majority of the popular vote but a majority of
> the states. In this, it is very similar to the British
> system used in Canada and elsewhere for selecting
> governments. This system has the benefit of balancing
> both population and regional requirements in the
> selection of executives.
>
> This type of system has a long history a long history.
> In Canada, the two governments elected with a minority
> of the popular vote were both social democratic. They
> would be the sort of government that Bush supporters
> would vote for. There was no great outcry at the time
> that these elections were somehow illegitimate.
>
>
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