Friday, April 20, 2018
BLOGS

TRUMP, AND THE POWER OF DEMOCRACY

The United States follows a two-party system. Their constitution  dictates that voting takes place via a system known as the electoral college. To put it simply, when voters go to vote for a candidate, they aren’t directly voting for the candidate – they’re voting for representatives who will probably vote for the candidate, because they belong to the same party.

This isn’t simple majority. Because, once a certain party wins a majority of votes in the state, all the votes of the state are counted as votes of the party. Which means, more votes for one candidate.

Additionally, not every state has equal votes. One state may have 8 votes, whereas another may have 11.

This implies that you cannot win based on popular vote. Even if you have secured more votes than your opponent, you may not have secured enough votes in the electoral college. Losing the electoral college essentially means you have lost the election, since the probability of representatives defecting to the other side is very low.

Donald Trump did not win by popular vote.

Donald Trump is currently the President of the United States of America, one of the oldest democracies in the world.

Irony aside, the title isn’t meant to be sarcastic. Donald Trump has indeed reminded me of the power of democracy.

Let’s understand where I’m coming from. Avid social media user, millennial, somewhat politically aware, currently reading up on the merits and demerits of democracy in my Political Science textbook. I go home, and open my social media feed, to receive several criticisms of the importance of democracy.

It slows legislation down. It exacerbates corruption. People are stupid, so they elect stupid people. It isn’t a feasible form of governance

I too, believe that democracy is flawed. It has been proven that such a system of governance can mathematically and logically never function ideally. Yet, a large part of the world still subscribes to this. I have also been reminded why I should subscribe to this.

I had my exploratory period, where I delved into the pasts, present and potential futures of successful nations – some of which were democratic solely on paper, and some which never bothered to make that claim. I concluded that yes, these forms of governance can potentially work, provided the leaders are good.

And that’s when I remembered.

The only way to ensure your leaders are good  (Where good means they are able to address your issues) is to directly be involved in their appointment. Which happens via voting. Which takes place in a democracy.

The United States is a special case – in their democracy, the probability exists that the candidate who wins the election may not be one that a majority of the people voted for.

This obviously implies that many people will not accept him as their President. And they haven’t. Marches have broken out across the country, nationwide immigration to other countries has begun and social media is full of hundreds of jokes on Donald Trump, and what he stands for.

They could not have done this if the United States was not a democracy. The freedom to criticise your leader is one  that is ensured only in a democracy.

This freedom becomes an important tool because it facilitates the exchange of opinions. Popular opinions form movements. And movements, have the power to mould a democracy as per the wishes of the people who subscribe to it, because they are lead by the masses.

In a world growing increasingly jealous of the economic development of a country that violates the human rights of its citizens, Donald Trump – business magnate, divorcee and a yuuugereality TV personality, has reminded us why even when we’re a little poorer, we’re doing better off. Because, you cannot put a price on your freedom.

Ask yourself – what is the sovereignty of a vulnerable individual?

Lusha Jetley

Student Reporter

January 2017.