First votes of 2016 season are cast in the great American democracy fest

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 2, 2016

america democracyThe first votes were cast in the 2016 US presidential election but the spectacle of the democratic festival was a reminder of its impenetrability.

How many people outside the US understand a caucus? Or America’s electoral college system? What does it say about the US system that no new nation has adopted it as a template for choosing its president?

What does it say about the nature of America’s four-yearly appointment with democracy that it continues to hold on to a system that would be struck down as unconstitutional if it weren’t already in the Constitution? The electoral college system violates the principle of one-person, one-vote. It is ripe for revision having been created by the framers of the constitution 229 years ago.

For years, polls have reliably shown that a majority of Americans would prefer a straightforward popular vote for the presidency. But that can’t happen without a constitutional amendment.

In the meantime, the great impenetrable spectacle of American democracy continues.