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Freitag, November 05, 2004
Why this whole elction-stuff, sometimes looks strange to us:
Okay, the US-elections are over and George W. Bush got the best result a president ever got.
This whole election-stuff does look pretty strange to us and reminds people sometimes more on a so called third world state and not on the most powerful nation of the world.
The whole system - it is possible that there will be a president who has less votes than his opponent. This implies that in some states a single vote counts less than in others and so it doesn't look really democratic.
The fact that each state has its own rules for voting - the whole confederalism is not really my cup of tea to understand, but how the can elect one president for all the states with not clearing the rules is really confusing for a german soul like mine. While you'll never be allowed to vote after a crime here you might become Governor in the state next door. While you'll go and have to work through confusing paperwork, in others all you have to do is aim with your fingertip on a screen. (I'm not sure, if you somewhere just have to bring a red chicken or a blue chicken with you and all they do afterwards is counting the chickens...)
The fact that the counting needs several days.
Well, here, the office opens at eight or so and closes exactly at six pm. Then the counting usually is finished between eight and ten. So where's the problem, besides that we're a small country and don't have that amount on voters? On the other day we count the whole thing once more again and three days later the official election result is called. Never been a problem the last years. So why does te US - centre of technology - need several days?
The voting machines...
Here in Cologne we use voting machines, too, but there are not so many people mistrusting them than in the US. Our voting machines don't work with touchscreens you have to push a button for your choose of party or person.
And at exactly six pm, when the office closes, all they do is going to the machine and printing out the paper where all votes are counted. And the get the Eprom and bring it to another place where the Eproms are read out and the rresults transferred further.
I'd say that's pretty easy. Pretty hard to manipulate (nothing happens online via Internet or so) and easy to handle. And... you have some paper afterwards you can use to verify the official result. As I understood it, the machines don't provide any paper at all - this is what i'd call difficult.
The President as a role
After WWII the people who wrote "Das Grundgesetz" have had one common interest - something like the Nazis should never happen again and so they found they don't need a strong president but rather a stronger chancellor and parliament. I have no idea if our system is better, but I'd feel uncomfortable with one person on top being so much a "Kaiser" by never been called that. (Not just Bush, I mean the role President").
Well, let's say it so - the Democrats would qualify here for the conservative CDU and the Republicans are so far right for the german system that most people wouldn't be able to find a gap between our right wing Nazi-parties. Which is wrong - you can be right but not being a Nazi, of course. Here in Germany it always means the same...
It is hard to understand what immense sums of money get "wasted" in the Campaigns and where the money comes from. Here the parties also spend lots of money but still procents of what is done in the US.
So you see - it's difficult to see this happen and not having the feeling you're in the middle of some Bush. I wonder if one day people will be able to judge and find out which system worked best.