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Vortrag bei GaM 25.6.2008: Michael M. GUNTER (Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, USA) – Visiting Professor of Political Science, International University, Vienna

Filed under: Geschichte am Mittwoch am 19. Juni 2008

Vortragender: Michael M. GUNTER (Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, USA) – Visiting Professor of Political Science, International University, Vienna

Titel: „U.S. Presidential Elections: A Critique of the Electoral College“

Ort: Hs. 45, Zeit: Mittwoch, 25.6.2008, 18 h c.t.

Moderation: Thomas Fröschl

Abstract: This lecture will briefly explain the winner-take-all character of the Electoral College system for electing U.S. Presidents. This leads to the following criticisms: 1.) A candidate may win the popular vote of the people, but lose the electoral vote and thus lose the election as happened in 2000, 1888, 1876, and 1824; indeed in about half of the presidential elections a slight change in the popular vote might have resulted in such an outcome. 2.) A candidate may win more popular votes and more electoral votes than his opponents, but still lose the election as happened to Andrew Jackson in 1824 when he lost to John Quincy Adams. 3.) Therefore, the Electoral College can encourage a third-party candidate to enter the elections in order to block the two major candidates and throw the election in the U.S. House of Representatives where a minority candidate might win as occurred in 1824 and which was the strategy of George Wallace (the racist candidate) in 1968. 4.) Thus the Electoral College could result in the failure to elect a President and potentially destabilize international politics to the extent that even preemptive war might result. 5.) The Electoral College might result in the election of a President from one party, but the Vice President from the other. 6.) A candidate might not only win the popular vote but also the majority of the electoral vote but still lose. Why does the U.S. not change such an archaic situation? And, finally, what are the positions of the current candidates for president?
Biographical Information: Dr. Michael M. Gunter is Professor of Political Science at Tennessee Tech University since 1981; he received his M.A. in 1964 at Columbia University and his Ph.D. in 1972 at Kent State University. Fulbright Abroad Awards include Turkey in 1978/79, Israel in 1988, and China in 2000. Prof. Gunter’s teaching includes International Politics, International Organization, and International Law, American Foreign Policy, European Politics, Political Ideas, International Human Rights, Terrorism, and Middle Eastern Politics and History; he has published books and articles on the Kurds, on Armenia and Turkey. – http://www.tntech.edu/SOCIOLOGY/faculty/gunter.html

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