Free and Proper Elections

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Free and Proper Elections - NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

Being A Brit I Do Not Fully Understand American Elections.?

As I gather they have primary elections so far in 2 states. Does this happen in all the states.? If so do we have to listen to all the speeches of winners and losers in all 52 states? What good does it do as the main election is not until next November 10 months away.? It all seems very complicated to me, is it the same with the average American.?To me it looks like 2 seperate elections.

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  • starling says:

    You have received many answers which describe the core facts of the primaries in the U.S. elections. Most of them are correct, more or less. Now I’m going to show it to you from another perspective, that which, I believe you were seeking. First of all, there are 5 major primaries which count to the American public. They fan out like a star across the U.S. map. They act like a tasting-spoon to the flavour of what America is in the mood for now, in its search for a leader. In the U.K., excuse me saying this, but you have basically two different classes to choose from: Labour vs Conservative. That is more simple compared to the U.S. Yet, in the U.S., which is a huge country compared to the tiny, but yet powerful, U.K., it is more of a territorial thing. The U.S. consists of roughly 5 zones of political and social beliefs, all fanning out in this 4 point star with a centre, known as the Mid-West. The most important Primaries take place in these 5 places, representing the core beliefs of the people that populate them. This star is not geographically symmetrical, but only representative of regional philosophy. The first primary was in the dead CENTRE of the U.S. core belief: Midwest, as it is known. Obama won there. (Huckabee the Evangalist /Republican runner-up.) The second primary was in the North-East section of American thinking: New Hampshire. Call this EAST. This area has been widely thought of as the most ‘English’ of the American psyche. Clinton won there. (McCain the Military/Republican runner-up). Neither winner of these two are too surprising. Both are Democrats! Next on the agenda is South Carolina. Call this the SOUTH. That’s Edward’s state. He could win there coz he’s a Southern type’a guy. (Huckabee, the Evangelical Republican, could also gain ground, predictably). Next up is Michigan, which you could describe as the NORTH point of the star. This state could seriously undo much of what the Southern states did, because it is seriously up-tight and anally retentive in its global philosophy. (‘Scuse me!) Any of the delegates could preside there; it’s an open question. Lastly, there is Nevada, representing, more or less, the WEST. Now, that’s a completely different story, because, just as the ‘(North)-East’ is tied into New York philosophy, (Clinton), the (South)-West is tied into Los Angeles philosophy, (also Clinton). I think that with this, you can better catch a grasp of what goes on in this country, and why it operates so differently from your own. A bigger country is a more complicated country, unless it is managed by a dictator, and then it would seem so easy!….(as in Putin and his country). So rest assured that America is trying its best to operate as a democracy, despite the odd fundamentalist, here and there! And as for you in the UK?……. Relax!…. It’s going to turn out OK……no more Republicans, no more Bush!

    June 28, 2013 at 2:11 am
  • giginotg says:

    In Britain, all election candidates would be the chairman of some parties, e.g. Conservative and Labor parties. However, in U.S., it is much more democratic than Britain. All members of all parties can be election candidate for persidency. Then, you need a pre-election to seek or reduce the number of candidate. Such pre-election must be do for each state within their parties. Then, at the end, each parties would only have one candidate for election of persidency.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:34 am
  • davether says:

    I,m with you there pal! Mind the British ones are just as crazy!

    June 28, 2013 at 9:13 am
  • starfire says:

    Primaries weed out the Presidential candidates so that when it comes time for the final vote it is between 1 set of each party. Like if Obama keeps leading he may ask Mr. Hillary to be his Vice President. It works that way but maybe with different choices. It all boils down to Democrat vs. Republican vs. any Independent parties that are on the ballot. Oh and in some places you can write in a vote for someone who is not even running the race.

    June 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm
  • namkciub says:

    i am an american and i dont fully understand the election process. the whole process is strung out way too long. i think 6 months start to finish would be fine. btw the us has 50 states not 52.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm
  • baserunn says:

    primary electons are held in the states with the highest population. it shows the party who is likely to get them the most votes in the presidential election. both winners and losers give speeches to show their thanks to the people that worked their butts off for them and came out to vote for them.

    June 29, 2013 at 12:51 am
  • harry k says:

    1st of all there are only 50 states. 2nd the political systems of Britain and the US are different. The US is a representative republic. It’s not a parliamentary form like in the UK. You don’t vote for a party. You vote for an individual. The primaries are the process for individuals to win the right to represent their individual parties. You don’t even have to belong to a party to get elected in the US for president or any office for that matter. Vermont has a senator that is an independent (no party affiliation). The mayor of NYC is an independent. Gov’t don’t “fail” in the US because of party bickering, like in the UK or Canada.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:44 am
  • The First Dragon says:

    Don’t feel bad, sometimes I’m a little fuzzy on the details too, especially since each state has its own procedures for having a primary election or caucus. Yes, all 50 states have primary elections or caucuses. No, you won’t hear all the speeches; the first 2 and maybe the biggest states are all you will hear much about. The purpose of the primaries is for each state to elect delegates to go to the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions that choose the presidential candidates for each Party. [There are a few other political Parties too, which present candidates for the Presidency, but none of them ever gets many votes. Theoretically they could, though; there’s nothing to prevent them, if they get the support.] Although people have supported certain candidates, they have actually elected delegates, not candidates. Some of these delegates will change their votes if necessary at the national election. Each citizen that votes in a primary has to vote within one political Party. In some states you can’t vote in the primary unless you are registered in a Party; in others, you can vote in the primary within whichever Party you choose. [You don’t have to be in a Party to vote for President or other offices.] The delegates go to their respective Party Conventions, and each Party chooses a candidate for President and one for Vice President. They do some more campaigning, and then on November 8 the actual Presidential Election is held. I do think that candidates have started campaigning extremely early this time. But there was nothing to prevent them.

    June 29, 2013 at 8:11 am
  • says:

    The primaries take place in all states. It is just that the first primaries are a big deal because they set the precedent for who voters will vote for. The primary election is to rule out the trailing GOP and Democratic candidates.

    June 29, 2013 at 9:08 am
  • NYC says:

    Do they understand? I think that is why so few of them even vote

    June 29, 2013 at 9:45 am
  • mum2mh says:

    I don’t know if many Americans do either (grin)

    June 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm
  • SloMotion Like Snail says:

    You got some good answers. ya the first election is to choose whose gonna represent the republican and democratic parties. the “2nd” election will be the battle between the winners from each party for president/vice president

    June 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm
  • Sly Fox [King of Fools] says:

    First they’ve got to pick the man or maybe the woman in this case who will represent the party for the real election. Then they have the the real election! Everything else between is just hype which takes peoples minds off what’s really going on! PANEM ET CIRCENSES Now for those who have answered and made reference to others systems in particular the British, I saw that somebody said the the UK was less Democratic than the US!! Come on now the US has only a two party system Reps (Right)or Dems (Centre). However even if the last few decades have seen the two main parties way up front, there are more than just the Cons(R). and the Labs(L), there are also the Libs(C) and quite a few other party all of which can win seats in parliament and have some say in the way the country in run! Further more as to the fact that a government can fall due to the party this is not completely true or at least it has been explained very badly. If one thinks to the Cons Gov, of thatcher when even her own party had had enough they just removed her but the party still held office under John Major! So if anything the British system is not only more democratic is all safer! sorry the last bit was for the asker who I am sure understand everything of his own country’s voting and political system. But for anyone who thinks they understand the British system, but doesn’t really. Thank you!

    June 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm
  • auntb93 says:

    It’s a complicated process. All the states do primaries, but not at the same time. Iowa and New Hampshire are determined to be first, but I think that’s silly, because a lot of candidates drop out later. Anyway, a whole bunch are at the same time as Missouri, my state, which is early February. Eventually, all the primaries are completed. Now, we didn’t actually vote for the candidates in that one, we voted for delegates to the national convention of the party. Those delegates are pledged to vote for the candidate we effectively voted for. That is all done by state law, and is different. Some pledge all their delegates to the one that won in their state; some apportion them. Some say they must stick to the candidate they were sent to vote for all the way through the convention, others are allowed to change their votes under certain circumstances. This is what we get for having 50 stubbornly independent states. Anyway, the parties each hold a convention, including the “minor” parties such as Libertarian and Green. Once they choose a candidate by this complicated process, then that candidate chooses his or her running mate. Often, but not always, it is the candidate that came in second in the party’s primary. Then they really go into high gear campaigning, and we eventually vote the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (i.e., never November 1). Even then, we are not literally voting for the candidates, but for the electoral college representatives. They then choose the president and vice-president. That’s why it is possible for someone to win the popular vote but lose the election. It’s a crazy system, and people are always suggesting improvements, but it was set up to balance large states with small (population-wise), and consequently urban with rural. All reforms crab one of these two factions, so we continue as we have done.

    June 30, 2013 at 2:57 am
  • scrooge says:

    all you have to remember is, after super Tuesday it is all over.

    June 30, 2013 at 3:14 am

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