The deception of elections [Archives:2008/1177/Community]

July 31 2008

By: Ivan Simic
[email protected]

An election is the decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or a party to hold formal office. This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills legislative, executive and judicial offices in both regional and local government.

During an election campaign, everyone focuses on the politicians or rather, the candidates; however, some very interesting election participants aren't talked about as much and these are the qualified voters or electors.

The candidates are the most interesting players in an election because they tell us anything that will likely lead them to great victory. They lie, deceive, promise the impossible, sing and dance, laugh and cry – all to win.

In fact, they give us so many campaign promises, that if we ask about them just a few hours later, they don't remember them, so they make new ones in order to deceive us further. Later, if elected to formal office, they start making excuses for these lost promises in order to maintain their political power.

It's evident that candidates tell us what we want to hear and those things with which we agree simply to make us believe that they are good, smart, dedicated and considerate people, among other things.

However, nearly everything they say is written and prepared in advance by their campaign staff in an effort to attract more voters. In most cases, particularly in democratic systems, candidates rely heavily on financing from private donors, select individuals, groups and industries. If elected, they then have an obligation to reimburse supporters for their contributions by protecting and supporting their businesses, no matter what that business might be.

We all know what candidates do, but what about voters?

Voters are a group of people gathered to make a decision or express their opinion often through discussions, debates and election campaigns. Voters support their favorite candidates by attending rallies, listening to what they have to say, analyzing it and then ultimately agreeing or disagreeing with them.

In the end, they make their final decision on Election Day. However, on that day, not all supporters vote for the candidate they supported throughout the campaign because not all voters are faithful to their candidate.

To make things more clear, let's look at the approaching 2008 U.S. presidential election as an example, looking at candidates Barack Obama and John McCain and the qualified voters/electors.

It appears that many Americans are fascinated with Democratic candidate Barack Obama, possibly more so than with any other presidential candidate in U.S. history, with many talking about him, adoring him and cheering for him.

On the other side, Republican candidate John McCain was chosen in U.S. primaries a long time before Obama, so it was clear that he was the chosen one on that side. However, it appears that American aren't as enamored of him as they are of Obama.

According to these indicators, we may believe that Obama will become the new president of the United States, but will he?

The chances of Barack Obama becoming the next U.S. president may not be as good as they appear. Yes, people love him, but voters can't be trusted because they always like something new – radical new changes, new and different politicians, new ideas and fresh promises, among others. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll vote for the same. It would be better for Obama if he had less attention, which would better his chances of winning.

Many people change their minds on Election Day and do the opposite of what they were saying, promising, cheering and longing for throughout the campaign. Because voters are just regular people and realizing that the show is over on Election Day, they start thinking in other directions.

Voters are an interesting breed, often saying one thing but doing another. They complain about and criticize certain politicians day after day, but then end up voting for them in the end. It appears that the more mistakes and scandals a politician makes while doing nothing for the nation, the more likely voters will vote for him, particularly a second time. As an example, just look at George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac and Silvio Berlusconi, among others.

In the end, democracy isn't like a Communist regime. In a democracy, it actually may not be as important which candidate or politician comes to power, so long as democracy continues to be the ruling mechanism and the elected individual doesn't seize extra power.

The system will continue to work and plans and ideas will continue being executed, no matter who's in charge. The only thing that changes is the interests of the financiers or the ruling elite who financed the elected candidate.

If the financiers are from the weapons industry, then there will be new wars; thus, we may prefer financiers from the toy industry, so that instead, there will be toys for everyone.