Mathematician: BiH shouldn't introduce voting system based one the one in US

NEWS 15.05.2022 15:10
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Source: N1

The electoral system in the United States, which some political forces are trying to introduce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is “outdated and wrong” and would be implemented in BiH in an even more problematic way, intellectuals at Sunday’s session of Circle 99 (Krug 99) association concluded.

Professor of Mathematics at the Wellesley College in the United States, Ismar Volic, argued that “quantitative political literacy is crucial in a modern democratic society.”

“Without quantitative literacy in the age of technology, there is no progress. But very little attention is paid to political quantitative literacy, and this is not the case in Bosnia and Herzegovina alone. The same is true in America,” he said.

He spoke about the electoral system in the United States.

“That system is quite outdated and it is wrong, and we would transfer it to Bosnia and Herzegovina in an even more strange way,” he said.

He noted that the relative majority model being used across the world is “very incoherent, insufficient, mathematically incomplete.”

“Electing the candidate who gets the most votes sounds good, but it is absolutely wrong. As soon as there are three or more candidates, there is a chance that someone who received a minority of votes is elected, not even necessarily more than 50 percent of the vote,” he said.

He pointed out that there are much better alternatives, mathematically more coherent voting models.

“The electoral voting system, which was established in the United States when America was founded, has already been proven bad in America after 40 years. There has been a bad system in America for 200 years, but it is so deeply rooted in the American system, enshrined in the Constitution, that it is difficult to change it. It is in collision with the citizen's vote and the two are not compatible. It is advantageous to interest groups, certain American states, so it is difficult to change it,” he said, arguing that this system should be eliminated.

“It is an absolute tragedy to talk about the introduction of such a system in BiH. It doesn't exist anywhere outside of America because no one wants such a wrong system for electing a president,” he explained.

This system has “quantitative and mathematical problems” and is not a model that can serve the basic principle of a representative democracy, which would be a “one person one vote” model, he said.

Electoral voting is a system whereby, for example, the American president is actually elected by a body called the Electoral College. Electors are delegated to the college by each state, depending on its population, so the most populous California sends 55, followed by Texas with 38 and New York and Florida, each with 29. More sparsely populated states such as Alaska, Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming or Montana have only three electors each.

The presidential candidate must win an absolute majority of voters, or 270 out of 538. Most of the 50 US states have traditionally favoured a candidate of one of two parties, Republican or Democrat, and in those states, the winner is known in advance.

That is why presidential candidates are actually fighting for votes in “swing states” from one election to the next, he argued.

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