Monday, January 21, 2008

An Indirect Democracy

Data Mining:

I've just come across NPR's interactive primaries election map. Worth checking out - they do a reasonable job with providing a summary/aggregate view, and interactions that drill down to individual results.

Something that I've learned as an expat living in the USA - democracy here isn't about the equal weight of each citizen's voice. The most obvious example was in the previous election for president in which the person with the most votes (Al Gore) lost to the person with the least votes (George Bush). Another strange approach to democracy is evident in the primary elections. These are the elections by which parties determine who their candidate is. These elections are carried out in sequence. This has the effect of the earlier elections (like Iowa, New Hampshire, etc.) impacting the results of the later election - with the electorat being swayed by information determining who is really in the running and who is not.

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