Even if you don’t study politics, you’ve probably noticed that latest American political phenomenon: Donald Trump. The darling of the far right conservative republicans,who thinks prisoners of war are not heroes because they got captured, immigrants from Mexico are bringing drugs, crime and other undesirable things, and that he is uniquely qualified to run the most powerful country in the world because he is filthy ridiculously rich…
He seems ridiculous. He is ridiculous. He takes helicopters to agricultural shows and then gives kids rides as a campaign strategy. He has no cohesive policies. Donald Trump becoming president would be like Clive Palmer becoming president (and if you’re an international student, or an Australian living under a rock, please search Clive Palmer on Youtube to work out why that would be both hilarious and terrible). And yet Donald Trump – him who refuses to answer questions asked by female Fox News Broadcasters, and justified it by saying she had blood coming out of her other places – is the current favourite to become the republican candidate.
On the other hand, the current favourite for the British Labour Party leadership, Jeremy Corbyn, is equally as ridiculous. He is a far lefty,who wants to nationalise everything, reinstate socialism as a labour policy and refuses to condemn terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas and Hezbollah. He himself publically stated that he was only running so that the far left could have a voice in the process. And yet he will most likely be the alternative Prime Minister.
So how does this happen? How do these candidates that we all know are ridiculous (no matter how much we enjoy listening to their ridiculousness) end up being favourites. It’s simple – electoral systems.
In America, the Presidential candidates are chosen by the members of the party. And the stereotype of Republican Party members is disenfranchised with politics, old, male, rich, conservative and fundamentalist Christian. In other words,more versions of Donald Trump. So every time he says something ridiculous, his party followers get more and more excited,while the rest of us just groan. So while the Republican Party may give comedians the gift of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate,mainstream voters are highly unlikely to vote him into the White House.
In the UK, the situation is even more ridiculous. Like the US, the British Labour party currently chooses its candidates through a system where labour members vote. However, unlike the Republican Party, the only qualification for being a Labour Party member is that you pay the $6 registration fee. That?s right, $6. So, if you are a far left organisation, and activist organisation, a communist party or the British version of the Socialist Alternative, then you can sign up for the Labour Party to get your candidate up. Or even more ridiculously, if you are a Conservative Party member or supporter, you can also pay your $6, and vote for the most ridiculous, inappropriate candidate you can find: Jeremy Corbyn. Yep, everyone except diehard Labour Party supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour Party.
Long live the democratic process!
Ridiculous candidates – a gift from the voters to you.