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Enduring shambles

With the US Senate based on the same flawed principles, reform of the electoral college is probably doomed

By Tim Hames   December 2000

American democracy has often been described as a sham but rarely as shambolic. The US political system stands accused (at home and abroad) of producing an ossified two-party structure and election campaigns which are too long, vacuous and expensive to offer a meaningful choice to citizens. Further proof, at least to reformers, of the profoundly unsatisfactory character of US politics, is the pitiful levels of turnout recorded even for presidential contests. This year an estimated 51 per cent of Americans headed towards the polls, a slight improvement on 1996 but miserable by international standards.

Most of these complaints are not,…

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