Feb. 2001 - The Greatest Democracy in the World...
This thread is for discussing Massimo Pigliucci's Rationally Speaking
article entitled The Greatest Democracy in the World and
the Unfairness of American Elections.
N. 7, February 2001
The Greatest Democracy in the World and the Unfairness of American Elections
The United States of America is the self-professed greatest democracy in the world. Besides the obvious offensiveness of such claim to countries that are equally democratic and that can claim a longer history of civil liberties than the US can, the very idea flies in the face of the actual structure of the American electoral system. This has been painfully demonstrated by the recent squabble between George Bush and Al Gore on who really won the election.
Let's start with democracy 101. Ever since ancient Athens, democracy means the rule of the people (though for a long time the "people" have not included women, economically "lower" classes and slaves). By that simple criterion, the American system is undemocratic because it allows someone to win the presidential election even though she lost the popular vote