Dear Sir, last Sunday's issue of the Bulletin brought forth the expected spate of articles on the US Presidential election, and there were some interesting comments and points raised in the articles by Laura Stadler, Mike Kernahan and George Scott, but I cannot agree to some viewpoints.

That one of the two contestants should have acted like a ”gentleman” and graciously accepted defeat, etc, is unrealistic - a politician is not a gentleman, he is a politician, and there are no Marquis of Queensbury rules in politics, least of all in the USA. That Nixon, all those decades past, accepted the Kennedy victory, to then eventually become President, the subsequent resignation as a result of Watergate casts doubt on his “gentlemanly” acceptance. In today's world, the loser of this election will forever be ”yesterday's man”, for all the obvious reasons.

Electorial systems in many democratic countries are not perfect, and the USA is in that group, particularly highlighted due to the extreme closeness of the count, where a few thousand votes can swing it either way in Florida, and so confusing ballot papers, inadvertently spoiled, through to (reported in the Bulletin) a box of ballot papers found by police in a hotel room, can affect substantially who may win.

Electing a US President should not be considered a “game” where sportsmanship overides an unfair call of “foul”, after all the most powerful man of the leading nation in the world is being elected, and for four years at that.

As far as the participation by Nader, and reported loss of votes to the Gore camp as a result, firstly, this makes me think of the participation in an earlier election by Ross Perot, whose entry probably cost the Republicans that election, and he was a darn sight more interesting that Nader! So, secondly in the light of these experiences, one change in future US elections that might prove acceptable to both Republican and Democratic parties, is to adopt the French Presidential voting system.

For those whose memories are “rusty”, it is that, after the votes are in, if there is not a clear winner, with an overall 51%, then the two leading candidates only go forth to a second vote. In the interim period any, and all other “also rans” can decide where to place their seond chance to vote.

Whoever wins this election, it will be a bitter/spoilt victory, but more so for Bush I feel, as we will never forget that it was his brother who is Governor of Florida, where this whole mess has been highlighted - another talking point, studiously avoided on the TV coverage I have viewed to date.

Yours sincerely
Graham Phillips

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