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Doral, Florida - - Sunday, March 10, 2023
Progressives in America bemoan that our Electoral College prevents full-scale, national and majoritarian democracy in the election of our President. Thus it may be interesting to compare the situation in another republic in the Americas, Argentina, which is holding a Presidential election this year without using an Electoral College. Almost 50% of all voters reside in the City and Province of Buenos Aires, with another 10% in the interior cities of Cordoba, Rosario and Mendoza. Accordingly, although national parties may run national and provincial candidates throughout the entire country, and Presidential candidates may run with them, Presidential candidates devote the overwhelming amount of their time and attention to those most populated jurisdictions.
The total number of voters will likely be around 26 or 27 million, representing a participation rate of around 70%. These votes will be cast over the course of three elections: (1) A national primary for all candidates in August. (2) A general election, for all candidates who exceeded a minimum threshold in the primary, held in October. (3) Then if no candidate wins a majority (or at least 40% with a 10 percentage point advantage over the second-place candidate), a final runoff for the top two vote-getters in November.
Because the race is national, without regional elections involved, the candidates tend to line up to run along various national lanes, defined by ideology and kleptocratic aptitude. Defining the lanes from left to right as commonly understood in America does not apply well to Argentine politics, because almost all Argentines ignore the warning delivered by Frederic Bastiat around 1850: “Everyone wants to live off the state, forgetting that the state lives off everyone.” In Argentina, almost everyone votes for more welfare-state socialist policies and free stuff.
Since 1946 the dominant political ideology in Argentina has been Peronism, which combines authoritarian mercantilism with unaffordable welfare-state socialism. During this period, Argentina’s participation in the global economy has slipped from around 2.64% to 0.27%. How does progressive government make a poor country? By starting with a rich country. Argentina is the antidote for the myth of white supremacy.
It is still early, but this year the lanes, with their expected voter support, are likely as set forth in the numbered paragraphs below.
Accordingly, no candidate is likely to win a majority in the general election, and the top two vote-getters, likely Macri and Kirchner, will advance to the runoff. That is where other candidates may exercise their influence by offering their support to one of the remaining candidates, in exchange for, for example, a cabinet position.
Among the approximately 40 republics in the Americas, only two use an indirect system of electing their chief executive: (1) the United States with our Electoral College; and (2) Canada, where voters indirectly elect their Prime Minister, by voting for their local Member of Parliament, who then meet in Parliament to elect the Prime Minister. Interesting that, when the borders of the United States were thrown open by the Brandon administration, people from those republics with direct election rushed to live under the Electoral College.