I will probably, possibly write something about the US election at some point, if I can get beyond the concept of the Orange One being future President. In the meantime, here are some thoughts on the electoral system that got him there. Not about the people who voted, or why they voted or didn't vote, not about the rights and wrongs of anyone's opinions or choices, just about the mechanics of the system.
As I understand the electoral college system in the US, the intention is to ensure that the sparsely populated states receive some "attention" from the campaigning candidates, and their concerns and views are not neglected while all campaigning is focused on the more populous seaboard areas of the USA. Which, on the surface, sounds like a reasonable idea. Except when you stop and think about what you're saying, which is that lumps of land deserve an equal chance to be consulted, regardless of how many people live on them.
Here's an example of someone suggesting that lumps of land need to be heard:
As far as I can make out, the author of the text on the above image believes it would be unconscionable to live in a "gray zone" and be out-voted by the people in the "blue zones". Except, half the US population live in those pretty blue bits, and I can't quite see why huge swathes of prairie, mountain and desert need more of a voice than 50% of the population. People need to be punished for living in densely populated areas?
It's a good and worthy ideal to ensure that, particularly in such a large and diverse country, different geographical areas receive their own representation that reflects their differing needs and interests. That's why Senators and Representatives are elected to represent their constituencies. That's why the US has a significant amount of power devolved to State level, with Governors and State Legislatures, and a more modest level of power at Federal level. The President, however, is the head of state. One man** to head the country. And there's no honestly justifiable reason why every vote cast by every citizen should not hold equal weight.
Instead, however, you end up with the current situation, where considerably more individual human beings voted for the losing candidate than the winning one. In fact, you end up with the situation where, had 53,447 people spread across three states (Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania) voted differently, the outcome of the election would have been different. That's less than the population of Lowestoft*.
Stats taken from Politico
Difference 27,257 votes
EC votes 16
Difference 11,423 votes
EC votes 10
Difference 68,209 votes
EC votes 20
If 13,629 voters in Wisconsin, 5,712 voters in Michigan and 34,106 voters in Pennsylvania had voted for HRC instead of DJT, she would have taken all 46 available electoral college votes in those states and won the election. (And I am aware that there were also states, such as Colorado and New Hampshire that HRC took by a narrow margin, which would have gone to DJT with the change of only a handful of voters).
Now, obviously, before the election, nobody actually knew that it would be these three states alone, and so few voters, who would spell the difference between one candidate and the other. But everyone knew that there were "swing states", everyone knew that there was no point campaigning in the safe red or safe blue states. So the electoral college system, far from ensuring that every citizen is a focus of the presidential campaign, and is considered and targeted, instead ensures that a small sub-set of the population is the focus of all the attention, and vast swathes of the country basically don't get much consideration. And, it doesn't matter how large the majority is in a "safe" state, that isn't reflected in the outcome. The fact that HRC took two and a half million more votes in California than DJT doesn't change the number of electoral college votes she received. She could have won California with a majority of one person, and she'd still have received all 55 EC votes.
As with the British system, which I've complained about before, the electoral system for president of the USA is demonstrably broken. It is disconnected from the concept of fair representation of the people.
Just like I'm now labelled a "Bremoaner" by a subset of gloating, sneering Brexit-voters who think objecting to anything is simply whinging and not an exercise in free speech, I'm sure there will be those who will tell me that everyone knew the rules before the election, and that DJT won by playing the system, and to shut up and stop whinging, and that it's too late to complain. The supremely arrogant DJT is already adamant he could have won the popular vote, he just didn't bother trying since he didn't need to. To (mis)quote Mandy Rice-Davies, "well he would say that, wouldn't he?"
It won't come as any surprise to you to discover that I disagree. It's never too late to complain. It's never too late to point out injustice and stupidity. It may be an irrelevance when it comes to the election that has just occurred, but that shouldn't mean everyone should just shrug their shoulders and say "yeah, the system's shit, but it's our shit and we're sticking with it". Why should anyone accept a broken system that allows a minority to elect a president?*** I can see why it might not have been a priority to change the system of the Electoral College up until now, as it has largely managed to reflect the popular vote. In fact, only five times in history has it failed to do so - in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016. So, for 112 years it wasn't perverting the will of the people. And we all know here in Britain that "the will of the people" is sacrosanct.
I'm not an American. I have no say in the political structure and systems of the USA, but I can and will point out that arcane electoral systems, like the Electoral College and our own First Past The Post system, are quite frankly a bit rubbish, and unless we, the people who are governed under broken systems, demand change... it's not going to happen.
* I have nothing against Lowestoft.
** Let's be honest, it's always been a man, and at the current rate, that's not going to change in a hurry.
*** Obviously, the minority are likely to be perfectly happy with the status quo, and then say things like, "you didn't complain before, did you?" Which is enormously constructive.