If a Worldwide Vote was held Today, Obama would Win, Sorta - The Intrepid

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If a Worldwide Vote was held Today, Obama would Win, Sorta

The Economist is currently running a fun little online experiment. What if everyone in the world got a chance to cast a vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and what if that vote was cast in a worldwide electoral college? The results: an overwhelming Obama win.

Of the countries where ballots have been cast, Obama has amassed a runaway lead. McCain, although he has 996 votes to Obama’s 4,104, has yet to win a single electoral vote.

Obviously, this poll is grossly flawed. Only online members of the Economist can vote, people can lie about their country of origin, and some countries have yet to cast a single ballot. However, what makes this poll fun isn’t the voting itself, or even the results. The fact that Obama is winning by huge margins isn’t very much of a surprise. What makes this experiment interesting is the number of electoral votes each country gets.

In the experiment, there are 9,875 electoral votes. Each country gets a minimum of three votes, and additional votes are allocated proportionally by population. To win a candidate needs 4,938 electoral votes. Obama currently has 6,279. (Which is actually more than the total number of votes he has received.)

In a worldwide electoral college, most of the votes are in Asia. 5,541 to be precise. More than half of these votes are in China and India. China has 1,900 electoral votes and India has 1,588. If an electoral college was used to elect a President of Earth, I imagine most of the campaigning would be done in these two countries.

If you thought the political power of Wyoming was lopsided in the U.S. Electoral College, than consider this. In a worldwide vote, despite the fact that the smallest 40 countries in the world, those with 3 electoral votes, only have about 0.03% of the population of world, they account for 1.2% of the electoral vote. One vote by a Vatican City citizen is worth the votes of 2500 Chinese citizens.

Canada is allocated 49 Electoral Votes. In a worldwide electoral college, Canada would have the same electoral power as Afghanistan or Algeria. The system gives the U.S. 432 electoral votes, or only about 4.5% of the vote.