ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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United States : Presidential Election

How has a clumsy voting machine for presidential election in the US survived so long? Only because the ruling elite of the society, economy, and polity is a well-knit homogeneous group, which has remained secure in its place for more than two centuries that scantly cares which particular person gets this purely temporary job of a president for so short a period as four years. The situation however, may well change in a few decades with demographic changes evident even now: whites will lose absolute majority, Hispanics will become the largest minority, and Islam will be the second largest religion in the US. In the emerging scenario the institution of presidential election ought to satisfy, more than ever before, the test of ' justice as fairness' together with the criteria of objectivity and transparency.

R K Laxman is my most favourite cartoonist in the world. His creations are superb – in perception, eloquence, wit and art. He has spoilt my revealed preference. Headlines and cartoons in newspapers always compete between themselves in an unequal battle for my attention. Given this predisposition of mine it is no surprise that when the torrents of news and commentaries on the US presidential election were pouring in, I turned naturally, to the comic strips in New York’s colourful news media and the ‘late nite’ coast-to-coast TV sit-coms for illumination. The pursuit was revealing.

In one show the audience gave a sitting ovation to the following skit of a comedian: Look at this! Americans, bipartisan Americans, have scaled the top – together they have landed on the moon; and they have touched the bottom – trust me, a bipartisan committee is momentarily checking the deepest Pacific ocean-beds somewhere off the Florida coast near a yet unnamed atoll. Yet, in this new millennium, Americans can’t even punch a hole on a piece of paper (Laughter, with resounding clapping).

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