The Presidential Election is Random

I don’t usually write about politics, but politics is a big topic right now, is it not?

So here is Mike’s Wild Postulus on Presidential Elections in the US: The result is random.

Is it not lost on people that the race is about a 50/50 split, and that if we randomly just picked two people out of a hat to run as the only two candidates, we’d probably expect a 50/50 split between them? This has happened two elections in a row.

My theory is that with all the mis-information out there, common folk (including myself) really don’t know who would make a better President. Kerry says bush is bad because of X, Y, and Z, and Bush says that Kerry is bad because of X, Y, and Z. But when both say the opposite things, only one can be right, and how can most people know? Well, we end up using our gut and guessing. And guess what, at the end of the day, we come out about 50/50 – the same as if we just did a blind election.

Prior to stumbling across this statistical fact, I used to think we should be moving toward a popular vote and away from the Electoral College. However, now more than ever I think our forefathers had it right – common folk aren’t really ready to decide who should sit in the Oval Office. Rather, we should probably beefen up the Electoral College. The people should decide who the candidates are (via the Republican and Democratic nominations), and then the electoral college should decide who is a better lawmaker, commander-in-chief, and leader of the United States. Unfortunately, the citizens of America just don’t have the data to know whether Senator Kerry has the right attributes or President Bush does. Maybe people closer to the two – people that know them personally and have worked directly with them – would be better able to make an informed decision on this very important role.

Is this pessimistic? Maybe it is. But the election speaks for itself- its a 50/50 split across the US. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence? The people of America are collectively voting “we don’t care – the two are about the same”. Its pretty amazing that while each of us can argue so fervently for our position, on the whole, we all wash each other out.