Un petit bout d’Amérique

29 avril 2024

Un petit bout d’Amérique

We were lucky enough to attend a meeting with the attaché of the US consulate of Bordeaux. He depends on the US embassy located in Paris, France. After detailing his job and his several missions (security of US citizens in France, to expand the American culture in France, to help French start-ups to settle in America, to encourage diplomacy between our two countries…), he explained the complex system of the American elections.

First of all, there are the primaries, which are smaller elections organized by each party (Democratic, Republican,…) in order to reduce the number of candidates. Then, the Convention takes place during the summer, where the delegates from each state get to vote to choose the final candidate from each party. At the same time, the candidates are running the campaign trail. The goal is to attract the highest number of electors through a gigantic display of ads, shows, debates, speeches,… Once having been chosen to represent a party, the candidate announces his or her potential vice-president. If the president dies or is not able to finish his mandate, the vice-president will replace him.

The first Tuesday of November, the American citizens « head to the pools » to vote for a candidate. However, it is a system of indirect democracy; each state will count the votes to determine the majority and all the « big electors » (like « super delegates ») from that state will have to vote for the winner of the elections in this state. Of course, the amount of « big electors » is a proportion of the number of American citizens in the state. Finally, the president is elected thanks to the vote of the « big electors », the goal being to obtain the majority: the « run to the 270 ». Lastly, the future president will be heading to the White House a few months later to take his functions as the chief of the United States of America.

Additionnaly, we also detailed the chronology of presidents from George Washington to the latter Joe Biden. Overall, it was really interesting and I learned a lot about the United States. I am very thankful that I had this opportunity.

Noah Grelet

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