America’s Flawed Election

PRINCETON – No doubt many people around the world, if not most, breathed a sigh of relief over the re-election of US President Barack Obama. A BBC World service poll of 21 countries found a strong preference for Obama everywhere except Pakistan. Joy over the election’s outcome, however, should not blind us to its failure to meet a series of ethical benchmarks for democratic choice.

According to the US-based Center for Responsive Politics, spending on the election – for President and Congress, and including spending by outside groups as well as by the candidates and their political parties – is estimated to have exceeded $6 billion. That makes the 2012 US election the most expensive ever held.