How Many Electoral Votes Should Israel Get?

By | Oct 20, 2008

Over at their website, The Economist is conducting a rather interesting experiment. For the US presidential election, they’ve mapped out an electoral college for the entire world. As they write in the explication:

The Economist has redrawn the electoral map to give all 195 of the world’s countries (including the United States) a say in the election’s outcome. As in America, each country has been allocated a minimum of three electoral-college votes with extra votes allocated in proportion to population size. With over 6.5 billion people enfranchised, the result is a much larger electoral college of 9,875 votes.

Obviously, their poll doesn’t reflect the entire world’s actual preference. But it’s nonetheless a strong enough statement in recognition of globalization that Thomas Friedman probably wishes he thought of it.

The map, you’ll notice, is predominantly blue. In fact, the only countries that are voting red are Georgia, Macedonia, and Cuba. If this holds, Barack Obama will take a laughable 8,906 global electoral votes.

But what caught our eyes was the tiny influence Israel would have on this make-believe global election. With a mere 12 electoral votes, the candidates could win the election without so much as mentioning Israel, let alone campaigning there. Mozambique, Cambodia, and Bolivia have more political sway.

The map, then, serves as an indirect reminder of how disproportionately important Israel is in this election.

What if we did another global electoral map, this one based on the subjective impact of countries on the election? How many electoral votes would Israel get then? 2,000?

Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

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