By Joe Harker
The US midterm results are in and the Democrats have won back the House of Representatives while the Republicans have bolstered their control of the Senate. This election has seen the highest voter turnout for midterms since 1970, with over 114 million votes being cast.
US president Donald Trump claimed the election result was a "huge victory" despite the Republicans losing the House, while many have criticised the democratic systems in America as being unfairly weighted in favour of his party.
The Financial Times reports that American politicians are accused of redrawing political boundaries to suit their own agendas and gain an unfair advantage. Claims have been brought to courts that redrawing the boundaries has been done in an attempt to reduce the impact of African American voters and protect Republicans. Electoral maps in the US are redrawn every 10 years in an attempt to equalise populations across voting districts but they are too often used as a political tool to gain an advantage.
A democracy where a citizen's vote is rendered less valuable than someone else's is not delivering a fair system for the people. The 2016 Presidential election where Trump got almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton but still won the presidency should have been a clue that some votes are more equal than others.
The US has been classed as a "flawed democracy" by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the past two years as public confidence in democratic institutions has fallen sharply. There are 20 countries whose democracies are ranked as working better than the US and they are reported to be at risk of sliding further into authoritarianism. Particular attention was paid to the way congressional district boundaries are drawn, with the EIU saying it has changed the political landscape of the country.
The Guardian reports that the US system of democracy is rigged to favour smaller, rural states. They argue that in the 2016 Senate vote the Democrats getting 51.4 million votes to the Republicans 40 million should not have resulted in the Republicans winning 22 of the 36 seats up for election.
The New Statesman argues that the US is falling under the control of "minority rule", not of ethnic minorities but of a minority of the population whose votes matter more than everyone else because they are over represented at the ballot box.
People whose votes carry more weight and have a greater proportional impact on democracy occupy a privileged position as they can decide the future of their nation more than people elsewhere in the country. Whether by bad luck or design the majority of votes that matter more go towards the Republican party. All votes are equal, but some votes are more equal than others.