December 27: After causing much uncertainty and merriment to the entire world, the mystery of Who will be the next American President has finally been solved. It’s George W. Bush.
The decision was finally made by the United States Supreme Court. And so, Bush won. But, what exactly happened?
As mentioned in World News In-depth a few days ago, All The Presidential Men, the root of the problem was located in the state of Florida. At the time the votes were counted, there was a marginal difference between the number of votes given to Bush (candidate of the Republican party) and the candidate from the Democrat party, Al Gore. So the votes were recounted by hand.
Bush and his supporters did not like that and they said so very loudly. When the hand counting was done, Gore got more votes and Bush got angrier.
So, Bush went to the Florida Supreme Court and appealed for it to disallow hand counts. Meanwhile, the Democrats went to the Florida Supreme Court alleging that there had been a bungling of votes in two counties (districts) of Florida.
The Florida court took Gore’s side and allowed the hand-counts, but, as mentioned above, the US Supreme Court decided that hand-counts would not be allowed. As it is a higher court of appeal than the Florida Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court’s decision in favour of Bush, prevailed. And that is how Bush has become President today.
After the US Supreme Court’s decision, the Florida Supreme Court decided not to take note of the accusations made by Gore’s camp about the bungling of votes. So everything went firmly in favour of Bush.
But, inspite of winning, Bush is not a very happy man, and the reason is very simple. Any president is supposed to be the leader of all her/his country people, but, as the US elections showed, there is a very deep division in American society today – one half is totally behind Bush and the Republican Party. The other half is solidly behind the Democrats. In such a situation, running the government and making decisions becomes a problem.
It is especially hard for an American president, for the US looks upon itself as the policeman of the world. But how can a US president take tough decisions about the rest of the world when she/he cannot get a majority support from his own citizens?
And, there are still many doubts in the minds of Americans about the outcome of the elections. Many of them are wondering if more people actually voted for Gore, and they also have the feeling that their votes do not count. And that will not make Bush’s job any easier.
Will Bush be an effective President? The world waits and watches.