political and social commentary with a progressive slant
Hi Sir Fab,I couldn't disagree with you more on thisone.The electoral college has several benefits.1) it honors states' rights by allowing us to elect the President of the United States, state by state.2) There is no negative effect when elections are not close. There is no difference in the outcome of the count. However, by counting by state, the voice of the citizens of each state is heard.3) Close elections are a problem no what system of voting we use. Without the electoral college, we would have to have national recounts. The weighting of vote counts provided by electoral college localizes the problem of close counts to a relatively small area of the country.4) We do not have to deal with large numbers of political parties and withrunnoff elections.5) The e.c. system provides an emergency backup system in the event of an emergency that would prevent votes from being counted. Finally, it is a moot point. While individual states may abandon winner take all electoral vote counts---a really stupid move---larger states are unlikely to do so. Because a constitutional amendment would be required to go to a popular vote system,it is unlikely to ever happen.
I understand the deference to state rights, since the United States are a federation of states. And I do agree that it is unlikely to happen. However, I disagree with you on the idea that a *national* election should be run in deference to what 50 states think is best of every single one of them. The two main benefits of getting rid of the electoral college are 1) that the election of the president would reflect the will of the whole nation (national majority rule); 2) does not necessarily follow, but I think that it would be easier to implement a national voting system, at least for the presidential election (i.e. polls have to be open so many hours, same day registration allowed/not allowed; so many machines have to be made available per number of voters; secretary of states would lose the huge influence they currently hold in determining how the voting process is run and who gets to vote with a real v. a provisional ballot; etc.)Again 2) does not necessarily follow from the abolition of the EC, but I can see how the abolition of the EC would make it easier for 2) to happen.Your take?
It's simple math. The entire population of Colorado is less thancertain counties on the coastal US. If votes are the only thing that matter, presidential candidates would go where the votes are, and regions be damned. Colorado would effectively disappear off of the map.So much for the will of the nation when some neighborhood on the coast or in a big city can cancel out an entire state.However counting by state forces candidates to look at regions in the country and try to appeal to those regions. In the last election Colorado was viewed as an important state because we could go either way blue or red----winner take all.BTW, voting is determined at the local level of counties. This is part of the fundamental notion of American government, that the individual is where the power flows from, and that government rules with the permission of the people.This decentralization makes it less likely that a grand scale voter fraud could be perpetrated in a national election.
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