Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Electoral College and You

Continuing my recent habit of perusing old haunts and lifting posts of mine that I like, here we have an entry of mine in a thread that posed "the question that won't go away": Is the Electoral College past its prime?

The EC is "better" than a popular vote because we already HAVE a branch of government completely determined by popular vote and that's the House of Representatives.

I've said it a million times but some folks don't seem to grasp the simple reality that our system was DESIGNED, it wasn't stumbled upon.[/pedantry]

Legislative Branch

The House, the PEOPLES' House, is strictly proportional to population - the more you have, the more representin' you get. And its members are elected by direct and popular vote and serve 2 year terms. Bob Jones gets 85,000 votes and Jane Smith gets 85,001 votes? Say hello to Representative Jane.

The Senate is not propotional, it is uniform and "fair" - 2 Senators per state, 6 year terms, no matter how big or small your state is. Senators were originally appointed by the individual state Senates until the 17th Amendment. Now they are directly elected like Representatives.

Executive Branch

The President is elected to a 4 year term via a weighted system whereby appointed and elected Electors cast their votes as determined by popular vote within their states. The total number of electoral votes in a state is based on the sum of its Senators and Congressmen. Most states are "winner take all" states for their Electoral votes. The Legislative branch breaks ties.

Judicial Branch

Nine Supreme Court justices, appointed by the executive, serving life appointments.

If you take various parts of this system and make it based on popular vote where it wasn't designed to be such, it throws off the concepts of "checks and balances" that were originally set up with multiple branches subject to various and separate forces and fads for different lengths of time.

It's just a bad idea.


Anonymous said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The Constitution gives every state the power to allocate its electoral votes for president, as well as to change state law on how those votes are awarded.

The bill is currently endorsed by 1,659 state legislators — 763 sponsors (in 48 states) and an additional 896 legislators who have cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado-- 68%, Iowa --75%, Michigan-- 73%, Missouri-- 70%, New Hampshire-- 69%, Nevada-- 72%, New Mexico-- 76%, North Carolina-- 74%, Ohio-- 70%, Pennsylvania -- 78%, Virginia -- 74%, and Wisconsin -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Delaware --75%, Maine -- 71%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Rhode Island -- 74%, and Vermont -- 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas --80%, Kentucky -- 80%, Mississippi --77%, Missouri -- 70%, North Carolina -- 74%, and Virginia -- 74%; and in other states polled: California -- 70%, Connecticut -- 73% , Massachusetts -- 73%, New York -- 79%, and Washington -- 77%.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 28 state legislative chambers, in small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes -- 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

Atom Smasher said...

Umm, this is a place for comments, not advertising. Whoever you are, please stop it.

MeatAxe said...

I shall stop it for them.

immagikman said...

I thought the comment was reasoned and well worded. :shrug: He seemed to be sharing honest information. Isn't that what the comments are for? Agree or disagree but I don't think the readers should shout down a dissenter as long as they are polite and respectful. Just my 2 cents.

Atom Smasher said...

The original *several* comments were nothing more than ad copy for an Electoral reform group. They've since been pared down. And comments are for commenting on posts and otehr comments. Nothing in the anon. poster's comments was a direct response or counter to anything in the original post.

Remember this is *our* soapbox, not anyone else's. We welcome comments but they should strive to be related to the material found *here*.

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