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Old 04-26-2006, 07:42 PM   #1
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Finally a reason to vote!!!!

Quote:
Electoral college dropouts

Jonathan Chait

April 9, 2006

IMAGINE THAT the Constitution devised by the founders decreed that the presidency went to the winner of the popular vote. Now imagine that some reformers came along and proposed to scrap the popular vote and replace it with a convoluted process involving an electoral college that, among other bizarre flaws, gave the citizens of some states far more voting power than others and allowed for the candidate who didn't get the most votes to win the presidency. Would anybody take them seriously? No, they'd be laughed out of the room.

With the passage of time, the loopiest ideas can obtain the veneer of plausibility, even wisdom. No sane person would choose the electoral college if we were devising the system from scratch today. The main reason we still have it is that we would need a constitutional amendment to elect our presidents by popular vote, and passing such an amendment would be nearly impossible.

Any constitutional amendment, which requires passage in three-fourths of the state legislatures, is hard to pass. Abandoning the electoral college is a unique challenge. Small states enjoy disproportionate power. (Wyoming has one electoral vote for every 167,000 citizens, while California has one for every 645,000.) Because small states have even more disproportionate power to block a constitutional amendment — in theory, less than 5% of the population residing in the 13 smallest states could block one — they can protect their own privileges.

This brutal calculus has long blocked any reform. But a new group, the Campaign for the National Popular Vote, has proposed an ingenious solution. States, under the Constitution, can allocate their electoral votes any way they see fit. The campaign proposes to secure legislation — state by state — to allocate votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote. As soon as you've signed up enough states to get 270 electoral votes, you have a de facto popular vote system in place. It's an end run around the small-state veto.

This reform proposal is sufficiently feasible that the defenders of the electoral college have begun raising a small hue and cry. David Broder, a longtime Washington Post columnist and Sunday talk-show mainstay, writes that the small states "worry that they would be ignored in the pursuit of giant voting blocs in big population centers." In reality, the small states are ignored already.

Presidential candidates almost never campaign in the mountain West — it was huge news when Bill Clinton made a stop in Montana in 1992. In fact, campaigns ignore most of the country. Candidates spend precious little time in California, Texas, the Deep South or New England (outside of New Hampshire).

In addition to fusty traditionalists, you've got hysterical GOP partisans. Rep. John T. Doolittle of California was sufficiently exercised to write, on the conservative blog redstate.org: "The left in America is nothing if not creative. Knowing that they can't beat us using existing election law, they have started a state by state effort to change the rules so their 'blue' states can unilaterally decide who will win the highest office in the land. The left-wing politicos in America know that turning the national elections into populist referendums will benefit their candidates."

I'm not taking Doolittle out of context here. This is his argument in its entirety. Doolittle seems to think that the blue states alone can impose this change. But, of course, the blue states don't have the needed 270 electoral vote majority, which is why, as Doolittle may have noticed, Republicans occupy the White House.

Or maybe Doolittle hasn't noticed. How else to explain his fear that "turning the national elections into populist referendums" will let the left sweep into power? It's almost as if he thinks the Republicans are some tiny, unpopular faction kept in power only by an undemocratic mechanism.

Cheer up, Rep. Doolittle. Your party did manage to win the popular vote in one of the last four presidential elections, after all.

Time to get on board.

Let's close down the Electoral college.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:00 PM   #2
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Assembly panel OKs bill that could alter presidential campaigns
STEVE LAWRENCE
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO -

The bill would ratify an interstate compact under which California's 55 Electoral College members would agree to support the winner of the national popular vote for president, regardless of the outcome of the election in California.

The compact would have be ratified by states with a majority of electoral votes to take effect. It's currently under consideration in four other states - Louisiana, Illinois, Missouri and Colorado, where it's passed the state Senate, according to an Assembly analysis of Umberg's bill.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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Colorado lawmakers debate plan to dilute Electoral College

- By STEVEN K. PAULSON, Associated
Monday, April 10, 2006



Colorado lawmakers said it's time presidential candidates start paying attention to smaller states like Colorado, Wyoming and Utah and approved a plan Monday that would effectively circumvent the Electoral College in hopes of making them do that.

The proposal is being considered in four other states — California, Louisiana, Illinois and Missouri — and is part of a national effort to change the way the nation picks a president.

It calls on other states to enter into compacts that pledge that all their Electoral College delegates will vote for the winner of the national popular vote. It would only take effect if enough states agree to decide the election on a popular vote.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure and sent it to the full Senate for debate.

Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, said the current system split the decision among electors from all 50 states and favors swing states like Iowa and Florida, which have local issues — such as Cuban immigrants in Florida or ethanol in Iowa — that don't apply to the rest of the nation.

"It definitely distorts the election," Gordon said.

Gordon said Democrat John Kerry would have won the presidency in 2004 if he picked up 60,000 more votes in Ohio, even though Bush won by 2.8 million votes nationwide.

Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, said if Colorado approved the compact, candidates would be forced to campaign for the popular vote in big states like California, Texas, New York and Florida.

"The president is not the super mayor of Washington, Chicago or Los Angeles," Mitchell said.

John Koza, who is promoting the plan, said small states already were being ignored by the major candidates and a compact would force the candidates to address national issues. Koza said two-thirds of the advertising and two-thirds of the visits during the last presidential election were focused on five states and 95 percent of the attention went to voters in just 16 states.

Koza said the proposed change was constitutional because the U.S. Constitution leaves the decision on how to allocate electoral votes to the individual states.
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:41 PM   #4
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I hate the Electoral College. It's a rip-off of the voters.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:15 PM   #5
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Oh please.

A good question to ask before we lynch the electoral college is: why do we still have States?
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Oh please.

A good question to ask before we lynch the electoral college is: why do we still have States?
Did you read the lead article I posted?

(It is not that long.)

or

Are you just responding to Verte's post?
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:40 PM   #7
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I did both.


I'll repeat: Why have States?
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:40 PM   #8
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fuck the electoral college.


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Old 04-26-2006, 10:58 PM   #9
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Some people just can't let go of the 2000 election. Did John Koza start this effort before or after the 2000 election? Historically, the chances that the electoral vote will not be in line with the popular vote, are tiny. Its at best 1 election every 100 years.

The reason politicians were so focused on only a few states in the 2004 election is simply a sign of the political balance in the country at that particular time. Peoples conceptions of what the Blue States and the Red States are have not always been like what we saw in 2004. The battle ground states change. While there are many states that were avoided in 2004, that has not always been the case.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:33 PM   #10
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you'd avoid all this hoohah with compulsory voting for everyone. then you add up the numbers of each and have an outright winner and everyone who complains can do the proverbial.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:54 PM   #11
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Lawmakers vote to go put electoral college vote in sync with the popular vote

Legislation that seeks to short-circuit the Electoral College system and put in place a national popular vote to elect the president of the United States is now heading for the governor's desk.

The Assembly voted 44-25 shortly after noon today to approve the bill, which was inspired by a Stanford University professor's proposal.

The legislation calls for an interstate compact that would require participating states to cast their entire slate of electoral college votes in support of the winner of the national popular vote even if another candidate actually wins in that state. The plan could kick in with as little as 11 states if the biggest ones join since they would represent the majority of the electoral votes.

Proponents say such a measure is necessary because it would avoid situations like 2000 when George Bush was declared the winner even though Al Gore received more popular votes. Also, they argue the current system has resulted in presidential candidates focusing their campaigns only in a handful of battleground states, which does not include Democrat-heavy California.

Opponents argue that the proposal will simply result in presidential candidates ignoring sparsely populated rural regions and focusing their energy on big urban centers like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I did both.


I'll repeat: Why have States?
There does not seem to be serious problems with having States

and there is not a large portion of the country that wants to do away with them.

We did away with electing U. S. Senators by electors in favor of a popular vote.

It makes sense to do the same with the election of the President.
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:23 PM   #13
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The Electoral College isn't why we have states. States facilitate democracy by allowing us to elect Senators to represent us.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:02 PM   #14
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I remember Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in defense of the Electoral College on the eve of the 2000 elections, when a Gore electoral victory was being predicted in a close popular vote...

~U2Alabama
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:22 PM   #15
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That does not surprise me.

If Kerry had gotten 60,000 more votes in Ohio he would have won Electoral College and lost popular vote by what? 3 million.

That is just one more example why the EC fails the American people.

If Bush can win by 3 million votes he should be president.
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