Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bad Ideas Just Don't Die

"Plan Would Sidestep Electoral College"

Hooray, someone save us!

Seriously, dude, stop trying to kill representative government. It's so far down the crapper already - especially in California.

Can we just wait out, say, 3 more cycles and see what happens. The Electoral College has only run against the popular vote twice. Two times. And as I've said many, many times, it's just a shame one of those times happened in the information age so it could be blogged (or proto-blogged since I don't think blog was in the lexicon in 2000) to death and raged against, digitally, forever more.

Preserve the EC!


Anonymous said...

Actually the electoral vote has run counter to the popular vote at least three times in electing Presidents Hayes, Garfield and Bush, but it's also believed to have done so on at least two other occasions back in the era when vote counting wasn't so precise and states stopped counting when it became clear who the electoral college winner was. That's quite a high percentage given the number or Presidential elections we have had. However, I still support the concept and simply think that voters should be required by law to vote for the candidate that wins their state. The system we have now invites too much mischief.

Anonymous said...

What mischief?

Anonymous said...

Individuals can actually vote for their own choice instead of the candidate who wins the state's popular vote. There have been several cases of Presidential electors making a political statement by casting a vote for someone other than the candidate they are pledged to, but it hasn't mattered. However, during Bush vs. Gore, both sides early in the process had staffers that made suggestions (which were instantly rejected by both camps) that they consider approaching electors for the opposite candidate if they could make a realistic pitch that the Presidency was being stolen (the Bush campaign) or that since they won the popular vote, they deserved the Presidency (The Gore campaign). Some day, if we keep allowing these people to cast individual votes instead of making them automatic, there will be an incredibly close election and an elector will for ego reasons use something like the examples from Bush vs. Gore to vote for their own choice and create chaos.

Paul Gowder said...

How would dumping the electoral college send representative gov't down the crapper?

Anonymous said...

Dumping the electoral college would put representative government down the crapper. If a presidential candidate only had to worry about the popular vote, why would they even bother campaigning outside of California, Texas, New York, Illinois, and maybe Pennsylvania and Florida. Those people in states like Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, etc would be completely ignored and not only that, issues that are important to people that do not live in big cities would also be completely ignored.

Anonymous said...


The alternative to the electoral college, itself representative in nature, is direct presidential election - that's direct democracy, which, if memory serves, the creators of democracy dumped as a substandard and inefficient system prone to chaos.

Because the EC has worked just fine in most elections, no one really understands the process. (Similarly, see the current superdelegate hand wringing.)