Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Electoral College Degree

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Here in California, there is an Proposed Initiative campaign to break up the winner-take-all status of California Electors. Thus, out of the 55 electors, a percentage from each Congressional district will be given to the second past the post.

Around the Coastal States (again, in California), another initiative is going around to disband the Electoral College.

Both are wrong. Let me explain why:

Disbanding the Electoral College: Even in the disputed election of 1960, there was no talk of overturning the current system. Back then, both parties believed Institutions had a habit of righting themselves. No lawsuits in Chicago, no prolonged electoral challenges against a man whose father boasted "I did not buy a landslide,"

Instead, there was acknowledgement that the Founders had it right. Why? Every great change in the Electoral System required a compromise. If the popular votes was allowed, only the voters in NYC, LA, SF and all the big cities would have a say. And, from one who knows, not all urban votes are clean. What is the compromise for those not being able to participate? There is none. Power for Democrats means only power for Democrats; Democrats have never devolved power from themselves. Every great Electoral change requires a Compromise; there is none, thus this proposal should die a nasty death.

Loss of California Winner-take-all: I've been a Democrat, I am a Republican. In both times, I've been in counting rooms tallying up the vote at the end of election night. I look at it like this: When a football team wins a game, there is no divvying a percentage of points afterword. If the California Republicans want to win the State, I suggest reading the California Encylcicals. It won't work when California proposes it; It won't work when another state proposes it either.

In the end, the founders had a belief that small states must count as well as large urban cities and that one winner is found at the end of Election night. Changing either the Electoral College or the Winner-take -all systems show that both parties, instead of playing by the rules of the game, wish to change them. No. Institutions must outlast electoral wins.


  1. JSF, I'm impressed at your evenhandedness on this issue. I figured you'd be all for squeezing out a few extra red electoral votes out of California.

  2. Electoral wins are less important the real issue: fairness. FairVote has a report on all that's wrong with this scheme, and you can get the rundown at

  3. There are a lot of holes in the system. On the topic of the elections, the problem with the system now is that only multi-millionaires can be elected or those who can attract the campaign dollars from entities like Hollywood and the Saudis (not mentioning any names but we all know who she is)
    On the electoral votes: It's pretty ironic that the Dems were complaining about the electoral votes in the last election and now they're campaigning to keep it as it is.

  4. Aurora, are you trying to say that a political party has flip flopped on an issue depending on whether it positively or negatively effects them? Gee, the republicans have never done that, have they? I mean, they stood by that electoral system in 2000 and they wouldn't think of trying to change it in California for their benefit. Oh wait.

    Now this is slightly uncomfortable. We seem to be in agreement that money has turned our electoral system into one big auction. And neither one of us are all that crazy about that one unnamed candidate. Would you mind saying something evil to make up for this?

  5. Even in the most contentious of the disputed elections, those of 1824, 1860 and 1876 even the most vehement of partisans did not advocate the dissolution of the college.

    It is noteworthy that even during the Civil War, the members of the Convention that drafted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America recognized the importance of an electoral college system and included a formula for the construction of one in the final text of the document.

    The ability of the electoral college to survive during the Civil War is a testament to the soundness of the premise.

  6. Aurora, Jason and Chess,

    I owe you all a drink for this -- unanimous consent on the issue of not changing either the Electoral College or the Winner-take-all system. And none of us, across the political spectrum, like the woman candidate in the race. Who'd a thunk it?

    Now, if you all could agree with me on this issue.....:)

  7. JSF, I'll be round to collect next week...LOL

  8. The woman candidate? I thought we were talking about Mitt Romney and his magical Mormon underwear. Just kidding, Hillary is a shining example of what is wrong with the entire American political system.

    As for drinks, I like a good Irish whiskey, or small batch bourbon, or California's finest legal medical marijuana (I know, it's not a drink, but it'll get you to the same place).


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