This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



October 2004

More Electoral Fun!

Drat for warning this Ohio elector and spoiling all the fun! But here are a few more fun possibilities… Oct 29th Update

Stupidity news revisited: Yesterday I pointed out that one of Kerry’s Ohio electors, Rep. Sherrod Brown, is constitutionally ineligible to be an elector because he is a federal officeholder. He resigned yesterday as elector, undoubtedly due to my pointing this out to 650,000 people. Suppose he had stayed on and Kerry won the popular vote and Ohio and the electoral college 270 to 268. If the Republicans had gone to the Supreme Court and gotten Brown declared ineligible and also gotten a ruling saying that Ohio could not replace him with someone the voters had not selected, the score would be Kerry 269, Bush 268. Since Kerry would no longer have the required 270 electoral votes needed to win, the House, controlled by the Republicans, would then choose Bush. We could have had a situation in which Kerry won the popular vote, Kerry won the electoral vote, and Bush became president. I don’t think that would have been good for the country.

Even more unlikely news: A reader pointed this out to be. Suppose the EC is tied 269 to 269 and the House deadlocks 25 states to 25 states. This is exceedingly unlikely, but just suppose. Then the Senate gets to choose the vice president. Also suppose the new Senate is divided 50-50, a very real possibility. Then the sitting vice president, Dick Cheney, gets to cast the deciding vote, electing himself as the new vice president. In the absence of a president, Cheney would be acting president for four years. This is not likely to happen because the Republicans are virtually certain of controlling at least 26 state delegations in the House. Still, scenarios like this one support the case for electoral college reform.

Actually, I think it supports the opposite. Start teaching people again about how we do NOT live in a democracy, how pure democracy does not properly protect people with minority viewpoints and is inherantly unstable, and how what we live in is a constitutional republic NOT a democracy, and this is actually a good thing. And point out how the electoral college is a very important way of balancing the interests of small and large states, etc. And start teaching people how they are really electing electors, and not the president.

And even better, go back to how it is supposed to be… where the electors actually form a deliberative body and select the president in December, completely detached from any popular election at all. If anything, the elections in November should be for the people to pick people from their state they trust to be electors. Those people would then meet and go through a process of picking a president and vice-president. There should be people running for elector, NOT people running for president…

(Or alternately, let the state legislatures pick the electors… that also works within the current constitutional structures…. between the weakening of the electoral college, and the popular election of senators, the representation of the states in the Federal government has eroded much too much in the last 200 years… letting the state legislatures pick electors rather than choosing electors based on popular vote would be one step toward fixing that problem.)

Um, I know my views on this are a couple centuries out of date though. But I look at how it was originally set up and it makes so much SENSE. The fact that it has been corrupted over the years annoys me no end.

Mark my words though, if the electoral college is ever abandoned in favor of a pure popular vote for President, the United States will break into multiple countries within 150 years of the change! If it even takes that long…

Um, I’m digressing. Anyway, look at the fun and interesting to watch scenerios that can happen if electors get uppity and actually act as independant rational actors the way they are supposed to rather than just as rubber stamps for the popular vote in their states… it could get fun!

But it probably won’t. :-(

2 comments to More Electoral Fun!

  • NM173

    Even better, screw it all and lets find us a KING!

  • Abulsme

    Nah, don’t like those too much either. But having a president choosen by an electoral college that actually deliberates is actually not that much different than how prime ministers are selected all over the world in parlimentary structures. Except that having an electoral college seperate from the legislature maintains greater seperation of powers which aids in having a strong checks and balances system which is often absent or weak in parlimentary systems. It does not disenfranchise the people, it changes the way in which they have input to allow for some intermediate layers.

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