Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Restore Democracy: Abolish the Electoral College

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

If the 'President' is elected to represent the people of the United states, then he/she should be elected directly by the people. The Electoral College, in which electors represent states --not people --must be abolished and the 'office' of President elected directly. The voice of the people needs no proxy. The voice of the people must be be heard directly, loudly and often.

Fears that the 'college' might elect a minority President are not merely speculative should the nation be so deeply divided that three or more candidates split the electoral votes among them --no one getting a necessary majority. Precisely that happened in 1824, attempted in 1948 and again in 1968.

There are but two resolutions should it happen again:
  • either one candidate could throw his electoral votes to the support of another before the meeting of the Electors, or
  • the U.S. House of Representatives would select the president in accordance with the 12th Amendment.

The people are without a voice. There is no office nor branch of government that bears the responsibility of representing the voice of the people. There is the increasing danger that the current system may be 'gamed' and its flaws exploited.
Krugman looks at how the teapartying far right acolytes of Beck and Limbaugh could literally gain enough power to do what Republicans in California have done, saying, "In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state's fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

--Rob Kall, Top-down blowback: The GOP Discovers that the Grassroots Bites Back,
Abolishing the electoral college and electing the 'President' directly is essential if these fatal flaws are to be addressed.

There are several advantages to the direct election of the office of President.
  • With the Electoral college, there is always the possibility that a minority president may be elected;
  • Though it has not happened (to my knowledge) there is, nevertheless, a risk that "faithless" or "rogue" electors will cast ballots for whomever they prefer;
  • The Electoral College is blamed for depressing voter turnout;
  • and, most importantly, its failure to accurately reflect the national popular will.
It is the job of Representatives and Senators in Congress to represent the states. A 'President', elected, in fact, by the states via the electoral college, likewise, represents the interests of the 'states' --not the people.
Why I moderate comments

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  • Ad hominem attacks: 'name calling' and 'labeling'. That includes the ad hominem: 'truther' or variations!

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