Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Electoral College


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[May 25, 2017] The electoral college was put in place to keep the major population centers from determining the vote

May 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

anarchyst , May 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

@Svigor

I keep trying to explain this "popular vote" thing: The Electoral College system is essentially mandatory voting: every person casts a vote via the electoral college, whether they actually fill out a ballot or not. Choosing not to fill out a ballot is a vote for "I'll go with the majority's decision."

The entire population of the United States of America is represented in this process: everyone is either a proxy (voter), or has his vote cast by a proxy.

The "popular vote" mantra is the scuzzbucket Democrat way of dismissing the legitimacy of the people who vote by proxy. It's Democrats' way of saying these people don't matter. And this from the party that claims to support mandatory voting!

The will of the people is expressed in the Electoral College. And in the 2016 election, that will very much favored Trump over Clinton.

geokat62 , May 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 50 states

That's the theory. The reality is more like:

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 15 battleground states

or better still:

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 5 states (CO, FL, NV, OH, VA) that have been truly competitive over the last five presidential elections

Joe Franklin , May 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT

@anarchyst The electoral college was put in place to keep the major population centers from determining the vote. Without the electoral college, the prospective presidential candidates would only have to cater to the major population centers and could safely ignore "flyover country", as the east and west coasts would have enough "clout" to determine the direction of the vote.
The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 50 states...

utu , May 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm GMT

@anarchyst The electoral college was put in place to keep the major population centers from determining the vote. Without the electoral college, the prospective presidential candidates would only have to cater to the major population centers and could safely ignore "flyover country", as the east and west coasts would have enough "clout" to determine the direction of the vote.
The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 50 states...

[Nov 30, 2016] For those interested, here is a short vid on the EC.

www.moonofalabama.org

h | Nov 30, 2016 10:16:00 AM | 106

"Every four years it seems U.S. voters need to be reminded how the Electoral College works and how it serves the Republic. Prager University Foundation provides this short video on what the Electoral College is, its purpose, how it works and why America's Founders made it a bedrock in U.S. Presidential elections"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6s7jB6-GoU

[Nov 21, 2016] If Berlusconi is like Trump, what can Italy teach America? by Stephanie Kirchgaessner

The Guardian

Dimitri 3h ago

Of course this whole nightmare can be avoided if the electoral collage actually decides to select the candidate who won the popular vote by over a million and a half...'such stuff as dreams are made on.'...

tictactom -> Dimitri 3h ago

Careful. You'll get ticked off for listening to MSM propaganda talking like that!

FishDog -> Dimitri 3h ago

They will state by state.

Somefing Looms -> Dimitri 2h ago

Clinton stole votes in several large urban areas - those where the returns were abnormally slow to be returned.

imo, Clinton lost the popular vote by millions if a true vote were recorded.

But, even if she didn't, without the Electoral College, a handful of states and even large cities would be choosing the POTUS every term in perpetuity, irrespective of the wishes of those elsewhere in the county.

Why do you think that's a good idea?

Blame the British Empire for the Electoral College - Bloomberg View

Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include "Cool War: The Future of Global Competition" and "Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem -- and What We Should Do About It."

3

By

Noah Feldman

There are two truths about the Electoral College: It ought to be abolished, and it never will be. Calls for changing the constitutional election system abound now that Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote, as Al Gore did in 2000. But it turns out that the same Constitution that enshrines the Electoral College effectively protects the small states from an amendment they don't want. The problem goes back to the nation's founding -- and short of abolishing the states as effective sovereigns, it basically can't be fixed.

The small states, which benefit from candidates' attention, would never consent to being marginalized through a proportional system that favors the interests of densely populated states. But replacing the Electoral College would take a constitutional amendment approved by two-thirds of both houses of Congress and three-quarters of the state legislatures. Even if the first bar could be cleared -- which is wildly unlikely -- overcoming the second is unimaginable.

The Catch-22 is no accident. It goes back to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention and the summer of 1787. The most enlightened Founders, including James Madison, pressed hard for a proportional Senate alongside the proportional House. The small states blocked it. And along the way, the small states also entrenched an amendment process that makes it essentially impossible to overcome their will.

The story of the small states' stand is fascinating and deeply consequential, but let me clarify that the Electoral College itself was not primarily a concession to the small states. Rather, the Electoral College was a compromise between selection of the president by state legislatures or election by popular vote.

Madison and other centralizers, such as James Wilson of Pennsylvania, didn't want the state legislatures to have too much power. They feared the states would pull the country apart, as seemed to be happening under the Articles of Confederation. But direct election, which Wilson strongly favored, had its own risks, including a splintered election if the populace hadn't heard of the candidates -- or the election of an (ahem) unsuitable candidate by the untutored people.

The Electoral College is, however, almost proportional to population -- unlike the Senate, which was the small states' main accomplishment.

Madison went into the convention calling for proportional representation in both legislative chambers. His so-called Virginia plan was partly an effect of his republican ideology, which required majority rule. It was also convenient for Virginia, which had the largest population at the time. Majoritarianism would, then as now, favor the regional interests of concentrated population centers.

Of course, Madison knew that small states wouldn't like his proposal. But he privately told his allies that the small states would have no choice but to go along with the big states. If the union fell apart, he figured, the large states would swallow the small states, so the small states had more to lose. Madison actually said as much on the floor of the convention: "What would be the consequence to the small states of the dissolution of the union?" he asked rhetorically. Would the small ones be more secure "when all control of a general government was withdrawn"?

Unfortunately for Madison, his prediction was spectacularly wrong. As the summer progressed, the small states flatly refused to give up equal representation in the Senate. They introduced the New Jersey plan, which all knew was a stalking horse to force compromise on the Senate. Eventually (and famously), the big states folded and the Great Compromise prevailed. As an effect of that compromise, Article V made amendments depend on the agreement of the states, too. It also made equal representation in the Senate unamendable except with a state's consent.

How did the small states get away with it? Here's the kicker: The small states prevailed on equal Senate representation because they had equal votes in the Constitutional Convention itself -- and would have an equal say in ratification. Madison had failed to realize that, given this equality, the small states could hold the large states hostage, gambling correctly that the big states would fold on the Senate.

It didn't escape notice that the reason for the small states' power was the voting system of the convention. Madison and others were horrified at the illogic that the convention was itself following voting rules that made no sense as a matter of republican theory. But the big states couldn't change the convention's voting rules, which themselves followed the model of the Articles of Confederation, without getting the small states to agree.

So why did the Articles of Confederation give all states an equal say in Congress? Because on July 4, 1776, the United States came together in part as a union of 13 states that had been British colonies until that day. Acting as separate states, the new states gave each other equal weight -- like nations in the general assembly of the United Nations.

In other words, the accident of British colonial charters gave rise to the system we now have -- and the great difficulty of amending it. This made no sense in 1787, and it makes no sense now. But short of abolishing the states as sovereign entities -- which plenty of reasonable people (from big states) preferred at the founding -- there was no choice but to let the small states get away with it.

The upshot? When it comes to the difficulty of amending the Constitution to get rid of the Electoral College, you can blame it on the British Empire.

Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include "Cool War: The Future of Global Competition" and "Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem -- and What We Should Do About It."

[Nov 19, 2016] 2 presidential electors encourage colleagues to sideline Trump

Nov 19, 2016 | www.politico.com
P. Bret Chiafalo, a Washington State elector who has already declared his opposition to Hillary Clinton, and Micheal Baca of Colorado have launched what they've dubbed "Moral Electors," an attempt to persuade 37 of their Republican colleagues to bail on Trump - just enough to block Trump's election and leave the final decision to the House of Representatives. They have the support of a third elector , Washington State's Robert Satiacum.

Story Continued Below

"This is a longshot. It's a Hail Mary," Chiafalo said in a phone interview. "However, I do see situations where - when we've already had two or three [Republican] electors state publicly they didn't want to vote for Trump. How many of them have real issues with Donald Trump in private?" Chiafalo, a self-described "regular nerdy dude who works for Microsoft" and Baca, a grad student and Marine Corps veteran, insist they're not seeking the election of Clinton - or even a Democrat. Both, in fact, had already been considering voting against her when the Electoral College meets in five weeks. Rather, they intend to encourage Republican electors to write in Mitt Romney or John Kasich. If enough agree, the election would be sent to the House of Representatives, which would choose from among the top three vote-getters.

Both men acknowledge that their effort is unlikely to succeed.

[Nov 19, 2016] 2 presidential electors encourage colleagues to sideline Trump