[EM] Electoral College (was Re: Voting by selecting a published ordering)
davek at clarityconnect.com
Wed Apr 26 22:06:03 PDT 2006
On Tue, 25 Apr 2006 22:01:05 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> At 06:36 PM 4/25/2006, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>>BUT, such a state cannot afford to go proportional by itself - that
>>would be a gift to
>>the losing candidate who presently gets no electoral votes from that state.
>>A constitutional amendment that made all states proportional would
>>be a possibility.
> At any given time the electoral college and the all-or-nothing system
> standard in nearly all states gives the party with a distributed
> majority an advantage. This party will resist reform of the system,
> and, since it is the party with a power edge, and since voting on
> amendments to the constitution is similar: voting is state-by-state,
> with each state all or nothing, and requires a three-fourths majority
> of states for the amendment to pass, it is unlikely that such an
> amendment, just like that, will succeed. This is a variation of the
> general Persistence of Power Inequities Effect that I've described
> many times: power inequities tend to be preserved, because removing
> them removes power from those who enjoy an edge due to the inequity.
Echoing what I said above:
Neither TX nor NY can afford to go proportional alone.
Proposing that both go together looks much better.
As you note, an amendment does not require approval by ALL states.
> However, there is a point of vulnerability. In some states at some
> times, the prevailing party actually does not have a majority, it
> only has a plurality. It is possible that a coalition of the other
> parties, independents, and some within the plurality party interested
> in long-term equity, could outvote even a determined effort on the
> part of the plurality party to block a reform. What could this reform
> look like?
> I was gratified to see, recently, proposals in the news that somewhat
> resemble what I had earlier proposed: state-by-state action to reform
> the College, in a way that does not disadvantage the state passing the reform.
> It is clear that reforming simply one state, by itself, simply to
> produce proportionality in that state's electors, would not be fair:
> it could easily award the next election, unfairly, to the minority
> party in that state, because the proportional electors would no
> longer balance out non-proportional electors from other states. To
> some extent, the present inequities, state by state, balance each other out.
> However, a reform could be much more sophisticated. As one example:
> A state could select electors pledged to vote in such a way as to
> balance out the *national* Electoral College vote toward
> proportionality. This could mean awarding all the electors, in fact,
> to a side which did not win in the state, but this would only happen
> if other states were disproportional in the opposite direction. It
> appears that the Constitution allows just about any method of
> choosing electors that a state wishes to follow: this, indeed, is the
> source of the problem, for it led inevitably to all-or-nothing, since
> that benefited the majority party in each state.
You did not explain how any state would agree to such destructive action.
> If a Uniform Elector Pledge Code were written, it could provide
> effective coordination of state-chosen electors in such a way that,
> if adopted by all states, the result would be an Electoral College
> vote proportional, quite closely, to the popular vote.
> Personally, though, I would do something entirely different. I would
> suggest that electors run for office. Personally. I would take the
> Presidential candidates off the ballot entirely. I would use the
> College much more closely to how it was originally intended! What
> would be on the ballot would be the names of the electors. Not the
> names of those whom they have pledged to support.
If the electors are to perform as originally intended there is no point to
their getting elected by the people - the legislature can appoint those
who will meet as a committee and interview prospective candidates. There
is nothing in this for electors to campaign intelligently.
> And then I would use something like Asset Voting to actually choose
> the final electors, so that they would be, effectively, proxies for
> the voters of the state. Asset Voting, ultimately, could sidestep the
> party system, independents would have a real chance of being elected
> as electors.
> This would make the vote in the Electoral College something that
> could not be predicted until it actually voted.... which, again, is
> how it was designed!
davek at clarityconnect.com people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
Dave Ketchum 108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY 13827-1708 607-687-5026
Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
If you want peace, work for justice.
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