Friday, November 16, 2012


The NYTIMES opines today about the Electoral College - arguing it should be scrapped. They advocate that states should just allocate their votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

This would TRANSFORM our federal government into a national government and abrogate a key aspect of the federalism of the US Constitution.

We are the United STATES of America- meaning the STATES are meant to have power in the federal government and the Electoral College is a central to that. The US Senate USED TO BE another key aspect of federalism: Senators were originally elected by state legislatures, not popular vote. We ought to return to that to increase federalist nature of our federal government. But that would require REPEALING the 17th Amendment - and that's tough to do.

There's any EASY way to fix the Electoral College without an Amendment or the difficult Amendment process: all we have to do is EXPAND the Electoral College by 65 votes by expanding the House of representatives by 65 seats.

The House was frozen at 435 seats by statute. We can expand it by statute. The new seats would be allocated by population growth. Most of these seats would go to states whose populations have grown. The Red States. And they would be OPEN SEATS - at least in the first election - that means no incumbent to have a nearly guaranteed re-election.

Most state legislatures are GOP and most states that are growing are GOP, so this would be a good way to strengthen the GOP.


1 comment:

toto said...

With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power, not an attack upon it.

The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential elections. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans.

Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 14 presidential elections

The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes from the enacting states. That majority of ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

Federalism concerns the allocation of power between state governments and the national government. The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).