woensdag 16 november 2016

The Electoral College & it's future.

 The Electoral College
& it's future.

The numbers are still growing, both here at the petition site *and* as far as the Popular vote in the USA is concerned. Speculation is that Clinton may possibly even end up with a 2% lead there (3 million??) and that really would be a big deal!

I became curious - yeah, I should have been so before now - about the origins and true intentions of the Founding Fathers in creating the Electoral College: fascinating stuff!

There is a long explanation @ http://atlantablackstar.com/…/electoral-college-origins-sl…/ which tells us it was designed to "level the playing field" between North & South, to protect the (Southern) States with (relatively few) White Slave-owners.

</Quote>: Virginian James Madison responded: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.” Madison meant that the North would overrun the South in the electoral process. As a result, the convention allowed Southern states to count three-fifths of their enslaved population to determine the representation of each state in Congress </end quote>

A very different explanation, and popular these days for obvious reasons, is that it was designed as a safeguard against "unfit" candidates! See @ http://www.snopes.com/…/the-electoral-college-and-the-popu…/
</Quote>: For example, James Madison, writing in 1787, argued against direct democracy, saying that it created a perfect breeding ground for tyranny:

"" From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. 

( As if he had a Cristal Ball, or time travel.... )

Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. </end quote>

Yes, the two entirely different reasons were *both* espoused by James Madison! And an effective politician he was; he got what he wanted (whatever it was he *really* deep down wanted) and...

</Quote>: The largest beneficiary of this process was Virginia, the California of the founding era of the nation, according to Time, with 12 out of 91 electoral votes—over a quarter of the 46 votes required for victory. In the 1800 census, Pennsylvania, which did not enslave people at the time, had 10 percent more free citizens than Virginia, but 20 percent fewer electoral votes. </end quote>

Gerrymandering avant la lettre!

Fascinating stuff! Historians must enjoy this kind of thing!

Now, as to the present time: if the Electoral College follows the "fitness" reasoning and acts it will soon see an Amendment (from Republican side) making the Popular Vote the one deciding factor.

And, perversely, if the Electoral College does *not* follow that "fitness" reasoning... it will also see an Amendment (from Democratic side), declaring it archaic & useless and being replaced by Popular Vote.

I do not see how it can be otherwise. Damned if they do, damned if they don't...


</Quote>: The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes—61% of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it, including four small jurisdictions (RI, VT, HI, DC), three medium- size states (MD, MA, WA), and four big states (NJ, IL, NY, CA).

The bill has passed a total of 33 legislative chambers in 22 states—most recently by a bipartisan 40–16 vote in the Arizona House, a 28–18 vote in the Oklahoma Senate, a 57–4 vote in New York Senate, and a 37–21 vote in Oregon House.

The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from state winner-take-all statutes (i.e., state laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each separate state).

Because of these state winner-take-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. As shown on the map, two-thirds of the 2012 general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). Thirty-eight states were ignored.

State winner-take-all statutes adversely affect governance. “Battleground” states receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

Also, state winner-take-all statutes have allowed candidates to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide in four of our 57 presidential elections—1 in 14 times.

A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Mitt Romney despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

The U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1) gives the states exclusive control over awarding their electoral votes: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors....” The winner-take-all rule was used by only three states in 1789.

The National Popular Vote interstate compact would not take effect until enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538).

Under the compact, the winner would be the candidate who received the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) on Election Day. When the Electoral College meets in mid-December, the national popular vote winner would receive all of the electoral votes of the enacting states.

The bill ensures that every vote, in every state, will matter in every presidential election.

The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. </end quote>

.... in which case they may continue as "Electoral College" but in a purely ceremonial sense. Just like a Rembrandt in a museum...


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