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Here we go again - Once Upon a Time
July 20th, 2005
09:14 am


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Here we go again
After finding yet another article on the inequity of the Electoral College (find it here but the NY Times requires a pretty harmless registration process if you don't already have an account), I'm once again on edge favoring abolishing the archaic process as being out of touch with the realities of population growth since the time of the founders.

It's apparent to me that the founders were working hard to provide some comfort to the wealthy powerful people at the time of the constitution, and to sooth the nerves of those persons who thought their individual states would be subsumed by the union.

But in a larger sense, the US now has some 300 million citizens, and the actual borders of the states are close to meaningless. The real purpose of the electoral college at this point is no longer to provide assurance each state is properly represented in the process, but is a tool & mechanism in political gamesmanship.

It's akin to a fancy form of gerrymandering that no longer meshes with any particular reality and undermines the actual population based vote. George W Bush lost the popular vote the first time he ran by a couple million votes, but won it the second time by a somewhat narrower margin.

Some pundits have speculated the second time around the numbers changed because of a defeatist viewpoint among some who'd voted against him the first time when the popular vote swung against him and yet he was elected.

Regardless of the cause, there's a number of awkward anachronisms built into the electoral college. The article cited above mentions the deadlock issue for instance and the one vote per state mechanism that equates California to Wyoming despite the obvious disparity in every sense from population to economic contribution.

But there's other flaws as well, such as electors not being legally bound to vote as promised because supposedly they know better than the citizens (did you know they could actually choose to elect someone president who hadn't even been running once they fail to elect on the first round of their voting?).

It's time to start the process to abolish the Electoral College.

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