Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3477830 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Electoral Apocalypse
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (7)

Gary Gregg, writing about Colorado's proposed initiative to proportionally award electoral college votes based on the popular vote, titles his article "Oblivion and Chaos". Gosh, no hyperbole there.

The new proposal would have Colorado do what no other state does -- distribute their electoral votes proportionally among the candidates.

It sounds perfectly fair, doesn't it? If Bush gets 55 percent of the vote and Kerry gets 45 percent, why should Bush get all nine of Colorado's electoral votes? Isn't it fair that those who voted for the losing candidate feel like their votes have counted? Well, maybe.

Maybe? Isn't it fair that those who voted for the losing candidate feel like their votes have counted? No, having them feel like their votes have been counted isn't fair. Having them actually count would be, ya jackass. This isn't about's about one person/one vote. It's about democratic representation.

But behold the is truly staggering:

If the proposal passes, as polls currently predict it will, the Centennial State will decrease in value and be worth exactly one electoral vote, making it the most unimportant electoral state in the union below even Wyoming and Washington D.C. It will be worth only one vote because in almost every election the Republican and Democrat will finish in a fairly tight race with one getting five electoral votes and the other party receiving four.

Um...Mr. Gregg, I hate to point out the obvious, but if the proposal passes, then Colorado will not be worth one electoral vote. It will be worth, as you actually say, either four or five, depending on the party.

Look, no system is perfect. If all states adopted this system, then the focus would be less on "battleground" states (as it is now), and on larger states with more votes in play. As it is now, my own state of Texas is essentially ignored by the candidates, because it's already firmly in Bush's column in the current winner-take-all format. Meanwhile, about 40% of the voters in this state are Democratic. And yet their votes weren't counted in 2000, and they won't count this year. They will be (dare I say it?) disenfranchised (what else would you call a system where people's votes simply aren't counted?).

It is the right of Coloradoans to determine how their electoral votes will be counted and if they choose to vote themselves into oblivion, so be it.

That's mighty magnanimous of you.

And then, interestingly enough, Gregg makes the best argument for a change in the system, without even meaning to:

But there are important national implications beyond partisan concerns. This is a radical proposal that will embolden ideological third-party candidates and could set a dangerous national precedent.

As currently constructed, the winner-take-all system used in 48 states fosters the existence of two broadly based and moderate political parties. Because they cannot win whole states and so cannot hope to win any electoral-college votes, radical third parties are kept in check and our elections have a stabilizing force on our democracy.

Translation: The current electoral college system makes it impossible for third parties to get a foothold.

The "stabilizing force on our democracy" he talks about is basically a further entrenchment of the Big Two.

If ever there's been a better reason for reform, this is it, folks.

Read/Post Comments (7)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.