Let's Repeal the Electoral College (and get this country back on track)

I just read this piece by Charles Krauthammer about how beholden the Democrats are to unions with their rabid support and how Obama is quietly putting up roadblocks to our trade deals with other countries to protect these unions, all the while touting the need for more jobs and more exports.

It sickens me to imagine another four years of Barack Obama.The thought of his reelection makes me think of that religious group that would rather let their sick child die than allow professional medical help, since medicine violates their 'religious' sensitivities.Well, our dear President is allowing his 'religion' to stop him from doing what is right for our great nation.

My hope to cure this 'problem' shifts to the November 2012 election which, while still early, is starting to heat up with competition between Republican challengers. I will withhold comment on the current field. Who knows if any of these people can cause Obama to be a one term President like Jimmy Carter?

Obama is pedal to the metal to put the country in a Carter-like situation where the people have no other choice but to give him the boot. The question is, does he have enough time between now and November 2012 to totally jack up our collective situation to where the solution is crystal clear?

Back to the subject of this post. What worries me the most is that someone like Sarah Palin or Donald Trump or any one of the high fliers of the current field of challengers that does not get nominated would mount a third-party campaign for President.

Because of the Electoral College this would spell disaster for the rebel cause. For those of you who have recently graduated from public school and don't know how it really works, when Americans vote for president, they are actually voting for electors. These people meet for a statewide Electoral College in December where they formally cast their vote for President. The number of electors for each state equal the number of Representatives plus two for their Senators. So, for Virginia with 11 Congresspersons, we would get 13 electoral votes.

The problem with this situation is that for most states, it is winner-takes-all. Let's say Obama gets 38% of the vote, Romney gets 37%, Palin gets 22% and all others get 3%, then our 12 electors would cast all of their votes for Obama. If you count the left vs. the right, it is obvious that the right wing candidate should garner the votes, but it doesn't work that way.

I am here to say that all thinking US citizens should demand a Constitutional Amendment doing away with the Electoral College and replacing it with a popular vote by individuals. Additionally, the Amendment should require a majority, not a plurality to win. Therefore, if the person with the most votes does not get more than 50% of all votes cast, a run-off election between the top two vote getters would occur on the last Tuesday of November to finally decide who will be our next President. There would be NO write-ins. Just mano-a-mano.

Spoiler candidates, like Ross Perot in 1992 who singlehandedly put Bill Clinton in office, or established third parties, such as Libertarians, Socialists, Greens, etc. should not be able to throw elections by siphoning off votes for similar-minded candidates.

In the general election on the first Tuesday in November, people can express their true views and vote for the candidate that best extols their governing philosophy. Most likely, neither the Democrat nor the Republican candidate will receive 50% of the vote, but they will probably be the #1 and #2 vote getters. We can suss out the true winner in three weeks. Meanwhile, if the results shows a Romney candidate that a Palin candidate or a Trump candidate got huge numbers, he would have to govern toward that side of the tacit coalition to win.

There are those who are deeply invested in the politics and gamesmanship of the elector system. It is easier for a candidate to game the system by focusing on states where he/she is electorally weak, ignoring the states that are 'in their pocket'. Tough. Our world is infinitely different in 2012 than it was in 1787 or even in 1968 when Nixon defeated Humphries and the last serious attempt to fix the system was taken. Most of us have probably never seen a candidate on the stump unless you live in New Hampshire or Iowa. So what? All of us have the Internet and 24/7 news on cable or satellite. If we cannot make an informed decision, we should not be voting anyway, so let's just get on with it.
Because there is no check box on the ballot for "Holding nose but voting for XXXXX" this amendment would fix the inequities of the elector system and also provide a valuable, tangible indication of what the voters REALLY think.

Comments

Craig Hollins said…
We call your type of voting "first past the post" whereas ours is "preferential". We look at yours and wonder why we can't have it and you do the same.
We mark our ballot paper with one for your preferred candidate, two for your second favourite and so on. You must mark every box or your vote is invalid however you are allowed to just mark your preference and your candidate then decides who gets the preference vote.
The point is, you it impossible to NOT vote for someone unless they go last. That means you will be required to give your preference to the Raving Loonie Party over the Dems to ensure the Dems are put last.
Also it means that someone with just a few percent of the primary vote can go on to win if preferences flow their way - something that has happened a few times.
PS - I like the call for changing the constitution when it supports your agenda otherwise it is almost a religious document that must be followed at all costs. Just sayin'.
The Asterisk said…
Well, trust me, "first past the post" seems almost as silly as Rock, Paper, Scissors and maybe as scientific :-).

Viewing the Constitution as a 'religious' document is overstating it a bit. My view is, if they (the liberal lawyers) are going to use the law as a cudgel with which to beat their point home, then the law should be sacrosanct.

As the fundamental law of the land, the Constitution of the United States has methods of change as I had already blogged about last year. Liberals rarely attempt to change the basic law because they know they have little constituency from which to mount such an effort. So, they do the next best thing... bend existing law or pass laws that are clearly beyond the bounds of the Constitution and hope that liberal courts will uphold the laws anyway.

And, as a final stab at 'democracy', when the people arise, vote in a referendum (like the definition of marriage Proposition that passed in California), they get their judicial attack dogs to rule the new law unconstitutional.

How ironic is that? Their Constitution is no more than a shapeshifter, molded (moulded for you Aussies) for their own needs.

T-A

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