The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One man, one vote?

( yes, I know women vote also)

While perusing the news feeds the other day, I came across this headline...

McConnell warns of popular vote 'catastrophic outcome' [read story]

For those of you who do not follow links and end up wandering off aimlessly (as I often do), let me sum up the article and the issue.

A movement has been gaining strength since the 2000 Election wherein the Electoral College would be reduced to a mere formality and replaced by a de facto popular vote. Someone, somewhere, realized that the states are not prevented by the U.S. Constitution from allocating their electoral votes according to the popular vote. If all the states chose to use a popular vote allocation system the Electoral College vote would merely be a "rubber stamp" of the popular vote.

A little history: Essentially, the Electoral College was established for a couple of reasons. To give the people living in smaller states more of a voice and to smooth out the process of national elections. It was, after all, a time before wire services and national news media. News traveled slowly.

The system also meant that candidates could not simply ignore the less populated states while campaigning and concentrate on the high population states. It's also why we have what are called "battleground states." The modern political environment has "Red" (Republican) and "Blue" (Democrat) states; states that go pretty solidly for one of the two major parties. A lot of people (some very smart ones) believe the system has become corrupted and that the Electoral College system is outmoded by advancements in communication.

I am also of that belief. We no longer need the Electoral College, it is outmoded. It is a provincial system. However, I do not like this plan to circumvent it. What I see happening is that not all states will "buy" into the plan. At some point, some states will realize they will exert more power by keeping the system as it was. This will leave us with a mixed system and political chaos. McConnell is right in this instance, though I'd stop short of calling the possible result a catastrophic one. We don't know that will happen. We don't know what will happen. But we can safely presume that things will not go according to plan. They never do.

The correct way to do this, within the framework of the Constitution, is by an amendment replacing the Electoral College with a popular vote. Doing it any other way would be simply ignoring the Constitution.

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