Is It Really Democracy?

College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  Democracy

I have had enough of this Fiscal Cliff and the debt drama crap!  I will go back to writing about government and such….at least for now…….

Seems that this is a reoccurring theme and no one wants to learn what they are really talking about, instead they just revert to name calling and insults……personally, I have started just glossing over these types of comments…..to me it shows no idea what the person is talking about…they cannot tell me why they feel the way they do……their answer is that I am just a no good liberal and that is all they need to know….a shallow mind swims in the shallow end of the gene pool…..

Let’s be honest……democracy was never the intention of the Founders…….republicanism (small “r”) was………but for the sake of argument we will call what we have as democracy……….

Democracy is a wonderful thing and many around the world try to achieve it….few succeed….but in these times it has become a catch phrase or slogan or ………..few know it and even fewer know why they think it is a wonderful thing……….first, we do not have a democracy…..we have a republic…there is a difference….no matter how much you embrace the term….we do NOT have a democracy in the US……

Democracy is a much maligned and admired word or concept…….and in the last couple of years it appears as if it is under assault from a couple of directions….some say from the Left and then others say Right…..but if their assumptions are correct where is the danger coming from and how do we avoid it?

First, my ideal democracy is what some people call “direct democracy”….that basically is where the people are in control of the government….kinda on the lines of ancient Greece……unfortunately it will not work!  The people are not what this is all about…..it is about power…..achieving and retaining……..

One of the prerequisites of democracy is voting…….but in the US it is more about the way the votes are allocated not who voted for who…..(or should that be ‘whom’?)……..I am talking about gaming the electoral college……I have written in the past that I am all for getting rid of the electoral college altogether and go with the vote and the vote alone…….I could cite the 2000 election….but why?  We all are aware of the debate on that election…….the new plan of the GOP for the way the electoral votes are handed out is a game……a political power game.

From a piece written by Joshua Spivak for The Week…………

Since Obama’s landslide victory in November, all of the talk about changing the system — and there has been a lot of it — has been on the Republican side. Thanks to the GOP’s big wins in the 2010 elections, Republicans control the legislatures and the governors’ offices of a number of states that voted for Obama, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Virginia. These states are now targets for a switch to the district-based method.

This would clearly damage Democrats’ short-term political prospects. For example, under the system proposed by Virginia, the state’s electoral votes would have gone from 13 for Obama to 9-4 in favor of Mitt Romney — because he won a bunch of congressional districts despite decisively losing the state’s popular vote.

Such rule changes would immediately nationalize state legislative elections. Thanks to their role in gerrymandering, state legislative elections are already receiving increased attention from national figures. If states started fussing with the rules of the Electoral College, this attention would skyrocket. Consider this: In the 2011 Wisconsin recalls of nine state senators, total campaign spending topped $44 million. Imagine how much would be spent if the presidency were thought to be on the line.

From the point of view of federalism, this would destroy the ideal of state governments as “laboratories of democracy.” These state legislative races would no longer focus on local issues — instead, they would be decided by national topics that have nothing to do with an average legislator’s job. We could also expect an increase in recall elections run to gain a majority in a closely divided legislature.

Basically, a candidate could win a majority of the popular vote and still lose the election……I am not talking about a couple of votes in a close election…..but rather 100,000s to millions of votes……and still be the loser……

This is a try at gaming the so-called “swing states”……….and in doing so could very well make the days of the electoral college numbered (an idea that I am all for but not in this context)……..that is if all these attempts are successful…….

Addendum:  Since I wrote this post draft most of the states that were thinking and talking about this move have had a change of mind…..but there are a couple that are still trying to influence the vote of their citizens…..will they succeed?

5 thoughts on “Is It Really Democracy?

  1. First let me touch on the issue of a pure democracy. After had read the debates from the constitutional convention I agree with the founders on why we have a republic over a democracy. A pure democracy is a form of mob rules; I prefer to call it organized anarchy. In a republic the rights of the individual are protected against the will of the majority. It doesn’t matter what the majority thinks if it infringes on the rights of the individual.

    The other issue with democracy in America is the ignorance and laziness of most voters, but that is a whole nother discussion.

    I would say that the Electoral College had its purpose but that technology has made it obsolete. I would be all for eliminating the Electoral College if we put two measures in place first.

    1) Voter ID. We need to make sure that only American citizens, that are breathing, vote and that they vote only once. Voter ID is the best solution to this issue. Each state should be required to issue a Voter ID card that includes a picture and current address.

    2) Real Time vote counting. I work in the tech industry and I could create a secured voting system with authentication algorithms that would make sure that each eligible voter only votes once and votes there they are supposed to vote. With that is in place you could eliminate voter fraud and miscounting.

    1. FL, I have heard the argument that we must protect the integrity of our voting system…..but to me…if one person that is qualified to vote and cannot then the integrity is gone…..

      The address part will be a problem nowadays……we are a transient society….few of us are at a permanent address.

      The college thing is completely accurate….it had its day and by 1900 it was no longer needed….

      I think that the whole issue of voter fraud is a ginned up issue….there has not been any nation wide voter fraud….most of the problems have been over addresses and sign up…….there have been more cases of registration manipulation than actual voter fraud…..

  2. Obvious partisan machinations like these should add support for the National Popular Vote movement. If the party in control in each state is tempted every 2, 4, or 10 years (post-census) to consider rewriting election laws and redistrict with an eye to the likely politically beneficial effects for their party in the next presidential election, then the National Popular Vote system, in which all voters across the country are guaranteed to be politically relevant and treated equally, is needed now more than ever.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  3. As it is late on a Saturday night, I shall be a touch frivolous – it matters not who you vote for, it’s always the goverment who gets in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.