What Do You Know About The Electoral College?

After the Right made a big deal out of the calls for the elimination of the Electoral College I decided to do a series on the subject…..I mean some of us have been fighting to rid society of this dinosaur for decades just the Right was too goddamn busy imposing their religious beliefs on everyone to notice…..

The 2016 election is over….and Mr. Trump has won the big enchilada….he won the electoral college and it appears that Clinton may have won the popular vote….and division has started yet another debate about the electoral college.

Lots of pros and cons…personally the only solution is a popular vote….period!

I have been calling for the elimination of the EC since 2008 on this blog….and that was when Obama was elected…I guess the Leftist thing is just wrong (but of course not one person will admit it)…and I invite anyone that knows how to use the archives to do so to check my statement…..if you doubt what I say……

But let’s look at some historic perspective (you knew that was coming) on the issue……

When U.S. citizens go to the polls to “elect” a president, they are in fact voting for a particular slate of electors. In every state but Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who wins the most votes (that is, a plurality) in the state receives all of the state’s electoral votes. The number of electors in each state is the sum of its U.S. senators and its U.S. representatives. (The District of Columbia has three electoral votes, which is the number of senators and representatives it would have if it were permitted representation in Congress.) The electors meet in their respective states 41 days after the popular election. There, they cast a ballot for president and a second for vice president. A candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes to be elected president.

The reason that the Constitution calls for this extra layer, rather than just providing for the direct election of the president, is that most of the nation’s founders were actually rather afraid of democracy. James Madison worried about what he called “factions,” which he defined as groups of citizens who have a common interest in some proposal that would either violate the rights of other citizens or would harm the nation as a whole. Madison’s fear – which Alexis de Tocqueville later dubbed “the tyranny of the majority” – was that a faction could grow to encompass more than 50 percent of the population, at which point it could “sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.” Madison has a solution for tyranny of the majority: “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”


A bit more on the history……

Source: The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists | TIME

But could there be more to this issue than a simple pro and con debate?

There always is when it comes to American political system……

To be clear, this critique of the racialized origins of the Electoral College should not be interpreted as the cheap product of disappointment over the most recent election results, but rather as an effort to tap into what will likely be a short-lived public appetite for presidential politics in order to explore how US political institutions are themselves always already racialized. To be sure, race and racism in the US context have long served as some of the most significant guarantors of democratic structures and institutions. In short, US democracy itself is a racial project whose fulcrum hinges on policies of inclusion and exclusion.

Source: Slavery, Democracy and the Racialized Roots of the Electoral College

This debate is a debate that has been had before and has accomplished nothing….I will be covering this a bit more in the days and weeks to come….please if there are any opinions we would love to hear them…..

11 thoughts on “What Do You Know About The Electoral College?

  1. In every state but Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who wins the most votes (a plurality) in the state receives all of the state’s electoral votes.”

    And that’s probably THE single biggest problem with the Electoral College. This district “plurality” format mirrors Congressional districts. Gerrymandering districts is the key component of victory for the majority of House Members. But to be fair, you can’t Gerrymander a state boundary. So, it’s NO comparison on the Sleazy Meter. That said, 1st Past The Post (1st Takes All) is a shitty system.

    1) It freezes the 2 party system in place for forever. It ensures that 3rd parties are invisible from the Presidential level on down. Even though 3rd party Congressional candidates could potentially win in some areas, all parties need a visible national “party leader” to raise their profile. But that can’t happen in a system where everything goes to 1st place, even if the gap between 1st and 3rd is miniscule. I once voted in a riding where the difference between 1st, 2nd & 3rd was 2%. But in both elections since, half of those 3rd place voters voted for what was 2nd Place. Essentially, their photo finish actually wiped out this strong 3rd Party from a district they were only a couple thousand votes short of winning.

    So in a frozen 2 Party System….No new ideas. No end to partisan gridlock. No choice beyond “A or B”. This election is a great example. The 2 most hated candidates of all time squared off and “Getting hit by a giant meteor instead.” finished a close 3rd in some polls.

    2) The wasted votes. In an era where barely 50% bother to vote for President, what better way to tell the vast majority of voters “Your vote doesn’t matter” than to give your entire Electoral College votes to 1st place? Consider that the 3 biggest Electoral College states have been overwhelmingly Blue or Red for…30+ years. But the same is true in most states. Consider that (no matter how hard everyone pretends) rarely are more than half a dozen states actually up for grabs (Georgia? Are you fucking shitting me??? ) Taking both those facts into consideration, the vast majority of voters live in states that were NEVER going to be remotely close. The fact is, most votes are completely irrelevant to the results. Right now minute, you can probably predict 35-40 states for the 2024 election.

    3) Vote rigging and systemic corruption. You can point to the mob’s “Get out the (dead) vote for Kennedy”. But Florida 2000 has to be the ultimate example. In the most important state to win, one candidate’s Governor brother overcame his “low energy” problem and worked with the Florida official responsible for overseeing the election process (a woman who was also said candidate’s Florida campaign co-chair) Nope. No conflict of interest there!

    They crossed off (What was it?) 40,000 legitimate voters they expected to vote Democrat from the Voter’s List for being felons….despite the fact they weren’t. Yet, that Candidate still narrowly lost. But then Chad was hanged and every bureaucratic & legal stalling manoeuvre was played. Then they took it to a Supreme Court that had just enough members appointed by that Candidate’s father to produce one of the most ridiculous rulings in the Court’s history. And then they destroyed all the evidence to ensure their crimes would be lost to history.

    A total 3rd World move all around.

    In conclusion, the Electoral College itself isn’t inherently bad. It’s the implementation that’s bad. For example, merely forcing states to hand out Electoral College points according to voting percentages would drastically improve all 3 problems.

    1. We need to eliminate the EC altogether….the media will fight this hard for the Ec is what lets them control the election process….their polls and swing state stuff will be useless when it is gone….no one state will be more important than others…popular vote is the only way to make this system work….

      1. Perhaps….But like with everything good, it will never happen. The best one can even hope for is an improvement of the Electoral College, which itself is a long-shot. That said, instead of being ignored as usual, NY & California could take centre stage. They could even change the entire US political spectrum, if they unilaterally moved toward a more proportional Electoral College. (I’m presuming states decide how they hand their points out.)

        If Republicans could get their share of Electoral College votes in the 2 biggest states, they might not need The Southern Strategy so much. They might start selecting more moderate candidates to better appeal to the bigger, more liberal, states rather than the most radical candidates to “rally the base” in the the most radical right regions. After all, that was their strategy before the Southern Strategy took root and it worked reasonably well. Hard to believe, but at the time, they were the party of the “grown-ups”.

        However, a popular vote would still have many of the same problems as an Electoral College election. For example…While the change might mean anybody could get on every ballot without a major party nomination, the media would NEVER cover anyone outside the accepted 2 party system. It would upset their gravy train on 2 counts. First, it would undercut their 2 year long money/confetti parade by making Primaries largely irrelevant. Second, the media likes things as simple as possible because their audience are simpletons who tune out anything remotely complicated. Such a change would be bad for ratings all around, so these homies won’t play dat.

        If anything, because American politics is so localized, 3rd party candidates would have less chance of obtaining a measurable result. For example, (and I use it somewhat ironically) far & away the most successful (post WW2) 3rd Party run was George Wallace’s run in ’68. He WON 5 states outright, finished 2nd in a few and a strong 3rd in several more. He had a major impact in the overall outcome of not just this election, but future ones. And -unlike so many others- Wallace garnered a measurable result. He won 45 Electoral College votes (& a “faithless elector” gave him a 46th) and almost triggered a House of Representatives “tie breaker” vote, which may have resulted in Wallace winning major policy concessions from the ultimate victor. But in a pure popular vote system, Wallace’s 3rd party would have been a simple Ross Perot style “spoiler” at 15-20% of the vote and whose only measurable result would have been splitting votes & allowing an option more hated to his supporters to win.

        I’m neither here nor there on a Presidential popular vote. It may be better theoretically. However, I have ZERO faith in the system’s ability to implement it in a way that works properly. For example, I see them handing the office to 1st Place, even if they only get 20% of the votes, rather than holding run-offs until a candidate wins 50% Holding onto 1st Past The Post would all but guarantee the continued dominance of the 2 Party system. It’s primary use would be to decide close 2 Party elections in a way that doesn’t piss of the party that got slightly more votes, but lost….which doesn’t happen very often.

        A FAR more productive “popular vote” reform would be to select Members of the House by state wide popular votes rather than by Gerrymandered districts. That could moderate politicians and clean a lot of dead wood out at the same time. But that has even less than zero chance of happening for that very reason.

        Nope. The entire current system is broken…and it likes it that way.

      2. The system is broken…Trump has pretty much showed the way around the Southern Strategy…..the Dems are the ones that need to figure out how to retake the advantage…..I do not think they are up to the task…chuq

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