It Is Not A Democracy

You know that there is always someone going to point out the US is not  democracy but rather a republic…..usually it is someone that is trying to make a point but have nothing to add to the conversation…..

It is true we are a republic…meaning that we cannot elect the president directly….instead it has to go through the whole electoral college thing.

Personally, I have stated many times that the EC has run its course and it is time to get rid of that dinosaur from our early days.

It will not be eliminated simple because our country can only support the 2 party system……according to some government would collapse if we ever rid ourselves of the EC….that the US would slide into anarchy.

I disagree.

The wealthy elite that are our founders did not want a democracy……..

I’ve already confessed my bad attitude about the Electoral College system. And I’ve listed 10 of the potentially serious ways it can screw up our choice of national leaders. The trouble with such a list is that it implies that we have somehow been saddled with the worst system possible. It needs to be said that no system for choosing a national leader would be perfect (although I do believe that considering the anachronistic elements of our system, we could definitely do better).

All this system-bashing could also begin to imply that I have no respect or appreciation for the Framers. That’s not so. Although I don’t seem to have the normal allotment of reverence for the Constitution or its authors, I see them as very smart guys, many of them heroes of the War for Independence, who came to Philadelphia in the summer 1787 hoping to — and trying hard to — make things better.

One in a series of articles. You can read the whole series here.

14 thoughts on “It Is Not A Democracy

  1. I don’t think Democracy is all it’s cracked up to be. After all, it was ‘invented’ by the Greeks when that country was a series of slave-owning states, and not everyone was eligible to vote anyway.
    Sounds a lot like America before 1865, when you think about it.. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I don’t see any problem with the Electoral College as a concept…Well, other than it selects actual people who can bail on their stated candidate preference. The idea that nobody in the country knows the name of the person they’re selecting to select a President….That’s actually nuts.

    Fifty states getting “Presidential points” to hand out based upon their population size isn’t nuts. However, giving ALL those points to the 1st place candidate in your state is a really BAD idea. That’s the worst part about the current Electoral College system. It reduces a national election to the results from a handful of close states. Especially in a 2 party system, it incentivizes the kind of dirty, crooked, negative, politics that currently dominates. It makes 5,000 votes in one state more important than 3 million in another. It also puts every non-close state into the Irrelevant Column, thus ignoring that state’s issues and making voting there irrelevant. California, Texas and NY have been completely irrelevant for decades. Florida, Ohio, Michigan & Pennsylvania (and revolving door of 2-3 “occasionals”) are the ONLY states where voters should even bother to roll out of bed to vote for President.

    In Canuckistan, we don’t directly elect our PM. We vote in local ridings to elect the people who elect the PM. We elect Members of Parliament as named humans running under a party banner. Once elected (in the shitty First-Past-The-Post format), they go to Ottawa. Their 1st duty is (not sure if they even physically do it anymore but) voting for their party leader as PM. The leader of the party with the most seats in the House becomes PM. In short, no Electoral College per-se. Our Members of Parliament pick the PM and then essentially do whatever he tells them to until the next election. Americans should think of it as replacing Members of Congress with the actual members of the Electoral College and keeping them penned in the Congress like veal calves until the next election.

    Unless it’s a Minority Government, where 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th place parties outnumber the top party in the legislature, it’s generally boils down to voters selecting the dictator every 4-5 years. It’s FAR from perfect. But it does leave fewer voters in the country out in the cold.

    Oh! And this is relevant to today’s America. If MPs get pissed off enough at their party leader, they can quit the party, join another, and/or oust the party leader. The Brits can still do it with a simple MP vote (Thatcher saw it from both sides, if I recall). Canuckistan parties now only do it at annual conventions. It’s more polite.

    1. This why some primary are more important than others….this is why there is so much cash flowing around….my vote does not really count…..time for it to go chuq

      1. I know the political strategy class who get filthy rich from manipulating un-ending elections with their “genius” (See: Hillary Clinton’s “geniuses”) would spike it but…

        A good reform would be a system where a state gives out it’s “President Points” based primarily/entirely according to a candidate’s percent of the vote in their state. This would suddenly make it worth voting pretty much everywhere. California, New York, Texas and their issues wouldn’t be completely ignored. And 3rd parties could actually achieve an actual result to point to, possibly encouraging their growth.

        Even 5% of Californians could get you more than winning all of Rhode Island. You pull off a few of those and who knows? Look at what George Wallace’s ’68 “losing success” did to promote major-party adoption of “Southern Issues”.

        And if the “geniuses” were actually geniuses, they’d realize more parties in more races means more jobs for their vile ilk. That & “more money” is the biggest downside, but that’s another issue.

      2. The big donors do not want more than two parties it would lessen their influence…..the money is still there just their influence within the system would be diminished……chuq

      3. That goes without saying. The Powers That Be LOVE the system exactly the way it is. They’d prefer a one -nay- zero party state. Which is why the Electoral College never going to change. Besides…you, me, and 15 other people give a shit about these kind of things.

        Not even my suggested small-but-big tweak to the Electoral College will ever happen. But there is a LESS THAN ZERO chance the system will be changed to a nation-wide direct-vote for President. Just the very concept of giving people the idea they have direct influence over the powerful is “bad precedent”. And every single state-level politico & national level states’-righter, would have a stroke at the loss of 50 “separate elections” for President. Just letting Puerto Rico and other possessions of the US Empire join the club is a non-starter.

        So, this is purely a theoretical topic at best. However, I actually think my suggestion would get the most improvement from the least amount of change, thus would be more likely to happen (not that it would) And, if I’m not mistaken, the handing out of Electoral College delegates is determined by the state. (I know Nebraska & Vermont (?) do it differently. So if California, or New York EVER want to become even slightly relevant in Presidential politics again, my suggestion is the fastest way.

        It might also have a moderating affect on Republicans. Since Reagan, they haven’t even attempted to appeal to sympathetic audiences in the coastal states. Too small an audience to get any reward. Even that small California audience (especially if they can can bump it up just 2-3%), would reap lots of EC rewards, even within a California loss. Republican candidates might start campaigning there, rather than just show up to give “handies” to billionaires for money to be used elsewhere. More importantly, It would mean they don’t NEED the Southern Strategy as much…the single worst post-WW2, non-money, impact on US electoral politics…& society in general. Pandering to “Southern values” has become very pervasive and has dumbed us all down. Right now, Republicans need it more every election. It’s a way out for whatever moderates are left.

        As for 3rd parties, if Jill Stein can “cost Hillary the election” in one state, Michigan, without even coming close to scoring an EC Point! …Imagine what the Greens might do if they could strut around in 2020 saying “We got 20 EC Points, bitches! (whatever the math is, I don’t have the time to do it today.) We’re legit & growing.” If you can appear legit & growing long enough, you actually WILL be legit & growing. (See: a certain apolitical Reality TV star who started as a complete joke & got increasingly legit until achieving the impossible)

        But as I said…only you, me and 15 other “nobody losers” give a shit about this vs the entire system, who loves it the way it is..if not worse.

      4. The Repubs have used gerrymandering to fix elections….the abolition of the Ec is gaining more following since the 2016 election….you are right but the work to end Citizens United is trying to eliminate some of the cash in elections…there is work being done and it will take time….chuq

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