Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Electoral College Once Again Fails the Voter and the “One-Man/One-Vote Principle

Like Saying: “I voted for the candidate I want, but got a delegate I don't know.”

Electoral College (EC) system vs. Popular Vote system – a short summary from here and then my post-election issue: Call to repeal the 12th Amendment to get rid of the EC once and for all … consider this:

Related and important to this discussion:

A Donald Trump presidency would by most accounts, pose a grave threat to marginalized people and to the truth. His campaign has been characterized by racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and fact free bombast. However, he is correct about one thing (albeit for all the wrong reasons): The system is rigged.

Would not we better off if we simply abandoned the EC altogether and joined the majority of the world's nations that employ a free, open, and unmediated political engagement that arises from a direct, popular and democratic vote rather that any scenario that we could face? 

I say the bottom is that all that is highly unlikely … and history supports what I surmise now again in 2016: Hillary won the popular vote but loses the election and this is a 4th time in American history – last was in 2000 in Bush-Gore.

Please read the PBS news hour special (link next below). It is an excellent review of what we have today and how it all came about. Plus, is makes perfect sense to get rid of the EC. To me it hard to comprehend why everyone can't agree on that for logical reasons, including to really make your one vote count directly for whom you want to win.

Commentary: Why the Electoral College System Makes Little Sense Today

As I note above, our motto should be changed from One-man/One-vote to: “I voted for the candidate I wanted to win, but got a delegate I don't even know.” 

How can that be fair? In a word, it is not. Maybe is was way back before it was added in 1804, but certainly not in this or the last century… time to repeal it. Period.

Related: Countries “more democratic than we are and that rely on a direct popular vote to elect their presidents and prime ministers rather the EC system we still cling to, include the likes of Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Colombia,  Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, the Palestinian National Authority, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, ROK, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Impressive list, isn’t it?

On the flip side of that, note: There are only five other countries beside us that use an indirect election, or something similar to our EC model: Estonia, Germany, India, Pakistan, and Suriname. Are you surprised by that company we keep? I was.

The EC Amendment says in part: “If the House fails to select a president by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President-elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.” While the House has never been called upon to select a president, the Senate has, in the past, intervened to approve a VP.

This has only happened once and that was in 1836, DEM Martin Van Buren secured enough EC votes to become president, but his running mate, Richard M. Johnson, fell one vote shy of the mark. Johnson had to face off against Francis Granger, a Republican, who was the VP choice on the Whig Party ticket. However, further complicating that matter, the Whig Party was split that year, so Granger's name appeared as VP on two presidential tickets; one for Whig candidate William Henry Harrison and another for Whig candidate Daniel Webster. Ultimately, in the only “contingent election” American history, Johnson was chosen to serve as Van Buren's VP by a Senate vote of 33-16.

The B/L: The Electoral College system has outlived its time, and it’s time to repeal that XII Amendment and bury it wherever repealed amendments go to R.I.P.

If such an action were to pass public scrutiny, and I strongly believe it can, it would as the main article states clearly:If the Electoral College system wasn’t in the Constitution, it would almost certainly be struck down as unconstitutional because the apportionment of electoral votes violates the principle of one-person, one-vote.” 

(That principle was established by this ruling from Cornell Law in 1964 and it was a smart and wise principle). 

Why politicians today cannot grasp that concept is beyond me – oh, yeah, the status quo protects their safe seat or better yet, it protects their asses, and that my friends is the worst part.

In summary I say, let’s make this a huge campaign issue during the 2018 mid-term congressional cycle and force a play in the same or a new congress. It will take time, for sure, but it will I believe be popular all across the land and national support on a wide scale. Making our vote count for the person we vote for and not an unknown delegate make perfect sense. .

Thanks for stopping by and if all possible join this crusade, it is worthwhile.

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