Carol Platt Liebau: Monumental Arrogance

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Monumental Arrogance

Talk about the ends justifying the means! David Broder quite rightly takes issue with a new plan being floated that would effectively eliminate the Electoral College, without even undergoing the constitutional amendment process that should be required for such a sweeping change.

Amazing that there are some so arrogant that they're willing to throw away the accumulated wisdom of the Founding Fathers -- in both substance (destroying the electoral college) and procedure (circumventing the amendment process) -- all because they didn't like the 2000 election results.

Not only that, their plan invites all of the dangers that the Founding Fathers attempted to avoid by establishing the electoral college. Those include the potential of inter-state hostility, addressing concerns of smaller states that they'd be ignored, and ensuring that (in most cases) even a modest difference in the popular vote will translate into substantial electoral college advantage for the winning candidate, providing the sense that there's a clear winner, which, in turn, encourages stability.

3 Comments:

Blogger stackja1945 said...

Big states win and the small states lose. Fair?

2:43 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol claims that the plan to keep the the electoral college, but ensure it backs the candidate with the greatest vote total occurred "all because they didn't like the 2000 election results."

Carol, it cuts both ways. Had 150,000 votes shifted in Ohio in 2004, John Kerry would have been President despite receiving almost 3,000,000 fewer votes than George W. Bush nation-wide. We would have replaced a war-time President--and the first Presidentital candidate to get over 50% if the vote since 1988--with a second fluke candidate in a row.

I'm not sure why you think that result would have encouraged stability. I'll go a step further and and claim that result would have been disastrous for political stability in our country.

As far as destroying the electoral college and circumventing the amendment process goes, I'm pretty sure the Constitution leaves the manner of appointing electroal college delegates to the individual state to decide. If the states make this decision they are merely carrying out their Constitutional role.

3:05 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Stackja1945 wrote, " Big states win and the small states lose. Fair?"

Not exactly. The final result would be that the handful (maximum of 11 in 2004) of battleground state lose and the remaining states win.

Look at it this way, the three largest states CA, TX, and NY were foregone conclusions as to overall winner in 2004, so because margin of victory was not important neither Presidential campaign fought there. Iowa, on the other hand, with its seven electoral votes was flooded with campagin ads and Presidential visits.

3:13 AM  

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