mm117: The cure for the Electoral College that is worse than what ails us. – By Jamin Raskin – Slate Magazine

MUDGE’S Musings

It’s back to the Electoral College. Summer’s over people, time to get serious again about the 2008 presidential election.

In case you’re a completist as is yours truly, previous stories on the subject can be found here and here and here.

slate The cure for the Electoral College that is worse than what ails us.

By Jamin Raskin
Posted Friday, Aug. 24, 2007, at 5:32 PM ET

Illustration by Rob Donnelly. Click image to expand.

It’s hardly news at this point that, as it works today, the Electoral College undermines American democracy. It does so in three fundamental ways:  First, it betrays the principle of majority rule, threatening every four years to deliver the White House to the popular-vote loser. Second, it reduces the general election contest to a matter of what happens in Ohio, Florida, and a handful of other swing states, leaving most Americans (who live in forsaken “red” and “blue” states) on the sidelines. This in turn depresses turnout and helps give us one of the worst rates of voter participation on earth. Third, because of its proven pliability, the Electoral College invites partisan operatives, legislators, secretaries of state and even Supreme Court justices to engage in constant strategic mischief and manipulation at the state level.

This last problem is about to make things much worse, as strategic actors try to exploit spreading discontent with the system by pushing “reform” proposals for purely partisan advantage. Thus, in California, top Republican strategists are now proposing a ballot initiative that would “reform” the system by awarding the state’s electoral votes by congressional district. Its real purpose is to break up the state’s 55 electors, which typically go to the Democrats in a bloc as inevitably as Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma give their 56 combined electors to the Republicans. Following the proposed division of California’s well-gerrymandered blue and red congressional districts, it is likely that the 2008 GOP nominee under this plan would carry away about 20 electors. In one fell swoop, this would ruin the Democrats’ chances for winning the presidency.

This is very plainly not reform. It is tactical gamesmanship.

I guess I not surprised that the Governator’s party might be trying to game the system… What’s next? The native-born clause?

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

The cure for the Electoral College that is worse than what ails us. – By Jamin Raskin – Slate Magazine

Are you as disturbed about this as I am?

And, now you don’t have to be more than slightly daffy about Michael Bloomberg to be frightened of a repeat of the supreme debacle of 2000, or worse.

High time to get behind National Popular Vote blogroll2 in your state, especially if your state is California, in the light of the above mischief.

This bears repeating:

Thomas Jefferson famously said: “We are all republicans, we are all federalists.” Today, at least for the purposes of creating a national election for president in which every vote counts equally, we should all be Republicans and Democrats, Independents and Greens and Libertarians. Why not put aside political party just for a moment to see if we can still work together to create a more perfect union?

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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7 Responses to mm117: The cure for the Electoral College that is worse than what ails us. – By Jamin Raskin – Slate Magazine

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