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The Few Decide For The Many (Huge BusinessWeek report calling for abolition of Electoral College)
BusinessWeek ^ | June 14, 2004

Posted on 06/03/2004 8:00:39 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War

Demography, as the saying goes, may be destiny. But an archaic system of representation that includes a winner-take-all selection of electors and eschews proportionate representation at the local level is denying a voice to political minorities. Are you perchance one of the 2.4 million hardy Democrats living in Texas? You might as well hang up your political spurs. Since the Reagan era, Texas has become solidly Republican. Or perhaps you're a GOPer in New York or California, home to a combined 8.5 million members of the Grand Old Party. Tough luck, pal.


Many of the distortions can be traced to the Electoral College, set up by the Founding Fathers partly to shield against unfiltered democracy -- then equated with mob rule. The College was also designed to preserve the power of small states by giving them a higher percentage of electoral votes than their populations would warrant. Finally, the College was a sop to Southerners, who were given credit for each slave at the rate of three-fifths of a free voter, magnifying the power of white property owners in Dixie. "These compromises were the basis of the Electoral College," says George Mason University Professor James P. Pfiffner. "But they are not relevant any more."

Today, the Electoral College still benefits smaller states by giving each of them two bonus votes in the Presidential balloting. Because most of these states are becoming increasingly Republican, that hands the GOP a built-in edge of 10 to 12 electoral votes -- more than the margin of victory in 2000.


There is a way to avoid such destabilizing contests: The candidate with the most votes wins -- no ifs, ands, or buts. Experts such as Pfiffner would like to see a national dialogue over a direct-election system. Such a debate would, of course, be intensely controversial since it entails a deviation from the Founders' design. But so did abolishing slavery and granting women suffrage. After 216 years of Presidential elections, it seems as if the time is right to reaffirm a basic tenet of democracy -- the one that says everybody's vote counts.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessweek.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004election; 2004electionbias; abolishinggovernment; algoreisnotmyprez; algorelostgetoverit; anarchists; antibusinessweek; businessweak; businessweek; constitution; election2004; electionpresident; electoralcollege; floridatimes50; leftistagenda; liberalmedia; liberals; mediabias; nopopularitycontest; socialistbusiness
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BusinessWeek must be excerpted, so the above are just a few choice paragraphs from the opening editorial of a huge "special report" calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. You may be asking, "What does this have to do with business?" The answer, of course, is "Nothing." But BusinessWeek is the most liberal business magazine out there, so they're doing their part for the Democrats.

Here are the other stories that make up the full "Special Report on Democracy In America":




DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA


Does Your Vote Matter?
Is an election crisis looming this year? It's a distinct possibility, since little has changed since 2000. The good news: The process can be revitalized


The Few Decide For The Many


A Partisan Game Of Gotcha!


No Way To Pick A Nominee
Kerry was selected in 29 days -- by states with just 22% of the population


Why Florida Can Happen Again
In 2000, up to 2 million votes were lost because of confusing ballots or malfunctioning machines


How To Fix A Rigged System
In 2002, 98.2% of House incumbents, raising an average of $900,000 apiece, were reelected


Online Extra: McCain: The FEC Is a "Total Disgrace"
The Republican senator says campaign-finance reform has progressed some, but the election watchdog is shunning some of its duties


Online Extra: Election 2004 Photo Essay

1 posted on 06/03/2004 8:00:40 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War
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To: Dont Mention the War

I haven't subscribed to Business Week since they endorsed Clinton in 1992.


2 posted on 06/03/2004 8:05:26 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: Dont Mention the War

The Electoral College must stand. The reason the Founding Fathers wanted it is still the same reason we need it today. Just take a look at California and see where the dems live and then see where the republicans live. This is fair representation. I only wish the Senators were still elected by each state's legislatures and not the popular vote. The Founding Fathers were amazing and brilliant men. They also knew the what evils lie in the hearts of those who want to be powerful.


3 posted on 06/03/2004 8:05:49 PM PDT by NavySEAL F-16 ("Proud to be an American")
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To: Dont Mention the War

Only a left wing demagogue would equate slavery and sufferage with the electoral college.

Thirty years ago Business Week cared about business. No more. Now it's just another whining left wing rag. Go to hell or go to France. Your choice, Busybody Week.


4 posted on 06/03/2004 8:09:37 PM PDT by sergeantdave (Gen. Custer wore an Arrowsmith shirt to his last property owner convention.)
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To: Dont Mention the War

I wouldn't sweat it.

I believe a super majority is needed for Congress to amend the constitution, and that ain't gonna happen.


5 posted on 06/03/2004 8:10:12 PM PDT by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: Dont Mention the War

Why "HUGE"? Think Business Week is that influential?


6 posted on 06/03/2004 8:11:06 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Dont Mention the War

The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, realized that 99% of people are abysmally stupid, and that's why we have an Electoral College, thank God.


7 posted on 06/03/2004 8:11:33 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
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To: NavySEAL F-16
Their plan is to 1) allow illegal aliens to vote after registering THAT day
2) allow dead Democrats to vote
3) prevent any military vote, and
4) encourage Democratic voting by individuals, criminals and aliens in multiple states
especially by mail.

and did we forget .... Lawyers.

8 posted on 06/03/2004 8:11:43 PM PDT by Diogenesis (We do what we are meant to do)
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To: Dont Mention the War
Perhaps an adoption of the French Enlightenment Revolution scheme of promoting the central general will to the supreme issue to be utilized in deciding every national question would pass muster with the muddle headed, but not on this forum.

Tyranny of the many is still tyranny.

9 posted on 06/03/2004 8:12:13 PM PDT by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: Dont Mention the War

Can you say Florida X 51?

A National recount is a sure recipe for revolution...


10 posted on 06/03/2004 8:12:40 PM PDT by antaresequity (This is not the "War on Terror"...Islam is the common denominator.)
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To: Dont Mention the War
They lose and want to change the rules. This was not the tune they sang when Clinton won his two terms.

For sure, if effenkerry were to make it; or eventually Hillary; our electoral college would be gone by executive order.

11 posted on 06/03/2004 8:12:52 PM PDT by cricket
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To: Dont Mention the War

We have an electoral college because we are the United " States" of America not the United People of America


12 posted on 06/03/2004 8:13:36 PM PDT by Rodm (Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings)
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To: NavySEAL F-16
You nailed it exactly: "The Founding Fathers were amazing and brilliant men. They also knew the what evils lie in the hearts of those who want to be powerful."
13 posted on 06/03/2004 8:14:20 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Dont Mention the War
Why not just do away with the entire concept of states and governors. We already made the Senate irrelevant with the passage of the 17th amendment. Let's finish the job and eliminate the state governments entirely now that they have no representation in the federal system.

That way, the federal government in Washington can refine their plans to fool all of the people all of the time.

-PJ

14 posted on 06/03/2004 8:14:29 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Dont Mention the War
"it entails a deviation from the Founders' design."

Why don't we do away with the whole system.

15 posted on 06/03/2004 8:16:35 PM PDT by FreedomSurge
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To: Dont Mention the War

"F" - Business "Weak". Just a Bunch of lefties.


16 posted on 06/03/2004 8:17:00 PM PDT by JOE6PAK ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Dont Mention the War

Utter drivel.

With a straight popular vote, all we would get is somebody promising New Yorkers and Californians and rust belters that the rest of the country will be taxed, enslaved, whatever to serve their needs. The populous states then go 95% or so for such programs and the states that go the other way by the same margin don't get beat and rolled.

By the article's logic, the Senate should be done away with, as well, since small states are over represented there.

BTW, who said that "unfiltered democracy" is NOT akin to mob rule?

The president is the president of the COUNTRY, not of 50.0001% of the people. As such he must show that he has support in more than one region.

The mag's stand still allows for the possibility of someone winning the popular vote with well under 50%, and hence still isn't truly the choice of the whole people. (Lincoln got under 40% in a four way race ... war breaks out among the states!)

By the way, I live in one of those big states (Illinois), and I know that Kerry will likely carry it. I will still vote for the other offices, and can vote Constitution Party for Prez knowing it won't help Kerry. Keep the Electoral College! We need the Montanans, Utahites, and Alabamans to save the Californias, New Yorks and Illinoises from themselves.


17 posted on 06/03/2004 8:17:16 PM PDT by sittnick (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: Dont Mention the War; jwalsh07
Putting aside the partisan stuff that doesn't matter much really - no candidate losing by two percentage points has much chance of carrying the electoral college - just think if the popular vote system were in place and Bush beat Kerry by 2,000 votes in the national popular vote. We would get to redux FLorida all over again times 50, with 50 trial courts, maybe 150 if Florida is any guide, then 50 state appellate courts, then 50 state supreme courts, then multiple federal appellate court appeals, and then SCOTUS gets to wade through the litigation in 50 states. Think of all the billable hours for lawyers. Maybe we would get a president sometime before his term ends. In the meantime, who would serve as president? Does anybody know? I don't.

The scheme is a recipe for meltdown in a really tight election. That is the bad news. The good news is that it will never happen. The small states won't vote for it, for starters. And it "fixes" a system that is not broken. As I said, it is practically near impossible for a candidate to win the electoral vote, while losing the popular vote by say by more than 51.5 to 48.5 of the major party vote, and even that is a stretch.

In such a scenario, the number of posts at FR would however increase, for better or worse.

And there you have it.

18 posted on 06/03/2004 8:18:59 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Dont Mention the War

US Presidential election consists of 50 separate state elections for the office - winner of the most states (weighted by population) wins the office. Without the Electoral College, California, Texas, New York, and Florida basically choose the President. If that's the case, why would the smaller states want to remain in the Union?

These calls for the abolition of the Electoral College are just more of the same arrogant people who think that they are smarter than men who formed our system of government.

Couldn't agree more with the "What does this have to do with business?" sentiment.
BusinessWeek is so bad, I wouldn't use it to train a puppy, let alone rely on its reporting as a basis for making decisions.
They should change the name to DemocratWeak.


19 posted on 06/03/2004 8:19:32 PM PDT by citizenK
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To: antaresequity

Damn, you stole my lines. You should be banned for doing that.


20 posted on 06/03/2004 8:19:40 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Dont Mention the War

Didn't read the entire article. Do they know that it's up to each state to decide how to allocate their electoral vote? I vaguely recall one NW state that splits their votes proportionately or by Congressional district.


21 posted on 06/03/2004 8:19:58 PM PDT by bayourod (Kerry has no track record in negotiating with foreign nations, nor does Sec of State Sharpton)
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To: sergeantdave

"Only a left wing demagogue would equate slavery and sufferage with the electoral college."

They always bring up that same tired crap every time a conservative resists changing something that works.


22 posted on 06/03/2004 8:20:00 PM PDT by dandi ("No nation ever taxed it's way into prosperity." - R.L.)
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To: Dont Mention the War
Yeah and do away with that part about the Senate in the Constitution too. Why do such tiny states like Rhode Island and Delaware get 2 senators each when Texas has many more people and only 2 senators? < /sarcasm >

Since the last Presidential election was certified with only 0.52% difference in the popular vote, we would have required a NATIONAL recount in EVERY county to determine who won. Yeah. That would have been peaceful.

Let the major cities forever decide the direction of this nation? I don't think so. Bush Country spoke and showed how much difference of opinion there is in "flyover country".

23 posted on 06/03/2004 8:20:14 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS. CNN ignored torture & murder in Saddam's Iraq to keep their Baghdad Bureau.)
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To: Torie

Anarchists like chaos. They don't agree with our constitutional form of government.


24 posted on 06/03/2004 8:22:27 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS. CNN ignored torture & murder in Saddam's Iraq to keep their Baghdad Bureau.)
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To: bayourod

Maine and Nebraska give one electoral vote to a candidate who wins a CD. The balance go to the state winner. Thus in Maine, there is one electoral vote per CD, and two for the state winner. In Nebraska, two for the state winner, and one for each CD. Bush came close to nabbing one of the Maine CD's. This system adopted nationwide, would reduce the potential chaos by a whole bunch, but still it has the potential of multiple jurisdictional litigation.


25 posted on 06/03/2004 8:25:08 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Hodar
I believe a super majority is needed for Congress to amend the constitution, and that ain't gonna happen.

It takes a 2/3's majority to pass a constitutional amendment in Congress. However, it takes ratification by 3/4 of the states before it becomes law. There is no way 3/4 of the states will vote to surrender the power the electoral college gives them. The big ones like NY, CA, IL, OH, PA, and MI might along with some of the hard core leftist states but beyond that, most would not.

26 posted on 06/03/2004 8:25:27 PM PDT by COEXERJ145
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To: sinkspur

Business Week Letters To The Editor

http://www.businessweek.com/custserv/letters.ed.htm


27 posted on 06/03/2004 8:26:19 PM PDT by jimbo123
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To: Hodar
I believe a super majority is needed for Congress to amend the constitution, and that ain't gonna happen.

Not only that, but a supermajority of the state legislatures must also ratify it. The later is true even if the amendment is proposed by a Constitutional Convention, the alternative method specified by the Constitution. The Con-Con itself must also be called by a super majority of the state legisaltures. (2/3 majority in both cases). Like you said, that ain't gonna happen.

28 posted on 06/03/2004 8:27:16 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: sinkspur
"I haven't subscribed to Business Week since they endorsed Clinton in 1992."

If every Repub could/would cancel - if only for a short time even - their subscriptions to NYT's; Business Week and other Lib mags.; their lib newspapers; and stopped writing the check to their liberal alma mater; would it help?

I don't know; probably not; but might make a big enough statement to shake them a bit.

Seems like it could at least make a threatening statement. Wish everyone could/would do their part and stop paying for the Left's efforts to refashion America to their image.

We could call it 'write off a Lib' week . . .or month. . .a year - or forever.

Or just call it America's Liberal weight loss program. Where every anti-Leftists goal is to 'drop ten liberals' in ten days or less.

29 posted on 06/03/2004 8:28:07 PM PDT by cricket
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To: Dont Mention the War
I also think that the proper wording of the BW cover story should be, "Should your vote matter above all else?"

This knee jerk supremacy issue makes for poor government, not sound government. It is precisely the diverse varieties of electoral usages of representational selection that gives our government sound strength, not weakness.

Read what was said when it was created in Federalist 68

30 posted on 06/03/2004 8:29:19 PM PDT by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: Dont Mention the War

If the United States elected its President by simple nationwide popular vote, the nation wouldn't survive ten years.

The leech majorities would enslave and impoversh the working minorities to the utter ruination of all.


31 posted on 06/03/2004 8:29:37 PM PDT by John Valentine ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Dont Mention the War
Getting rid the Electoral College would be stupid but I did agree with them on this point about the primary system (minus the smart assed comment about "Norman Rockwell America"):

The dominance of Iowa and New Hampshire -- two small and not-terribly-representative throwbacks to Norman Rockwell America -- distorts the entire race, forcing contenders to shape issues designed to catch fire with the locals.

32 posted on 06/03/2004 8:29:43 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: sittnick
If we do away with the electoral college, why don't we just get rid of state borders, governors, etc, altogether?

One county is the same as any other at that point. Federal judges are mandating to states what the laws must be.

The United STATES is not long for this world.

33 posted on 06/03/2004 8:30:49 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS. CNN ignored torture & murder in Saddam's Iraq to keep their Baghdad Bureau.)
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To: DManA
Why "HUGE"? Think Business Week is that influential?

No, I mean it's a huge special section within that issue. Not just one little column.

34 posted on 06/03/2004 8:31:35 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War
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To: Dont Mention the War
Were it up to me (millions are no doubt thankful that it isn't), I'd get rid of the Electoral College -- that is, the flesh-and-blood electors who cast the official electoral votes. The electoral vote system is fine, in fact in my opinion necessary, but the electoral votes should be automatically awarded pursuant to the popular votes of each state.

One elector from DC withheld abstained in 2000; an elector from Washington voted for Ronald Reagan in 1976; and an elector from Virginia voted for Libertarian John Hospers in 1972. That shouldn't happen. We're playing with fire. Ditch the electors, but keep the electoral votes.

35 posted on 06/03/2004 8:32:23 PM PDT by southernnorthcarolina (I've told you a billion times: stop exaggerating!)
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To: Dont Mention the War
set up by the Founding Fathers partly to shield against unfiltered democracy -- then equated with mob rule.

The founding fathers were right. Pure Democracy is the rule of the mob.

Contrary to Business Week, I'll recommend the other direction. Restrict sufferage to those over 25 and honorably discharged veterans. Remove popular election of Senators - we don't need two Houses of Representatives.

36 posted on 06/03/2004 8:33:08 PM PDT by Snuffington
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To: southernnorthcarolina

Ya, the electors are a dangerous anachronism, and should be bounced. I agree. We seem to agree on a lot. :)


37 posted on 06/03/2004 8:33:50 PM PDT by Torie
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Dont Mention the War
McCain: "Sixty days prior to the election, you will not see the flood of [negative] advertising you saw before. "

Instead you will see a flood of negative editorials and news articles that Bush will be prohibited from answering.

40 posted on 06/03/2004 8:34:16 PM PDT by bayourod (Kerry has no track record in negotiating with foreign nations, nor does Sec of State Sharpton)
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To: Dont Mention the War

Stephen B. Shepard
Editor-in-Chief
Business Week
McGraw-Hill Building · 1221 Avenue of the Americas · 39th Floor · New York, NY 10020
212-512-3896 212-512-4464
Sshepard@aol.com


41 posted on 06/03/2004 8:36:06 PM PDT by jimbo123
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To: Dont Mention the War

So what the author is saying is, that as long as the Electorial College worked in favor of electing DemonRATS, it was a-okay, but now that it seems to favor Republicans-it has outlived it's usefullness. Well that's just too damn bad, isn't it?


42 posted on 06/03/2004 8:37:38 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (When Kerry Sticks up one finger, he's indicating his IQ- it's not one, but it is in single digits)
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To: Dont Mention the War

The World Series is decided by who wins the most games, not who gets the most runs in the whole series.


43 posted on 06/03/2004 8:38:45 PM PDT by Ramius (We come to it at last. The great battle of our time.)
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To: GATOR NAVY; KC Burke; Torie
What about maintaining the electoral college but making it a points system thus eliminating the kooks who may vote as a protest vote and to be honest I don't much trust those appointed to the college - party hacks and cronies mostly and make the college proportional and not winner take all (or only making it winner take all if the winner gets over 50%)?

With that said the Electoral system (if not a college of people) must stand.

44 posted on 06/03/2004 8:39:23 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: sinkspur

Business Week is in the same liberal dumpster as Time and Newsweak, et al. It's a fading print publication that struggles by with cheap college-newspaper hires and has-been hacks. No surprise that it's an anti-capitalism, anti-America publication. Democrats run the place.
Business Week will endorse Kerry.


45 posted on 06/03/2004 8:39:25 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Dont Mention the War
White: "Kent, I want you to whip up some frenzy over the Electoral College. Nobody's buying the magazine and we need chaos! Chaos sells! You hear me Kent?"

Kent: "But sir, everybody knows the Electoral College works..."

White: "I DON'T CARE Kent! Use a strawman! Play on people's fears! Bring up Florida! Now you make the EC look like yesterday's dishes or you're fired!"

46 posted on 06/03/2004 8:40:27 PM PDT by StAnDeliver
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To: Destro

I just endorsed that - three times. I asked the extra two to be deleted, but the mods are on holiday or something. Maybe it is time for flame war. I know you and I are up to it. :)


47 posted on 06/03/2004 8:41:09 PM PDT by Torie
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To: NavySEAL F-16

They also didn't trust regular white landowners to make the "right" decisions, which is why they allow the electoral voters to switch if the "wrong" candidate is voted for. However, that is quite the rare occurence.


48 posted on 06/03/2004 8:41:44 PM PDT by Quick1
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To: Dont Mention the War

"Finally, the College was a sop to Southerners, who were given credit for each slave at the rate of three-fifths of a free voter, magnifying the power of white property owners in Dixie."

Setting aside all else, isn't this factually in error? Wasn't in fact the 3/5 rule a method to REDUCE the representation by not counting slaves the same as freemen?


49 posted on 06/03/2004 8:42:01 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: NavySEAL F-16
Ditto that. The Constitution was conceived to protect us all. Brilliantly so. Checks and balances assure oversight of the executive and constraint on tyranny of legislative majority. The electoral college is an indispensable part of the system. The Founders were well aware of the weakest link in any system of governance, man.
50 posted on 06/03/2004 8:42:24 PM PDT by corvus
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