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GOP Subverting Framers' Intent In Pennsylvania
IBD Editorials ^ | October 11, 2011 | GEORGE F. WILL

Posted on 10/11/2011 5:43:11 PM PDT by Kaslin

Republicans supposedly revere the Constitution, but in its birthplace, Pennsylvania, they are contemplating a subversion of the Framers' institutional architecture. Their ploy — partisanship masquerading as altruism about making presidential elections more "democratic" — will weaken resistance to an even worse change being suggested.

Pennsylvania's GOP-controlled Legislature may pass, and the Republican governor promises to sign, legislation ending the state's practice — shared by 47 other states — of allocating all of its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote.

Pennsylvania would join Maine and Nebraska in allocating one vote to the winner in each congressional district, with the two remaining votes going to the statewide popular vote winner.

The 2012 GOP candidate might lose the statewide vote but carry, say, nine of the 18 congressional districts, cutting Barack Obama's yield to 11 electoral votes. But if the Republican candidate carries nine of Pennsylvania's 18 districts, and the statewide vote — Obama's Pennsylvania poll numbers are poor — Republicans will have cost themselves nine electoral votes, which would be condign punishment.

Not since 1988 has a Republican carried Pennsylvania, a state described as Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west and Alabama in between. Incongruous political cultures coexist in many states, so the temptation to which the Pennsylvania GOP may succumb could become a national contagion.

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


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: elections; electoralcollege; georgefwill; georgewill

1 posted on 10/11/2011 5:43:14 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Still, no matter how it's done the Constitution weights the electoral votes to the small states ~

What you have are "states" and all that's being proposed is proportional or party list voting rather than "first past the post" voting ~ for a state.

2 posted on 10/11/2011 5:46:52 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin
... which would be condign punishment.

I don't know about those folks in Pennsylvania, but I just couldn't take any condign punishment.

3 posted on 10/11/2011 5:48:29 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: Kaslin

One of the impacts of this change is that stuffing the ballot would affect only one congressional district rather than the whole state.

And Philadelphia is a good reason to do it. 103% of registered voters voted.Bah, humbug.


4 posted on 10/11/2011 5:52:26 PM PDT by buffaloguy
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To: buffaloguy

and we see another step toward the loss of our republic...


5 posted on 10/11/2011 5:57:51 PM PDT by Loud Mime (The Obama voters are dumber than you think, meaner than you can imagine)
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To: Kaslin

Last I saw, there are only two states were the trial lawyers give more money to the Republicans than to the Democrats:

wait for it....

Alaska and Pennsylvania.


6 posted on 10/11/2011 5:59:35 PM PDT by Loud Mime (The Obama voters are dumber than you think, meaner than you can imagine)
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To: Kaslin
According to The Constitution for the United States
Article II section 1 2nd paragraph; Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:

Show me the subversion of original intent.
7 posted on 10/11/2011 6:02:00 PM PDT by crazyhorse691 (Obama is just the symptom of what is destroying the U.S.)
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To: crazyhorse691

Max dittos, kimo sabe!


8 posted on 10/11/2011 6:03:24 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Kaslin
I have NO problem with each Congressional District being one State Electoral Vote. The parasites of the big Cities, who live off others' earnings, ALWAYS vote for the (D) and more handouts. Their multi-voting, outright fraudulent early voting, illegal/non-citizen voting, and ACORN shenanigans SHOULD be negated by a single electoral vote in these criminal enclaves called "Major Cities".

I hope Ohio does the same thing, to eliminate the fraud-weighted outcome here. Ohio would go from Blue to Red overnight.

9 posted on 10/11/2011 6:04:35 PM PDT by traditional1 ("Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: crazyhorse691

Agree.

I would only add that we should have a much larger House of Reps and therefore, many more electoral districts. The Constitution specifies no more than one rep per 30,000. We are near one rep per 700,000.


10 posted on 10/11/2011 6:14:17 PM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: traditional1

Illinois should do it also, my vote is wasted every election!


11 posted on 10/11/2011 6:14:41 PM PDT by GrannyK
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To: Kaslin

This was a bad idea when the left was proposing it. It is hard to believe anyone who is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States would even consider this. Of course, it was we the people who amended the constitution in 1913 to elect senators by popular vote instead of the high house method of selection by the state legislatures.

What we will eventually amend ourselves into is a pure democracy, or rule by the mob.

Keep your powder dry


12 posted on 10/11/2011 6:15:43 PM PDT by petro45acp (NO good endeavour survives an excess of "adult supervision" (hence the American experiment))
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To: Kaslin

I don’t understand why the Republicans would want to do this when the odds are they’ll win PA this time.

Enacting this proportionate voting benefits the loser of the state.


13 posted on 10/11/2011 6:18:32 PM PDT by chopperman
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To: Kaslin

I don’t understand why the Republicans would want to do this when the odds are they’ll win PA this time.

Enacting this proportionate voting benefits the loser of the state.


14 posted on 10/11/2011 6:18:45 PM PDT by chopperman
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To: GrannyK

“Illinois should do it also, my vote is wasted every election!”

Mu sympathies. Once upon a time I lived in New Orleans. My favorite candidates there usually got about 3 or 4 percent of the vote. I understand.


15 posted on 10/11/2011 6:26:48 PM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: Jacquerie
Just what we need 4350 crooks instead of 435. Great idea.
16 posted on 10/11/2011 6:31:28 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: RobinOfKingston

Is that worse than “consarned” punishment?


17 posted on 10/11/2011 6:34:18 PM PDT by RipSawyer ("IDIOCRACY" is a documentary of current conditions in America.)
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To: Jacquerie
That's not what it says.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution says, "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand." That is to say a congressional district must have at least 30,000. It's a minimum number, not a maximum number.

18 posted on 10/11/2011 6:34:25 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Obama wins in 2012.)
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To: Kaslin

Will’s being more than a bit melodramatic.

Madison wanted the President elected by the House where, if the electoral college fails to elect a president, the choice still resides.

The constitutional convention wanted the President to be separate and equal from the House so they created an electoral college to give the president as much popular legitimacy as the House. In that regard, the bill is right in line with the framer’s intent. Winner take all selection of electors is a state by state decision.


19 posted on 10/11/2011 6:38:28 PM PDT by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: Kaslin
Politics aside--I would like Will to cite the relevant Constitutional clause that says a state's electoral vote must be unanimous.

The fact is that there are several precedents where a random state elector went against the state's popular vote. These quixotic individuals actually should be rec ognized and honored for upholding the "real" founders' intent, which was that the electoral college would be real representatives, really elected by the people or the state legislature, to cast the state's votes for president.

I believe the State of Tennessee held out until the election of Andrew Jackson by empowering the state legislature to choose electors. The popular vote was possibly influential but legally irrelevant.

20 posted on 10/11/2011 6:44:19 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Kaslin

This is a good initiative, entirely consistent with the electoral college, and exactly the opposite direction of the preposterous NPV deal.


21 posted on 10/11/2011 6:56:12 PM PDT by Crichton
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To: petro45acp
This was a bad idea when the left was proposing it.

When did the left ever propose this?

It is hard to believe anyone who is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States would even consider this.

Where is the conflict with the Constitution?

I have a hard time believing you've given this a moment's thought.

22 posted on 10/11/2011 6:58:59 PM PDT by Crichton
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To: chopperman

PA has been a blue state for a long time. Unless there has been a sudden sea-change that has made it more conservative, odds are that if we win PA, we’ll have also won Ohio, Florida, Iowa, etc., and so we won’t need the extra votes.

It might also help the residents get their voice heard if the candidates stop by the swing districts.


23 posted on 10/11/2011 6:59:51 PM PDT by MN Mitch
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To: Kaslin

If there’s anything in the Constitution or in the record of the debates at the Constitutional Convention that in any way suggests that apportioning electors from a State in proportion to that State’s popular vote, or in proportion to the number of Congressional districts where each candidate won the popular vote in the district, I have been unable to find it.

In fact, it seems quite clear that the Framers intened to give the legislature of each State full and non-reviewable power to select Presidential electors in any manner they see fit.


24 posted on 10/11/2011 7:00:05 PM PDT by sourcery (If true=false, then there would be no constraints on what is possible. Hence, the world exists.)
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To: Loud Mime

Once upon a time, I was told Pittsburgh has more lawyers per capita than anywhere except DC. Not sure if that’s true, but considering how sh*t gets done around here, it wouldn’t surprise me.


25 posted on 10/11/2011 7:05:06 PM PDT by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: muawiyah

It depends. Quite often the small states have been noise and the easiest route to a majority was to concentrate on the large states. In recent years smaller states have had an advantage. I would say if PA goes this route it will lose influence. Out of 18 seats maybe 3 or 4 are tossups. However I would say there is a good chance a Republican could win statewide in ‘12 - so it could work against the GOP this time out.


26 posted on 10/11/2011 7:07:10 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: surroundedbyblue
Resident lawyers? That'd be Fairfax County VA now. We have over 100,000 of them, and it's growing. We also have the nation's longest life expectancy (except for living next door to GROUND ZERO of course).

It pays to eat well I suppose.

27 posted on 10/11/2011 7:09:34 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: sourcery
At the time of adoption the British Parliament continued to grant special seats to MPs from Oxford and Cambridge.

They also had the "Rotten Borough" system, and bribery was common.

Still, Britain's Parliament had set an example of allowing the broadest of representative structures.

That's just one of the reasons the Founders left it to the states to decide the who's and what's.

28 posted on 10/11/2011 7:12:30 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: buffaloguy
One of the impacts of this change is that stuffing the ballot would affect only one congressional district rather than the whole state.

And Philadelphia is a good reason to do it. 103% of registered voters voted.Bah, humbug.


Agree with all your points.
29 posted on 10/11/2011 7:13:41 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: scrabblehack

1789 & 1792 - Washington carried every state. VP vote split.
MD split votes 1796, 1800, 1804, 1808, 1812
PA split votes 1796, 1800
VA split votes 1796,
NC split votes 1796, 1800, 1808
NY split votes 1808
1816 first time every state was WTA. Even then it was not by statute but coincidence.


30 posted on 10/11/2011 7:24:21 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: scrabblehack

And NOW the self-proclaimed Republican Party Leadership in NEBRASKA want to go to Winner-take-All!


31 posted on 10/11/2011 7:39:31 PM PDT by PizzaDriver ( on)
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To: Kaslin

These kinds of acts always come back to haunt the manipulators.


32 posted on 10/11/2011 7:45:32 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Obama's secret: "Once you learn to fake sincerity you've got it made")
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To: muawiyah
Just to clarify, my original post omitted a key phrase. It should have said:

"If there’s anything in the Constitution or in the record of the debates at the Constitutional Convention that in any way suggests that apportioning electors from a State in proportion to that State’s popular vote, or in proportion to the number of Congressional districts where each candidate won the popular vote in the district, was contradictory to the intent of the Framers, I have been unable to find it."

Sorry for any confusion.

33 posted on 10/11/2011 8:46:57 PM PDT by sourcery (If true=false, then there would be no constraints on what is possible. Hence, the world exists.)
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To: Kaslin

The constitution does not dictate how states assign their electoral college votes. This may be stupid, but is hardly unconstitutional.


34 posted on 10/11/2011 8:54:08 PM PDT by MortMan (What disease did cured ham used to have?)
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To: petro45acp

“What we will eventually amend ourselves into is a pure democracy, or rule by the mob.”

As an aside, is this not exactly how the Swiss govern themselves?

They seem to do a fairly decent job by that method.

Given the way that _Washington_ has been “governing” (and trending) the past 25-30 years, I’m wondering if I’d actually _prefer_ “rule by the mob”.

Kind of like the famous quote which I believe can be attributed to William F. Buckley. He said something to the effect that he would prefer to be governed by the first 535 names from the Boston phone directory, than by the members of Congress.

If that makes any sense at all, what difference whether it’s the “first 535 names”, or ALL of us?

By the way, George Will is completely wrong in his essay. If anything subverts the intent of the Electoral College, it is the lopsided “winner take all” contests from states like California, New York and Pennsylvania. The throngs from the cities overwhelm and make mute the political voices of those from the rest of those states.

Pennsylvania Republicans are wise to push for “the Maine electoral solution” for their state. I hope they get it done.

Just sayin’’....


35 posted on 10/11/2011 9:13:27 PM PDT by Grumplestiltskin (I may look new, but it's only deja vu!)
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To: Kaslin
Republicans supposedly revere the Constitution, but in its birthplace, Pennsylvania, they are contemplating a subversion of the Framers' institutional architecture.

With all due respect to the author, this is not correct. First of all, the Constitution only sets forth the amount of Electors per state and says the method for which they are allocated is up to the state legislatures. Second, this is practice that has been in place since very first election by some states and changed over time. Many states for many presidential elections had all Electors appointed by the state legislature and there was no popular vote.

Now, that doesn't mean this is a good idea, and it's fine for him to have an opinion that it is not, but there is nothing unconstitutional or unprecendented about it - in fact this has been done since the first election. Personally have an issue with it as it would make Electoral votes also subject to gerrymandering.

36 posted on 10/11/2011 9:18:55 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: Kaslin
Republicans supposedly revere the Constitution, but in its birthplace, Pennsylvania, they are contemplating a subversion of the Framers' institutional architecture.

With all due respect to the author, this is not correct. First of all, the Constitution only sets forth the amount of Electors per state and says the method for which they are allocated is up to the state legislatures. Second, this is practice that has been in place since very first election by some states and changed over time. Many states for many presidential elections had all Electors appointed by the state legislature and there was no popular vote.

Now, that doesn't mean this is a good idea, and it's fine for him to have an opinion that it is not, but there is nothing unconstitutional or unprecendented about it - in fact this has been done since the first election. Personally have an issue with it as it would make Electoral votes also subject to gerrymandering.

37 posted on 10/11/2011 9:19:16 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: petro45acp; chopperman
This is the exact opposite of the National Popular Vote plan proposed by the mobocrats. It does for Pennsylvania what the electoral college does for the country as a whole: ensures that one narrow region of the state doesn't dominate all elections. The same method has been used by Maine since 1972 and Nebraska since 1992.

it isn't a good idea, it is a great idea.

38 posted on 10/11/2011 9:22:12 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: scrabblehack
Our of 18 congressional districts, maybe 3 or 4 are safe for each party. This means 16-17 electoral votes are clearly winnable-- not too small of a total for any presidential candidate to ignore.

We are not attention whores like Iowa and New Hampshire. Many of our smaller and mid-sized cities are very nice communities and good representations of middle America. We're damn tired of having the Philadelphia tail wag the Pennsylvania dog.

39 posted on 10/11/2011 9:27:51 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Republican Wildcat
With all due respect to the author, this is not correct.

George Will is due no respect. He's the token conservative for the inside the beltway crowd. He writes better about baseball than politics.

His constitutional ignorance is very much on display here. That's exactly why he is the token conservative for the inside the beltway crowd.

40 posted on 10/11/2011 9:32:07 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: newzjunkey
That is to say a congressional district must have at least 30,000. It's a minimum number, not a maximum number.

Damndest "translation" of simple English that I've seen in years. Then why have a number at all?

Is English not your first language?

41 posted on 10/11/2011 11:01:05 PM PDT by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Those who don’t wish to be represented are only fit to be ruled.


42 posted on 10/12/2011 2:22:45 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: newzjunkey

Huh? What are you talking about?

I said, the Constitution specifies no more than one rep per 30,000.

You replied, “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand.”

What is you point? Do you have one?


43 posted on 10/12/2011 2:30:59 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Psalm 144

Problem here is my candidate can get 49.5% & opponent 50.5% and he takes all the electoral votes. Even tho half the people didn’t vote for him, he gets 100%, just ain’t fair!
No wonder so many people stay home.

Two areas elected our present gov. East St. Louis and Chicago. The rest of us are just peons.

Politicians don’t even have to campaign downstate.


44 posted on 10/12/2011 2:17:45 PM PDT by GrannyK
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