Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why the Electoral College Matters (A campaign to circumvent the Elector College is underway)
American Thinker ^ | 07/30/2010 | Rick Moran

Posted on 07/30/2010 7:18:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

It's been called "undemocratic," "a relic," and worse. Every fifty years or so, a movement gets underway to eviscerate or eliminate it -- one of the creakiest compromises that emerged from our Constitutional Convention in 1788.

I refer to the Electoral College -- that inelegant, less-than-perfect, but ultimately useful device by which we actually elect our presidents. Over the years, more than thirty constitutional amendments have been introduced in Congress to gut the college or eliminate it entirely. None have ever passed the legislature and been sent to the states for ratification.

A few states have taken it upon themselves to circumvent the Electoral College by joining what has come to be known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, where no matter the vote for president in their own states, they will apportion electoral votes based on the national popular vote totals. Massachusetts is the latest state to join this Compact, but it is unclear whether it would actually pass constitutional muster if challenged.

Arguments in favor of the compact are compelling. Isn't it always better to have the people choose the president directly? In a nation as much in love with liberty as the United States, such an argument resonates powerfully. Other arguments are equally worthy: such a compact would prevent chaos in very close elections; it would take the focus of elections off the large swing states and thus empower smaller states; and the compact may open the door to more serious third party challenges, thus broadening participation.

But there are two powerful reasons for maintaining the current system. First, as conservatives, we favor tradition -- especially when it can't be proved that changing the rules would make the system better. For every argument in favor of deep-sixing the Electoral College, there are counterarguments which reveal some of the unintended consequences that would arise if we were to abandon the College and consign the Founders' wisdom to the dustbin of history.

The original intent of the College was to keep the decision for president entirely out of the hands of citizens and place it in the hands of "wise men," who would presumably act in the national interest in choosing a president rather than base the choice on the selfish interests of the rabble. The Electoral College was amended in 1804 to reflect the emergence of political parties, and states mostly settled on a "winner take all" formula for choosing electors.

This boosted the influence of states in national elections by forcing candidates to run campaigns that reflected the federal nature of our republic. The early divisions of big state vs. small state in the country were augmented by urban vs. rural, west vs. east, north vs. south, and agriculture vs. manufacturing divisions which a candidate for president had to address if he were to be successful.

The magic formula to reach a majority of the Electoral College votes, therefore, was a test of the broadest possible appeal of a candidate. It guaranteed that no region, no interest would be slighted by a candidate who did so at the risk of alienating key groups and losing precious Electoral College votes in the process. Rural voters from North and South, urban voters from the coast and the interior were lumped together, and specific appeals were tailored to win them over.

The other major reason to maintain the Electoral College is that it confirms the federal nature of the United States government. It is not surprising that the impetus for the compact is coming from heavily Democratic states. Direct election of a president would place a premium on wholesale politics. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama took nine of the ten largest states, running up huge majorities in the popular vote in states like California, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and Michigan. In a race decided by the popular vote, the Republican would be at a distinct disadvantage in that he would be forced to run a defensive campaign, trying to cut into the Democrat's huge advantage in coastal and heavily urbanized areas while defending turf in far less populous regions. The disparity would mean that the Republican would spend far more per vote than the Democrat.

And there is something to be said for the charm of presidential campaigns as they are currently run. True, swing states like Ohio and Florida get an inordinate amount of attention from candidates. But would smaller states receive more stroking from candidates if we were to switch to a popular vote model? I can't imagine it. In a close election like 2004, John Kerry and George Bush crisscrossed the country in those final days, hitting smaller states like New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, and Washington, in addition to the larger markets, fighting for each and every electoral vote. I doubt very much whether that scenario would play out in a direct election scenario, as it would be more efficient and prudent to appear in states with the largest TV markets to maximize the effort to win as many votes as possible.

The argument for or against the Electoral College is a close one. But in the end, bowing to the wisdom of the Founders has rarely steered us wrong through the centuries. In this, as in most things, their prescience in doing what was best for succeeding generations of Americans has been born out with great success.

Rick Moran is blog editor of American Thinker and proprietor of RightWing Nuthouse.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: constitution; corruption; cultureofcorruption; democratcorruption; democrats; donttreadonme; electionfraud; elections; electoralcollege; howtostealanelection; liberalfascism; liberalprogressivism; lping; mobrule; unconstitutional; voterfraud

1 posted on 07/30/2010 7:19:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Its been underway but we’ve been told that we shouldn’t worry about it.


2 posted on 07/30/2010 7:20:15 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

LATEST ATTACK ON THE CONSTITUTION :


http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/07/mass_legislatur.html?p1=News_links

Mass. Legislature approves plan to bypass Electoral College

By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

The Massachusetts Legislature has approved a new law intended to bypass the Electoral College system and ensure that the winner of the presidential election is determined by the national popular vote.

“What we are submitting is the idea that the president should be selected by the majority of people in the United States of America,” Senator James B. Eldridge, an Acton Democrat, said before the Senate voted to enact the bill.

Under the new bill, he said, “Every vote will be of the same weight across the country.”

But Senate minority leader Richard Tisei said the state was meddling with a system that was “tried and true” since the founding of the country.

“We’ve had a lot of bad ideas come through this chamber over the years, but this is going to be one of the worst ideas that has surfaced and actually garnered some support,” said Tisei, who is also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

The bill, which passed on a 28-to-9 vote, now heads to Democratic Governor Deval Patrick’s desk. The governor has said in the past that he supports the bill, said his spokeswoman Kim Haberlin.

Under the law, which was enacted by the House last week, all 12 of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally.

Supporters are campaigning, state by state, to get such bills enacted. Once states accounting for a majority of the electoral votes (or 270 of 538) have enacted the laws, the candidate winning the most votes nationally would be assured a majority of Electoral College votes. That would hold true no matter how the other states vote and how their electoral votes are distributed.

Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington have already approved the legislation, according to the National Popular Vote campaign’s website. The new system would only go into effect once a sufficient number of states have passed laws that would make it work.

CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE REST


3 posted on 07/30/2010 7:20:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

the majority of the states that have approved it are blue states, such as Maryland, which would undercut their own voters.


4 posted on 07/30/2010 7:22:43 AM PDT by Perdogg (Nancy Pelosi did more damage to America on 03/21 than Al Qaeda did on 09/11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

[The argument for or against the Electoral College is a close one]

No it’s not.


5 posted on 07/30/2010 7:24:59 AM PDT by KansasGirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
It's been called "undemocratic," ...

Good. "Democracy" is one step up from "mob rule".

If the ideal electoral system is one which maximizes the liklihood of one voter's individual vote turning the course of the election, the Electoral College implements that.

Mathematical proof here: Math Against Tyranny

Further, the Electoral College is a firewall against electoral fraud.

Under a "National Popular Vote" system, fraudulogenic ballots generated where people "Vote early and vote often" will poison the national ballot pool, whereas under the Electoral College, it doesn't matter if a candidate gets 1000% (not a typo) of the popular vote in a given state, they still only get that state's allotment of Electoral Votes.

6 posted on 07/30/2010 7:26:25 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KansasGirl

There are so many facets to the electoral college that it is far too deep for most on the left to understand it beyond the idea that “those red[neck] states get more votes than us”.


7 posted on 07/30/2010 7:26:40 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I really hope that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts goes forward with this. I can’t wait to see Massachusetts’ electoral votes go towards the Republican candidate in 2012 even though a majority of Massachusetts voted Dem.


8 posted on 07/30/2010 7:27:38 AM PDT by Hoodat (.For the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

There is NO WAY this ridiculous idea could pass constitutional muster. Well, maybe in the 9th Circus ....


9 posted on 07/30/2010 7:28:21 AM PDT by tgusa (Investment plan: blued steel, brass, lead, copper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
Its well underway aceoss the country but don't worry about it.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
10 posted on 07/30/2010 7:29:21 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Unconstitutional. Constitution prohibits compacts or agreements among states. One state passing a law that doesn’t take effect until other states pass the same law is clearly prohibited.


11 posted on 07/30/2010 7:29:27 AM PDT by nailspitter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Well, I guess I am not terribly worried-yet. If bluer-than-blue states like M-ASS-achusetts adopt this it is no big deal. They are locks for the Dem in any case, and a Republican Presidential candidate need not go there at all under any electoral system. If this becomes national, we’re screwed.


12 posted on 07/30/2010 7:30:00 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

Direct election of senators was touted by the Progressives as the way to ensure that sneators wouldd be directly responsible to the People. The result, however, has been that big money interests from outside a given state can grossly affect the outcome. If you don’t believe so, check into the donations of the campaigns of your own senators. You will find that hte Ruling Class re-inforces its own.

Eliminating the elctoral college will have the same effect on the Presidency. It is a grand way to ensure that states with smaller populations become totally irrelevant. No wonder you’ve been told to ignore the man behind the curtain.


13 posted on 07/30/2010 7:31:07 AM PDT by Pecos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
Presidential candidates rarely, if ever, campaign in UT, WY or ND. If this were to ever pass, all campaigns would be confined to 5 or 6 states. Stick with the founders, they were on to something. Having two Senators from each state, regardless of size or population, is a great example of why we need the Electoral College.
14 posted on 07/30/2010 7:32:28 AM PDT by JPG (Sarah Spitz? No, she swallowed the Obama agenda.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Isn’t the point behind this to enable the manufacturing of votes, which the Democrats are very good at, to produce a fake majority of popular votes? This would allow Democrats to spread out the voter fraud more effectively and with less chance of getting caught. All they would have to do is spread “popular votes” through the country and give states that Massachusetts the cover for giving their electoral votes to the Democrat candidate.


15 posted on 07/30/2010 7:37:32 AM PDT by Jackson57
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Isn't it always better to have the people choose the president directly?

We would be a more conservative and richer country today if George Washington had accepted being a king. The UK monarchy had a good formula going until inbreeding did them in.

16 posted on 07/30/2010 7:40:16 AM PDT by Reeses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Yep, multiple states are working to circumvent the Constitution.

In 2000, the reason that all Rats are pulling this crap we would have needed a NATIONWIDE county by county vote and would have had to wait for all of the mail-in ballots to arrive (of course the post office has been known to hold such ballots to skim votes).

Why? Gore’s boasted “popular vote” victory was 0.51% (half of one percent) of the total vote. And that is without 3,000 contested ballots (that the Florida Supremes approved) not being included in the Florida certified tally.


17 posted on 07/30/2010 7:45:03 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jackson57

Rats can manufacture votes in a few big states easier than they can manufacture votes in a majority of states.


18 posted on 07/30/2010 7:46:07 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Pecos

I am not in favor of the compact, just pointing out the irony.


19 posted on 07/30/2010 7:46:38 AM PDT by Perdogg (Nancy Pelosi did more damage to America on 03/21 than Al Qaeda did on 09/11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Jackson57
Isn’t the point behind this to enable the manufacturing of votes, which the Democrats are very good at, to produce a fake majority of popular votes?

Yes it is, and that, at its dark and bitter core, is the evil of this concept that goes to the very marrow if its metaphorical bones.

20 posted on 07/30/2010 7:56:41 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Pecos

Small States would react by building a coalition of Senators that would fight BIG state governing. Small states would band together to build a filibuster block. Things in DC would grind to a halt.


21 posted on 07/30/2010 8:04:54 AM PDT by LeonardFMason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

bookmark.


22 posted on 07/30/2010 8:15:18 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring
Under a "National Popular Vote" system, fraudulogenic ballots generated where people "Vote early and vote often" will poison the national ballot pool, whereas under the Electoral College, it doesn't matter if a candidate gets 1000% (not a typo) of the popular vote in a given state, they still only get that state's allotment of Electoral Votes.

Which is why Soros setup a group to install leftist secretaries of state nationwide who will assist in the popular vote fraud.

Link here:

Soros Eyes Secretaries

23 posted on 07/30/2010 8:23:12 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Jackson57
Isn’t the point behind this to enable the manufacturing of votes, which the Democrats are very good at, to produce a fake majority of popular votes?

See post #23

24 posted on 07/30/2010 8:26:21 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

See post #23 to see the structure being put in place to accomplish nationwide fraud.


25 posted on 07/30/2010 8:27:06 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

See post #23 for the structure being put in place to assist in the “legal” manufacture of votes nationwide.


26 posted on 07/30/2010 8:28:26 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Best argument and only real reason for its exitence. Think how many Chicago votes could be used to wiipe out a smaller state’s votes for the other candidate, a la Nixon and Kennedy.


27 posted on 07/30/2010 8:39:53 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Best argument and only real reason for its existence. Think how many Chicago votes could be used to wiipe out a smaller state’s votes for the other candidate, a la Nixon and Kennedy.


28 posted on 07/30/2010 8:40:33 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: LachlanMinnesota

but in a hypothetical close race in Illinois, the fact that all of Illinois electoral votes go to the pop vote winner, it would encourage shenanigans in the larger districts. In a pop vote scheme, both candidates would both get a percentage of the popular vote from a given state. But if a contested state is large and the margin is thin, then the winner takes ALL of the electoral votes. So a few hundred votes in a key state can change the electoral outcome dramatically.

This might be problematic. Imagine if John Kerry had won Ohio by a few hundred votes in 2004 but lost the national popular vote. He would have been President.


29 posted on 07/30/2010 8:53:24 AM PDT by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Under a popular vote only system, Kerry or Gore could have lost their respective elections even if they had carried 49 states by a 50,000 vote margin each and Bush had carried Texas by 3 million (Which he didn't quite do but it's possible) Would the rats like that scenario?

This math excludes Obama's other 7 states.

30 posted on 07/30/2010 9:11:26 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things. Eccl 10 v 19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
But there are two powerful reasons for maintaining the current system. First, as conservatives, we favor tradition -- especially when it can't be proved that changing the rules would make the system better. For every argument in favor of deep-sixing the Electoral College, there are counterarguments which reveal some of the unintended consequences that would arise if we were to abandon the College and consign the Founders' wisdom to the dustbin of history.

No, conservatism doesn't "favor tradition" per se, but it DOES favor rule of law and the CONSTITUTION.

31 posted on 07/30/2010 11:12:26 AM PDT by VRWCmember
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
the majority of the states that have approved it are blue states, such as Maryland, which would undercut their own voters.

I live in MD ...

The citizens of MD really did not pay attention to this. In 2012, although the law will be inoperative, if the GOP wins - they will realize that [had the law had been in effect] their electoral votes would have gone to the GOP.

Then, they will demand a repeal ...

32 posted on 07/30/2010 11:56:26 AM PDT by Lmo56 (</i><p>)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
A few states have taken it upon themselves to circumvent the Electoral College by joining what has come to be known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, where no matter the vote for president in their own states, they will apportion electoral votes based on the national popular vote totals. Massachusetts is the latest state to join this Compact, but it is unclear whether it would actually pass constitutional muster if challenged.

It's unclear?
To whom? Red the Wino, Harry the Heroin Addict, or Mike the Meth-Head?

"Interstate compact"
An interstate compact is an agreement between two or more states of the United States of America. Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution provides that
"no state shall enter into an agreement or compact with another state" without the consent of Congress.
Seems pretty clear to me. Then again, I learned to READ in the 2nd Grade.

Eben tho I went to a Chicago publik skuul for my edumakation. And den eben passd da US Consteetootion Text in my junyour year in Hi Skrul, which weeze had two in order to gradumate as Seenyour.

And now I'm an Engineer. Back then I couldn't even spell it.
(old joke)

33 posted on 07/30/2010 12:06:59 PM PDT by Condor51 (SAT CONG!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

“The magic formula to reach a majority of the Electoral College votes, therefore, was a test of the broadest possible appeal of a candidate. It guaranteed that no region, no interest would be slighted by a candidate who did so at the risk of alienating key groups and losing precious Electoral College votes in the process.”

Good post, this subject and the like should be kept front and center. It represents a key part of the brilliance of the Founders to agree upon what is necessary at the Federal level to assure politicians serve the people and the interests of the Nation and not themselves. One key rationale of the concept can be viewed in all states or subunits (Counties, etc.) of the union which can easily fall victim to dominance by the likes of a large city within the jurisdiction.


34 posted on 07/30/2010 1:38:02 PM PDT by corvus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Why we need the E.C.? So this mostly red map isn't permanently ruled by the little blue splotches:


35 posted on 07/30/2010 3:20:22 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson