Slow Learners Or Is This What Stupid Parties Do?

The latest words from what Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called “the stupid party” seems to bare out Jindal’s words.  Republicans in several States are toying with the idea of how Electoral College voters are selected.  If all 50 states had followed their proposals last November, it would be President Romney today.

At present, 48 States allocate all their electoral college votes to the candidate who wins the plurality of voters on election day.  Nebraska and Maine award electoral college votes proportionate to the percent each candidate earned on election day.  The “stupid party’s” idea would be to award electoral votes based upon the plurality in each congressional district.  

Hmmm.  So, what’s wrong with this?

First, politically it is tinkering with the rules while the game is being played.  Americans do not like people who change the rules in an obvious attempt to tilt the outcome.

Second, if these rules had applied in the last election, we would have elected a President who lost the national popular vote by 5 million votes.  Not much of a mandate there.

Third, the Democratic notion which America has evolved is one person, one vote.  Any attempts to alter this usually elicit strong negative reaction from the public.  In essence this Republican proposal would disenfranchise many Americans.

One might ask why there is an electoral college when Americans think they are voting for their choice of President when they vote?  The founding fathers had a cautious eye towards the electorate as a whole but even more so towards State legislatures in particular.  Voting for electors pledged to Candidate A seemed a sound way around the meddling State assemblies were known for.

It would seem that awarding electoral votes either “winner take all” (as 48 States do now), or “proportionate” (as Nebraska and Maine do) seems fair and true to “one person, one vote”.

Changing Presidential election rules in the first year of a term is the correct time.  It allows for all parties to adjust and prepare for the election 4 years hence.  It also allows for adequate time to litigate the changes should the modification appear to destroy the “one person, one vote” principle.

I just wonder why people do not remember the maxim, “if it isn’t broken, why try to fix it”?  


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