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Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Rigging" the Electoral College

For John, BLUFReform is vital, unless it might gore your ox.

Over at Slate Writer David Weigel is whinging about how efforts in Virginia to make their Electoral College votes more representative is BAD for Democrats, and therefore BAD.  The title is "Virginia State Senate Moves Ahead on Electoral College-Rigging Bill".

Up until this point I had thought that a lot of folks had problems with the Electoral College "winner take all" approach to representing the will of the voters.  If a presidential candidate wins a state he or she get all the Electoral College votes for that state (Maine and Nebraska excepted). Some deemed that as unfair.  Now efforts to fix the Electoral College is seen as "rigging".

So, where are we?

Here is one comment from the Althouse blog post on this.

Will anyone actually argue the position that what the Republicans are doing is "rigging"? It's not enough to say I hate when they find ways to take political advantage because I'm on the other side. It must be that you would say the same political advantage-taking by Democrats would be impermissible. Not just unwise or too hardcore, but actually cheating.
Regards  —  Cliff


Neal said...

it's only bad when Republicans or some other flavor conservative does it. For Democrats and liberals, it is always a wonderful mandate from "the people."

Its like Presidents lying to the electorate. I didn't have sex with that woman was just "understandable" and "laughably endearing" and of course.....the result of the VAST right wing conspiracy. Running guns to the Mexican cartels.....nothing to see here folks. Didn't happen...and even if it DID....we had YOUR best interests in mind.....somewhere. We didn't lie....we just needed to keep it can understand that......

Jack Mitchell said...

If it was up to Republicans, we would be driving the 'horse and bugging.' Meaning, if you can't beat 'em with ideas, policies & values, CHEAT!

This is a scumbag move:
A little number-crunching demonstrates why. If Republicans in 2011 had abused their monopoly control of state government in several key swing states and passed new laws for allocating electoral votes, the exact same votes cast in the exact same way in the 2012 election would have converted Barack Obama's advantage of nearly five million popular votes and 126 electoral votes into a resounding Electoral College defeat.

The power of elector-allocation rule changes goes further. Taken to an extreme, these Republican-run states have the ability to lock Democrats out of a chance of victory in 2016 absent the Democratic nominee winning a national landslide of some 12 million votes. In short, the Republicans could win the 2016 election in by state law changes made in 2013.

Stephen Colbert gives us The Word: Win, Lose or Redraw.

C R Krieger said...

OK, so I take it that the position of Democrats is that Electoral College implementation is fine just the way it is and it should not be changed one jot or tittle.

I used to argue the same point, but was slowly coming around to the view that allocation of Electors based upon proportion of votes cast was fairer.  Since I (and some chaps down in Virginia) seem to be the only one interested, I am going back to my previous position.  Besides, I liked, mostly, George W Bush as President, especially compared to the alternatives.

Regards  —  Cliff

Neal said...

Wait!!!! The precinct ballot box speaks for the people. The electoral college speaks for pure unadulterated back room politics....partisan at that. If a state "monopolizes control" at the precinct, it is because the electorate like what that party has to say.....or does.

The point remains, in state after state, in this election and the one 4 years ago....the Dems played the game on the table, under the table, and without any table at all. The election was rigged long before the states and counties dusted off the machines....and the insurance for the rigging is the electoral college.

But I do pick up a whining strain in your commentary......those dirty Republicans....versus.....those upstanding citizen, stalwart Democrats.

The only thing that is true of the Democrats and liberals is that you can out liberal a liberal......or be more underhanded.

Jack Mitchell said...

The current GOP proposal, as I understand it, would undercut slightly overpopulated districts to the betterment of slightly underpopulated districts.

If we want to agree to trash the EC and go with popular vote, I'm happy to have that talk. In my book, 50%+1 is a majority. In the GOP's proposal 50%minus 5 million gets to pick the POTUS.

The GOP's proposal is a turd.

Speaking of turds, Harry Reid is killing serious filibuster reform.
"I'm not personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold. With the history of the Senate, we have to understand the Senate isn't and shouldn't be like the House."

Neal said...

I agree with Harry. The Senate isn't like the House. The House has passed numerous budget bills.....and the Senate.....well...they have just passed.......gas if nothing else.

The popular vote is the only transparent means of electing government representation. At least you can simply go count ballots.....including the hanging chad...or curious pencil marks....but it IS auditable. The EC is just pure smoke and mirrors politics.

Of course, there will NEVER be a completely corruption proof electoral process. Too many sleazebags in the world who will do anything to win....Chicago has a rich history in that tradition.