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View Diary: Who's Afraid of the Popular Vote? (128 comments)

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  •  You're mixing up the branches of gov't. (2+ / 0-)
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    icemilkcoffee, jaysunb

    The reason nobody is clamoring to abolish the House is because people here believe that the states should have power proportional to their size.  Indeed, that's why you'll see people wanting to abolish the Senate.

    Either way, abolishing the Electoral College will not reduce this power.  

    Also, the President is the one truly national office, representing all of us the way our Congresspeople represent districts and states. As Head of State he is the face of every American, not just the fifty states plus DC.  His election should be national.  

    The Electoral College was instituted mainly to ensure that the President would be voted upon by the right kinds of people.   And even then, the people weren't trusted to vote for the electors--- only half the states even had popular election of the electors.  Most were chosen by their state legislators (i.e. the elite chose from amongst themselves) at the time, and in some states right up to the Civil War!


    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 02:23:05 PM PST

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    •  You misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

      the design of the entire system (as do those, if serious, who would abolish the senate).

      That "the President is the one truly national office," is entirely your assertion—what you want, not what it is or was meant to be. Had that, in fact, been the design, the founders could easily have set up a national vote with no weight given to states. Instead, for reasons you are either ignoring or are ignorant of, they came up with the electoral college, a close analogue to the representation of the states in the House. The idea, similar to others in the constitution, was that the presidency would be a mixed institution, part national, part federal.

      The method of choosing electors is, as you say, up to the states. The apportionment of those electors is designed into the system. We now have popular vote everywhere within states. Your desire to tear down the borders is, IMO, ill-advised and rife with undesirable consequences, one or two of which I have already pointed out.

      •  hmi: wrong analogy (0+ / 0-)

        The difference is that the members of the House are NOT unitary, whereas each state in the Electoral College is (except for a small number of cases).  It's not as if California has "a House election" and all of its 53 Representatives go to the party that wins.  

        The Senate is the much closer analogy to the Electoral College.  And you can see how dysfunctional the Senate is.

        •  That is another difference (1+ / 0-)
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          But it's important to note that no state HAS to allot its electors this way, nor do they have to force their electors to vote for the candidate they pledged to. The states simply choose to do so, and the Constitution says its up to them. States don't even have to hold an election: they could leave it up to one person chosen at random, or the drawing of lots.

          The NPV program is a way to ensure a popularly elected president without having to rewrite the Constitution--- the states involved choose to allot their electors a certain way, and that is that.  I'd rather have a Constitutional amendment (with a slate of election reforms thrown in), but you do what you can.  

          "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

          by nominalize on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 06:21:35 PM PST

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      •  please read Federalist 68-70 (0+ / 0-)

        and get back to me about the intentions of the framers and the scope of the President.  He wasn't made head of state for nothing.  He wasn't made commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States for nothing.  He wasn't made the head of diplomacy for the United States for nothing.  

         But to be brief: the President was always meant to respond to the people, and especially not to Congress or the states (any "pre-established body" as Publius writes).  

        It was thought proper that the president be chosen by people most qualified to do so; it still is.  At the time, electors chosen by the people of each state were thought most qualified.  Now, Americans feel that the people themselves are qualified to choose, and they're right.  

        Electing our president directly would lead us absolutely nowhere nearer to a parliamentary system (since Congress is unchanged by this), nor to a defederalized system (since the powers of the states are unchanged by this)--- these assertions of yours have no evidence to support them, and the premises that led you to make them are unsound.  

        "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

        by nominalize on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 06:18:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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