Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another dumb idea 
This one from California:

The California legislature has passed a bill to drastically change the way the president is elected – giving the state’s 55 electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote, regardless of the results within the state.

This comes courtesy of the same bag of dolts who argued after the 2000 election we should do away with the electoral college.

I've always wanted to ask these people if we should also do away with the Senate?

Splash, out


Well, I'm sure there are some interesting Con Law implications to this. Can they even do it? However, from a strict who wins/who loses position, are these guys idiots? This hurts the democrats, doesn't it? For the foreseeable future, those 55 electoral votes belong to the donkeys. With this, considering that the electorate is pretty darn close to 50/50, those electoral votes are a toss up. Granted, in practice that would probably just mean that there wouldn't be any more close Republican electoral college wins. Still, in legitimacy terms, Republicans would probably gain from having a 110 vote electoral vote swing.

As for subverting the electoral college, I think it is misguided for the Democrats to attack it in some bizarre revenge fetish for 2000. Going forward, I think both parties have similar odds of being on the good side of an EC win where the popular vote was lost.
Jason, you are right, this is dumb....for the Democrats sake! There is a very slim chance that Cali would ever vote for a GOP presidential candidate, so its 55 electoral votes will probably always go to the Dems candidate under the current system. However there is a greater chance that a GOP candidate could win the national popular vote, and therefore could win all of Cali's 55 EVs.

Lets do the math shall we? Option 1: Close 2008 election with Dem edging out the national popular vote, but like in 2000 GOP wins the EV, despite Cali's 55 votes. No advantage for the Dems. Option 2: Close 2008 election with GOP edging out the national popular vote. Due to Cali-Dem's stupidity, GOP walks away with Cali's 55 EVs (despite not winning Cali popular vote), and cripples nationa Dem chances at possibly squeaking out a nation EV victory.

So not matter how you cut it, this plan would hurt the Dems. Isn't that just like them though, fighting the *last* election and cutting off their nose to spite their face...
Best thing would be to do away with California. With the help of nature that may happen any day.
Unbelievable! That means that in a hypothetical race where a candidate does not appeal to California voters but is a favorite in the rest of the country, California's electoral votes go to that candidate? California has just decided to cede its role as a member of the republic. I doubt you will see any smaller population state do anything so stupid.
I know I don't want Presidential elections decided by population centers like New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.....
Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors...

This proposal is in the self-interest of at least the more populous of the non-swing states, since it will force presidental candidates to campaign there (and promise more pork). It is not only California that is in the process of passing this bill...
Good lord. Now my vote doesn't even count here. Jesus.
Actually, this has the potential to be a flat out brillant political move.

First, CA is going to stay solid Democratic for the near future, at least - and probably longer.

Consequences of above if they do nothing:

1. Republican national candidates give CA lip service, at best. If you know you can't win the state, move money & resources to other states where you can.
2. The Democrats take CA for granted.

= 3. Less national influence for CA, which (as noted by 02:43) means less pork.

CA can't change it's voting public, which means that the voting majoriy is going to stay Democratic, but if CA implements something like this, they're telling they are telling the national party, "No taking us for granted any more".

It's also a "silver lining" for national Republican candidates to come in and compete, because even if they don't win, they could pick up enough votes to control the national vote, and consequently get CA's electoral votes.

Howard Dean's got to be having a big time fit over this one. From a purely political standpoint, this is a really, really smart play.
Do away with the Senate? Well, the U.S. Supreme Court did away with state senates back in 1964. Now we have the form of a bicameral legislature at the state level... but no difference in representation between the two houses.
Surely it's only a matter of time before the Court finds Article I, Section 3 (as modified by Amendment XVII) unconstitutional....
Were I to challenge this, I'd argue that it violates the "democratic form of government" clause, and that clause trumps the legislative electoral clause. For instance, could the legislature determine that electoral votes shall be allocated on the basis of a steel cage death match, irrespective of what the voters do? Probably not, it would be in violation of the democratic form of government clause by essentially voiding the votes of the people of the state. Of course it may generate some interesting case law when it first hits the 9th circuit, especially if a lunatic like Reinhardt lands on the panel...
If this is signed into law, at least there will be the possibility that California's electoral votes won't go to the Democratic candidate.

In that light, it's possible that my vote WON'T be in vain for the first time in my life.
Speaking as a pure Constitutional Originalist, I'd like to return to the days when Senators were chosen by the State Legislatures.
However, as a still rational 7th decade personal, 4th Gen family Californian, I still scream, WTF has happened to my home? My vote us to be decided by some schmuck in podunk USA? Not a Red/Blue dichotomy, I'd feel the same if I lived in WY.
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