Political Pistachio

Blog Home of the Writer and AM and FM Radio Host, Douglas V. Gibbs.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Massachusetts Joins Battle Against Electoral College


By Douglas V. Gibbs

Originally, the Founding Fathers established a separation of powers between the branches of government, between the federal and state governments, and among the voting powers. The House of Representatives was voted on by the people, the Senators were appointed by the State legislatures, and the electors for the President of the United States were assigned also by the State legislatures. When a bill was presented, it needed approval by the people (House), the States (Senate), and the federal government (President). The States, and the People, were expected to hold more power than the federal government, which is why they were given the power to override a veto. In 1913 the 17th Amendment removed the State's voice from the political process at the federal level. The people began to vote for the electors for President in 1824.

One of the many reasons the Founding Fathers established a separation of powers among the voting system was because they knew the people could be fooled, and they desired the "States" to have a voice. If the people were to be able to vote for House, Senate, and President, the Founders believed if the people were fooled, a tyranny could step in and gain control of both houses of Congress, and the White House (as did indeed happen in 2006 and 2008).

Thankfully, one of the original ideas by the Founding Fathers that has been kept in place is the Electoral College. Rather than be voted by the popular vote, the Electoral College allows each state to have a number of electors, and it is those electors that vote for the President. Their votes are normally consistent with the popular vote of the district they represent, though it is possible for an elector to change the vote should he or she determine it is necessary.

The Electoral College gives the smaller states a voice in Presidential elections. If there was no Electoral College, candidates would find no need to campaign in small states, and the vote from the five largest cities would be sufficient to win a presidency.

Since the votes from the five largest metropolitan areas would be sufficient to win an election, it would literally a wasted vote for anyone not living in those cities. In history, four times the electoral winner was not the popular vote winner.

Massachusetts is currently making a push to eliminate the electoral college by making their own statement: They approved a bill that would assign the state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who won the national popular vote — regardless of whom Massachusetts voters preferred.

Five other states that have already enacted such laws — Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington — account for 61 electoral votes. Massachusetts would add 12 more.

The claim by those that support this "eliminate the Electoral College" campaign says that they want presidential candidates to campaign nationwide, rather than focusing on a few closely contested states that have a lot of electoral votes. But what they don't realize is that rather hope for states with a lot of electoral votes, the candidates will only campaign in the five largest metropolitan areas. The rest of the country, if they win those cities, would be a waste of time for them.

Of course, not only would the small states lose their voice in the Presidential election, but when you consider that the largest metropolitan areas tend to be liberal, eliminating the Electoral College could result in the liberal socialists remaining in power in perpetuity. . . which I believe may be the real reason for this push to eliminate the Electoral College.

Just another way the Democrats are working on silencing the opposition.

Personally, I'd really get a kick out of it if those states that have passed this law have their votes go to the popular vote winner in 2012, and it is a Republican, and if they had not changed their electoral vote rules the Democrat would have won the election, but lost because he/she didn't get their electoral votes as a result of their new laws.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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