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Electoral, pectoral, what’s the difference?

November 17, 2016

Well, a lot if you are a fish or a body builder. Also, if you are a Democrat in the year of the Clinton catastrophe.

For all the bad motives behind it, you have to hand it to Barbara Boxer(D-CA) for putting  her money where her mouth is and actually putting legislation out there addressing the electoral college  that can be voted upon.

The electoral college has been giving losing candidates heartburn for a long time, particularly if they won the popular vote.

Although as of this posting, Michigan STILL hasn’t managed to get their votes counted, it’s pretty likely that Mrs. Clinton did not lure more Democrats to the polls than did Donald Trump.

However the difference as of Nov.16 was a measly 6,000 or so votes.

Then there are those voters whose votes essentially did not count.

Imagine being a resident of the largest state by population of all the 50 states, and your vote means nothing. That’s reality for California voters.

By the time the West Coast polls close, it’s usually all over but the shouting.

Of course Trump voters and the Republican Party are not exactly keen on changing the system at this point, since 2 out of the last 3 presidents have been elected on Electoral College votes alone.

But wait just a minute!  Time Out!

To be downright picky about it, the Electoral College does not have to vote the way the people did.

That’s right, we could wake up on December 20, and find out Hillary is the new President, as noted in this USA Today piece.

Obviously that’s unlikely, given the spread between Trump and Clinton, but it is theoretically possible.

Does that mean the popular vote is better?

Well, that kind of depends on your faith in the people’s judgment and the sanctity of the ballot box.

This election was decided by the electoral voting strength of the “crude sort of nationalism taking root in the United States” versus the proponents of the homogeneous, faceless, colorless, genderless  “world citizen”  favored by Mr. Obama and the Democrats.

(Note to President Obama.  That crude nationalism is the only reason there was a United States in which you could win the presidency in the first place.  That’s another story though.)

It would behoove people to pay attention to this paroxysm of anguish over the electoral college.

Perhaps it could use an upgrade from the beta version, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.

Let’s remember that the Electoral College is mandated by the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, which was itself an attempt to fix a previous flawed electoral college procedure in the original Bill of Rights(Article II).

That means that Congress can’t just change it.  It has to be ratified by 34 states.

Hopefully that means more than just hurt feelings needs to be part of the input.

For instance, what good is it if the electors can switch hit at the last minute?  Maybe that option ought to be ended.

Or maybe one man one vote should mean something, but what if there are twice as many Democrats as Republicans that have been coerced or imported to support the party?

Maybe we should first do away with political parties and identity politics.

And even if we did change to a popular vote system, wouldn’t that mean that the candidate with the most money  to jet around the country would be the winner? How does that get us the most qualified individual?

It is entirely likely that some changes will be seriously considered before 2020.

But voting on a bill proposed by a member of the losing party still smarting from a totally unforeseen loss might not be the best timing.

From → op-ed

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