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06 November 2004 @ 12:04 am
Another political post  
If President Bush was serious about wanting to work with Democrats, as he claimed in his press conference yesterday, I have the perfect issue for him: electoral college reform. Back in 2000, when Bush lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College, many Democrats decided that the EC needed to be abolished. Republicans, of course, saw no need to meddle with something which, despite the best efforts of 52% of the voting public, had installed their man in the White House.

This year, it almost happened again, only this time the Republicans would have been the victim. If 137,000 people had voted the other way in Ohio, John Kerry would be the President-elect, despite losing the national popular vote by 3.5 million votes. The GOP managed to dodge that bullet, but it should be clear to them that the system is badly in need of reform. Since Dems have already indicated their interest in getting rid of the Electoral College, and since it can't be done without bipartisan support (amending the Constitution requires approval of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress), this is the perfect time to do it.

Of course, it's sort of a moot point, because the President probably wasn't telling the truth. If his first term is any indication, he doesn't want to work with Democrats; he wants to kill them and piss on their graves (politically speaking, that is). He's not incapable of working with Democrats—he did so very successfully as Governor of Texas—but as President, he's shown no such interest. So I concede it's unlikely to happen. But a man can dream, can't he?
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Joan of Arcadia - "P.O.V."
pauraquepauraque on November 5th, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC)
I was just thinking exactly this. What do you think we can do to encourage election reform? Write to the Republican congressional leadership?
John Heaton: politicsjheaton on November 6th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC)
It couldn't hurt. Any Constitutional amendment will have to be introduced by a Member of Congress, and once introduced it will need support from plenty of other Members to be acted upon.
Edithgeorgevna on November 5th, 2004 10:19 pm (UTC)
The only eloquent arguments I've ever heard in favor of keeping the electoral college center on the idea that this way, the candidates have to campaign, and campaign HARD, all over the states in question: the theory is, if it were a direct election, it would become a battle for the cities, and rural America would be S.O.L. To which I say, (1) why is that any less fair than a system that sees the president making MORE THAN 40 STOPS in Pennsylvania - and not a one in Tennessee since before Labor Day, and (2) bring it on - even here in the "red" states, Kerry took the larger cities. But since rural America is the heart of Bush country, I doubt we'll see reform now. It would have taken a loss to drive that particular point home, I think. Damnit.
ZenGoaliezengoalie on November 6th, 2004 05:38 am (UTC)
But then my tiny insignificant state would be even more insignificant going up against all the people that live in California. There's a reason for the EC, I think perhaps they need to tweak the system, but not abolish it.

Just my 2 cents.
John Heaton: politicsjheaton on November 6th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)
Your tiny little state will never be unimportant, because the major parties will never allow any other state to hold the first Presidential primary. And as long as it maintains its tradition of anti-tax libertarianism, it will continue to be a competitive swing state.
Tracienancydrew01 on November 8th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC)
The way Bush likes to work with Democrats if for them to lean over and grab their ankles (And for one of the few times in my life, I'm glaring at Teddy Kennedy).

No one is going to change the EC because everyone is afraid of what the change would bring.
John Heaton: presidentjheaton on November 8th, 2004 10:54 am (UTC)
Maybe, but afraid of what? There have been fifty-five US Presidential elections, and in all but three of them the popular vote winner and the electoral vote winner have been the same.