Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Splitting electoral votes...moronic

Ridiculous piece mentioned by my favorite polisci blog here. California is thinking of splitting its Electoral College votes by congressional district! As is pointed out, the flaw:
is the fact that the congressional districts in most states have been gerrymandered and usually in a way that radically over-represents one of the two parties–this is certainly the case in California, where a large number of the districts are “safe” for either the Democrats or the Republicans.
I agree with Dr. Taylor, the Electoral college is outdated, fundamentally patronizing at the outset, and distorting of the people's will. The most insidious effect, however, is the fact that a Democratic vote in Texas (as Dr. Taylor put it), or a Republican vote in California, is essentially only symbolic. I think that the Electoral College has contributed to the United States' low voting rates by devaluing the act of voting. The futility of voting for a congressman in a gerrymandered district or a president in a one-colour state has fundamentally eroded the confidence of the average American in his/her ballot.

1 comment:

Benaiah said...

Doling out electoral college votes in representative amounts rather than as a lump sum is a positive step (Maine and Nebraska already do this). The fairest way to do this would be to simply dole out the electoral college votes proportionally based on the amount of votes each candidate receives. However, if only a few states do so then they actually decrease the value of their electoral votes since the difference between winning or losing the state is only a vote or two instead of the whole pie.

The system is anti-Democratic, but then that was the point. Read Federal 10 and you realize that the founding father's were elitist snobs who didn't believe the public could be trusted to choose a president. The process necessary to change the system is incredibly difficult and neither party has much of a reason to want to change it so nothing much should happen. Gerrymandering could be fixed though, but again, the two corrupt parties have worked out deals to ensure that the status quo stays in place and they have no incentive to change.

Nice to see you on the blog-wagon, Matt.