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January 28, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Electoral College a scam from the start

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Regarding Joshua Spivak’s recent column, “Founders’ choice: the Electoral College”:

The Electoral College was invented to shift the focus from the citizens’ direct popular vote and to conceal an unbridled intention by the Founders to keep power and control. The proposal that the people elect the president directly was soundly rejected by the Founding Fathers, who were in favor of indirect popular election. They wanted to attempt to control the presidency through political manipulation.

One argument against scrapping the Electoral College at the time of its inception was that direct election might encourage third and fourth parties to rise up. Obviously, those people are proponents of power and control. Direct democracy (pure democracy) was our screaming eagle. It was denounced by the Founders as “mob rule.”

The elector system was drawn up behind closed doors and rubber-stamped by a special hand-picked committee, which represented only 12 colonial states, since people in Rhode Island refused to participate in the scam. We were not truly represented in 1787, and today we are not in the least sense represented through transparency.

In essence, the Founders sabotaged the popular direct democratic vote. The 2000 Bush/Gore election and previous elections have proved that the Electoral College is a formality, based upon an election “grab,” as long as you have the Supreme Court majority.

It is time to abolish the Electoral College and put term limits on the autocratic thinkers, who created the biggest financial mess this country has ever seen.

Forget the liberalism, forget the conservatism, let’s get back to real Americanism or equality under the laws of the republic it was intended to be.

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  1. There is a difference between a direct vote, and Direct Democracy.

    I think there would need to be some studying by Americans to familiarize themselves about Direct Democracy or "Pure Democracy", with all it
    s variations, before they would be able to consider such a thing rationally.

    It would also require a radical change of our Constitution and system.

    Our culture would have to become very much more responsible as citizens to be able to function in a Direct Democracy.

    I am not sure we could function as a Direct Democracy in such a large country. Maybe on a State level, with a Representative Democracy or some other form, like a Directorial system on the Federal level.

    Switzerland is a great example, and successful as a Direct Democracy, but it is very small compared to the US. The Swiss are a different people too, with 3 major cultures in 3 different regions related to where the borders are. (Austrian, French, and German, I believe).

    I doubt we will ever seriously consider such a huge change in the US.

  2. The electoral College would be fine IF it did not award all the electors of a state to the candidate that won a 'majority' of the popular vote in that state.

    Take California and Texas as two examples. All of California electors are almost always awarded to the D candidate, and that is unfair to the R supporters in that state. It's like their wishes are NOT considered. The same is true in Texas, but it's the D supporters wishes that are NOT considered.

    We don't need to abolish the Electoral College. We just need to modify it.


  3. You don't scrub a tried and true system because it failed 4 out of 44 times in 225 years. That's as close to perfection it can get in an imperfect world.


  4. News Flash:

    Early voting returns show President Obama is leading slightly. Once the republicans get off work and vote, it will change.


  5. Re Carmine. No it won't.

  6. Carmine and Gary,

    Either the polls in the swing states are wrong, as the polls were in Wisconsin , with the recall, in which case Romney probably wins, or the swing state polls are correct, and Obama probably wins. We should know soon.


  7. @wtplv,

    "Either the polls in the swing states are wrong, as the polls were in Wisconsin , with the recall,.." (Michael Casler)

    Before and during the Recall in Wisconsin, the polls always showed governor Scott Walker leading. What poll or polls are you referring to?

  8. Longtimevegan:

    There were more and you can find them if you look. There were also polls showing him tied or slightly ahead. He won by a larger margin than almost any poll predicted.

    In all honesty, I suspect the polls are correct and Obama will win today, although by a small margin.

    As I said, we will see.


  9. "It is time to abolish the Electoral College and put term limits on the autocratic thinkers..."

    LaPorta -- what you've ignored is without the electoral college we might as well stay home today. California, with about ten times our population, will decide the national election for us.

    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." -- George Orwell's "Animal Farm" (1945)

  10. Michael,.....the information you provided on the polls??? Ok, ok.

    A reminder,
    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  11. It is time to end the electoral college. It made sense in the late eighteenth century to bring electors together, since it would otherwise take months to tally a popular vote. There really is no good reason why Ohioans (or Floridians, South Carolinians, etc.) should decide this election.

    But the main source of our political impasses right now is the senate rule requiring 60 votes to invoke cloture. There's nothing in the Constitution that provides for such a procedure, yet that one rule is the primary reason for Congressional gridlock.

  12. Rather than write another detailed post on why we should keep the Electoral College system but "tweak it, I'm simply going to repeat what I have said earlier...

    "As I said earlier, let's keep the Electoral College but "tweak" it to better serve every single voter in this country...

    I'm not a great fan of the electoral college as it presently stands, but I wouldn't want us to go to strickly a popular vote set-up.

    Small states would lose all identify! With that being said, unless it's a very close election (like 2000) currently the small states play a very small role in the election...

    What we need to go to is a system where we no longer have the "winner take all" of a state's electoral votes.

    Use the Congressional districts (there's 435 of them) and award candidates electoral votes based upon the votes in each Congressional district.

    If a candidate wins a Congressional district, he/she is awarded one electoral vote.

    Also, the candidate who carries the state over-all in votes is awarded the other two electoral votes (one for each Senator) of that state.

    Nothing would change with Washington, DC. DC would still have three electoral votes determined by the popular vote of the people.

    That system would make all 50 states important in terms of the election...

    The Congressional districts would all be equal...each one having ONE VOTE!"

  13. Longtimevegan,

    Thank you for at least acknowledging that I did not pull my opinion out of my behind with no supporting facts. It's not often that I can even get that. Usually, when I say something and back it up with facts, the opposing side changes the subject.... which is a big part of the problem.

    I agree with you that President Obama most likely gets re-elected. By 6 or 8 points? I will be very surprised.


  14. With a wave of his hand, Mr. La Porta dismisses the deliberations, debates, and arguments of our nation's Founders, some of the most esteemed intellectual minds of their, or any, time. He should have more humility.

    The Founders were concerned about a number of potential problems with a direct popular vote. One was the election of a demagogue. Another was the election of "favorite sons" from each state, none of which would have a mandate of the whole country. Another was the dominance of the interests of certain segments of the population, such as states or urban populations. Another was how to recognize the will of each sovereign state. Are we no longer concerned about these problems?

    But they also wanted the election to reflect the will of the people. So they devised the system of electors that we have today, in which each state, in its sovereign authority, decides how its electors will be appointed. The only direction in the Constitution is that each state's electors would mirror its congressional representation, which relects the mixed nature of the state: its population and its status as a co-equal sovereign society.

    Anyone who argues against our electoral system should adequately research the logic of that system, or else their arguments cannot be taken seriously. The method for change exists, but a seriously researched and logically presented argument for change has the only chance of ratification as an amendment to the Constitution.

  15. Bob,

    It is not difficult at all to divide up the Electoral College votes for a given state: simply give them out one per CD and the overall state winner gets the two for the Senate chairs.

    El_Lobo advocates this, and I would be in favor of such a change, too.

    It would maintain the ideal that States are separate entities and also tend to dilute the impact that high density population centers would have.

    It has the added advantage that for a few States that have only one CD it would work exactly as the existing system does, but for the large States like California and New York that have a marked difference in political affiliation in different regions it would give a real voice to the people outside the large cities.

  16. BTW, for those who didn't get it, the NEWSFLASH post was a joke, as in humor.

    BUT this isn't. Once again the Electoral system worked.


  17. "Earlier he used the number 3, saying that the Electoral College System had failed a mere 3 times out of 44 times...."

    You used 3 and I responded to it. When I posted I used the correct number 4 which included 2000, unlike you who didn't. You must have slept through that election.


  18. You win some, and lose some. And some you get a draw. No bearing on politics and party. It's just the way it is.

    BTW, winning as Obama did is just the start. He still has to finish the job! And he's facing a GOP controlled House JUST AS I SAID HE WOULD.



  19. BTW, if you were as smart as you think you are, you'd know that we've had 44 presidents but 57 presidential elections. It's not an issue of 3 or 4 misses out of 44, but really 4 misses out of 57. Right! Pretty darn near perfect.


  20. Why should it be considered a failure of the Electoral College system if the final vote goes to the House? It has functioned as designed, hardly a failure.