Re: NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral College

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Sun Aug 29 2004 - 15:27:36 CDT

On Aug 29, 2004, at 2:12 PM, Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:

> I've never understood the basis for the electoral college...

here is a really thought provoking and historically interesting
discussion of the electoral college
http://www.eac.gov/docs/eleccoll.pdf
its about 18 pages and the interesting parts about why the electoral
college is not as bad as might seem are towards the end.

Having read this I am not quite as opposed to the electoral college as
I once was. I still prefer a popular vote but now see both its
shortcomings and the weakness of the common arguments that support it.

Indeed having read this I think there is in fact a mathematical formula
that could be used to invoke some some of the same desiderata. that
formula would combine with the popular vote two other factors. first
it would weight each states popular vote by the number of seats in the
house and senate divided by the house, second it would add a term for
the regional variance of the vote. that is if your vote is peaked
about a particular region it gets penalized over a smaller vote that is
more distributed. This combination of factors I think would serve all
the desiderata. In the end it might not have much more of an effect
than the electoral college system which approximates this.

A simple way to approximate all these desiderata is to have electors
apportioned by the popular vote plus two additional electors committed
to the plurality winner in each state.

Before you say this is stupid read the article above.

I forced myself to read the whole document even when I thought I
understood what was coming next and found myself surprised at points.
its interesting.
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:19 2004

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