Re: NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral College

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Sun Aug 29 2004 - 23:14:08 CDT

Hello All:

    Interesting original news story and interesting discussion. Is redoing
the electoral college a part of the OVC Mission?

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Mertz" <voting-project@gnosis.cx>
To: <voting-project@lists.sonic.net>
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2004 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral
College

> Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall@gmail.com> wrote:
> |I've never understood the basis for the electoral college... I see
> |what you're saying Alan with states rights, but the fact that a
> |president can be elected despite the loss of the popular vote (by a
> |remarkable margin) and then act ignorant of the fact that they have
> |nothing even close to a mandate
>
> I really don't get what you mean, Joe. The system we have in the USA is
> *NOT* election of a President by the citizens, but election of a
> President by the States. That's just the constitution we have, nothing
> terribly mysterious there. And I know you know this much.
>
> For that matter, until the 17th Amendment was passed in 1913, Senators
> were similarly elected by the States (i.e. the respective legislatures),
> rather than by the people of each state.
>
> Now it's easy to say that our system isn't really the best one to have.
> Maybe those of other modern democracies are better designs. In the USA,
> a "mandate"--at least in the sense of getting the office--just means
> that more delegates are assigned to the Electoral College by states for
> you than for the other guy. Sure, politicians like to spin it as "the
> people support me"... but that ain't the legal system we have.
>
> Yours, David...
>
> P.S. The kind of semi-majority election that the electoral college
> enacts is really not very unusual, in fact. For example, I'll probably
> be the OVC representative to an IEEE project (P-1622) about Voting Data
> Standards. Each organization gets exactly one vote on the committee...
> even if some organizations have more members/employees/shareholders/
> whatever than another; even if one has a greater market cap than the
> other; even if one better represents the community of interested persons
> than another; or whatever seems like "direct democracy" to you. AFAIK,
> most standards bodies work roughly like this.
>
> P.P.S. Prez of USA is no doubt more important than any IEEE standard;
> but the point is just that indirect representation is commonplace, not a
> peculiarity of the electoral college.
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:20 2004

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