Re: NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral College

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Sun Aug 29 2004 - 23:40:49 CDT

No it's massively off topic as has been almost everything lately it
seems :-)

On Aug 29, 2004, at 10:14 PM, Ed Kennedy wrote:

> 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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