Re: NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral College

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 00:09:50 CDT

Note this reply actually has on-topic content!

On Aug 29, 2004, at 10:46 PM, David Mertz wrote:

> On Aug 29, 2004, at 9:30 PM, Charlie Strauss wrote:
>> namely: Discard winner take all and assign the electors in
>> proportion to the popular vote PLUS two electors for the winner of
>> the plurality.
>
> I tend to like this idea as well. But there is likely to be a sort of
> "prisoners dilemma" issue here. Every state wants the *other* states
> to adopt a more proportional system so that their *own* electors
> voting as a block increase the influence of that state.

I think maybe not. This PD logic only applies to swing states, which
currently dont have problem getting attention, so going proportional
might dillute their attention as you say. But "safe" states get less
attention as there is no marginal utility in campaigning in a state
whose outcome is a foregone conclusion. Also swing states might still
prefer to go proportional as well. The raucous instability of minor
events jack-knifing the outcome dont really sit well with anybody in
the majority, its just the swing minority in the state that benefits to
the detriment of majority. the two-elector bonus is still an
attractant. one can easily imagine a compromise in which states
sweeten the pot with say four electors for the winner.

>
> A national requirement for states to use a more proportional
> allocation of electors would require a Constitutional amendment, not
> simply an act of Congress. It's possible, of course, but the burden
> to get that passed is pretty high.

I thought so too but then I went back and checked the constitution.
Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution says, "The times, places, and
manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be
prescribed in each State by the legislature therof; but the Congress
may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the
places of choosing senators."

I have been guilty of quoting the first sentence and not realizing the
second sentence basically overrides it "but the Congress may at any
time by law make or alter such regulations". So all it takes is an act
of congress, like HAVA. This might also have implications for the
legality of congress eliminating the nased/election center stranglehold
on ceritification and simply appropriating the task for itself.
Something for OVC to bring up with Soaries if it ever should be so
lucky.

>
> And BTW for Ed: No, this ain't part of OVC's mission. But it -is-
> moderately interesting to think about and discuss.
>

==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:20 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Aug 31 2004 - 23:17:23 CDT