Thursday, March 1, 2012

Whither Democracy?

According to Wikipedia, 8 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The gist of this compact is that ALL of the electoral votes for participating states will be given to the candidate that receives the most popular votes nationally. Granted, states are free to allocate their electoral votes as they see fit, under Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution.

I have no issue with the legality of this Compact.  What bothers me is that it has the potential to invalidate the decision of that state's electorate. Your state voted for the Vesuvian candidate, but the Martian candidate won the most popular votes? Too bad, so sad. The State is going to stand for the Martian. Talk about the ultimate in voter disenfranchisement. Yet all the Right Thinking People hold this up as the ultimate in direct democracy.

Over in California, an experiment in direct democracy resulted in the passage of Proposition 8, which reserved the use of the term "married" for the union of 1 man and 1 woman. Setting aside any personal feelings about who should or should not be allowed to marry (or use the adjective 'married'), the people spoke, with 52% supporting amending the state constitution.

Yet Right Thinking People everywhere decried the result as a miscarriage of justice, and it was overturned in the courts.

Once again, we see that the will of the people is only to be respected when it aligns with the Correct Results®.

1 comment:

  1. Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. No voter is disenfranchised. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate. Talk about disenfranchisement.

    And votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning candidates in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast.

    Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

    Most Americans don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state. . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it's wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

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