It depends on what the words “have your vote count” means

by Datechguy | January 25th, 2013

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It depends on what the words "have your vote count" means

Why don’t you want your vote to count?

Tom Lavin Jan 18th 2013

What do you think the Swedes’ll say sir?” he asked, greatly dar­ing. The respon­si­bil­ity was none of his, and he knew by expe­ri­ence that Horn­blower was likely to resent being reminded that Bush was think­ing about it.

“They can say what they like” said Horn­blower, “but noth­ing they can say can but Blanchefleur together again”

C. S. Forester Com­modore Horn­blower 1945 p 129

Back in Jan­u­ary my lib­eral friend in NH Tom Lavin was hop­ing NH would vote on the plan that Mass­a­chu­settes pushed though it over­whelm­ing demo­c­rat leg­is­la­ture sur­ren­der­ing their elec­toral votes to who­ever won the pop­u­lar vote nationwide.

It led to a long spir­ited twit­ter exchange between us two examples:

Because of Course this has noth­ing to do with try­ing to neu­tral­ize the pop­u­la­tion out­side of urban areas where Democ­rats have a stran­gle­hold. When he asked about my “vote not count­ing” I answered

But in the end the con­sti­tu­tion EXPLIC­ITLY gives state leg­is­la­tures the right to allo­cate elec­toral votes so while I objected…

Well the Plan that I com­mented on back in Decem­ber that the GOP was con­sid­er­ing in PA is now advanc­ing in sev­eral states

In the vast major­ity of states, the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who wins receives all of that state’s elec­toral votes. The pro­posed changes would instead appor­tion elec­toral votes by con­gres­sional dis­trict, a setup far more favor­able to Repub­li­cans. Under such a sys­tem in Vir­ginia, for instance, Pres­i­dent Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 elec­toral votes in the 2012 elec­tion, rather than all of them. Other states con­sid­er­ing sim­i­lar changes include Michi­gan, Ohio and Penn­syl­va­nia, which share a com­mon dynamic with Vir­ginia: They went for Obama in the past two elec­tions but are con­trolled by Repub­li­cans at the state level.

It’s axiomatic that the closer you get to the elec­torate the bet­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tion the peo­ple have, also note the words in the piece Vast major­ity of states. Some states already have such a sys­tem so nat­u­rally the left would have no objec­tion, right?

TPM: NAACP: VA’s Elec­toral Vote Scheme Would Leave Minori­ties ‘More Dis­en­fran­chised Than Ever’

CEN­TER FOR AMER­I­CAN PROGRESS: Grand Theft Elec­tion How Repub­li­cans Plan to Rig the Elec­toral Col­lege and Steal the White House

THE HUFF­IN­G­TON POST: What The 2012 Elec­tion Would Look Like Under The Repub­li­cans’ Vote-​Rigging Plan

Guess not.

Legal Insur­rec­tion makes the log­i­cal point:

Award by con­gres­sional dis­trict is in use in two states, has been pro­posed many times before else­where, and still requires pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates to win elec­tions in con­gres­sional dis­tricts. It may favor Repub­li­cans, or it may not, depend­ing on the state and the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. Award­ing elec­toral votes by dis­trict may have a pos­i­tive impact of forc­ing can­di­dates to cam­paign out­side the large cities and bring a more geo­graph­i­cally diverse elec­torate into the vot­ing booth for them. To equate it to cheat­ing is con­sti­tu­tion­ally ignorant.

This sys­tem would cer­tainly put indi­vid­ual dis­tricts in play in states which would mean a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign would have to focus on the needs of indi­vid­ual dis­tricts, and of course to the needs of the local peo­ple there. All pol­i­tics local right? It would also make elec­tions in a state leg­is­la­ture more crit­i­cal mean­ing par­ties would have to be more con­cerned with the vot­ers as indi­vid­u­als not as blocks.

Now oddly enough the sin­gle most inter­est­ing response from the left comes from Kevin Drum (empha­sis mine)

Democ­rats don’t have the votes to fight back with any­thing sim­i­lar, but they do have another weapon in their back pocket: the National Pop­u­lar Vote inter­state com­pact, an agree­ment among states to award all their elec­toral votes to whichever pres­i­den­tial can­di­date wins the pop­u­lar vote nation­wide. If states with more than half of all elec­toral votes sign up for this, it goes into effect.

So far, only nine states with a total of 132 elec­toral votes have signed up. But if Repub­li­cans con­tinue their patently shame­ful effort to game the elec­toral col­lege sys­tem, it might spur more states to sign up. That’s what a sense of out­rage can do. Repub­li­cans might want to think about that as they move for­ward. If they keep going, the end result might be a sys­tem even less favor­able to them than the cur­rent elec­toral college.

So if the GOP goes for­ward with this plan then Democ­rats will go for­ward with theirs, that would be a pretty effec­tive argu­ment if it wasn’t for the fact that Democ­rats have ALREADY gone for­ward with this plan and will go for­ward no mat­ter what the GOP does.

If I had one piece of advice for the GOP it would be what I said back in Decem­ber when this first came up.

One of the things that tends to drive me nuts about the GOP is their unwill­ing­ness to take off the gloves, too afraid of what the media and the democ­rats will say ignor­ing the fact that the left, the media and the Democ­rats (who are pretty much the same thing) are going to object no mat­ter what the GOP does.

That being the case the best choice is to ignore them and do what you want to do, or bet­ter yet what your sup­port­ers elected you to do.

They left can say what they want, if we have the votes then we should just do it. I’ll give the last word to Tom:

Why don’t you want your vote to count?

Tom Lavin Jan 18th 2013

What do you think the Swedes’ll say sir?” he asked, greatly daring. The responsibility was none of his, and he knew by experience that Hornblower was likely to resent being reminded that Bush was thinking about it.

“They can say what they like” said Hornblower, “but nothing they can say can but Blanchefleur together again”

C. S. Forester Commodore Hornblower 1945 p 129

Back in January my liberal friend in NH Tom Lavin was hoping NH would vote on the plan that Massachusettes pushed though it overwhelming democrat legislature surrendering their electoral votes to whoever won the popular vote nationwide.

It led to a long spirited twitter exchange between us two examples:

Because of Course this has nothing to do with trying to neutralize the population outside of urban areas where Democrats have a stranglehold. When he asked about my “vote not counting” I answered

 

But in the end the constitution EXPLICITLY gives state legislatures the right to allocate electoral votes so while I objected…

Well the Plan that I commented on back in December that the GOP was considering in PA is now advancing in several states

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them. Other states considering similar changes include Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which share a common dynamic with Virginia: They went for Obama in the past two elections but are controlled by Republicans at the state level.

It’s axiomatic that the closer you get to the electorate the better representation the people have, also note the words in the piece Vast majority of states. Some states already have such a system so naturally the left would have no objection, right?

TPM: NAACP: VA’s Electoral Vote Scheme Would Leave Minorities ‘More Disenfranchised Than Ever’

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Grand Theft Election How Republicans Plan to Rig the Electoral College and Steal the White House

THE HUFFINGTON POST: What The 2012 Election Would Look Like Under The Republicans’ Vote-Rigging Plan

Guess not.

Legal Insurrection makes the logical point:

Award by congressional district is in use in two states, has been proposed many times before elsewhere, and still requires presidential candidates to win elections in congressional districts. It may favor Republicans, or it may not, depending on the state and the presidential candidate. Awarding electoral votes by district may have a positive impact of forcing candidates to campaign outside the large cities and bring a more geographically diverse electorate into the voting booth for them. To equate it to cheating is constitutionally ignorant.

This system would certainly put individual districts in play in states which would mean a presidential campaign would have to focus on the needs of individual districts, and of course to the needs of the local people there. All politics local right? It would also make elections in a state legislature more critical meaning parties would have to be more concerned with the voters as individuals not as blocks.

Now oddly enough the single most interesting response from the left comes from Kevin Drum (emphasis mine)

Democrats don’t have the votes to fight back with anything similar, but they do have another weapon in their back pocket: the National Popular Vote interstate compact, an agreement among states to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote nationwide. If states with more than half of all electoral votes sign up for this, it goes into effect.

So far, only nine states with a total of 132 electoral votes have signed up. But if Republicans continue their patently shameful effort to game the electoral college system, it might spur more states to sign up. That’s what a sense of outrage can do. Republicans might want to think about that as they move forward. If they keep going, the end result might be a system even less favorable to them than the current electoral college.

So if the GOP goes forward with this plan then Democrats will go forward with theirs, that would be a pretty effective argument if it wasn’t for the fact that Democrats have ALREADY gone forward with this plan and will go forward no matter what the GOP does.

If I had one piece of advice for the GOP it would be what I said back in December when this first came up.

One of the things that tends to drive me nuts about the GOP is their unwillingness to take off the gloves, too afraid of what the media and the democrats will say ignoring the fact that the left, the media and the Democrats (who are pretty much the same thing) are going to object no matter what the GOP does.

That being the case the best choice is to ignore them and do what you want to do, or better yet what your supporters elected you to do.

They left can say what they want, if we have the votes then we should just do it. I’ll give the last word to Tom:

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