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:
@datechguyblog I just find it to be a shame that Ds have to do this alone and that Rs are so suspicious of this.
— Thomas Lavin (@TomLavinNH) January 18, 2013
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
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) January 18, 2013
But in the end the constitution EXPLICITLY gives state legislatures the right to allocate electoral votes so while I objected…
@tomlavinnh mind you its consititutional, if the NH wants to allocate EV based on coin flips, superbowl results or burping contests they can
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) January 18, 2013
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?
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
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:
@datechguyblog it is the right move for Rs who want power.
— Thomas Lavin (@TomLavinNH) January 25, 2013