Republicans Revive Plot to Steal California Votes

October 23, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Posted in American politics, conservatives, corruption, Elections, Republicans, secret combinations, Voter Suppression | 7 Comments

They are at it again.

See, the problem is that because of centuries of gerrymandering there are particular districts in each state that are safely in one camp or the other, and there is no getting around it. What Republicans want to do is steal California delegate votes. They want the 20 or so votes from safe Republican districts (which will tilt the overall vote count). The problem is that these Republicans do not want to do this nationally (say in Texas or Florida or Ohio), just California, the biggest electorate prize.

Of course if this is done nationally, then it would wholly ruin democracy, as the only districts that will even get candidates to show up are the very very few that still happen to be competitive. As it is right now, because of the outdated electoral college system, only a few states actually count in the general election (Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc). Voters in states like Massachusetts, Texas, New York, and California (not to mention all the small states like Rhode Island—very liberal—or Wyoming—very conservative—that will also not get any candidates stopping by, even though that was supposedly the purpose of the electoral college—to make smaller states competitive), do not count.

I believe that we must remove the electoral college system from our election process. Make the election truly representative of the plurality of voters.

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7 Comments »

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  1. Gerrymandering is horrible, but the answer is not plurality. Plurality will allow the extreme factions of parties to run the national show and will result in severe swings in policy. Small minorities will control the government instead of the majority and that will be about as un-democratic as is possible in a democracy.

  2. Mike,

    The reason I say a plurality is because of the rarity of actually getting a majority to vote for one man. Basically, let the man or woman with the most actual votes by actual voters win. You get plenty of republic representation in the House and the Senate (at least if we repeal the 17th amendment). Why does the position of President also need it? Why not let it be a popular vote?

  3. and Mike, I just looked at your blog and in one of your posts you decry the “tyranny of the majority.”

    So pluralities are bad for democracies, but so are majorities? What is good for democracy then?

  4. On my post, I was decrying the tyranny of majority-thinking, which essentially ends debate because no one in the “mainstream” wants to address the points of view that lay outside the accepted paradigm of the debate. Of course the majority can be incredibly tyrannical, but it is at least representative of the desires of the people. Tyranny of a minority is even worse than tyranny of the majority.

    What is good for democracy is a government that actually implements appropriate checks and balances within itself. I was hopeful of a legislative branch with some back-bone with this last election, but the Democrats have caved on important issues like the war or expanding FISA wiretapping and there aren’t enough Democrats (or non-party hack Republicans) to check the executive effectively regarding issues like SCHIP.

    Also, just because I disagree with plurality voting, doesn’t mean I like the two-party system. It thrives on majority-thinking. Multiple viable parties would bring to the table the minority issues that need to be addressed.

    Another problem with plurality voting would be that the person voted for will almost always have to compromise his/her promises in order to form a coalition to pass any legislation. Thus a voter doesn’t have a reasonable assurance that the candidate will fulfill her promises…wait, isn’t that already the case?

  5. Basically, Democracy doesn’t really address all the problems because one system would come at the expense of one group or another.

  6. So there is no way to check and balance power? Maybe not, but our attempts so far have been lukewarm and short-lived at best, and abject failures at worst.

    It’s interesting what you propose regarding the 17th amendment. I think it would increase the checking power on the executive if the Senate were elected by the states and the president elected by popular vote.

    However, one significant problem that we have with presidential elections currently is that those who get elected aren’t great people, just able to appeal to the masses through a manipulative media. This encourages those who are willing to compromise everything to win and who won’t stick to principles. This would likely get worse with a popularly elected president.

  7. But even with the electoral college, we still get a doofus in power (and interestingly the popular vote in 2000 would have given the better candidate, Gore, the presidency, but the electoral college gave us the idiot instead—so ironic). We’re seeing the flaws of democracies, and representative republics, very clearly these days.

    Having a popular president is not necessarily a bad thing. What needs to change, somehow, is the influence the media has on elections. The media is making these bad candidates look even worse. I mean, I cannot possibly conceive of a worst candidate for president than Rudy Giuliani. But the media misrepresents him, turning him into a fake.


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