Saturday, December 10, 2016

the process goes on

 This week I listened to an Elector from Texas who says he will not vote for Trump. He wrote an op-ed piece to encourage other Electors to deny the will of their state's voters and instead vote their own opinion, as to what makes a good President. This Elector favored John Kasich. Kasich has said he doesn't want this kind of vote. It is clearly intended to destroy the system we have in place as the most it would do is send it to the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans. It is hard to see any situation where they would not give it to Trump. But what it does is keep the chaos going.

There is a lot of argument against the Electoral College since it now has twice in recent years given the Presidency to someone who did not win the popular vote. In the case of Bush though, he got it with a very slim Electoral College vote and Gore did not challenge it. Clinton is. Many now want to go to a system where it's purely who wins the most votes. They see this as fairest.

The Electoral College encourages candidates to campaign in all the states and in small communities. It gives diverse ideas and ways of thinking weight in determining who should lead.  States could divide their Electoral votes which is an option that only two have taken. I think most states like the power of the block vote to give them more seeming weight for their issues-- like California with its 55. 

If in the future, it goes to a simple majority, someone like Trump, who campaigned all around the country, would then limit his campaigning to the big population centers. I don't see that as a good thing. What a big city wants may not be good for rural America. The majority of voters does not mean it's the right thing which is why the Supreme Court has sometimes overruled the will of the majority, as with Civil Rights.

In nine days we will see whether there are enough frightened, rogue or faithless Electors to stop the election in its tracks. If this happens, I could see more states mandating by law that Electors vote the will of their state. Or some could opt to divide their Electors; so a state like Wisconsin, which is narrowly won, will more accurately reflect the voters. I kind of liked it when the talk election night was of the states as reflective of this being the united states. That's something we don't think often about.


Ingineer66 said...

Any elector that does not follow the will of the people should be arrested. And I would feel the same way if Hillary won, even if I didn't like it.

Wally Blue said...

The founding fathers created the electoral college because they did not trust the wisdom of the common man. They built it into the system in order to prevent a populist uprising or the emergence of a candidate that they deemed unfit to become the president. The idea was that the electors (being wiser than the general public) could overturn the election and prevent an unsuitable candidate from becoming president. Over the years various states have developed their own regulations regarding the function of their electors and for the most part the electors simply ratify the popular vote. In my opinion the college has become an anachronism that simply does not function as intended.

Rain Trueax said...

I though like the idea of the states having numbers that don't permit one or two big states to run the show. If the states wanted to divide their Electors such as Nebraska and Maine do, there would not probably be one massive popular vote that looks as though the country disagrees with the Electoral College. So a narrow win like Trump had in Wisconsin would not give him all the votes but neither would it look as though all 55 Electors in California represented the will of that whole state. IF we go only to the popular vote, the candidates would find it easier campaigning and states like Wisconsin will get little time from them or interest in their problems. They can concentrate on California, Texas, New York, Illinois and maybe Florida and let the rest of the country seethe with the fact that nobody cares about them. I like the Electoral College after looking more into why it is a good idea.

The ones who consider Trump unfit did not want him to begin and don't like what he's doing and what he ran on doing. He hasn't give any big surprises for his Cabinet picks given what he said he wanted to do with the one exception of the Exxon CEO who wasn't discussed earlier. I suspect he wanted Romney but he had a rebellion of his backers and the far right who felt that was wrong.

From what I've read, the Electoral College is not about to overthrow this election as Trump's margin is too great and most who are in the position are party loyalists. They are not experts or really anything significant for knowledge, from what I've read, other than they were active in the party and wanted to do it. Not exactly capable of overthrowing the majority in their own state (like Texas) and instead giving their vote to the majority in another state (like California or New York where Hillary got those big margins).

I thought it was kind of neat to see how the states were deciding and reminding us we are united states, not just one state ruling it all.

T. Paine said...

Rain, I continue to be impressed with your honest searching into issues and not simply spewing the party line like many on both sides of the political spectrum do. While I voted for neither Hillary or Trump, I agree with your assessment of why the electoral college is still needed and far from being an anachronism. We don't need our presidency decided by the four most populous states and never a thought given to the other 46. As you stated, that is hardly a recipe of maintaining a "United States" if we choose to jettison the electoral college.

Rain Trueax said...

hi T. Paine and glad to see you here... especially when you agree with me, of course lol but even when not and a real discussion can happen :)

Ingineer66 said...

It sounds like more Hillary electors defected than did Trump ones.