Does anybody read these?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Because it seems like a waste...

... to spend $40,000 on a degree I never use.

So, I wanted to toss out these two dime-store commentaries on elections and campaigns. And then, I'm going to shut up because I've already voted, and none of it really matters anyhow.

1. In this, the era of "early voting," organizations who put out voters' guides might want to step it up and get those out a little early. I voted three weeks ago, so sending one this week really didn't help me. Not that I needed one, but I did appreciate it and when every dime counts in an election, you need to really make your sure your literature is making an impression.

2. Yesterday, in case you didn't figure it out, I had someone I considered a friend blow up on me because I said Karl Rove has a political strategy to use particular issues to target "ignorant" voters. She called me rude, deleted me from Facebook and then told other people that she never wanted to be in the same room with me because of my "bullshit."

It's OK, I am not ever going to be in the same room with her because she's a class A "asshole." And I am half-tempted to call her out by name in case she ever googles herself. But frankly, that'd be a waste of time, because I think there's a reason she got defensive when I refered to ignorant voters.

OK, enough of the sidebar and drama. What's done is done, and words -- on either side -- can't be erased. But Google Karl Rove and "wedge issues," and you'll see that this is shit I didn't make up in my mind. And, as for "ignorant voters," well, let's go back to the founding of our country. The electoral college exists because some of our founding fathers believed that the general public would not be smart enough to elect their leaders by popular vote. Yes, in some ways that's elitist and contradictory to the spirit of democracy. But, to be honest, I haven't thought it was a bad idea for a long time. After all, in the time that I've studied electoral politics, we've had the Republican Revolution of 1994, numerous primaries getting rigged to put the weakest link up to the more formidable opponent (I'm not positive this doesn't explain some candidates this year), two bullshit presidential elections and this whole mess this year.

And, I don't care what you have to say about it, when you have a candidate for U.S. Senate who doesn't even know what's in the first amendment, America is not putting its best foot forward.

And, deep down, even if we disagree on what it means, don't we all want America to put its best foot forward?

1 comment(s):

The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to visit, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but now used by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states (with less than 7 electoral college votes) were not among them. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia).

Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

Voter turnout in the "battleground" states has been 67%, while turnout in the "spectator" states was 61%.

And a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation's 56 (1 in 14) presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.

The current system does not provide some kind of check on the "ignorant." There have been 22,000 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 10 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party. The electors are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges

The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "ignorant" in a handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, while the vast majority of states and voters are ignored.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill preserves the Electoral College, while assuring that every vote is equal and that every vote will matter in every state in every presidential election.

Elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote would be counted 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 a handful of swing states.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These seven states possess 76 electoral votes -- 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

By Blogger toto, at 10/29/2010 5:36 PM  

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