Greetings and Salutations;
I have offered some opinions about the Electoral College, how it is supposed to work, and how it actually worked in the 2016 Election back at this Post. However, there is still more to be said, in my opinion, so I thought I would wrestle with it again.
The issue of the Electoral College and its workings and, how to change it to represent reality a bit better is continuing to be a topic of discussion. There are some hints that for the first time in decades, it may undergo some serious reworking soon. I have to say, I rather hope so!
What, I asked myself, are our options? On this week”s issue of “Your Weekly Constitutional” Stewart Harris talks with David O. Stewart (who is a Constitutional Lawyer and has some insightful views to offer) at length about these issues. I strongly recommend taking the time to listen to their Presentation. Now, among other things, he suggests a change to the laws that would adjust the Electoral College so that instead of a “Winner Take All” law for the candidate winning the state, the candidate winning the majority of the popular vote would get that state’s entire number of electoral votes. I have to say that, while this is interesting, and, perhaps wise from a legal point of view, I am not entirely satisfied with it. It does not address the issue I have commented on before about how I do not care for the whole idea of “Winner Take All”. In any case, he has interesting views. I suggest a visit to his website – http://davidostewart.com/ to see what else is in the discussion.
Now, on to MY thoughts. First off, I have, in the first post on the Electoral College, presented my objections to the “Winner Take All” laws, and suggested that the Electoral votes be applied to the candidates in proportion to the actual vote in the state. This will, among other things, ensure that a candidate, who squeaks through to a win with a dozen or fewer votes will not overly benefit from their victory.
If, for example, there are 5 Electoral Votes from a state, and three candidates took 1%, 49% and 50% of the total votes, the five votes would be split, as evenly as possible among them. I would see that the 1% candidate would be out…as one cannot have 1/2 a vote! It would then, mean that the remaining two candidates would get (respectively) 2 and 3 Electoral Votes. It is as fair as I can see it can be, since we are working with integers here!
Also, there is a HUGE difference between a 1 vote advantage and a 3 vote advantage that would be given with a “Winner Take All” law. Between that, and removing the “Faithless Voter” laws that punish the Electoral voter from changing their vote, the results of the College would better represent the desires of the people.
There is, of course, another option….
We could move to a more Parliamentary format of Election for the Congress. Each state would have a list of (hopefully) several candidates, representing differing parties and differing view on the ballot. They would, then, vote for candidates, and the top folks would get the nod. This would certainly ensure that the Congress would more closely represent the demographics of the country, but, it would likely provide a voice for smaller candidates and parties too. As an example: Say a state can elect 10 Representatives. In the elections, the breakdown of votes is (by party) #1:5%. #2:29%, #3:31%, and #4:35%. This means that the Representatives would be apportioned out this way – #1 gets 1 Representative. Each of the remaining 3 parties (the top three) get 3 Representatives each. Again, this is integer math, so, if a party got a small enough number of votes, they would not have a seat, and for several parties that were close enough together in their percentages of the vote, they would get the same number of seats.
I realize that this, second method, would really change the face of Congress. as we would be likely to see more parties represented in the House (at least), but it could extend to the Senate. One positive aspect of this change is that it would really change the face of Government, but, without lighting wildfires that destroy the entire structure and surrounding areas. As for Electors…I would use the SAME rules for the states to appoint Electors to the College. Now, this might cause more Presidential elections to go to the House for Resolution, but, that would have happened in this one, if the recounts and challenges to Electors been allowed to play out.
God Help Us All
Bee Man Dave
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