Win the popular vote, lose the election?
October 24, 2000 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Win the popular vote, lose the election? Talk about your constitutional crisis...
posted by owillis (3 comments total)
But I do declare this is a Seldon Crisis!

Vote for the Actionist Party! Down with Salvor Hardin!
posted by ethmar at 12:06 PM on October 24, 2000

Once while channel surfing late one night, I ran across a WONDERFUL debate on this and other subjects like this in which the Constitution is unclear or contradictory. It was led by a somewhat flamboyant moderator and featured a panel containing former Chief Justices, Orrin Hatch, Jack Valenti, and other notable figures from mid-century politics.

The great thing about it was that there were no partisan politics, just some political minds discussing and attempting to interpret the constitution based on modern day problems such as a president being anesthetized and incapacitated, or trying to explain to the American people that the Electoral College actually votes for the President.

It seemed to have occurred just after the failed assassination attempt of Ronald Regan since the panel was obviously still saddened by it and brought it up frequently. Also, some of them wore pink striped shirts and tall stiff collars which had the early 80s written all over them.

Oh, I've written too much. :) If anyone knows how I can get a copy of this, I would appreciate it.

posted by perplexed at 12:40 PM on October 24, 2000

This is not an instance of a Constitutional crisis -- it is an instance of a Constitutional function. It is highly unliklely that a result like this would provoke anything other than chatter: 3/4ths of the States must consent to a change, and the way that the electoral vote dramatically overvalues the impact of small states makes consent of those states very unlikely.

States with only 1, 2, 3, or 4 House districts cast respectively 3, 2, 1.67 and 1.5 electoral votes per district, whereas Caliornia, for instance, casts only 1.04 electoral votes per district. Only one house of the legislature in each of 13 states needs to oppose any change. There are 16 states with 1 - 4 House seats (Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, West Virginia, and Arkansas) alone.

Adding to the partisanship, many of these states are "solid" for one party or the other, and so they are particularly unlikely to be willing to give away an advantage.

Bottom line: it may seem undemocratic, but no more so than the US Senate, and no more likely to be changed.
posted by MattD at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2000

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