Protest the electoral college -
November 8, 2000 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Protest the electoral college - George W. Bush must be stopped! I'm going to go to the Philadelphia protest waving a sign that reads "The President Elect Can't Read!" I encourage you to go to your local city and express your dissent.
posted by ignu (20 comments total)
The electoral college system protects our democracy from being overrun by a simple majority. A mathematical and objective breakdown of how this works can be found here
posted by cryosmurf at 3:03 PM on November 8, 2000

Some mathematics (in cryosmurf's link above). All his examples are sports! Politics are not and should not be akin to the Yankees. Yeesh.

I'm with Moore on this one. The EC needs to go.

But does anybody here feel passionately enough to take to the streets for Gore? The man lost the election (I think) specifically because he's so uninspiring.
posted by fraying at 3:21 PM on November 8, 2000

Sports were merely an analogy to explain the complicated statistics and probability behinde the electoral college. And the time to determine whether the president elect is fit for office has passed. The constitution is clear on this, an electoral majority is all that is needed. The rules can't be changed midstream.
posted by dandot at 3:39 PM on November 8, 2000

Hey man, let's protest! Somebody bring a j.
posted by snakey at 3:43 PM on November 8, 2000

Dandot -- Right, but there's noting about winner-take-all in the constitution. The electors could be unbound to vote to represent their people, not the majority winner of the state. That sounds like "equal representation under the law" to me.

And sports? Please. My sports team does not decide national policy, taxation, or supreme court appointments. Sure it's just a metaphor, but it rubs me the wrong way.
posted by fraying at 4:00 PM on November 8, 2000

Obviously this is pure speculation, but does anyone besides me wonder what would happen if the roles were reversed? I'm imagining a bunch of Democrats would suddenly realize how great the electoral college is while the Republicans would be the ones railing against it. I just can't imagine either side graciously conceding electoral defeat if the popular vote's in their favor.
posted by zempf at 4:15 PM on November 8, 2000

I will be sorry if Gore loses, but I won't take to the streets. what's fair is fair, and if the situation were reversed, gore would be quite happy to take the victory (although mark shields tonight on the leher news hours said that the bush camp was prepared to challenge a gore victory won on the same grounds.)

I don't know why exactly this election was so close, but I really believe that the media played a huge role in bush's popularity and gore's less than enthusiastic reception.

if you know me, you know I'd be saying this about any candidate in like circumstances, whether I supported him or not.

it's clear that gore didn't do a very good job of getting his message to the people, but as far as I can tell, bush didn't do that either. at least, I didn't get a very clear sense from him of his positions on anything. I got a much stronger sense of that from cheney in the vp debates.

I'm handicapped in this in that bush doesn't charm me at all (and that seems to be his strongest point, from what I can tell.)

but I think the media has a *huge* influence in shaping the public's perceptions (I wish that weren't so), and I credit much of bush's success to the media coverage he got.

maybe the lesson is that if you're running for president you'd best charm your press corps.

posted by rebeccablood at 4:33 PM on November 8, 2000

I think the point is: are you willing to take to the streets for democracy's sake? Or would you rather kneel before minorty rule? Besides, protests are fun. Everybody should do it.
posted by snakey at 4:50 PM on November 8, 2000

anyone consider the compromise of dividing a state's electoral votes into districts? Betcha this whole "Florida as the Brass Ring state" problem wouldn't happen... as for how those districts ought to be drawn, well...
posted by salsamander at 7:30 PM on November 8, 2000

Ok. I am readying myself for massive flames here, but here goes. I think the electoral college is a good thing. Perhaps, it needs to be reformed (on a state by state basis) after the Maine and Nebraska model. The reason I think thus is that the old US of A is a democratic REPUBLIC not a democracy. By making the executive leadership a purely popular initiative, you suddenly take weight away from states such as North Dakota and give them to NY and CA.

While I may disagree with the outcomes in ND and SD, etc. I cannot take their power away from them. The electoral college ensures (albeit in a possibly flawed manner) that the New Yorks, Texases, Floridas and Californias donĀ“t render them absolutely meaningless.

Anticipating flames...

posted by trox at 7:53 PM on November 8, 2000

This is total bullshit. The majority should rule, not the electoral college. I didn't vote for Gore or Bush, but I think that the winner of the majority of votes should be president. Otherwise, we might as well throw democracy out the window. All hail the new fascism!!!BTW salsamander, IIRC, two states can split electoral votes Maine and Nebraska (I think). Of course, if you split electoral votes, than you might as well not have the electoral college at all since the majority would rule anyway. . .
posted by Mr. skullhead at 7:57 PM on November 8, 2000

"Otherwise, we might as well throw democracy out the window.." Oh for Pete's sake, Mr. Skullhead. Quit throwing around the word fascism as if you know what it means. Trox said it correctly earlier. We do NOT live in a democracy. This is a republic. Were this a true democracy, we'd all be living in the District of Columbia and commuting to Capitol Hill every day. In a republic, we vote for people to represent us in regards to political matters, to go in there and do the political bullcrap for us so we can get on with our lives.

Why do we have a republic and not a democracy? I could give you SIXTY MILLION reasons. This election, that's about how many people in this country refused to vote. In a true democracy ALL citizens would be required to regularly assemble, and vote on every major decision affecting the country. We can't even get all people to vote for their own representatives!

Our founding fathers anticipated this silence, and chose to forge a republic instead of a democracy. We cannot abolish the electoral college completely. It's hardwired into the constitution. To remove the electoral college would weaken and potentially invalidate the entire constitution as a whole. To be fair, Mister Skullhead is correct in saying splitting electoral votes within every state as they do in Maine would effectively invalidate the purpose of the electoral college. However, it would not turn our country into a fascist state either way. Mending but not ending the electoral college would actually allow us to have a more fair and impartial system without rewriting the constitution with yet another amendment. The trick would be such mending would have to happen state to state. A federal amendment would be a national mandate to force all states into capitulating in a certain manner, and there's enough of that already.

Well, this argument is merely academic anyway. Technically this country has been an oligarchy for quite some time. Money is the real vote in this country. The republic/democracy is a front. We're just pawns in a very expensive game.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:38 PM on November 8, 2000

The fairness of the electoral college aside, you can't very well change the rules of the election after the fact. This is the system the candidates all agreed to use to decide which one of them gets to be the President. We can't just throw out the results of the system because it gave us an outcome we don't like.
posted by shylock at 2:50 AM on November 9, 2000

A presidential candidate worthy of office, by the same logic, should have broad appeal across the whole nation, and not just play strongly on a single issue to isolated blocs of voters.

I think this quote, from cryosmurf's link above, is the best argument for the EC. A presidental candidate should have to appeal to citizens as different as Californians and Nebraskans. Candidates can ignore less-densely populated states too much already. Abolish the EC and there would be no incentive to campaign or have a platform that appeals to anywone outside California, NY, and Florida.
posted by straight at 7:22 AM on November 9, 2000

Funny thing that no one bitches about the 'rules' [EC] until they lose...
posted by chiXy at 8:09 AM on November 9, 2000

For as long as I can remember, there's always some grumbling about the electoral college. Protest! Protest!
posted by snakey at 8:22 AM on November 9, 2000

Would you guys be protesting if Bush won the popular vote but lost the electoral votes?
posted by gyc at 9:23 AM on November 9, 2000

FWIW, this Bush voter in upstate New York thinks that we should keep the EC, but that all states should apportion their electoral votes by congressional district, like Maine and Nebraska do already (1 for each district winner, then two for whoever wins the state). I might not be able to stop voters from New York City overwhelming the rest of the state and voting Democratic, but with some decent campaigning my district in Rochester might go the other way.
posted by drothgery at 10:58 AM on November 9, 2000

Can somebody point out anywhere in the Constitution where it says that the president will be selected by "majority rule"? So the Constitution turns out not to work in the way you thought it did, or the way you think it should. If you care about it now that you're paying attention feel free to work towards changing it next time around.
posted by harmful at 11:37 AM on November 9, 2000

Megadittos to that, harmful. ;)
posted by daveadams at 1:21 PM on November 9, 2000

« Older   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments