This morning I read this article. It was defending the electoral college by changing it, rather than switching to the popular vote.
I didn’t like it. I didn’t agree with its 5 arguments. Here’s why.
- National Recount. The article argued against the popular vote because if there is a recount, it would be a “nightmare,” that “would make the 2000 Florida recount of 6 million votes cast seem like a pleasant dream”. First, the Florida recount was already a nightmare. Second, if the price of democracy is the occasional recount, then it’s worth it. Recounts aren’t easy but they’re the right thing to do.
- Minority President and Run-off Elections. The article doesn’t want fringe parties “siphoning” votes from major parties and popular fringe parties winning elections. First, “siphoning” already happens. See Ralph Nadar and Gary Johnson. Second, if a fringe party is popular enough to win a major election, then it’s not so much of a fringe party anymore, is it? And run-offs? Again, if avoiding a minority president means a run-off election is necessary, do it. How does more representation hurt democracy?
- More Attack Ads. Sure there will be more of them for most of the country, but there will be less attack ads in battleground states. More money would be necessary for the increase in attack ads but the real problem would be the increase in money in politics. Besides, people in battleground states deal with this all the time. If they can do it, then the nation can do it.
- Withering Grassroots. I couldn’t logically follow this argument. I think I know what it wanted to argue but I don’t get it. It ended with reducing voter turnout in states with already low turnout. But come on, with the popular vote people’s vote in low turnout states will actually matter. Put that on a commercial and turnout will increase.
- Undermining Federalism and Pluralism. This one was ridiculous! The argument is that campaigns will not speak to the needs of specific groups like farmers, miners, minorities, or the young. No coalitions will be built. That is ridiculous. People are more than one thing and usually consider lots of issues when voting. There are young minority miners. Besides, with every person’s vote in play coalitions will need to be built. Also, there is no specific group that is 50% of the US population, with the exception of women. Coalitions will have to be built! And, if you want to encourage coalitions, mandate a run-off election to avoid minority victors a necessitate coalitions.
Ok, I’m done. That’s enough arguing for the day. Mexico needs a institute a run-off election, off-topic but true.
The worst kind of people are those who confuse kindness for weakness. -Werner Makowski, banker (b. 1929)