WI: opinions on electoral college wanted


June 11, 2006, 06:08 PM
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today ran an editorial about aboloshing the electoral college. Amazingly, the editorial board didn't have an opinion on the subject. Instead, they're asking for letters.

Here's the editorial:

Editorial: Founding wisdom or founding folly?
From the Journal Sentinel

Posted: June 10, 2006

Coming soon to Wisconsin will be a campaign to convince the state that it should take a hand in neutralizing the Electoral College. Because you paid attention during civics class, you know that this is the constitutionally created body that actually elects the president.

The pitch, from an organization called the National Popular Vote, will be that Wisconsin join other states in signing a compact that would have the state's electors - the folks who actually get to vote in the Electoral College - cast their ballots for whoever wins the national popular vote.

Yes, this is an end-run around Congress, where smaller states are likely to block any move because of the perception - one National Popular Vote disputes - that they will see their clout diminished.

The aim is to ensure that the country not repeat the 2000 election, in which the popularly elected candidate, Al Gore, lost the election. Yes, the U.S. Supreme Court had a hand in this, but after all was said and done, Gore had more votes by regular folks casting ballots and George W. Bush had more votes in the Electoral College. Which meant that Bush won the election.

Just a fluke? No, it's actually happened before, and history has other examples of less-than-smooth sailing because of the Electoral College. The problem, says National Popular Vote, is that recurrences of the 2000 election are a certainty. It notes that, had several thousand votes shifted in Ohio in 2004, John Kerry could have won the election, though losing the popular vote to Bush decisively.

The organization will soon be hunting for a Wisconsin state legislator to sponsor a bill that would have Wisconsin join this compact. Already, some states are joining in. And editorial boards from New York to Minneapolis to Los Angeles have taken up the cause of neutering the Electoral College.

And this Editorial Board? We'll be honest. We don't know. We're gathering the facts, but we want to try something a little different here.

We want to ask you.

No, we will not arrive at our decision based on de facto referendum. We will base it on the facts that make the most persuasive arguments. We want to hear what you think these are.

It's clear that Wisconsin has a parochial interest. It is one of those shrinking number of battleground states that National Popular Vote says makes the case for elbowing the Electoral College aside. If yours was not a battleground state, the candidates' election itineraries show, you got ignored. Anyone around in 2004 surely knows we saw a lot of the candidates.

But should our parochial interests trump national interest? Is there even a national interest at work here? Should someone's vote in Wyoming count more than a person's vote elsewhere? Is the Electoral College anti-democratic?

Certainly, we, as an Editorial Board, will arrive at an opinion. But we'd like to hear your best arguments to help us do that. And we'll be checking around for others as well.

If you put your thoughts in the form of a letter to the editor (being mindful of the guidelines published on the opposite page), we'll publish the best of them in next week's Sunday Symposium.

OK, let the debate begin. Should the president be elected by popular vote? Is the Electoral College an anachronism?

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June 11, 2006, 06:40 PM
In the World Series, it's not the team that scores the most runs that wins it. It's the team that wins the most games.

The Electoral College follows the same mechanism. Doesn't matter how many votes a presidential candidate gets, it's how many states he wins.

The difference is that the EC was put into place because the smaller states feared that the massive population centers of the big states would muscle them out. The smaller states wanted the EC to be distributed via the number of Fed senators and Fed representatives. Since each state, even small ones, gets a pair of senators, this tilts the advantage a bit out of the way from the larger states.

So, if one doesn't like the EC, one also doesn't like how baseball is scored or the fact that dinky states get two senators and at least on representative, no matter how dinky they are.


June 11, 2006, 07:04 PM
The quote/princliple: "no taxation without representation" ...is akin to what you might call "no Presidential election for a nation of States without each State getting its' say." That is a short and sweet as I can make my basic view on this.

June 11, 2006, 07:27 PM
Who are the principals?
What are the backgrounds of the principals?
What are the sources of funding for the organization?

I'm beginning to sniff another Soros front group.

June 11, 2006, 08:49 PM
The following is just my opinoin and as always I could be wrong.

Anyone who talks about changing the Electoral College system in the real world is either A) Ignorant as to how the Electoral College works or B) They are lying or C) on some really strongdrugs.

The Electoral College system gives states with small populations political power all out of proportion to their size.

If you change the Electoral College sytem you will take away much of their political power.

You must get their approval (in the form of a constitutional ammendment) in order to change the Electoral College.

Therefore you asking politicians to voluntarily give political power voluntarily.:rolleyes:

Good Luck in doing so.

Like I said in the real world Ignorance/Lying/ or some really strongdrugs. I do not see another option, but am always willing to listen to alternative viewpoints.


June 11, 2006, 10:19 PM
naturally a state like kali say could let all the passer-by,illegal aliens convicts and so forth vote.. without the electoral college,they could take a third of the popular vote. does anybody know how to say "representation without taxation?" in spanish. and,the 2010 census will be the most important in the Republics history.

June 11, 2006, 11:09 PM
I thought we were a republic. Seems like the big cities want us the have a direct democray so they can rule from on high. No NO and NO. What are they trying to do start another civil war. I will be on the side of the STATES. :banghead:

Jim March
June 12, 2006, 12:14 AM
This is what I intend to say to them:


When Wisconsin votes it's own interests, and those interests matter more because it is a "battleground" with votes in play, it's interests dovetail with other largely-rural states with similar interests.

And that's a good thing.

Go back to the time of the founding of the US and you'll find that the main political split wasn't "north/south", it was "urban vs. rural". The rural states didn't want to see their interests dominated by the bigger more urbanized states. This split put Virginia on the same side as Massachussets and New York, with the other side held by New Hampshire, Vermont, the Carolinas and the like.

Slavery and the Civil War rearranged American politics on a north/south split and this lasted well into the 20th century, with state party lines dominated by which party was on which side at the beginning of the war. Only recently has this split vanished, replaced by the original sort of urban/rural split we see today. Wisconsin should be fundamentally aligned with Tennessee as we see in recent presidential elections...we've grown far enough beyond the remnants of the Civil War and racism to have that come to pass.

That's a good thing. It's a sign the nation is healing from horrible wounds.

To throw out the top protection (along with 2-senators-per-state) against urban state dominance isn't "selflessness", it's stupidity incarnate. Certain elitist forces stemming from an urbanized socialistic mindset are trying to convince the people of your state to drink a particularly obnoxious koolaid "for the benefit of all", or so they say.

Don't buy it. Protect the rights you were given when the nation was founded and when your state joined in that contract. Protect the culture of independent thinking and self sufficiency that is sadly lacking in the urbanized culture that per criminal statistics is headed into a toilet unless it somehow gets an infusion of YOUR sort of thinking: a rural culture that the "intellectual class" dismisses but may prove to be our salvation one day.

Protect yourselves, protect that culture. Say "no" to the popularist koolaid.

Jim March - a Californian who has seen the other side and isn't impressed.

June 12, 2006, 12:22 AM
that pact is stupid. if they don't like the way things work, there's a process for modifying the constitution.

(but i don't really have an opinion on the electoral college)

June 12, 2006, 01:02 AM
The Electoral College is a necessary and good establishment. Far from giving small states disproportionate political power, it actually ensures that states with small populations are not summarily dismissed at election time. Were the popular vote used to determine the presidency then almost all political power would be ceded to large urban populations, as Mr March indicated.

This is nothing more than a liberal power play - once again they find they cannot dominate in the field of ideas and common sense so they resort to underhanded, back-door policies (just like they use the courts to enact their policies without democratic debate or votes) to ensure their ruling power continues.

The last elections clearly demonstrate the foresight and brilliance of the founding fathers. States like WI and Iowa, being swing states - saw many campaign stops by the candidates and ensured that rural, agrarian concerns were addressed by the candidates - issues like milk-pricing and ethanol would be swept under the rug were it not for the electoral college. And the heartlands' ethos, morals, and concerns would never be considered by presidents when formulating policy and considering legislation. Nor would these states expect to get any share of federal revenue - in fact, larger more populous states would effectively be able to strip wealth from smaller more affluent states, creating a siphon of resources from the smaller to the larger.

All in all, the popular vote is a bad idea and the fact that the Journal/Sentinel can't bring themselves to dismiss it out-of-hand clearly shows they are incapable of thoughtful, reasoned thinking, not to mention their willingness to dismiss constitutional values, once again, when it doesn't match their left-leaning ideologies.

June 12, 2006, 01:11 AM
Without the Electoral College those of us living outside of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago might as well not vote.

Here's some visual aids when looking at population density and elections around the country http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/

Direct Democracy is nothing more than mob rules ... and its why the Constitution is basically ignored today because the rule of law can be done away with if its not popular (just imagine a room full of 5 year olds voting on whats for lunch ... it would be cookies and ice cream only for a few months until they all died of malnutrition).

I also say we go back to Senators being selected by the state legislatures as well.

June 12, 2006, 06:50 AM
Great images, thank you Zundfolge.

FireBreather01, I think bottom line we agree. would you agree with the following?

EC gives small states more power than they would have with direct votes, therefore gives politicians from such states more power than they would have with direct voting.


June 12, 2006, 06:55 AM
IMO, I believe eliminating the EC would be a mistake.

I also believe putting the election of Senators into the People's hands (i.e. not via State Legislature's) was a big mistake.

June 12, 2006, 10:32 AM
You think those morons that came up with that plan would have thrown their ********** electoral votes to George W Bush in 2004 when he won the popular vote by 4 million? Didn't think so.

Ohio recounts wouldn't have even mattered if they had it their way, because KA's huge chunk of votes in the EC would have easily put him over the mark.

Leave it to democrats to keep counting votes and keep finding new ways to count votes until they win. Of course the only 'fair' elections are the ones they win.

EC delegates can vote for whoever they damn well please. Tar and feathers is what keeps them in line with the wishes of the state. As we saw in the last election you can even vote for Eward and John L Kerry.

June 12, 2006, 11:51 AM
i agree with michigander on direct vote of senators.all politics being real local when the state houses voted.

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