A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rigging The Presidential Election

President Obama, the Democratic candidate, scored a smashing victory in the last presidential election -- getting about 3.5 million more votes nationally than his opponent, and winning the electoral college 332 to 206. And the chances are that unless the Republican Party moderates some of their far right-wing policies, it will be even more difficult for them to win the presidency in the future. This is especially true since the percentage of the vote represented by Whites is dropping by a couple of percentage points in each election (and that is the part of the population the right-wing and bigoted policies of Republicans appeals to).

But the Republicans are ruled by a teabagger-fundamentalist base of voters in most states, and this group will not allow the party to moderate their policies. They want their own ideology to rule the party, even though that ideology appeals only to a diminishing minority of national voters. How can they win the presidency while appealing only to a minority of voters?

They have decided to "rig" the Electoral College. They would do this by altering how the Electors are chosen in some states where Democratic presidential candidates do well. They want to choose Electors in those state by congressional district rather than by which candidate wins the vote of the entire state. There are currently six states where the Republicans are in control of the state government, but the Democratic candidate won in the last election. Four of those states (Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan) have already introduced bills to change the selection of Electors from statewide to a by congressional district basis -- and if they are successful, you can bet the states of Florida and Ohio will try to do the same.

Here are the number of congressional districts in those states where Republicans have a current advantage (thanks to gerrymandering in the 2010 redistricting):
Florida...............17
Michigan..............9
Ohio...............12
Pennsylvania...............13
Virginia...............8
Wisconsin...............5

That's a total of 64 districts. If the Republican plan to give Electors by congressional district rather than statewide vote had been in effect in the 2012 election, President Obama would have lost those 64 Electors, and the election (since he would have gotten only 268 electoral votes and 270 is required). Willard Mitt Romney would have gotten the presidency, even though he got over 3.5 million less votes than President Obama. The will of the American voters would have been subverted by an already archaic system that is now being altered to favor one certain political party.

That is not democracy. In truly democratic countries, the majority of voters choose who their leader will be. It is just wrong for any political party to be able to put their candidate in the White House after receiving less votes than another candidate. This has happened four times in this nation's history (the last time being in 2000, when Gore got the most popular votes but Bush got the most electoral votes) -- and it was just as wrong in those elections.

It is time for the United States to discard the Electoral College system. It is out-dated and lends itself to rigging of elections by a political party. It can (and does) subvert democracy by allowing the loser of a national election to become president anyway. The current Republican efforts to "rig" the Electoral College shows this clearly (and would be just as wrong if done by Democrats). It is time to insure that our president is elected by the voters -- and not by party hacks.

1 comment:

  1. This is the one that really scares me.

    ReplyDelete

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