Monday, March 30, 2009

Electoral College irrelevancy gets closer

There's a movement afoot to make the Electoral College irrelevant by getting enough states to pledge to give their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote that the Electoral College won't matter. Internal Monologue supports this movement. It's made progress since I last checked in:
So far, four states representing 50 electoral votes have adopted the pledge: Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland and Hawaii. The concept has been endorsed by newspapers across the country, including The New York Times.
Now the Colorado legislature is considering the measure:

The debate hits full stride now in Colorado, a state that political analysts say presents a key test for the National Popular Vote project. So far, the states most receptive to doing away with the Electoral College have all been solidly Democratic -- not the swing states that have been high-profile players in presidential elections.

But Colorado last year joined a small cluster of newly minted swing states that drew a disproportionate share of candidate visits and campaign spending. It will now help answer the question of whether swing states will take the leap.

I continue to support this measure. Some don't:
Opponents of the proposed overhaul argue that it would dilute the influence of small and rural states, as candidates focused on vote-rich cities.
I'm all for diluting the influence of small and rural states. They should have less influence, because they have fewer people. They already have disproportionate influence on our country due to the fact that they get as many senators as large states. We don't need to exaggerate that unfairness any further. Candidates should focus on vote-rich cities, because that's where lots of people are. Of course, lowering the influence of low-population states and rural areas would generally tilt the landscape in a progressive direction. So I may be swayed by partisan thinking here. Still, something that makes the country more democratic and more Democratic is a good thing in my book. (It's not a coincidence that the correlation between those two items is a positive one.)

Yes, there may be some difficulties. The first time this law affects the outcome of a presidential election, there's going to be lawyers all over the place. But it's worth it to have an actual democracy. The Electoral College is a shameful embarrassment.


Anonymous bill in minneapolis said...

Thanks for the update on this movement. I think it is a great idea and will make the United States 'more democratic.'

7:37 PM, March 31, 2009  

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