Thursday, December 18, 2008

The electoral college is not "archaic".

Every presidential election cycle bunches of people (almost always Democrats but oddly much more quiet this election cycle... it's all good when the system works for them) rail against the electoral college and call for direct election of the President. Now, of course, if you want the top five states to decide your president every four years this is probably a great idea. But, then look at the most populous state, California, which is generally far more to the left than the rest of the country. Or, to use a much more accurate model, far more to the bottom of the diamond [statist] than the terrible left-right one dimensional model taught in schools. which has FIVE times as many Electoral College votes than my state of Indiana.

Do you really want the people of California who have voted their way into near state bankruptcy and are now asking the Federal Government (their not alone, 43 states are now doing this) to take more tax money from the rest of the country or place the entire rest of the country further in debt to "bail them out". Of course, this continues to beg the question as to who is going to bail out the United States government and taxpayers? Massive inflation coming soon to a store near you!?

The point everyone misses though is that the States created the Federal Government. The states are supposed to be sovereign and voluntarily organized into the "United States" for which the Federal Government had very little authority and not much to do. The Federal Government was supposed to be states' agent in helping organize national defense and ensuring free trade amongst the states not to be the direct agent of the people.

The citizens of each state vote for who they desire their respective representatives (electors) to cast votes for in representing the United States. We're supposed to care more about our own Governor and State House folks than the President of the United States, but the power has flip-flopped and massively so during the 20th Century. As originally intended, however, there was never supposed to be any kind of popular election of electors (although that wasn't forbidden) and instead knowledgeable people were to be selected by state governments to recommend candidates to the Congress who would then select the President. It never really worked this way, at least not by the time we got to Jackson. Again, this would be state governments selecting the President. State representatives who would be much less likely to vote away their authority, power and sovereignty under the U.S. Constitution.

an excerpt:

"Over those decades, the methods that states used to select their electors had changed so that rather than having state legislatures choose them, they were chosen by the electorate directly. Furthermore, electors represented specific candidates instead of being chosen for their ability to select good candidates. Thus, in effect, there was popular voting for president despite the process specified in the Constitution, and if the president was in fact elected by popular vote, Jackson’s supporters believed that he should have been selected as president in 1824."

No comments: