Saturday, September 01, 2012

Al Gore is in Favor of Abolishing the Electoral College. 
Or, Why the Electoral College Is a Wicked Institution and Always Has Been....

I agree with Al Gore.

The Electoral College gives an inordinate amount of voting power to the states with small populations. Electoral College votes are determined by congressional seats plus two. That plus two magnifies the clout of little states with only one congressman by three hundred percent (that's triple), and states with only two congressmen by 100% (that's double). 

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming have only one congressman but three electoral votes each . California has 53 congressmen and 55 electoral votes . A vote in those states has three times the power, augmented 300%, of a vote in California.

Therefore small, rural states are very much overrepresented in the Electoral College and in the Congress.. 
People, like myself in Maine, who live in states with two congressmen, have Presidential votes that are almost double the weight of a resident of New York or California.  There are 685,000 residents per electoral vote in California. There are 626,000 residents per electoral vote in New York State. There are 325,000 residents per electoral vote in Maine.There are 228,000 residents in North Dakota per electoral vote.  

Relative power of the individual voter for the electoral college by selected states. A John Bonanno cartoon.

I have heard various arguments about why this was done. 
Usually we hear a heartfelt, tearful, defense based on the need to hear the voice of the farmer. 
The family farmer is almost as extinct as the dinosaur. But we do have a vigorous substitute in the corporate farmer, a "person" who needs no additional representation in Congress. 

This peculiar system was created to placate the South when the Republic was established. 
The South feared its "peculiar institution" of slavery would find itself in danger in a true democracy. 
They wanted to ensure that their states, with smaller populations than the free North, would be able to bottle up any attempts in Congress to free their chattels. 

Amazingly, our founders enabled slavery-loving  Southern voters, giving them additional weight in Congress and in Presidential elections beyond the "plus two" formula via the Three-Fifths Compromise inserted in Article One of our "Holy" Constitution, by allowing the South to count their disenfranchised slaves for congressional and electoral college representation purposes at 3/5 a human. This devilish solution to ensuring southern participation in the Republic also reduced slave state taxes by the same formula.   Was anyone deluded enough to believe those additional Southern congressmen diligently and forcefully protected the interests of all those Negroes in servitude?

 I doubt many reflected on the fact that the "winner take all" Electoral College and the 3/5 count of slaves  magnified the vote power of the southern white man by perhaps four times the weight of a northern abolitionist. 

That is enabling Evil.   

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