Tag Archives: electoral college

435 Isn’t Enough

Fun point. We have had 435 Representatives in the house since 1911 (with a 4 year exception when it went to 437). Our Founding Fathers wanted it locked in at 50k to 60k per Representative, we now have an average of 800k (source I am fact checking them now, however even if those particular facts aren’t true, their idea of more Representatives is a good one). NOTE: All that follows is a work in progress…I may modify it as I go along and further refine my ideas.
If we limited to the 50k our Founding Fathers originally wanted the size difference between districts would be less than 5%. There would be 6,000 members of the House and would far better represent their local populace. We could, if cost was a huge concern, limit it to one member for each 100k, this still results in 3,000 (or nearly anything up to say one rep for each 300k… no more than 500k).

With modern technology there is no need to have every member of the House in the building in DC… as a matter of fact, from a security point it is better, and there is nothing in the Constitution that would stop us from using modern technology to do it. And by leaving them in their home districts we could cut the expense of having them all in Washington. For direct representation in DC, if we wanted to continue to house 435 people in the the Capital itself, then each state’s legislative body and governor would decide who went to DC. Who went wouldn’t matter since being in the Capital itself doesn’t increase their voting power. If they wanted they could rotate so all of them get a chance, but to reduce costs perhaps best to leave it set. I would also suggest a pay cut to help with the expense of so many Reps, especially since most will be in their home district. At the very least a big cut to the size and costs of their staff and other expenses.

This does increase the difficulty of getting things done, since now you have far more people to sell on a plan, but in the end we end up with less pork, less ear marks and a government that is forced to be more focused on actual governance and more bills would become far simpler in order to get them passed.
Such a plan would greatly reduce Gerrymandering. It could be reduced further by devising a GIS based program to draw district lines without regard to politics… as a matter of fact, this should be done even if we stay with the 435 number we have now. That alone would improve representation.

We also need to remove the first past the post voting method in the US for all federal offices… I would say for state level offices as well. There are two primary alternatives, the Alternative Vote and the Single Transfer Vote. I would say for the House, use the Alternative Vote, for the Senate and President use STV. On the election form they are more or less the same, it is how they are counted that changes. Continue reading 435 Isn’t Enough

Despite the Obama Win, I Still Call for an End to Winner Take All

I continue to wonder why only Main and Nebraska renounce the winner take all approach to a presidential election and do it the way it should be done, have the winner of each congressional district win that district alone, then the two extra votes go to the winner of the state. This splits the difference between a pure popular vote, while maintaining the integrity and purpose of the electoral college in giving the smaller states power.
There is no way to pass an Amendment that gets rid of the Electoral College, the small states would never support it, but one might be able to pass a tiered Amendment since it still leaves the small states in play. The question is if the Federal Government could mandate that all the States go to a tiered system without a Constitutional Amendment. The Constitution says the States can choose their own method of selecting electors, the question becomes if detailing how those electors are used would violate the Constitution or not. I have recently thought that perhaps it can’t and that an Amendment would indeed be needed to force a tiered system. In Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214 (1952)., the Supreme Court ruled that electors are functionaries of the state and subject to the state’s rules and governess. So unfortunately the difficult process of an Amendment would probably be needed, but I still think it would pass, especially if it included clauses to prevent faithless electors, and some states would probably want clauses to prevent Gerrymandering (the redrawing of district maps to favor a particular outcome) which would be a far more tricky part to write.

My Election Preditions For Now

It is still early in the primary season, but I’ll lay out my official election predictions, as they stand right now.
On the Democrat side, which is an easier one to predict, I’ll lay best odds on an Obama/Edwards ticket with an eventual win as the Republican’s will not put up somebody who can beat any Democrat, even Hillary would beat anybody the Republican’s are likely to put up (read as Ron Paul is the only Republican who stands a chance to beat the Democrats). Obama/Edwards will be seen as the “change” ticket, even though they are evil CFR members, the public at large doesn’t care and America will go to Hell as a result. America will no longer be the best place to live, just on the top tier with several others that are just as bad, or close enough that it doesn’t matter. I’ll give a small outside chance to it being either Clinton/Edwards or Edwards/Clinton. Clinton is leading in Michigan, but that is because Obama and Edwards are not on the ticket due to Michigan violating rules by moving its primary ahead of Super Tuesday (Feb 5th). This may lead to party backlash against Clinton. Unfortunately, the only decent non-evil Democrat, Kucinich, won’t get much, but may be given a spot to speak at the Convention.
The Republican side becomes far more difficult to predict. It depends on how things play out in the big states like Florida, California and New York which is where Giuliani is putting most of his efforts at works out. See the Republican’s have a winner take all in lots of states for the primary, so it works out like a direct popular vote, the winner only needs to take those three to win the whole thing (this is the advantage of the electoral college, it makes states like Ohio matter, under a direct popular vote, even Cleveland is too small to care about… but that is another post that I have gone over before and will likely cover again as the real election draws near). If Giuliani can’t win enough votes in the big states, it will probably be McCain, who for some ungodly reason is having a come back… of course I rather have McCain, as horrifyingly evil as he is than Giuliani, who is a billion times worse. The vice-president candidate I’ll give odds to Huckabee, who despite his many evils, is seen as the choice of Evangelicals. I’ve already talked about how Evangelicals are trying to continue to fuck over the country with choosing Huckabee, but as he is seen as the Evangelical choice, I am laying odds on him being given the second spot on the ticket with the second choice being Romney who has a chance of appealing to Evangelicals but not to the same degree, but still far more then either Giuliani or McCain. Huckabee is also the third most anti-war candidate after Ron Paul and Kucinich, which would make the ticket more appealing to some of the anti-war people, especially on the Republican side, and there is a big gap until you hit the next Democrat candidate on the anti-war stance and a huge gap from them to the rest of the Republicans on the war issue.
Ron Paul… Well I expect him to drop out after Super Tuesday unless things go drastically well. This makes me sad as he is the only non-evil Republican. I hope he’ll take the Libertarian parties invitation and seek their nomination (they can’t just toss him in as their candidate, he has to ask for it, then he has to be chosen at the convention). If he doesn’t look to their nomination, I don’t expect him to be invited to the Convention, despite his huge popularity, due to his stance on several key issues. If he does go for and wins the Libertarian nomination, they will get enough votes to be put on the debates next election cycle and be on the ballot all over without all the problems they now face trying to get ballot access, this alone is reason enough for him to go for it, to give a third party an actual voice next election cycle.
Anyhow, in the end the country gets fucked. We get no change, just more taxes and bigger government and a faster slide to the North American Union. Unless of course we put Ron Paul or Kucinich in office… of course with Kucinich we still get more taxes and bigger government, but at least he would stall the move to the North American Union.