Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Abolish the College!

Electoral College, that is...

A little politcal rant here. I try not to talk politics with friends and family or on this blog, and this isn't about the candidates or how I am voting, but I need to vent....

My annoyance at the electoral college method of election is growing again since I heard this morning that McCain could have 3 to 4 MILLION less votes than Obama and still (possibly) win the election. I totally do not agree with this. I would like for someone to please explain to me why it is so important for us to vote when our individual votes are not what decides the election. Is this democracy??? Hardly.  I understand why they might have thought it was a good idea at the time (not that I agree, but that was THEN, and this is NOW!) Does it make sense to hold onto this old idea? We have come a long way since this system was put in place for its archaic reasons.

I would like to think that all Americans would say they are perfectly capable of making up their own minds on who they would like to vote for and that they would like their individual vote to count. Is there really any average-"Joe The Plumber" who thinks the electoral college is still a good way to decide our leader? 

If you agree with the Electoral College, please leave me a comment and tell me why you do not want YOUR vote to count. 

I know I want MY vote to count. I want my family members, neighbors, friends all to have their say. I want YOU to have your say. I want everyone's vote to have equal weight in a decision this important. I want those who are voting for my choice as well as those voting for the opponent all to have equal say in who runs this country for the next 4 years. I want people in states with only 3 EC votes to feel their individual vote counts as much as someone who lives in a state with many more EC votes.  Why is this not the way we do things? 

I suppose if you live in one of those "undecided" states today, your vote will count. Sort of. I am reminded of 2000 when I felt like only those who lived in Florida had any say in the election. Oh how those votes were scrutinized and agonized over, and gosh, was your chad hanging or not? Over a month ....they counted and recounted while the rest of the country (if they were like me) sat back and wondered "why isn't MY vote just as important as those in Florida?".  

And when all was said and done, a group of 538 strangers decided our president. Decided for the masses. I much prefer if the masses decide for ourselves, thank you very much. The masses said Al Gore, but the EC said nope, you get George Bush. I thought there would be talk of changing the system at that point. I thought the people of this country would say "Wait a minute! What just happened here!? We need to look at this and see if maybe we shouldn't come into the 21st century and really let the people decide (since that's what most people incorrectly assume is actually happening). But the uprising never came. 

Click here for an explaination about how the Electoral College works, (you should really go read it if you're not clear). I especially like the final paragraph:

If all this sounds incredibly complicated it’s because it is. This is, however, the way the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest democracy” conducts its business. A far more democratic system would be for the American people to vote for the candidate of their choice. The candidate with the most votes would be declared the winner. This would also mean that the candidates would have to campaign in each of the fifty states because every vote would count. From my point of view, this would certainly not be ideal, but it would be an extraordinary improvement over the absurdity that presently exists.

So, I'm off to vote, even though it doesn't really count..... Michigan is already decided... Our EC is blue. McCain gave up campaigning here many weeks ago. Basically this said to me "Michigan's votes don't count anymore."  I guess the only votes that really count today are from the states that haven't already been decided before election day. I really hope this system changes in my lifetime, or at least in our children's lifetime. 

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry:
Inflected Form(s):
plural de·moc·ra·cies
Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos + -kratia -cracy
1 a: government by the people ; especially : rule of the majority

End of rant...

Have a great day (It's going to be in the 70s here today! Woo Hoo! Gotta love Indian Summer!)


Anonymous said...

What I really can't stand is the concept of the "faithless elector", or a member of the College that does not vote the way that was decided in their respective state/territory. There's been at least one in each of the past four elections.

Swallow that! (it's a hard one)

(ThreadBear Rob)

Kim said...

You are SO right about this Trish. We need to start a petition or something...

Jane said...

I agree that our election system needs and overhaul, starting with the electoral college. However, the Constitution does not provide for direct election of the President, so it makes it very complicated to change. Also, while we like to call ourselves a democracy, in reality, we are really a republic, with is an entirely different kettle of fish. And if John McCain wins - no matter how - I'm going to run screaming into the night!!!!!!!