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The Renaissance Man
User: unixronin
Name: The Renaissance Man
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Habemus plus vis computatoris quam Deus - Electoral reform, Colorado style
Ramblings of a Unix ronin
Electoral reform, Colorado style
unixronin From: unixronin Date: January 31st, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not that switching completely to a nationwide popular vote would be worse than what we have now. It's that partly switching to a nationwide popular vote, on a winner-take-all basis, is a broken solution that will make us little better off, and may have unforeseen consequences; but once it's in place, any better reform will have to overcome the "But we already fixed it once!" obstacle.

I don't think there's any way that proportional representation could be abused to get some nobody elected. They'd still have to get more electoral votes than any other candidate, and in a system where electoral votes were mandated to be allotted proportionately to the state's popular vote, that would still require that they win the popular vote. Frankly, if a write-in candidate DID manage to win under a proportional allotment system, it would mean that he was popular enough that he'd probably still have won if backed by one of the major parties.

I frankly can't say I consider it would be anything but good for the US to have a President beholden to neither of the major parties. I don't think it'll happen any time in the foreseeable future, but if it did, it would probably be the key to breaking the current two-party stranglehold on elections at the national level. (I don't know how closely you've looked at the system right now, but the Democrats and Republicans have basically managed to rig the system so that if you're not a Democrat or a Republican, you stand very little chance indeed.)
skellington From: skellington Date: January 31st, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the scheme Colorado is proposing is that they only use the scheme if at least 270 electoral votes are guaranteed to do the same. This is enough to guarantee a win in the electoral college thereby making the electoral college irrelevant.

Basically, they're attempting a constitutional amendment (or at least reform) with half the population of the US.

There's no "partially" switching about it, as far as I can tell.

And the problem with the electoral college is that, as I understand it, the electors aren't actually required to vote for any specific candidate on any given vote. Even the first. (Except in a few cases where state law requires them to do so.) I'm not sure about all the parliamentary rules involved in any case, but there are certainly electors that have crossed over to vote for other candidates or abstained in recent memory.

(In fact, for this election, one delegate had resigned from the Republican party and wasn't sure if he would vote for Bush.)

With a proportional system, and perhaps no clear majority in the Electoral college, there's no telling what we'd end up with.
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