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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Electoral Reform, American Style

It's about time. There's talk about changing the electoral system in the United States. They want to eliminate the districts and just count the popular vote. That's because it's too easy for someone who got the most popular votes not to be elected, president that is.

The Electoral College seemed ridiculous when I first learned about how the American government works almost a half century ago. I can't believe that it has lasted so long.


josh said...

Is this still part of purim shpiel?

Batya said...

100% true. Read the article in the NY Times. Of course, I used a bissel suspense, as I tell my students, you should attract the readers' attention.

Anonymous said...

I'm not signed into the NYT 'cause I find the lengthy questionnaire to be insulting. They don't want you/me to just read their hype; They want to kick you in the leg too and charge you/us for it. Such a nuisance, as that questionnaire, tells me things that are very sublime about the NYT. Yet the story can exist, probably does, elsewhere and the story is peculiar imo.

OKAY, Having not read the article:

The notion of changing the electoral college is probably a red herring. This issue came up during the last elections and probably appears during every election cycle.

The Electoral College exists in a manner which does not effect the outcome of anything in the long term. Yes Gore had more votes in 2000 but the Electoral votes were larger for President Bush (after the historic Supreme Court decision).

If the E.C. system was to change then the tactics, of political machines, would just change with it. It is simple: if the popular vote were to become the deciding factor then the popular vote would be courted just slightly differently and/or the voter registration may become highly promoted. The point: The outcome can still be the same and the issues could be the same even with a "pop' vote only law".

Besides those things; Everything under the sun is getting pulled out of the hat now. Anyone who lives away from a "front", (away from: ie/ Iraq. ie/ Israel. ie/ Darfur etc.), is now exposed to a neverending "dramatic event of the week" political/news phenomena. After three elections in Iraq; the focus of the world has shifted.

ie/ The ports contract/deal; As if the Fed. Gov't of the US is just guessing about this and that.. obviously ridiculous..

I even saw somewhat contradictory headlines on this subject today (Dubai forgoes deal, Dubai still manages other US ports...). The issue is virtually moot because nothing changes on the ground at all when the ports management contract is awarded to another entity. So why would the US Gov't allow a deal to collapse because of illogical criticism?

I think the headline notion of a change in the historic Electoral College, even if this happens in real reality, somehow can never happen and probably won't in the most basic sense. (Is it Shakespeare's world stage again?)

The headlines can produce alot of emotions and then later squash those emotions with contradiction. The regularity of this phenomena is telling.. (Today I read that a news organization stated their photo policy as never altering a picture. This came after they changed the color of a Federal officials suit, in a pic, from gray to violet. Jokers right?)

I'm a little pressed to think of the name of a news syndicate that doesn't jump into story after story and then later do fact checking or attempt to gloss over blatantly appearing errors or conjecture.

With respect to people living in the front lines of conflict; The news headlines are almost hilarious and quite often that way.

Maybe I'm just always leery.. And I did not view the NYT article yet..