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Today in Congress: Obama Declared President-elect

January 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw


>As the Congress was ratifying the results of the Electoral College today, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., was filing legislation to abolish it.
>Scratching a long-time itch, Nelson filed a bill seeking a constitutional amendment to do away with the college, which chooses the U.S. president based on vote tallies within individual states. (For the record, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama prevailed over Arizona Sen. John McCain, 365 to 173. But you knew that.)
>Nelson, a vocal if somewhat quixiotic advocate for election reform, said the Electoral College is archaic and the president should be chosen via popular vote.
>"It’s only been a few times in our history, most recently in the 2000 election, that the candidate who lost the popular vote won the Electoral College and became president, but that shouldn’t be allowed to happen again,” Nelson said. “We need to honor the concept of one person, one vote.”
>Prospects for the measure, which would need ratification of two-thirds of the U.S. states, are dim.

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  • Dem02020 01/09/2009 6:48am

    THE BEST THING about the Constitutionally mandated way we elect the President, is that it makes voting precincts or voting jurisdictions, out of the many States. That’s important to the integrity of the election: because it makes for a smaller more at hand jurisdiction, for you to oversee and verify the casting and counting of ballots. Were there to be some kind of national popular election of the President, then that would mean some national electoral authority: and who would that authority be, and where would they be located? Take Minnesota’s Senate election for example. I know that that’s a Senate seat, and not the Presidency, but still, we would have some national authority, perhaps under whatever was the present administration of the Federal government, overseeing the casting and counting of ballots by the People of Minnesota: what type of integrity or maybe interference, would that central national electoral authority (the Bush administration) bring to bear in favor of John McCain or Norm Coleman? You see what I mean here? Shouldn’t the People of Minnesota be ultimately and completely responsible for the casting and counting of their own ballots? Doesn’t that set up a local and accountable election authority, in the State of Minnesota, that not only the People of Minnesota have recourse to and oversight of, but also then involves the power and authority of their State Legislature and their State Courts. But if the Presidential election were a national affair, then maybe Minnesota’s ballot is corrupted in some central place of national electoral authority, and what then do the People of Minnesota do: march on Washington DC, and confront the Bush administration? Our founding Constitutional fathers were wise when they placed the Presidential ballot in the hands of the many States, and deprived the Federal government of that authority. I for one do not want anyone from Washington DC or from any State outside of my own, to regulate the casting and counting of my Presidential vote. I want that authority to be as local as possible, for it to be at the State level, so that I may have recourse in the matter, and have no farther than my own State Capitol to petition for any problem I think might exist in the election. It is just like in Minnesota, where Minnesotans are overseeing and checking on other Minnesotans, in both the counting of their Senate ballot and their Presidential ballot too. Thank goodness for that, that they can and do exclude all other authorities in the matter, and take the whole thing unto themselves, as a State matter: because who knows just how the Bush administration, or perhaps interests in other States (like Texas maybe), would interfere with Minnesota’s election, perhaps on behalf of John McCain or Norm Coleman even.

  • Dem02020 01/09/2009 7:25am

    AND I THINK IT’S IRONIC, that U.S. Senator Nelson should find fault with the current and Constitutionally mandated method of electing the President. It’s clear from his words, when he says that it “shouldn’t be allowed to happen” that a Presidential candidate might gather more popular votes nationally, and still lose the election due to the State-size chunks we actually count, in determining the outcome of a Presidential election. He says “We need to honor the concept of one person, one vote.” It is clear from his complaint, that the fault he finds with the present system is that it is not entirely and perfectly representative of the popular vote. But you do know why that is, don’t you? Because the Presidential ballot is cast according to the size of a State’s Congressional delegation, and not according to the number of popular votes cast in that State. And you do know why that makes the ballot unrepresentative of the popular vote, don’t you? Because of the fact that when U.S. Senators are counted in any State’s Congressional delegation, that’s the true and only reason that the ballot (based on Congressional delegation) is skewed unrepresentative: because the U.S. Senate is completely and absolutely unrepresentative! U.S. Senators are apportioned two to each State, with no regard whatsoever to the numbers of People they represent. It is that fact and that fact alone, that then makes basing a State’s electoral ballot on it’s Congressional delegation, unrepresentative of that State’s popular vote! It’s the inclusion of the completely unrepresentative number of U.S. Senators into the equation (two per State regardless of population), that skews the “electoral college” from being a reflection of the national popular vote! I know an absolutely perfect solution to the problem that Sen. Nelson finds: base a State’s Presidential ballot not on it’s Congressional delegation, but on it’s House of Representatives delegation alone! That would immediately unskew the disproportionality of the “electoral college ballot”, and make every State’s ballot as proportionate to their population as is their representation in the U.S. House. FIXED! But that’s not going to happen, even though it’s fair and it’s simple and it would convert the “electoral college” to a near perfect reflection of the popular vote (and still retain the jurisdiction of the State in a Presidential election). Why would it never happen? Because the U.S. Senate would stand in the way! It’s their very inclusion in the “electoral college” that imbalances the popular proportion of the vote, yet they would never solve the problem by getting out of the way, would they? Again, it’s ironic to me that a U.S. Senator would stand up and complain that the “electoral college” is unrepresentative of the number of People who cast Presidential votes, when the cause of the problem is in fact an inclusion of a totally and absolutely unrepresentative U.S. Senate into the equation of that “electoral college”.

  • SeanJ 01/14/2009 8:34pm

    I just hope President-elect Barack Obama with his new stimulus plan will provide that same sense of relief to the American people. The unemployment rate is still on the rise, markets are down, and even nations outside the U.S. are going through financial crisis because of our deteriorating economy. Obviously we are all going through some difficulties in one-way or another. However, I found this article that talks about why recession is good and things we can expect or not expect, in 2009.

    Check this article out to read more about why the recession can be good or to read more on payday loans.

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