Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Eve

It's the night before the big day in the United States, Election Day. I felt the Political Scientist in me trying to break out the last couple of weeks. I found myself less interested in the actual outcome of the election than by the possibility that there would be a tie in the Electoral College, and the election results would be decided by the sitting U.S. Congress.

You may wonder why we even have such a thing as an Electoral College. Why don't we simply have majority rule? Bottom line is that it's the same reason that we have two senators from each state regardless of population, and we have the Bill of Rights. It is to ensure that "majority rule" does not become "mob rule." These things protect minority groups and give them voice.

In the case of the Electoral College, it gives states with lower populations a little more power. With a country as large as the United States, if we went with a strict majority rule, presidential elections could be decided exclusively by the people of New York, California, and Texas. This would effectively disenfranchise the rest of the population from the presidential election. There's certainly no way that New Hampshire or Iowa could seen as important swing states. The truth is that the results of the Electoral College are usually the same as the popular vote, so it usually isn't an issue. But, I'll concede that no system is perfect.

One of the weirder things is that if no one wins the Electoral College, the election will be decided by Congress. The House of Representatives chooses the president, and the Senate chooses the vice-president. If you think that it's crazy watching all the political commentators trying to pick the winner now, just imagine if the election went to the Congress!

The possibilities are intriguing. Could the House pick Mitt Romney and the Senate pick Joe Biden? It's almost too much. Then I stopped. I stopped and considered the chaos that would ensue. No, no, no. No ties, please. Let's not test it.

I've picked my candidate. Don't be too sure that you know who it is. If there's only one thing that you can be sure of about me is that I am an Independent with a capital "I." If I ever follow the tendencies of my demographic group(s), it's pure coincidence.

I am thankful that I have a vote, and I will cast it. After that it's out of my hands. No matter what the result, we will still be the United States of America.


5 comments:

Agree....NO TIES please!

the only blessing about the storm is that it has taken politics out of my line of vision although I will vote of course

I love your notebook :)

It seems like a lot of people don't understand the Electoral College and what it is designed to do. I hear it all the time...popular vote should count for more. Intelligent people don't seem to realize why we have the EC and what it prevents.

A lot of people use the EC as an excuse not to vote, suggesting that it makes their vote meaningless.

P.S. I don't think we're in danger of an EC tie this time.

My boys are talking lots of politics in school and I got to hear this gem last night while they were cleaning up after supper.

If it's a tie have a Republican Perez and Democratic VP Cruz we just had a D Perez and that's fair. Like when we were little and mean to each other and mom made us sit together and hold hands til we could behave. Don't give them separate sside.

Marla: From your lips to God's ear! :)

Dianna: I figured the sight of your governor hugging Obama would induce a stroke at the very least. ;) Glad that you're able to be on the internets enough to comment on other people's blogs. Yay! :)

Travis: Truthfully, I'm voting much more for local reasons than presidential. Unless space aliens have come and possessed everyone in this state, the presidential choice is already decided, and it won't even be close. But for local issues, conceivably, I could be the deciding vote. That's power! :)

Joy: What's really great is that they're thinking about it. Like Travis mentioned in his comment, lots of smart people don't understand how it works or why we have it.

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