Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Electoral College "reform", Evan Bayh agrees?

Poor Evan Bayh (D-IN). Indiana is a Republican state, but he keeps getting elected by pretending not to be liberal. He talks a good talk, but since his name is coming up for an '08 presidential run, he has to begin aligning with the national Democrats. That strategy hasn't served Democrats well: just ask Tom Daschle, Max Cleland, and Harry Reid (whose popularity has sagged in red state NV). From the Bayhster:
Q: Why do you think we should abolish the Electoral College?

A: "I think our president should be chosen by the majority of the American people. That is ordinarily the case. But in 2000, as we all recall, we elected this president with fewer votes than the other candidate got. I just don't think in the modern era that is appropriate."
Evan, you do realize that the good folks back home (that would be Indiana and not DC...sorry for the confusion) voted overwhelmingly for "this president" on two occasions, right? Oh, well, what do those hayseeds know, right? That kind of attitude doesn't reflect your "I am not an aloof figure" and "we are not cultural elitists" rhetoric very well, does it?

Someone else thinks it's a good idea to ignore their own constituents and vote with New York City, LA, Thann Franthithco, Seattle, and Berkeley, too. Thanks to Texas Rainmaker for this:
This latest anti-Electoral College effort, the Campaign for the National Popular Vote, was announced on February 23. Five states are currently considering the NPV plan: Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, California, and Louisiana. The Colorado state senate acted on the bill quickly, approving it on April 14.

If enacted, the NPV bill would create an interstate compact among consenting states. Each participating state would agree to allocate its entire slate of electors to the winner of the national popular vote. The compact would go into effect when states representing 270 electoral votes (enough to win the presidency) have agreed to the compact. The eleven most populous states have 271 electoral votes among them, and could thus make this change on their own. If one populous state failed to enact the plan, it could easily be replaced by a handful of medium-sized states.
Not coincidentally, those five states targeted for the plan are states that are run by Dem legislatures, with CO, MO, and LA voting GOP in most prez elections.

The Constitution is soooooo passé, so this NPV group (like all libs) wants to wipe its ample posterior with the Constitution in order to try and circumvent it. Legally speaking, I don't think there's anything wrong with their efforts. After all, the Constitution is clear in that states get to decide how to allocate their electoral votes: popular vote of the state, popular vote of other states, tiddlywinks, a sack race, drawing straws, or any manner they wish. I just wonder if elected officials in those states are prepared to be voted out for ignoring their consituents? Maybe they are; after all, Daschle, Cleland, and others have "taken one for the team", right?

Would the Supreme Court strike down those state laws? Though the Court leans right, I doubt they would. After all, the Constitution says that the state legislatures themselves get to decide how to allocate the votes, correct?

Anyway, interesting stuff. Time will tell what happens.