The electoral college has gotten a bad rap recently, but I for one think it’s a brilliant institution. Our founding fathers designed a way to elect our chief executive that respects the diversity of a country this large.
The cornerstone of American democracy is checks and balances. Were the executive to be elected purely by popular vote, concentrated populations would decide the fate of the country.
Rapid globalization and shipping off industry to developing countries where labor is cheaper (and usually less safe and humane) has already led to the trend of megalopolises, or supercities, where countries are dominated by a few urban areas.
That’s why the current National Popular Vote bill — currently awaiting Gov. Polis’ signature — baffles me. The proposal is, frankly, strange. One might assume something called National Popular Vote actually advocates for a national popular vote. It doesn’t. (Not that that would be a good idea; one need look no further than Brexit to see where a “first past the post” approach can lead.)
This bill requires states to cast their electoral votes for whomever wins the popular vote. Essentially, the state’s electors cede their voice to the voters of supercities. I can’t figure out why any Coloradan would bother voting in such a case.
The ultimate irony? As it stands, this bill goes into law without you or I ever having a say. Some lawmakers and activists recognized that irony and are planning to gather the signatures needed to put this on the ballot for . . . a popular vote!
People are frustrated that a candidate who won the popular vote is not president, but it’s happened long before the 21st century. Google Grover Cleveland. The electoral college insures that no region of the country is disenfranchised.
Making constitutional or procedural changes based on party politics usually doesn’t work out very well. Just ask former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid how his support for the “nuclear option” has worked out for Senate Democrats when it’s come to Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2019 by the Intermountain Jewish News