How Electoral College reform could change America for the worse

My last column concerned France’s Socialist think tank Terra Nova and their ideas for electoral reform, effectively edging out the working class for women, immigrants and youths.

It makes one wonder what Labour have up their collective sleeve.

We would be right to wonder, because a movement in the United States is going on which could ensure that leftists from the Democratic Party are in office for a long time to come.  It concerns Electoral College reform.

Anyone who tracked the 2008 election cycle — as I did — will know that, once Hillary Clinton lost the nomination, Barack Obama’s team went into overdrive.  Many Clinton caucus and convention delegates reported threats and intimidation if they did not give in and support Obama.  Of course, he was not personally involved, although he did say, ‘We don’t need the people — just the cheques’.  I could write dozens of blog posts about what happened then, much of which would probably surprise the British and other Europeans, who were told he was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

What is so significant about the Electoral College? It provides a check on the popular vote for President.  Technically, American voters do not directly elect a President.  Although the President-elect generally appears on television screens worldwide the following day, the Electoral College gathers to vote early in December of the same year to actually elect the President.

This is to prevent what the Founding Fathers referred to as ‘intrigue’ and, as I was taught in history classes, a dictatorship.

Wikipedia has much more on the Electoral College, but here are a few excerpts from their entry (emphases mine):

in the Federalist [Paper] No. 10, James Madison argued against “an interested and overbearing majority” and the “mischiefs of faction” in an electoral system. He defined a faction as “a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

Presidential electors are selected on a state-by-state basis, as determined by the laws of each state. Generally (with Maine and Nebraska being the exceptions), each state appoints its electors on a winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election DayEven though the aggregate national popular vote is calculated by state officials and media organizations, the national popular vote is not the basis for electing a President or Vice President. A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) to win the Presidency. If no candidate receives a majority in the election for President, or Vice President, that election is determined via a contingency procedure in the Twelfth Amendment …

Progressive Americans often portray the Founding Fathers — Madison among them — as sheer irrelevancies.  Many educators would prefer to skip the lessons on the founding of the nation in school history classes.  Consequently, many American youngsters have a weak grasp of their history.  They don’t even know they live in a republic.  They think it’s a democracy.

Sadly, even a number of elected officials in the US believe the same thing.  And they are old enough to know better.

This is where the Democrats, their think-tank types and George Soros step into the frame.

So incensed by George W Bush’s defeat of Al Gore in 2000 — remember the hanging chads in Florida? — the Democrats wanted to come up with a plan to ensure it would never happen again.   The National Popular Vote movement was born.  It became what is now known as the National Popular Vote Compact, or the NPVC.  The word ‘compact’, I believe, has been deliberately chosen to resonate with Americans on an historical level — e.g. the Mayflower Compact.  A cynical marketing ploy if ever there was one.

Upstate Voice explains George Soros’s involvement:

… billionaire George Soros stepped in to fund and support the movement via his myriad 502(c) outfits, such as the Progressive States Network and Common Cause.

Two brothersAkhil and Vikram Amar — appear to devised the NPVC and presented it in a FindLaw article in 2001:

Imagine this: Americans could pick the President by direct national election, in 2004 and beyond, without formally amending our Constitution.

A small number of key states-eleven, to be precise-would suffice to put a direct election system into effect. Alternatively, an even smaller number of key persons-four, to be exact-could approximate the same result, with a little help from their friends.

Hmm.  Sounds flippant and ominous.  There is much more at the link.

It is unclear where the Amars come from.  Are they American or from elsewhere?  Who is behind them? NoisyRoom.net tells us that Vikram Amar writes about constitutional law.  One of his books is titled The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction.

Akhil Amar, NoisyRoom.net reports:

has also “recently proposed that every American should be required to undergo a DNA test so that a national DNA database can be created.”

And:

Together this pair has made many other monstrous “legalese” proposals including how an “Instant Run Off System” could “remedy the flaws” in America’s voting system; term-limiting Supreme Court Justices and improving the Presidential line of succession in the event of “election terrorism.” By no strange coincidence, the brainstormer of this end-run to trick the public and the Constitution by a minority of favorable state lawmakers, Vikram, also keeps busy writing frequent legal articles in defense of the constitutionality of ObamaCare!

Why would a nation want to have an ‘instant run off system’? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how abused that could be. And what exactly is ‘election terrorism’? Perhaps it involves Republicans or Flyover Country voters!  You know, small ‘l’ libertarians who support Ron Paul.

Back in 2008, the Wall Street Journal published an article by George Soros’s son Jonathan, outlining this proposal:

The Electoral College was created in 1787 by a constitutional convention whose delegates were unconvinced that the election of the president could be entrusted to an unfiltered vote of the people, and were concerned about the division of power among the 13 states. It was antidemocratic by design.

That’s correct.  The Founding Fathers deliberately gave the American people a republic, not a democracy.

Although Soros’s article is short, there are a few other things in it which should set alarm bells ringing:

We often forget that the power to appoint electors is given to state legislatures, and it is only because they choose to hold a vote that Election Day is at all relevant for us. Nowhere is a popular election constitutionally required

The Constitution is no longer in line with our expectations regarding the role of the people in selecting the president. Yet several previous attempts to eliminate the Electoral College through a constitutional amendment have failed, scuttled by the difficulty of the process itself and the tyranny of small-state logic.

Fortunately, a constitutional amendment is not necessary. Rather than dismantling the Electoral College with an amendment, we can use the mechanisms of the Electoral College itself to guarantee popular election of the president.

You won’t be surprised to read that a number of left-leaning American groups support it:

ACLU, Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, and Common Cause, an organization that receives its funding from groups like George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Tides Foundation. Obviously, these groups would not be supporting NPV if they did not stand to benefit from it. Meanwhile, no major conservative figures have come out in support of NPV.

There might be plenty of RINOs — Republicans in Name Only (David Cameron equivalents) — but no true conservatives supporting it.

Right now, the NPVC is progressing (!) through state legislatures nationwide. As one of its supporters, billionaire Tom Golisano, says:

our country, because of the winner-take-all rule, is divided into battleground states and flyover states. And about two-thirds or three-fourths of the states are flyover states, where the candidates never spend any time or resources because they know the winner of that state is predetermined.

And, this former New York state resident who now lives in Florida added:

We don’t need a constitutional amendment to get this done. We do it by getting state legislatures and their governors to agree to do it. And as soon as we have enough electoral votes, which is 270, or just over half, it happens. Right now we’re at 132, including California, where Governor Jerry Brown recently signed the bill into law. So we’re halfway home.

This is healthy for the country … This is just a good way to make every vote count equally. The guy who started this is John Koza [a computer science professor at Stanford who also invented the scratch-off lottery ticket]. I had seen the progress that John and his people had made, and I said this is worth doing, it’s doable. I’ve become the national spokesperson and the major financier [injecting several million dollars into the effort]. This doesn’t cost the country anything. And it’s also not an opportunity of the day because we know this is a multiyear battle. This thing polls nationally over 70% in favor.

Most people don’t understand the Electoral College; they don’t know why it exists. And when you try to explain it to them they still don’t know why it exists. I mean, that’s reason enough to change it right there.

It’s strange that Golisano thinks that the guy who invented the lottery scratchcard came up with this idea.  Koza started supporting NPVC in 2006.

Golisano apparently doesn’t know about the Amar brothers and their plans for America dating from 2001.  If not, that’s a very bad situation, indeed.  If he does know about them and obfuscates, that’s even worse.

A few conservatives in the US are sounding the alarm and asking their state legislatures not to approve this bill.  They have listed states where citizens can still help lobby against NPVC.

The Electoral College exists for a good reason:

The current electoral process demands that the President have a broad base of support from the states, thus making him the President of the United States, not President of the People. Surrendering the state’s will to the will of the people of other states is simply not how the system is supposed to work. The Founders considered electing the President by a popular vote and chose against it.

If NPVC passes:

a candidate like President Obama could run on a much more extreme platform and focus all of his efforts on getting voters to the polls in liberal strongholds rather than having to come to the middle and persuade more moderate voters to vote for him.

An NPV scheme will turn the presidential election into a get-out-the-vote contest, rather than a debate on ideas. With liberal groups like Project Votecommitting massive voter fraud, conservatives will be at a disadvantage in every presidential election.

Right now, most Americans are probably unaware that this is even on the cards.  Unless they read investigative blogs, they’d never know.  They won’t hear or read any of this in the mainstream media.

For more on the Electoral College, see my posts: ‘Why Obama isn’t worried about a second term’, ‘Who’s behind it’ and ‘Why it’s dangerous’.

5 comments for “How Electoral College reform could change America for the worse

  1. Simon
    November 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Technically you are defending an institutiion would would allow 22% of the people to elect a US president in a potential election. You mock the democrats for disliking Bush Gore- but imagine if Obama had been elected with under 50% of the vote (like Bush) but the majority of the states- I’m guessing this site would see him as illegitimate!

    • November 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Simon, I think you are missing the point. America has a President of the United States, not a President of the People, as stated in the post.

      The entire post lays out the careful consideration behind the Founding Fathers’ Electoral College.

      The United States is a republic, not a democracy. But, to go back to your first sentence, YES, 22% could theoretically elect a President — to prevent a tyrannical dictator (a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’) from taking over.

      I’m not mocking anyone. In fact, it would seem that the Democrats are mocking much of the United States by attempting to steamroll this bill through state legislatures.

  2. james Higham
    November 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    The current electoral process demands that the President have a broad base of support from the states, thus making him the President of the United States, not President of the People. Surrendering the state’s will to the will of the people of other states is simply not how the system is supposed to work. The Founders considered electing the President by a popular vote and chose against it.

    Crux of the matter. Backdoor tactics for obvious reasons.

    • November 18, 2011 at 5:38 am

      Because the founders knew that if they had a popular vote President, he would be President of the cities only.

      California, New York and Texas would be electing presidents; and the cities in each state would be doing the electing (cities are almost always liberal, welfare works better in cities)

  3. Richard Allan
    November 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Simon, although I would support direct presidential election, your argument against it doesn’t apply because any percentage of people can elect a president under Plurality (or Instant Runoff Voting, AKA the Alternative Vote that we had a referendum on lately). For instance if there are 100 candidates then the winner could have like 1.01% of the popular vote.

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