From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
May 8, 2006 12:55 AM
a democrat could never have gotten away with such a huge infrastructure bond.
a republican could never get away with welfare reform.
only republicans can deficit spend.
top on Pelosi's desk if she gets to run the House? more homeland security.
so my latest theory... we need a republican to run for universal health care, on the platform that it levels the playing field for business and positions us competitively in the global economy. no democrat could win on that platform in '08. a republican could.
a pro-choice republican running on health care. game over.
just has to make it through the primary. ... or run independent.
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Read the 6 comments.
A pro-choice Republican running on universal health care. Isn't that a Democrat? Actually, isn't that a fringe, radical left-wing Democrat?
So, distilled to its essence, all we're talking about here is the difference between two brands? Adidas or Nike? Coke or Pepsi? ABC or CBS? FOX or CNN? Froot loops or Cheerios? PC or Mac?
My ire? Directed at this electoral college. If I had my druthers, it'd be gone. How bout that as an idea for the next Brave New Films challenge? Real choice in American politics!
If there were ever a citizen-funded docu film that would command my serious donation (not that I could really afford it), this would be the flick. Explained thoughtfully and carefully to an audience, I think it would appeal to every single person that hates the current ridiculous US political model that whores both parties to lobbyists which fund both virtually equally and channels the hundreds of complex issues of the day in to only 2 camps. It's farcical.
That's my pitch. And rant, I suppose. Oh well. Anyway, I look forward to seeing my doofus name up in pixels at the end of Iraq For Sale. I eagerly await that film, and look forward to viewing parties in my area!
Tue May 9 2006 3:00 AM
Tom from Madison:
I agree, the electoral college should be abolished in favor or 1 person, 1 vote. I'd also like to see a second election when no candidate gets a majority of the vote.
Beyond that there is a lot of other voting process reform work to do. I'd like to see: 1) open-source voting software with verifiable paper-trails mandated, 2) national standards and databases for voter registration, and 3) voting over a period of days with the idea of maximizing voter participation.
Ironically, activism by immigrants may cause a renewed interest in this issue. Large numbers of foreign immigrants pouring into the streets has to be compelling to strategists in both parties. Somehow it probably scares Republicans more then Democrats.
Tue May 9 2006 4:20 PM
Right Wing Robby:
"Beyond that there is a lot of other voting process reform work to do. I'd like to see: 1) open-source voting software with verifiable paper-trails mandated, 2) national standards and databases for voter registration, and 3) voting over a period of days with the idea of maximizing voter participation."
Thats all fine. But getting rid of the electoral system says to everyone who doesnt live on the coasts that there state has no chance of being represented in this REPUBLIC. Its says that there state isnt recognized in the UNION because they will not add any weight to any national election.
Imagine how campaigns would look. Politicians would begin to ignore the entire middle of the country. Why campaign anywhere but in NYC and California? There is no point to do it.
Then when you start getting into the effects on federal spending your plan would have, you lead to an even more disasterous situation. A President who wants to be re-elected isnt going to worry about pleasing all the states in the union, only a few cities.
The electoral system does much more then elect a President, it protects the power of states in the Union.
Tue May 9 2006 4:38 PM
"A President who wants to be re-elected isnt going to worry about pleasing all the states in the union, only a few cities."
Ohio, Pennslyvania, and Florida are the only areas of the country that matter right now. So your fears already exist.
That being said, I do agree that you point out the legitimate theoretical downside to abrogation of the electoral college. Yes, this is a republic. A representative democracy, and the forefathers carefully constructed a system that would attempt not to pander to mass whims and populism. I submit that it isn't quite working out.
Gore won the popular vote yet lost the election. Kerry lost to a few counties in Ohio. The counter argument to your assertion is why hold the majority of the nation hostage to a few counties in Florida or Ohio? The opportunity for corruption and manipulation - from both sides of the aisle - is far too tempting to feel comfortable with.
The system has been gamed two consecutive times now. It's been gamed before by both parties at different points in history. This only doesn't concern you because you're a fierce partisan. But as an American, it should concern everybody.
Get rid of the antiquated electoral college. SD's 3 little EV's are about as relevant as it's popular vote. To actually claim that the few thousand voters should carry grossly more weight than millions of more Americans on a coast is just as disenfranchising as your very position...I submit even more so.
But again, it is at least a legitimate criticism, albeit a general talking point. I just don't think it holds much water if thought through critically.
Tue May 9 2006 6:08 PM
Oh, and good ideas Tom. Especially opening up voting to at least two days, or even more. The US voter turnout is absolutely embarrassing.
Tue May 9 2006 6:13 PM
Mitt Romney, Republican Governor of Massachusetts, just passed the nation's first state-wide Universal Heath Care bill in Massachusetts. In conjunction with a Democrat Legislature.
He's a candidate for 2008 - doe he meet your criteria?
Fri May 19 2006 1:02 PM