Friday, February 27, 2009

Soylent Green Is Arkansans (and they voted for it) Part II

I am going to tell you what House Bill 1339 does, but you may not believe me. Especially when I tell you that our state house has actually passed the bill, and it comes up in the Senate as soon as next week. The bill would lock Arkansas’ electors into voting for whichever Presidential candidate won the national popular vote, regardless of how many or few votes they got in this state. If, for example, New Yorkers and Californians outvoted us, our electors would be obligated to vote for whoever they selected to be our President regardless of who won in Arkansas. The agreement would take effect when a majority of states agreed to do the same.

Why would our state representatives trade away our vote? Why would they throw away the slight advantage the Constitution gives to smaller states in the selection of a President? The answer may be found in the fact that the passage of the measure will help ensure that a Democrat is elected President.

The Democratic votes come disproportionately from a few large states that vote overwhelmingly Democrat. New York and California both voted over 60% for the Democrat in the last election. The largest Republican state with over 60% of the vote was Alabama.

Democrats are the most likely to lose an election for President in the electoral vote even while winning the most individual votes. They want to alter the rules so as to get the maximum effect for their party. That explains why every Republican in the state house voted against this bill, while most of the Democrats voted for it. The bill is good for the national Democratic Party. I am not so sure it is good for the United States in general or Arkansas in particular.

The most often heard complaint about the Electoral College is that a person can win the Presidency without winning the national popular vote.

This is presented as a problem, but it is not a problem, it is the way our system is designed to work. It accurately reflects what the United States of America is supposed to be. Our Federal government began as a bargain between sovereign states. The goal is to make the Presidency an office that requires one to have broad support over many regions of the country, not just overwhelming majorities in four or five big states. It is a system that respects the fact that ours is a big country made up of different regions and cultures.

Two measures- the selection of the President and the selection of Senators, were tilted to slightly favor smaller states because it without it they would not have agreed to help form a United States in the first place. This bill is tantamount to changing the agreement by which small states consented to form the United States. It is an end-run around the intent of the Constitution to give the smaller states a little more protection from getting steam-rolled by the larger states.

Under this bill, a candidate who won overwhelmingly in California and New York but lost narrowly in 48 other states including this one would get all of Arkansas' electoral votes, even if one of their campaign promises was to use Arkansas as the radioactive waste dump for the whole nation.

The United States is just that, a collection of states which ceded some authority to a central government by mutual consent. Change the weighted influence of the smaller states, and you change the agreement by which the United States was formed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arkansas has always been a one party state. Now it's codified.

10:32 AM, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arkansas has always been run by whores looking to get paid and screwing the general public.

12:28 PM, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Speaking of screwing the general public . . . today's ADG reports that UCA trustees' kids are getting tuition discounts. One trustee claimed he paid the full amount, and then got a refund. Only one trustee (Roussel) currently has a kid or kids getting the discount, but now we know why public colleges are struggling financially - they're giving away the store to the privileged few, trustees, Hardin, et al. I don't have a problem with private colleges/universities giving tuition discounts to employees' dependents, but public colleges/universitives are a different horse altogether; those are PUBLIC institutions, and all enrollees there should pay full freight, since the taxpayers are already subsidizing them. In a one-party state, corruption, nepotism, cronyism & rascalism are par for the course. Arkansas remains #50 as long as it remains a one-party state.

12:56 PM, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Tophat said...

Unbelievable-- the ArkLeg voting to dilute the will of Arkansas voters.

Not surprising though. We're accustomed to having our will ignored by our "representatives."

2:02 PM, February 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Arkansans voted 80% for a candidate and a candidate racked up large urban numbers......Arkansas voters would be ignored in favor of external voters.

This is much like changing the World Series winner to the team with the most runs overall rather than the winner of the most games.

9:58 AM, March 01, 2009  

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