On Voting

Mon 3 Nov 2008 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Democracy is an experiment that changes with the times. If the people choose not to vote, it opens the door to a different system of government—something I’d rather not see.

I don’t believe in the Electoral College and I don’t agree with many people who will vote tomorrow but damned if I don’t believe everyone has a right to vote. In fact, I’d rather it were like Australia here and people had to vote. If I were king (or President, I suppose) I’d go further and declare the first Tuesday in November a Federal Holiday—who doesn’t need a holiday before winter comes in?

Please vote. It is a right that few people now or ever have had.

Thanks Colleen.

Comments

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  1. Fred on November 3rd, 2008 3:30 pm

    The problem with making Election Day a holiday is, how many people would actually use it to vote? I’d personally like to first see more election reform, so that more of the people who do register and plan to vote will be less likely to be disenfranchised.

  2. susan on November 3rd, 2008 4:39 pm

    The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people were merely spectators to the presidential election. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule enacted by 48 states, under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill is currently endorsed by 1,181 state legislators — 439 sponsors (in 47 states) and an additional 742 legislators who have cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  3. lcrw on November 3rd, 2008 5:00 pm

    Susan: thanks for that!

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