Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Can't Win the Election? Change the Rules!

National Popular Vote, which includes several former members of Congress, is offering a solution that would not require a constitutional amendment. It proposes that states commit to casting their electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote. These promises would become binding only when states representing a majority of the Electoral College signed on. Then any candidate who won the popular vote would be sure to win the White House.
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National Popular Vote Inc. is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation who claims its specific purpose is to study, analyze and educate the public regarding a proposal to provide for the nationwide popular election of the President.
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When you study this further the specific purpose is to change the U.S. Constitution, change the rules to suit the Liberals still whining over the 2000 Presidential election.
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Two Liberal newspapers have endorsed this group in an attempt to give this group some traction.
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The New York Times endorsement states National Popular Vote's recent plan for nationwide popular election of the President saying: "National Popular Vote ...is offering an ingenious solution. ...There is an innovative new proposal for states to take the lead in undoing the Electoral College. Legislatures across the country should get behind it." A Chicago Sun Times editorial (March 1) said: "The Sun-Times News Group backs the concept and applauds the National Popular Vote group for thinking outside the box. ...It's time to make the change with this innovative plan."
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The coalition is starting out by trying to have laws passed in Illinois and a few other states. They claim there have been a series of reforms affecting how elections are conducted, like the ones that gave blacks and women the vote and provided for the direct election of United States senators. "Sidestepping" the Electoral College would be in this worthy tradition of making American democracy more democratic.
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Amendments to allow everyone a vote is in the American tradition. However, National Popular Vote is a scheme, which doesnt pass the smell test, unless your skunk hunting.
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The proposal is a "winner take all" approach for a national election. State populations, which balances a national election no longer matters in the NPV plan. Here's the claim and proposal.
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Nationwide popular election of the President is the only approach that makes all states competitive in presidential elections and that makes every vote count equally.
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For over 50 years, the public has supported nationwide popular election of the President by majorities of 70% or greater.
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A federal constitutional amendment (requiring two-thirds of Congress and 38 states) is not required to change the state laws that currently specify use of the winner-take-all rule. Nationwide popular election of the President can be implemented if the states join together to pass identical state laws awarding all of their electoral votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The proposed state legislation would only come into effect only when it has been enacted, in identical form, by enough states to elect a President—that is, by states possessing a majority (270) of the 538 electoral votes.
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The U.S. Constitution establishes a legal vehicle for the proposed coordinated state action, namely the “interstate compact.” Examples of existing interstate compacts include the Colorado River Compact (which divides water among seven western states) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (a two-state compact). Interstate compacts are enacted by states in the same way they enact ordinary legislation. It is settled constitutional law an interstate compact is legally enforceable contractual obligation among the states belonging to the compact and all of their officials.
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The claims of 70% majorities, no amendment requirement and comparing a national election for President to river projects are all ill conceived notions skewing the facts. This is similar to using the commerce clause to justify abortions, which is no where in the founding fathers constitution.
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Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution does not provide for picking the President via the popular vote.
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Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. xxx The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

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