Monday, August 16, 2004

It's Fun to make things seem more straightforward than they are
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire: "A plan to scrap the winner-take-all system of allocating electoral votes in Colorado will be on the ballot in November, the AP reports. If passed, the amendment "would make Colorado the first state to allocate electoral votes proportionately according to the popular vote, rather than giving a winner all of the state's electoral votes"
Supporters gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot. Had the proposal had been in place four years ago, Al Gore would be president today."

Unfortunately, this completely ignores a problem with the system. It's true that if Colorado had apportioned electoral votes according to popular vote tallies, we would not have had to endure the unending recounts and court cases resulting from the 2000 election. Well, not just those. Instead, we would have had similar recounts and court battles in every district in Colorado. And if we extend this idea to the rest of the country, we will have to recount every single vote in any election that is at all close. You think Florida was bad, wait until we hit a national crisis.

Colorodans, I urge you to vote against this measure.


Beth said...

I disagree for four reasons:

1) The Electoral College limits the value of individual votes. That's what it's intended to do. Since I believe that we should move toward a more populist system, skirting the EC in this fashion strikes me as a good move.

2) I haven't read the ballot measure, but I'm guessing that this would apply to third parties as well as the two big parties. This would help to degrade the two-party system (though not nearly as much as a proportional system for deciding House seats).

3) This is good for Colorado. CO will get more attention during campaigns if Dems believe that they have something to gain here. As it is, it's a fairly close but still safe red state. Proportional voting makes states more competitive, which is good for broadening the election year discourse.

4) I see know reason that this would be any more prone to recounts than any other system.

RFTR said...

As I already said above, if every single electoral vote can be overturned with a recount, then every state in the entire country would be recounted in every close election, in the hopes that a few electoral votes would be reversed and with it the election on the whole.

Beth said...

Do you have evidence for that or is it just conjecture?

Matto said...

Are you asking if Brian has any evidence that in close elections people demand recounts? Are you three years old?

Anyway, yeah, recounts in any close race are always a problem, but aren't a reason to stop holding state-wide elections. This vote just comes down to whether one agrees with the winner-take-all system or not, or the electoral college generally.

Anonymous said...

It's fun to give the Republicans their only chance of winning, isn't it?