Hey, wanna hear about a BAD idea? Check out these posts…
Bill Nelson decides to file a bill to abolish the electoral college…
So, why is it a bad idea?
Well, for starters, consider why the Electoral College was created in the first place: to balance out the power of population.
Consider in 2000, Al Gore’s margin over George W Bush in the state of New York (more than 1.7 million) was more than the total votes cast in 29 different states — and about the same as all of the votes case in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska combined.
Without the Electoral College, candidates could virtually ignore states or entire regions. Democrats would work to turn out voters in a handful of states: California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts. Republicans would work in the solid south.
In fact, I would say removing the Electoral College, the United States would no longer be a two-party country. The winner take all method where winning by 50% + 1 or 90% are the same and having to win more than 50% of the electors, makes it impossible for third party to build any real staying power.
However, in the world without the EC, regional and demographic parties have the ability to take hold. It wouldn’t happen immediately, but if could build. New England, the rust belt, the south, the mountain west, etc. In fact, with enough parties, the president could get less than 30% of the popular vote and still win. These regional parties would also change the make up of Congress, making it more like a Parliament: requiring a coalition to govern.
As Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers #68 … Keeping the Electoral College forces candidates to campaign nationwide — giving us a truly national president.
Too bad Mr. Nelson doesn’t realize that.