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Behind the Electoral College Debate, a Flourishing Effort to Advance Democracy

#1

Behind the Electoral College Debate, a Flourishing Effort to Advance Democracy

Adam Eichen

In March 18, during a CNN Town Hall, Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called for the abolition of the Electoral College. Her response immediately went viral. Mentions of the Electoral College exploded on Twitter.

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#2

This isn’t about advancing democracy. This is about advancing the 2-party farce. That includes HR1, the good parts of which the Dems never bother to introduce when they have majorities in Congress. From Bruce Dixon’s April 4 post at the Black Agenda Report:

“The latest legislative tweak aimed at kneecapping the Green Party was buried in the Democrats HR1, a provision that raised the amount Green presidential candidates needed to raise per state to qualify for matching funds from $5000 in small donations from each of 20 states to $25,000 in 20 states was endorsed and voted for by supposed socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and every other Democrat in the House of Representatives. Curiously none of the so-called progressive Democrats, nobody in the media, in civil rights industrial complex, none of our friends in DSA and certainly not Tulsi Gabbard or even Bernie Sanders have ever bothered to mention this cynical and longstanding piece of voter suppression. These unjust legal barriers to third parties on the ballot are the main reason most US voters don’t get to see Green candidates on the ballot for state legislature, for governor or local offices, or for president.”

Look around at what you get with the status quo.

Vote duopoly and expect more of it, only worse.

You want to advance democracy? Step outside the big tent.

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#3

There are a number ways to approach this topic.
But I think the bottom line is, If you can’t raise 25k in a state through small donations, the needed amount of votes to win just aren’t there.
A happy medium would make some sense. We don’t want to squeeze out good candidates, and on the other hand we shouldn’t want 2 or 3 hundred parties on the ticket either.
We need a different approach that leaves money out of it.

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#4

Although dumping the electoral college anachronism is essential, money in politics is the root of all the issues presented by CD, so “money out of it” is indeed the ONLY wide range and long term solution.

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#5

These reforms would all be good, but they fail to address the tyrannosaur in the room, namely that money is power and a few obscenely wealthy people have way too much of it. As Justice Brandeis said:

" We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both."

Until we strip the wealthy of their excessive wealth, this country will remain a plutocracy.

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#6

National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?
Correct me if I’m wrong but this doesn’t get around the EC it just consolidates it.
The individual vote, is still lost in the shuffle (consolidation)

Warren called for the abolition of the Electoral College - a better idea

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#7

I’d deal with the 300 parties if I had to. I don’t think that there is an entity we can trust to make the medium happy, and I agree that the money does not accomplish that.

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#8

It’s probably a good thing that we are again considering ditching the electoral college.

But this is at least 90% dodge. Even a good faith effort should involve getting the money out and creating a democratic nomination process as well.

This particular cant favors old Republicrat-Demoplican arguments, since the Republicans benefit from the electoral college.

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#9

The EC obviously needs to go. It is a veto of the popular will. The Senate is also a veto and it needs to go as well.

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#10

I am just finishing “Ratf*cked or why Your Vote Doesn’t Count” by David Daly. Basically the big problem - among many - is that due to GOP gerrymandering, we have one-party rule. Because the Dems are so politically incompetent, this will remain true through 2030! (It’s about the census.) So, even the sham of democracy we have is a sham.

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#11

In other words, the Electoral College “debate” is a sideshow.

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#12

Your logic seems a bit inverted. If we need a different approach that leaves money out of the process, arguing that any candidate should be able to raise $25K per state necessitates money as a primary metric.

The new terms, per HR1, kicks that metric up by a factor of 5. Hardly seems equitable, or, dare we say, democratic.

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#13

Just received an email from the Green Party, reporting on their efforts to demand public funding of elections.

A quote from the email’s text worth sharing;
“When the largest holders of money in the United States are male, and the largest number of candidates are also male, and money is what wins elections, then Public Campaign Financing is one of the most important issues to ensure the rights of women to be able to run for office INDEPENDENT of the contributions of men. In every country where women fill more than 25% of elected national offices, we see better policy development for the people of that nation and better international diplomacy by the government they represent. So in response to the criticism that Public Campaign Financing is NOT a women’s issue, I say that it might be THE MOST important women’s issue of today. Without women in elected positions, we have no direct representation for ourselves, and our nearly 100 years of suffrage matters none."
Kai McCoy, MSW and Missouri Green Party alternate delegate to the Green Party National Committee

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#14

I endorse everything in this article, except getting rid of the EC. The rightful cause for people’s anger, imo, is actually gerrymandering, winner-take-all, voter suppression, money as speech. There is another anger that "well I don’t like the results i’m getting (i.e. Trump). But the part all commentators should put in their rants is that the EC is about “the broadest appeal amongst a federation of states”. Check out Represent.Us and FairVote for great ways to improve the process without eliminating the EC, and check out Kim Iverson for a great explanation of why the EC was founded and should stay. Nuance is hard, emotions are high, but this is important. I have spent years casually studying it, I suggest you spend and hour doing do before you yell at me lol.

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