California Is Not a State of Mind

I’ll readily admit that I follow politics just enough to have a couple of current topics to discuss with my more-driven friends. I wouldn’t say I’m “casual” about politics by any means. I care about politics and I feel outrage at much of the shit I see going down in the name of freedom, patriotism, or security. I routinely try to learn more about whatever issue of the moment is blowin’ up the Internets. The problem is that there is just too much. I get overwhelmed by the depth and complications of a particular issue, and just don’t have the energy required to learn. I find my eyes glazing over before I’ve gleaned enough information to really find out where I stand.

One of the latest political items is fairly easy to understand, and the magnitude of the issue is such that I’m able to focus myself and learn, even though it’s happening in another state. The main gist of it is that there is an initiative going around in California to restructure how electoral college votes are cast. We can certainly discuss the larger merits and drawbacks of the electoral college at another time. Seriously, I’ll even bring the beers. Right now though, the system is in place in all states. The push in California is do away with the winner-take-all system, and instead proportion the votes based on the actual district results. As California routinely as a whole votes the democratic ticket, the end result would be to take away from the Dems and give to the poor.  Perhaps this is why it is funded to an overwhelming degree by an extremely rich GOP law firm.

My thought is that ultimately this is a better system, and will be more fair if accepted widely. But if it’s done selectively like this it is even worse than the varying-sized-pie-pieces way we do things now.

Oh, and in another example of careful framing, this proposed act is called the a”Presidential Election Reform Act”. That name sounds pretty fair and equitable, right?

Read more about it in the New Yorker.


~ by nhak on August 13, 2007.

2 Responses to “California Is Not a State of Mind”

  1. France uses a similar method in a few provinces, although the end result tally is different nationally. Confusing? I thought so.

    Cue the ‘let’s ban the whole electorate altogether’ comments.

  2. I shall not comment that we should remove the entire electoral college process. I shall not, because the author of the post (nhak) asked us not too, and because wiwille is trying to bait me into it.

    To discuss the issue at hand, the proposal actually puts me in a moral quandry.

    The proposal is in concept closer to what I think the process should be, and I am a firm believer that to do what is right one must support and protect the idea of what you believe is right. I don’t think I’m explaining that well, but it’s the best I can muster right now. “It’s the principle of the thing,” I guess is what I’m saying here.

    On the other hand, I know that the proposal is really intended to exploit the idea of what seems right (to some of us) in order to give the advantage in this coming election to the Republicans. It’s just another form of gerrymandering – or more accurately an extension of gerrymandering, since the districts have been gerrymandered already to provide them districts they can count on coming down Republican. Without the incredibly engineered boundary drawing for the districts, they would still be taking a big risk with this ploy.

    So basically, the idealist side of me says, “Yes, this should be done to start a re-vamp of how the system works,” the cynical side says “Don’t give those fuckwits any advantage.”

    And in these types of arguments, the cynical side tends to be Godzilla-ish and the idealist side kind of Unfortunate-Tokyo-Citizen-ish.

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