March 13, 2009

Electoral College Redux: HB 1299 Seeks To Overturn Founding Fathers, Negate Colorado's Votes

Or, how to achieve a national popular vote through the back door.

Amy Oliver leads the way:
The Electoral College stands as another example of the political brilliance of our Founding Fathers. It demonstrates their commitment to the protection of minority rights, and the diverse interests of the entire nation–not just the biggest cities or states.

So why hasn’t the Electoral College been changed in over 200 years? The answer is simple: because the system works. Just because some politicians still are bitter about the outcome of the 2000 elections doesn’t mean that the system should be changed, not in Colorado, nor California, nor New York, nor Florida. Without the Electoral College, all a candidate has to do is win a plurality of the popular vote, even if that plurality comes mainly from a handful of mega-cities on the coasts.
Ross Kaminsky adds to the case against this disenfranchising fraud:
The genius of our Founders was specifically NOT to implement the type of mechanism for presidential selection that HB 1299 proposes. We are, for good reasons, NOT a Democracy but instead a Constitutional Republic. The bill is an attack on probably the most fundamental aspect of our government, or at least on the most fundamental aspect of the executive branch as conceived by Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson.

The current electoral college system is intended to protect the rights of minorities, and to recognize that a free society must be free of a tyranny of the majority. The Founders wrote about this frequently, including in at least two of the Federalist Papers. It is essential to our Republic and it is shameful to see a politician toy with it.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel calls it "electoral nonsense" and "illogical." The Loveland Reporter Herald condemns the bill in a similar fashion.

HB 1299 means the permanent session of Colorado's political voice to the will of voters in larger states on the coasts, rendering this part of the United States permanent flyover country when it comes to the state-by-state election of the President. Swing states would become meaningless, as the get-out-the-vote campaigns focused exclusively in the highly condensed population centers to win a plurality/majority of the votes and ensure that a national popular election was enforced through the gerrymandered and worthless Electoral College. In other words, the only "swing" states would be the politically suicidal ones who signed to this atrocious piece of populist legislation.

Amendment 36 was handily defeated in 2004, despite a well-funded campaign by out-of-state interests.

If the Democrats (or anyone else who would sponsor such a ridiculous bill) were truly interested in thwarting the Founding Fathers by eliminating the Electoral College, why not simply call for a Constitutional Amendment calling for a popular vote to elect the President instead of this disingenuous legislation? Why cede the ability of this state to determine its own future in a meaningful and balanced way against 49 other states?

The Founding Fathers, as the above authors mentioned, wanted to create a neutral and more fair playing field when it came to choosing the candidate for the highest office in the land. The Electoral College sought to balance the interests of the minority against the majority, the rural interests against the urban, and smaller states against the bigger, more populous ones.

If Colorado is to have an objectively relevant say in the outcome in 2012 and every subsequent presidential election thereafter, HB 1299 and its insidious intentions must be defeated soundly.


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