The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Electoral college antics in Colorado

Whatever else the 2000 presidential election managed, for a while it put the institution of the electoral college on the map. This token of the visceral hatred of popular democracy amongst the Founding Fathers had, it seemed, somehow, previously to have passed largely unnoticed by foreign admirers of American democracy.

The rule is, of course, that the winner of each state's popular vote takes all the electoral votes for the state. Now, a campaign is underway to get Colorado to join Nebraska and Maine as the exceptions to that rule. However,
In Nebraska and Maine, a candidate gets one electoral vote for each congressional district carried and two more for winning the statewide vote. Under that formula, Al Gore would have gotten two of Colorado's electoral votes in 2000, instead of none.

This initiative is more ambitious. It would award Colorado's electoral votes proportionally as a percentage of the statewide popular vote.

The piece points out the downside: if Colorado could offer not its complete tally of 9 EVs, but only a margin of one or two, would candidates put in any effort to campaign in the state?

It's a Democratic ramp - surprise, surprise. Catch the Dems supporting spliting the EVs in California or New York, for instance!

Nothing wrong in that - after all, the Supreme Court has just given political gerrymandering the thumbs-up (or rather, the Nothing to do with me, guv) in Vieth v Jubelirer - explained here - it's all part of life's rich pageant [1] in American politics. No cause to be po-faced...

  1. Version associated with raconteur and homosexualist Arthur Marshall - this one. Tony Hancock's (probably Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's) was all part of life's rich tapestry.

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