Back To Electoral College

Shiloh Bucher pointed me to an article on the electoral college, and why it would be a very bad idea to get rid of it. Over a year after the Florida debacle, it’s easier to discuss this a little more dispassionately, but I suspect that whatever hysterical movements were afoot at that time to abolish it are also much diminished, to the point of irrelevance.

But it’s worth making one more point about it, that was never really discussed at the time. Many bemoaned the fact that Bush was elected with less than fifty percent of the vote (though he got a higher percentage than Bill Clinton in either election), and more legitimately, that he got a lower percentage than Gore. But you can’t change the rules after the election. I know for a fact that in my case, had the election been predicated on the most popular vote, I would have voted differently.

I wanted Bush to win, given the realistic alternatives, but because I am a Wyoming voter, I knew that it was safe to vote for someone else, because Bush was going to win Wyoming handily anyway. I also knew that the popular vote could be close (though I expected Bush to win it with margin to spare). As it turned out, I voted for Nader (holding my nose) just on the theory that if he got enough votes he would be eligible for future public funding, which would make him an ongoing thorn in the Democrats’ side, and I was confident that he had no chance of winning, especially in Wyoming. But if it was to have been solely decided on the popular vote, I certainly would have voted for Bush.

That’s just one reason why attempts to change the rules after the election were just…wrong.