The National Popular Vote Bill and Political Stagnation

This is from the official website of the National Popular Vote: “Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).”
This seems a commendable and responsible bill. The electoral college as it stands is too much like gerrymandering for my taste. It too heavily favors the entrenched political duopoly the US currently suffers from. The electoral college fatally disadvantages viable, popular 3rd-party candidates (and essentially guarantees for perpetuity that Democrats and Republicans need not be concerned with any 3rd-party political competitors, regardless of how popular or good their policies are, ensuring that they need never take seriously good policies for the nation that also challenge the political status quo). And it gives too much power to swing states.

The electoral college basically makes it so that states who have really close elections effectively dismiss up to 49% of their voters and vote unanimously when there is nothing remotely resembling unanimity. Also, some electors are technically allowed to vote against the people’s wishes…Let’s put an end to this…

Plus, this bill is cleverly designed so that not all states legislators have to sign up. All the bill needs is the number of electors needed for a presidential candidate to win presidency. So this is very doable/politically possible!

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2 thoughts on “The National Popular Vote Bill and Political Stagnation

  1. Helpful challenge from Dr. Mosser when I posted the link to this bill on Facebook: “Electing the president based on simple majority of the popular vote would be a disaster. A candidate could pander to six or seven states with large populations and win. The urban population would always be in a position to run rough shod over the wisdom and interests of the rural populace. The electoral college is one of the few brilliant elements in our election system and needs to be strengthened.”

  2. Another note: I was too into 2 party bashing… My suggestion that this new bill would be better for 3rd party candidates was premature and not well thought out…thanks to Nathan for bringing this up. Instead, I will claim that the current system is terrible for 3rd party candidates. This actually is probably not really an improvement, now that I think of it… It can only help the cause of questioning current electoral policy. But, alas, this is still far from a viable solution…

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