Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Making the grade in the Electoral College

Here's the conclusion to an interesting post by Publius over at BTC News. He's addressing some recent Democratic analysis about the electoral college.
So generally speaking the attempt to change the electoral college is a waste of time, since any change is probably going to make the problem worse. But be of good cheer. We shouldn’t be concerned with the electoral college as such anyway. If Democrats more competitive with rural voters, we would suddenly find ourselves doing better in a lot more states, and that the electoral college wouldn’t matter quite so much. Better to spend our time on something that may yield some positive results that just banging our head against the constitutional wall.
Since the 2000 election I have repeatedly heard the claim that the EC hurts the Democrat Party and should therefore be changed. That's not exactly how it is phrased, however, but that is essentially the argument. The EC represents an effective compromise that helps balance out differences between states in a federal system. It's not pretty, and it's not perfect, but it works almost all of the time.

Publius states exactly what the Democrats need to be doing. The problem does not lie with the EC but with Democrats performance in areas that are favored under the EC, large low-population states like some of the western states Bush won.

Democrats shouldn't be too quick to bash the EC, they also benefit from the system, California and New York provide substantial running room for Democratic candidates. If the system were changed, they may also lose out on some safe votes.

- Murphy

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