Letter: Delogu seeks change to elect more Democrats

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 1

In his recent Policy Wonk column (“Minority rule is not democracy”), Orlando Delogu doubled down on his partisan advocacy for trashing the Electoral College in favor of a nationwide popular vote for the U.S. presidency.

His arguments are based on the idea that “one person one vote” is the highest principle in all elections, which simply is not true. Supreme Court decisions have established it as a Constitutional principle only in federal and state elections for House seats. Weighing votes to preserve a small measure of equality among the states is expressly prescribed in the U.S. Constitution, and has never been challenged by the Supreme Court. Given that we are a federalist republic of states, the abiding principle is that the states choose the president in state-by-state elections, a distinctive difference from a national popular vote on the subject.

Our founders deliberately chose a republic over a direct democracy after studying history and finding that direct democracies are neither resilient, stable, nor durable. Their wisdom is borne out by the fact that the U.S. is the world champion in all three of these categories – to which you can add a long list of additional championship achievements.

In asserting that the Electoral College “compromises the legitimacy of our democracy,” Delogu is actually compromising his credentials as a lawyer. His real purpose is to arouse public support for “rigging the system” in the belief (possibly false) that it will favor the election of Democrat presidents.

Robert D. King
Falmouth 

1
  • toto

    Being a constitutional republic does not mean we should not and cannot guarantee the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes. The candidate with the most votes wins in every other election in the country.

    Guaranteeing the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes (as the National Popular Vote bill would) would not make us a pure democracy.

    Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on all policy initiatives directly.

    Popular election of the chief executive does not determine whether a government is a republic or democracy.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes used by 2 states, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by states of winner-take-all or district winner laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution

    The Constitution does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for how to award a state’s electoral votes

  • toto

    Before this election, in Gallup polls since they began asking in 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

  • toto

    The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency in 2020 to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
    Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes.
    No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    Since 2006, the bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9).

  • toto

    Recent and past presidential candidates who supported direct election of the President in the form of a constitutional amendment, before the National Popular Vote bill was introduced: George H.W. Bush (R-TX-1969), Jimmy Carter (D-GA-1977), Hillary Clinton (D-NY-2001), Bob Dole (R-KS-1969), Michael Dukakis (D-MA), Gerald Ford (R-MI-1969), and Richard Nixon (R-CA-1969).

    Recent and past presidential candidates with a public record of support, before November 2016, for the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes: Congressmen John Anderson (R, I –ILL), and Bob Barr (Libertarian- GA), Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee (R-I-D, -RI), Governor and former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean (D–VT), U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA), Senator and Vice President Al Gore (D-TN), Ralph Nader, Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Jill Stein (Green), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN).

    Newt Gingrich summarized his support for the National Popular Vote bill by saying: “No one should become president of the United States without speaking to the needs and hopes of Americans in all 50 states. … America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally. The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.”

  • toto

    A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    NationalPopularVote

  • DanMaine

    Mr King is correct, any sort of national popular vote disenfranchises the individual States. We are the United States and State rights are paramount based on our Constitution. Going to a popular vote will destroy the Republic. We should revert to having the Senators chosen by the States vs popular vote because elections are being influenced by large donations out of state, again reducing the “voice” of the State in our Government