Posted on April 20, 2007There's a great diary on DailyKos discussing the National Popular Vote plan. It gets into all sorts of concerns about the compact: waning impact of small states, majority rule, demagoguery (implicitly, the nebulous "republic v. democracy" distinction) and partisan impact of the plan.
Stop by and leave your comments.
Under the current system, candidates don't care about small states. When was the last time anyone visited Alaska? Or Oklahoma? When was the last time the issues important to small-state, rural voters were heard....when was the last time farm subsidies became a hot potato in a general election?
Opponents complain that the plan favors more liberal politics and Democratic candidates. In 2000, that's true, Gore would have won the election under these proposed new rules. No, I'm sorry, the popular vote winner would have prevailed, despite the electoral wrangling.
Let's consider 2004. Bush beat Kerry by a reasonably large margin---but had Kerry swung a few thousand votes in Ohio, he would have won. The popular vote winner, Bush, a Republican, would have lost.
In fact, by my quick count, Republicans have managed to win the popular vote in 8 of 15 elections after FDR.
By population, what states are the largest? The top 10 are: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia. That's a pretty diverse list, representing different interests and ideas about governing the country.
Well, some might say, what if there is a demagogue that plays upon the fears of the people? What if that candidate manages to steal or manipulate his/her way into the Presidency?
First of all, that has probably happened before, and will happen again under the current system.