Monday, October 1, 2007

Elections For Sale

In this particular incident, one of Rudy Giuliani's top campaign donors and member of the the presidential hopeful's campaign finance national committee, Paul Singer, made the only financial contribution to help fund an intiative to put a measure on the California ballot that would have redistrbuted the electoral college votes in that state in such a manner as to virtually ensure a victory in that state for whomever the Republican presidential candidate would be.

Winning California alone wouldn't seal an election, but with its 55 electoral votes would set up a very tough hurdle for any Democratic presidential candidate of a victory. The implications of this are tremendous. Thankfully, that initiative seems to be stopped in its tracks--for now.

I don't want to address Singer or Giuliani here. My concern goes deeper than their politics. As a person who deeply believes in our system of government, I am appalled that such an idea was ever hatched, let alone made the headway that it did. We have to make it a mandate that the glitches in the system are fixed, and fixed soon, before the system of government we believe we have is a mere shambles.

It is time for the abolishment of the electoral college. That each state has the freedom to distribute the electoral votes is not a viable option. The United States of America should be electing our leader based solely on the votes of the people, not the so-called representative votes of the electoral college.

When established at the birth of our nation, the electoral college was the brainchild of well-meaning but egotistical men. Their thoughts were that, because information and news traveled poorly--nothing like the instant access we have in multiple media today--there would be men in the general populace voting on either misinformation or no information. So, "learned" men were chosen to be electors, men who could cast their votes for president based on the choice of the electorate, or not. You see, electors are NOT mandated to cast their votes as the electorate does.

The dissemination of news is no longer an issue. Anyone who cares to know can be in the know. Voter apathy would take a big hit if we were to abolish the electoral college. One vote for each person. No more talk of the red states versus the blue states in terms of electoral votes. Even as a person who staunchly encourages voter rights and responsibilities, I, too, become dismayed when I see media coverage that is more concerned with electoral votes than the popular vote.

It is time to send a barrage of letters, emails, phone calls--whatever it takes--to our elected officials and tell them to abolish the electoral college NOW. Now before one more election could be tainted with manipulation of a system who long ago outlived its usefulness.

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