Hark, the fast ebbing debate over our anachronistic electoral college.
Let’s all pretend for a moment that we understand the actual mechanisms of our little experiment in democracy. Ask yourself how we got saddled in the first place with this unwieldy intermediary between One [white, male Person–theoretically since revised to the more elegant and egalitarian One Person] and their precious One Vote.
Something about getting the holdout colonies to subscribe to the union? Something about “protecting diversity (rural, small town)?” Or, to strain credulity to the breaking point, a “bulwark against demagogues,” you say?
But let’s not pickle the herring while it’s still swimming in the bay. Swivel that lens around and ask yourself, where did we get the 2-chamber plan for our legislative body? The House of Representatives is the body of our proportional leadership in congress, right? So why the second, Senate chamber, where (speaking of the electoral college) smaller and less populous states are over-represented in our lawmaking apparatus on the order of 300:1 versus more populous states like the currently infamous California. Which you may have heard pundits hold up as Exhibit A of why we don’t want representational government on a one citizen/one vote plan. Because, obviously, we couldn’t trust those %$#@ Californians with full one-person-per-vote power over our fate.
If you tuned out all the blah-blah-blah in the wake of our Electoral versus Popular Vote debacle this fall, you won’t follow some of the particulars here, but no matter. And if you followed me till now, and if you can stop guffawing, you’re ready to dig down under one more layer of refuse.
Assuming that the House is in fact the more representative body, why does its current makeup fail so masterfully to represent the actual political complexion and temperature of the citizenry? How is it that our most representative federal body is for all practical purposes run by people approximately 90 degrees to the right of the average American?
Jerry-rigging, you say? Clever footwork at the district level, by dedicated right-wing public servants, who after all are only working the system like any smart politician should?
Reform the electoral college, people shout. Better yet, just chuck it. But ask yourself, will this be sufficient to salve the wounded republic?
Parliamentary democracy, anyone?