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Winning's a lot easier if you make up your own rules

by: Eric B.

Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 13:29:13 PM EST

Most of you have seen this already.

From Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, GOP officials who control legislatures in states that supported President Barack Obama are considering changing state laws that give the winner of a state's popular vote all of its Electoral College votes, too. Instead, these officials want Electoral College votes to be divided proportionally, a move that could transform the way the country elects its president.


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he "could go either way" on the change and doesn't plan to push it. But he said it's a reasonable issue to debate and that he prefers that leaders discuss it well before the next presidential election.

It's not on his agenda, right up to the point where it's on his agenda and it'll be Democrats' fault somehow.

Eric B. :: Winning's a lot easier if you make up your own rules
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he "could go either way" on the change and doesn't plan to push it.

He's still engaging in this tactic as if his litle dog-and-pony show hasn't already been found out, bless his heart.  Snyder, we've broken your code; I know you think we're stupid, we're not that stupid.

His contempt of the electorate is palpable, he just hides it better than the more vocal baggers.

Let them do it.
The public will never stand for something that underhanded. Republicans are desperate--they know their game is just about up.

Does matter...
...if the public stands it or not.  Snyder's got two more years, and it's pretty clear that with his right to work legislation and others that he's just waiting for the forgetfulness that tends to infect an electorate...and he might just win that battle.

[ Parent ]
Proportional Results for Electoral College Should be Extended to state legislatures and congress
The GOP proposal is highly selective for political advantage.  If the electoral college is to be allocated on a proportional basis so should seats in the House of Representatives and state legislatures.  This could end the unfair advantage arising from gerrymandering.

We are already losing the war of terminology
There is nothing about the Republican proposal that has anything to do with 'proportional representation.'  Under proportional representation systems -- which are used in many European democracies -- the electors would be allocated according to the results of the popular vote in the state.  The winner of the state would get more electors than the loser.  The second-place finisher would never, ever get more electors than the first-place finisher.

The principle of proportional representation is that every voter's vote is weighed equally.

What the Republicans are proposing in Michigan and elsewhere is a system to allocate electors by (gerrymandered) congressional district.  Had their proposal been in effect in Michigan Romney would have won nine electors to Obama's seven even though Obama won a clear majority of the vote.  In Pennsylvania, I am told, the effect would have been even more egregious.

The Republican proposal is not about weighing each voter's vote equally.  It is about counting their votes as being worth more than the votes of the people they don't speak for.

And yet they are likely to win the battle because we will again let them define the terms.  It is not proportional representation they are proposing.  It is Heads We Win Tails You Lose.

I am sure an appropriation will be needed to explain it all.

[ Parent ]
If We Had a Functional Democratic Party in This State...
...there would already be a constitutional amendment petition, ready to circulate the moment that bill gets introduced, that would require districts to get drawn by an independent non-partisan commission, starting with the 2016 elections. Republicans might get away with mucking around with the Electoral College votes for a single presidential cycle, but it could finally cost them control of both legislative chambers (the Senate wouldn't flip until 2018).

But of course, we don't.

I'm of the opinion that there should be exactly two initiated proposals on the ballot in '14. The first would be repeal of RTW, and the second should be redistricting reform. To avoid proposal fatigue, I'd back-burner everything else (including my beloved marriage equality) until '16.

Now, with regard to redistricting, the proponents have to learn the lessons of Ohio (where reform got killed last year) and be prepared with boatloads of money to define the proposal before the opponents get a chance to. Also, I'd say it would be a bad idea if the proposal were to be identifiable as a project of the MDP. I'd guess there are some ancestral and instinctive suburban Republican voters who would vote for the proposal if it's framed as "good government vs. politicians rigging the game", but who would be inclined to vote against it if it becomes just another Dem vs. Rep squabble.

Finally, the instructions in the proposal to the commission regarding the composition of districts would be key to actually achieving the aim of districts in which a majority of the votes implies winning a majority of the districts, and there will have to be a sentence or two regarding representation of minority groups. I know the federal VRA trumps everything in this regard, but without some reassurance, it would be too easy for the opponents to flood Detroit with mailers saying the proposal would "steal our representatives away from us". Kind of the same reason I'm fine with emphasizing in marriage equality proposals that clergymen don't have to perform marriages that are against the beliefs of their religions. Sure it's redundant, but it saves lots of unnecessary explanation.

[ Parent ]
You know, I've been thinking about this...
This wouldn't be the best thing in the world. At the same time, it could backfire on Republicans for reasons that go beyond any potential backlash.

National Democratic officials might look at it and decide that instead of spending money and time in Michigan, they will instead put resources into such states as Missouri, Arizona, Montana, Indiana, and North Carolina. Those states combine for 50 electoral votes and, while Romney won them all in 2012, they have shown signs of going Democratic. (The latter two went for Obama in 2008; all but Arizona is represented by a Democratic Senator; and all but Indiana have had Democratic governors in recent years.

Keep in mind that all of those states, along with Virginia and Colorado, went comfortably for Bush in 2000 and 2004. The fact that OFA has made Republicans play defense in those states (including winning CO and VA twice) shows how much headway Democrats have made. The last thing Republicans would want to do is allow Dems to make even more headway in those states.

This would be bad for Michigan Democrats, but nationally, Republicans might find that this is a colossal mistake.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

Democrats as a Permanent Minority Party
This "thing" will probably get introduced by State Representative Peter Lund and The Tieless One will sign it.

Although the proposal may violate state and Federal constitutional law, "One Man One Vote," the US Constitution leaves it up to the states to determine its rules for sending delegates to the Electoral College.

Ironically, Bush v. Gore, and Equal Protection could be used to argue against the change.

But all this will take years if not decades to turn-around. Time to move Lund and the Tieless One to Canada.

The proposal stinks to high heaven, how would the electorate react to this "BALLOT STUFFING PROPOSAL" when its executed for the first time?

There, Alan, here's your new terminology for this "thing:" "BALLOT STUFFING PROPOSAL"

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