Monday, November 12, 2018

Electoral College

Commenters pointed out that increasing the number of representatives would increase the number of electors in large states, which would likely increase the power of Democrats in the EC.  I haven't made the count myself, but it is likely so. What is disturbing about this in relation to the article is that the calculation of that - easy for the author, more difficult for us - is missing.  The increased number of competitive districts is mentioned.  That is a good thing. The evenness of safe districts was mentioned, which is temporarily a good thing, though we cannot see the future.  So, red flag that a NYT writer doesn't give us those numbers, right when we are in a debate because the Democrats feel the current system is unfair to them.

If they want to show their open-handedness and good will, why don't Democrats vote to commission the Hoover Institute to reform the EC? They wouldn't, of course (nor should they), but we would at least be clear about the biases everyone is operating from.

The game can't start until we know the refs are fair.


GraniteDad said...

But, there's not a California that's 90% Democratic today. No state is all blue or all red. So just because it's a larger state doesn't mean that 60 districts that are 50/10 in favor of the Dems will automatically become 120 districts that are 100/20 Dem. Gerrymandering likely becomes more of an argument point, but there's lots of Republicans in some larger states that aren't heard from today. On the flip side, Democrats in Texas might actually be able to elect someone.

Also, if we have more reps, there's more possibility of moderate coalitions forming on certain uniting issues for them. That's not an unalloyed good- we'd probably get more subsidies for soybeans in addition to criminal justice reform- but we'd get more good out of it. There's a case to be made that having some bad come out of that is worse than having no good come out of the current setup. I'm not sure I'd fully agree, but it's a workable argument.

I'll also return to my earlier point that if Republicans tried harder in cities, they might do better.

Also, having this as a second post really breaks up the discussion and complicates posting on it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Updates on first posts are not read as often as second posts. It does complicate the discussion, yes.

The EC argument is that even with more districts, the whole state sends its electoral votes en mass. If the new system added 7 Democratic districts but 5 Republican ones in CA, that might be fair in DC. But it would be 12 more electoral votes for president every four years.

I agree that the cities don't have to be so solidly Democratic, but you may be thinking about people being reasonable in their voting. Financial elites, minorities, single parents, and recent graduates are likely to stay liberal for a long time, even though they shouldn't.

ruralcounsel said...

The solution is to alter the calculus of the census. Representation should be based on population of citizens. No gross population, including legal and illegal immigrants. Representation in government should be based on representing citizens, not everyone else.

GraniteDad said...

Rural, I think we're unlikely to amend the constitution in that specific way. Might be helpful in some ways, but I don't think it's likely to occur.