Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

New York Times advocates dumping environmentalists

Jerry Stratton, March 14, 2006

We go through this way too often, so I’m just going to quote myself:

The electoral system is not archaic. This election shows exactly what the electoral system was meant to accomplish: it ensures that regional issues cannot be ignored wholesale. Candidates with regional significance can still make a difference in national elections. If Gore had not assumed that his core constituency would come through based on politics of fear, New Hampshire would have gone his way... And with good old Florida and its 25 electoral votes currently sitting at 1,805 votes in favor of Bush, those 96,698 Green votes must be especially galling to Gore and his politics of fear.

The Times wants to ensure that presidential elections don’t have to address issues of regional significance. They are correct about one thing, though. When they write that “Both parties should have reason to fear the college’s perverse effects,” it’s true. But those “perverse effects” are “having to listen to the people throughout the United States”. Instead of just in New York City.

The Times asks why candidates should pay more attention to battleground states. The obvious answer is, that’s where our national controversies are. They complain, for example, that because of the electoral college Iowa farmers have pushed us towards addressing alternative fuels. But given the events of the past several years, the electoral college’s effect is clearly weaker than it should be. We really should have been paying more attention to alternative fuels, not less.

There are some very good comments, by the way in the responses to John Hawkins’s In Defense of the Electoral College.

In response to Nobody Likes the Electoral System: The “winner-takes-all” electoral system is an integral part of the United States system of checks and balances, balancing the rights of regional minorities against the power of national majorities.