Posted by Kevin Matthews on November 09, 2000 at 10:46:47:
Thanks for your thoughts! Just talking this whole thing through seems to me like a good step forward.
Please note carefully that either the "Trust The People" petition nor I advocate anything at all un-Constitutional, and I don't want to escalate this actual electoral crisis into an even scarier constitutional crisis. Quite the contrary!
I'm not suggesting undermining the electoral college, or willy-nilly having it do whatever. I'm not suggesting that we abolish it, and I don't actually think it is anachronistic (unlike some others who are over-reacting to the current situation, like Sen. Specter). It has just been dormant so long, we've collectively forgotten what it is for. Although it's all pretty far in the past, because we haven't run into one of these for a few generations, I think there's strong historical precendent for what I'm suggesting.
In fact, what I am advocating is just how the Constitution was designed to work, in case of a very, very unusal electoral crisis like the current one. I'm not interesting in changing the Constitution, which I think is just fine the way it is. Since we haven't had an electoral crisis like this in a Presidential election for several generations, people need to go through a bit of a process in order to collectively rediscover the positive design intentions behind the electoral college.
If you want to get deeper into the specifics, take another look at the Constitution (Article II and Amendment XII) and the "Trust The People" petition.
The vast majority of the electors, in nearly all the states, are free to change their vote. under normal conditions, that would be unconscionable. But it is a little like having a jury decide the outcome of a trial. No system is tehcnally perfect, and sometimes the human judgment factor is what can still get you to the morally and ethically correct answer.
On 11/9/00 at 8:03 AM, Mike McGargle
] As much as I would like Gore to win, if he loses the electoral college vote
] he has lost the election. If you want to change the system fine, but don't
] think that I support throwing the United States into a constitutional crisis
] simply because my candidate did not win. We will try again in 4 years.
] Mike McGargle
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