Posted by Kevin Matthews on November 10, 2000 at 09:41:55:
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 may be over-reacting to the immediate 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 precedent 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 unusual 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 electors in many states are actually allowed to change their vote. That's not by accident. Under normal conditions, vote changing by electors would be unconscionable. But it is a little like having a jury decide the outcome of a trial. No system is technically perfect, and sometimes the human judgment factor is what can still get you to the morally and ethically correct answer.
I think it is good to take our time - with neither candidate jumping to claim victory - and to wait for ALL the votes to be counted, but I don't think these points will change: The vote in Florida is at best a draw, morally and legally. Al Gore leads both in the rest of the electoral college, and in the national popular vote.
On 11/10/00 at 2:37 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
] If you really believe in the country you should obey the laws of the land.
] The electoral vote is the law as prescribed in the Constitution of the
] United States. You cannot change that law because your candidate did not
] win. I do not support either candidate, but I support my constitution.
] When you pledge allegiance to the flag, do you not do it to the Republic
] for which it stands?? Gore has not won popular vote yet. There are still
] service people which fight for the freedom of the U.S. abroad, and you
] think you should undermine them. There are fraud allegations on both
] sides. And until the constitution is changed or amended you have no legal
] leg to stand on. The Constitution was written for everyone, and it is the
] electoral college votes. It is as if you want it some ways for some and
] another way for others. It has nothing to do with what you want?? If you
] want the laws changed you need to get your representatives to hear you.
] Not a candidate. Do it legally, without recourse. The petition will not
] be heard for this election. Laws are already in place. Change the laws.
] That is what I will fight for in the future. The longer this rhetoric
] continues, the more the country falls apart. We lose faith in the world as
] being a world leader. Think about the country. I am. It is real funny
] that it takes so long to count the votes this time compared to election
] night. What if your candidate loses his popular vote by 1, will you still
] feel the same?? I know you will probably not read all this. But think!!
] If you do!! It is tearing the country apart!!
] Hopefully the best man wins!! If not, then so be it!!
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Kevin Matthews, email@example.com
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