Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Our system for choosing a president is absurd.

A short summary of my objections:

1 - We vote in November because the Founding Fathers wanted to wait until the crops were in. We vote on Tuesday because the FF wanted church-goers to vote, and thought scheduling elections on Tuesday would give people time to both attend services, and travel to the county seat to cast their votes. In other words, the considerations used to inform this policy are 100 percent out of date, and should be reviewed. I think we should able to vote by telephone, or by computer, from our homes for, maybe, the entire month of November.

2 - Currently, a few hundred thousand people in backwards and cow-heavy states like New Hampshire and Iowa are allowed to set the national agenda. They liked Hukabee, Obama, McCain and Clinton, so suddenly these four people matter? Why should the headlines, and the slant of newspaper articles be determined by such a small segment of the population? I think the whole primary system should be abandoned. Let's go back to smoke-filled rooms, and let the party heavyweights decide. Or lets have one national primary. Or better yet, let's skip the primaries altogether and go straight to the national election. If it means 20 candidates will be on the final ballot, all the better.

3 - The electoral college is anti-democratic. The guy who gets the most votes should be president. End of story.

4 - The electoral college corrupts the campaign. For example, the electoral college votes of Florida and Ohio are currently significant, so we can expect the candidates to spend an inordinate amount of time in Ohio and Florida kissing up to the voters of that state. They'll ignore NY, and the tens of millions of voters who live here, because the polls say NY will vote democrat no matter what. This is both ridiculous and unfair, and not just we NYers deserve some kissing up, too. Why should a few million voters in some mediocre state like Ohio be permitted to swing the entire election?

More later.

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