Proportional Representation: Why I Disagree with Gov. Howard Dean
I may make some enemies among my liberal friends for this one.
This is most of an e-mail I got from the Democratic party yesterday, with the subject, “They’re Already Trying to Steal the White House:
If you can’t win, cheat.
Apparently that’s the Republicans’ answer to our work in California. If they have their way, this reliably “blue” state won’t be so blue in 2008.
Faced with a strong Democratic presence, Republicans are campaigning for a new election system instead of their own candidates.
If they get what they’re after, it could cost us the White House.
In California, Republican operatives — including some of the 2004 Swift Boaters — are working on a proposition for the June ballot that would essentially hand over 20 of the state’s electoral votes before the elections even begin next November.
Electoral reform is a good thing — but this proposition doesn’t even come close to an honest effort. It’s designed for just one thing: to make California the only big state in the country to break up its electoral votes, handing the White House back over to the Republicans. We need election reform, but let’s do it for real — and let’s not pick and choose which states we do it in.
We can’t let this proposition get on the ballot. Reject the Republican power grab in California: (link removed)
California, like 47 other states, awards all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes. In the last four elections, all of California’s electoral votes have gone to the Democratic nominee.
Republicans want to change the rules to award one electoral vote for each Congressional district a presidential candidate wins. In 2004, that would have given George Bush 19 of John Kerry’s 55 votes.
These so-called “reformers” aren’t proposing to do this in Texas, or Florida, or Ohio, or any other large state that the Republicans won in 2004.
This isn’t electoral reform — it’s a blatant power grab. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is against the proposal, saying:
“I feel like, if you’re all of a sudden in the middle of the game start changing the rules, it’s kind of odd… It almost feels like a loser’s mentality, saying, ‘I cannot win with those rules. So let me change the rules.’”
Don’t let the Republicans cheat to win the election. Make your voice heard now: (link removed)
For Republicans, it’s not Iowa or New Hampshire that matters most in 2008 — it’s California.
Tell them to play by the rules.
Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Waht’s wrong with this picture? Just this: I have been saying for years that the winner-take-all system is blatantly unfair, that it completely disenfranchises up to 49.9% of the electorate in a close vote. Both Nebraska and Maine apportion their electoral votes, and it hasn’t seemed to hurt them. In Europe, the various Parliaments are composed of proportional blocks, with parties gaining strength according to the proportion of the overall vote. The strongest party gets to name the Prime Minister.
So, rather than criticizing California for doing the right thing–I’d like to see that spread to Florida, Texas, Ohio, and a lot of other states (like all of them).
The reality is there’s no such thing as a red state or a blue state. If you look at any state map broken down by party vote, you’ll typically see blue areas around major cities and liberal college communities, and red in the rural areas.
That would be a step toward *true* democracy