Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Republic, Not A Democracy

It seems that about every election time they're are a group of individuals or academics who push a wacky idea to end the electoral college in an effort to make it more than likely that their candidate for president can win an election. Thankfully Mike Rosen, radio host and Rocky Mountain News columnist, has penned a great piece that shoots down this whole wacky notion and demonstrates once again how our Founding Fathers were true geniuses when they had the foresight to object to pure democracy and embrace a constitutional republic that has lasted these 200 plus years. Here's a sample of Rosen's column:

The supporters of this goofy idea are overwhelmingly liberal Democrats. Their first goal, obviously, is to win the presidency for their party. They believe this will be easier if they can circumvent the Electoral College, which leverages the voice of less populous states, like Colorado, that have tended to vote Republican in recent years. SB 46 contrives to tip the scales in favor of northeastern states and California with large Democratic majorities in heavily populated cities.

Additionally, liberal populists like Gordon have an ideological bias against the Electoral College, preferring a national popular vote for president. They say that's the way it's supposed to be in a democracy. But we are not a democracy, never have been and most definitely never should be. The Founders abhorred pure democracy and purposefully created a constitutional republic, an ingenious combination of democratic institutions and anti-democratic safeguards: a Bill of Rights to protect individuals from the tyranny of the majority; representative government, filtering majoritarian passions; a Senate with two seats for each state, regardless of population; federalism; the separation of powers; judicial review; the presidential veto; and, yes, the Electoral College.

We're not a collective, amorphous blob, but a confederation of individual states, each retaining some sovereign powers, unique qualities, values and agendas. The Electoral College is a constant reminder of that. We do not have - nor have we ever had - a national popular vote for president. We have 51 separate elections in each of the states and the District of Columbia to determine how Electoral College votes will be cast. It's only out of curiosity, devoid of legal status, that we aggregate those 51 election results to produce a national total.

SB 46 would render Colorado irrelevant. Why would a candidate waste time and resources, here, to pick up a relatively small differential when 25 million votes are at stake in New York and California?

Thank G-d our founding fathers had the knowledge of history when they formed this great nation and its constitutional system.

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