scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: I'm punting here.
Wed Aug 23 2000 - 15:43:15 CDT
<< What the US runs is a Representative Democracy -- each of us votes to
elect someone else to vote on those issues for us. The process is a
pyramid, with most of us at the base, and the Congress at the top.
The Presidential elections are PARTY elections -- starting down at the
precinct level (your voting place), each group selects representatives to
send up to the next level; that level selects representatives to send on
upward, until you have a set of people who attend the National Conventions.
(Notice your primary ballot in many places -- it'll have a name you never
heard of followed by (Gore) or (Perot) or (Bush) or (undecided). You're
actually voting here for whose representatives move up to the 2nd level.)
At the final level, the Electors vote their state's votes for the
candidate whose representatives won their state. >>
Not quite. Close, just not quite. Presidential primaries are party
elections. Presidential elections are vote for representatives to the
electoral college. Each state receives as many electoral votes as it has
representatives and senators put together. You, as a voter, vote for those
persons. Each is pledged to a candidated. Some states (here I get foggy on
the mathematics, but I recall this was the way it used to be, and I suspect
still is) have an all or nothing vote, that is if Bush takes 51 percent of
the popular vote, every electoral vote for that state is pledged to Bush. In
other states the electoral vote may be representative of the percentages of
popular vote in that state.
Originally, electoral college representatives were not pledged to a candidate
at all, as it was believed that it was not necessarily true that our voters
would vote for the right people. You had, then, the possibility of the
popular vote being for Roosevelt, and the electoral college saying, no, Al
Smith is the better candidate and electing Al (the Happy Warrior). This is,
of course, no longer true. It remains true however that it is still possible
for a popular vote winner to loose the general election because of the
distribution of electoral college votes.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet, ASM
Troop 160, Glenview, Illinois
Northeast Illinois Council
Owl, C.19.96, Brotherhood