[PLUG-TALK] Voting (was Citation needed...)

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Mon Feb 11 18:39:15 PST 2008

On Feb 11, 2008 1:18 PM, Rich Shepard <rshepard at appl-ecosys.com> wrote:

>    For us NOTAs[1], particularly here in Oregon, there's nothing to do but sit
> back and watch the egos and big money folks battle for two years. When the
> dust final settles, and there's only one ego left standing for each party,
> we can focus on determining which is the evil of the two lessers. Then we'll
> know for whom to vote against.
On Mon, Feb 11, 2008 at 05:47:23PM -0800, Paul Johnson wrote:
> It would be nice if, as a country, we could recognize that our
> literacy rate is no longer in the single digits, thus the electoral
> college form of voting is long obsolete.  The original idea being that
> literacy was so low that by using an electoral college, it increased
> the odds that the people who get to vote for president can read.

Uh ...

The purpose of the electoral college is to:

(1) approximately match presidential results to congress/senate results.
Since the president has to work with congress, it is best if the 
processes are congruent.  And the congressional representation is
skewed from exact demographic proportionality to give the less populous
regions representation proportional to other essential characteristics
besides head count.

(2) isolate individual state voting fraud.  Since states run elections
and count the votes, then a state can hijack its own electors, but it
can't hijack the country unless the election is metastable anyway.  As
bad as 2000 and 2004 were, imagine what it would be like if we needed
national recounts.  With a national popular vote, the state government
with the least scruples has the most clout.  While the current system
can sometimes elect a president with a slightly smaller number of votes
than an opponent, it would be very difficult for a candidate with 40%
to win against an opponent with 50%.  If corrupt states could inject
phantom votes into the system, then a "40/50" ratio of legitimate
ballots is possible.

Yes, it is annoying that recent elections have given the "red" voters
more apparent power than the "blue" voters.  However, I would rather
the "red" voters throw their weight around during elections, rather
than vote by cutting off food and energy to the "blue" regions.  When
I look at a map of voting patterns, it is pretty clear that we need
them more than they need us. 

If you want election results more pleasing to you, you are going to
have to get off your butt and talk some of the "reds" into voting
your way.  Maybe through patient conversation rather than sarcasm and
ridicule.  Perhaps even offer them something /they/ want rather than
something /you/ want.  It would not take very many shifted votes to
move things your way.  But then, since current elections are about
the winners ganging up on the losers, with consensus and accomodation
trumped by arrogance and slander, I suppose we will keep pushing the
extremes until one day the food and fuel stops arriving, and the
soldiers (who come predominantly from the "red" population) containing
us until we starve to death.  Then the elections will be a contest
between one shade of red and another.  Call me a namby-pamby
pacifist, but I would rather not push it that far.  A look at recent
world history, from Ireland to Kenya, shows that we are not immune
to such a general breakdown of civilization.


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

More information about the PLUG-talk mailing list