Do you prefer winner take all, district-by-district or straight popular vote?

October 17, 2009 at 2:01 PM (Uncategorized)

The President of the United States is chosen according to how many votes each candidate receives in the electoral college. This is why it was so important to learn just who won the state of Florida back in 2000. This system gave us the Presidency of George W Bush instead of Al Gore, despite the fact that more people voted for Al Gore.

There are three systems of counting votes in a presidential election in the United States, two of which vary by state:

  1. Winner take all, where the winner of the popular vote in a given state receives every electoral vote. Most states use this system today.
  2. District-by-district, where the winner of the popular vote in each congressional district wins only that district’s electoral vote. Maine uses this system.
  3. Straight popular vote, which is simply a count of how many people voted for each candidate. Although this number is important, it is the winner of the electoral vote that is elected president.

If you could decide which of these systems were used nation-wide, which election method would you choose to choose the President of the United States?

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How Olympia Snowe is making herself appear relevant

October 15, 2009 at 2:57 PM (Uncategorized)

Olympia Snowe is the one Republican who so far has voted in favor of any health reform bill. People are starting to wonder why we’re paying her so much attention.

There is an old (and, some say, possibly dirty) trick to getting attention in Washington. If everyone is voting for something, you can generate attention for yourself if you’re the only person to vote against it.

Everyone wants to know why you’re against it. You’re in the papers, they’re talking about you on the radio and you end up on TV to explain yourself. The media never fails to fall for this, even though they realize they’re being had.

On the other side of the coin, if everyone around you (like, say, the entire Republican Party) is voting against something, just imagine how much attention you’ll get if you vote for it.

Actually, you don’t have to imagine. Just google “Olympia Snowe”.

I’m not saying that this is why she voted to move the reform bill out of her committee. For all I know, she might be the one Republican who wants to serve her constituents. Surely there must be at least one of those left in D.C.


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