paul-finkelman at UTULSA.EDU
Wed Nov 8 16:25:35 PST 2000
As a Gore supporter I have no problem with the electoral college outcome.
Despite its murky origins (having in part to do with making sure that Va. and
other slave states had electoral power for their slaves) I have always believed
the e.c. is useful because it provides finality, and diminishes corruption ---
there is no need to steal votes if your candidate is carrying your state, but
there might be in a national popular vote to counteract the fear of stealing in
Nor do I think Nadar cost Gore the election; he may have, but many Nadar voters
might not have voted for anyone; many are far more interested in their own
cause/ego game/making a statement, then in actual outcomes, and in that sense
the reflect Nadar himself.
The real issue, it seems to me, is the potential of a corrupted process in
Florida. It state troopers stopped blacks driving to vote in the panhandle; if
blacks in line where chased away when the polls closed; if the ballot was
intentionally misleading, then we have a more serious problem than who lives in
the White House. So, the question is this:
If there are two thoroughly honest Bush electors who believe that Florida was a
stolen election and that Gore really won, should they vote for Gore, not
because he wone the popular vote, but because Bush and his brother the Florida
Bush stole the election.
These are of course hypotheticals, not accusations.
"Richard D. Friedman" wrote:
> I think Mike Masinter hits the nail right on the head. I too was a Gore
> voter. We all knew that there was a possibility that one candidate would
> win the popular vote and the other the electoral vote -- it's happened
> three times before and here it looked like it might be flipped the other
> way, a prospect that did not seem to alarm most Democrats. The system we
> have is a rather odd one, but the smoothness of our transitions of power
> indicates the importance of adherence to clearly established constitutional
> rules in this particular context.
> Rather than trying to shame Republican electors into giving up a victory
> that they won under the prevailing rules, I think we ought to try to shame
> the Republican Congress into proposing a constitutional amendment making
> the popular vote determinative or, in the alternative, (A) making the
> number of electoral votes in each state equal to the number of
> representatives of each state (rather than the number of reps plus 2, a
> distortive factor) and (B) giving the electoral votes to the winner of each
> Congressional district. Note that the latter system is actually not all
> that far off from the way most Parliamentary democracies choose their chief
> Rich Friedman
> At 02:33 PM 11/8/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >I think the long term consequences for a poltical party that publicly
> >seeks to alter the presumptive results of the election by appealing to
> >electors to vote for a different candidate than the candidate chosen by
> >their voters would be disastrous. I imagine state laws which purport to
> >bind electors are unconstitutional, and that therefore the outcome of the
> >election would turn on the actual votes of those electors. But I also
> >think that the party (presumably the democratic party) which sought to
> >convince them to vote for (presumably Gore) would forever taint itself.
> >I think it speaks volumes that in an election as closely contested as
> >ours, people today are going about their lives rather than burning
> >Congress. We trust our institutions, and political parties should think
> >very carefully before attacking that trust. I would recommend against it.
> >In the spirit of full disclosure, I voted for Gore.
> >Michael R. Masinter 3305 College Avenue
> >Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33314
> >Shepard Broad Law Center (954) 262-6151
> >masinter at nova.edu Chair, ACLU of Florida Legal Panel
Chapman Distinguished Professor
University of Tulsa College of Law
3120 East 4th Place
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104-2499
paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu
More information about the Conlawprof