Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We Like Majority Rule, Except When We're Not In The Majority - HB 175

HB 175 is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.   Here's the whole bill.

"An Act ratifying an interstate compact to elect the President and Vice-President of the United States by national popular vote; and making related changes to statutes applicable to the selection by voters of electors for candidates for President and Vice-
President of the United States and to the duties of those electors." [emphasis added]


GRUENBERG 120   1:00 PM   M W F 

Standing Committee

CHAIR: Representative Claman*
VICE-CHAIR:Representative Fansler* 
MEMBER:Representative Kreiss-Tomkins* 
MEMBER:Representative LeDoux* 
MEMBER:Representative Eastman 
MEMBER:Representative Kopp 
MEMBER:Representative Reinbold 
ALTERNATE:Representative Millett 
ALTERNATE:Representative Stutes *

 *indicates members of the House majority.  So this should get out of the committee and could pass in  the House.  Senate fate is probably not too good.  Republicans love the electoral college and come up with all sorts of arguments to keep it.

Here's a letter in the Alaska Dispatch News today that proves my point - you don't like 'majority rule' if you're in the majority and you like it when you're in the majority.

"Without Electoral College …
The benefit of the Electoral College can be seen by subtracting the state of California from the equation. Without California, Trump won by 2 million popular votes and well over a hundred electoral votes. Subtract New York as well and he won by 3 1/2 million popular votes and two to one in the Electoral College. Do we really want one or both of those states dictating policy to the whole rest of the country? As it is, just those two guaranteed blue states mean Democrats can count on almost a third of the electoral votes needed to win the presidency before the election even starts.
— Bill Tolbert
King Salmon"

So, majority rule is bad if Trump loses (popular vote) and good if he wins (electoral college.)  But what is this nonsense about "without California" and "without New York"?

California, with 37 million people is  about 12% of the US.  New York, with a population of over 19 million, makes up about 7% of the US population.  So Bill Tolbert has no issue with deducting nearly one-fifth of the US population to get his numbers.

He also neglected to take out the second most populous state - Texas - with 25 million people, or about 8% of the US population.  I can't imagine why he would have skipped Texas. (I*)

Tolbert's argument is like saying, if it weren't for the heart attack, he would have lived to 80.  And if it don't count his cancer either, he could have lived to 90.  Creating alternative worlds through mathematical fiction.


  1. The electoral college, after all, is enshrined in our Constitution, which means getting rid of it requires a constitutional amendment. That's a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate and the ratification of three-fourths (38) of the 50 states.

    1. Anon, the bill in the Alaska state house is a national effort to get the Electoral College to vote for the popular winner, and thus avoid the difficulties of passing a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college. Once a critical mass of states adopt the legislation, their electors are obligated to vote for for the popular vote winner. From the National Popular Vote website:
      "The National Popular Vote interstate compact would not take effect until enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). Under the compact, the national popular vote winner would be the candidate who received the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) on Election Day. When the Electoral College meets in mid-December, the national popular vote winner would receive all of the electoral votes of the enacting states."


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