Don't Look Now, But We Could End Up With a McCain-Biden Administration!!!
Electoral College is a Strange Institution We Should Probably Do Away With
October 26, 2008
By: Dave Rogers
Stranger things have happened in Presidential elections in the United States.
But there is a possibility, remote perhaps, of a President John McCain and a Vice President Joe Biden.
How, you ask?
Well, if the electoral vote ends up tied 269 to 269, each state gets one vote to determine the President.
And, the vice president is determined by a vote of the Senate.
Let's just suppose the improbable happens and the deadlock occurs; it's not impossible, and in today's climate, anything can happen.
The winner of the most states, let's just say it is McCain, wins the Presidency and the Republican Party is back in the driver's seat for another four years.
However, the Senate, controlled by Democrats, probably with close to 60 votes, puts Joe Biden in the vice president's chair thus making him the presiding officer and tie breaker in that body.
The fact that such a wierd outcome is provided for in our laws underscores the need to get rid of the Electoral College. A straight forward popular vote is the safest and fairest way to select the President and Vice President. The Electoral College is way out of date and subject to anomalies the founding fathers didn't forsee.
As the 12th Amendment to the Constitution now provides, the 435 members of the House of Representatives, many just elected, would find as their first official duty the selection of the next President of the United States. "Welcome to Congress!"
Unlike the Electoral College system, where larger population equals more votes, each state in the House gets exactly one (1) vote when selecting the president. Even California, with its 53 representatives, gets only one vote. The first candidate to win the votes of 26 states is the new President. The 12th Amendment gives the House until the fourth day of March to select a President.
Representatives from each state must decide among themselves how their state will cast its one and only vote. Smaller states like Wyoming, Montana and Vermont, with only one representative wield as much power as California or New York.
The Senate is given the task of selecting the new vice-president. In the Senate, each of the 100 Senators gets one vote, with a simple majority -- 51 -- Senators required to select the vice-president. Unlike the House, the 12th Amendment places no time limit on the Senate's selection of a vice president.
Therefore, it is possible we could have a McCain-Biden Administration, and wouldn't that provide entertainment for the pundits and the public alike. It may not be the most favorable way to run a country, however, but what a country!
Columns Article 3223
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On October 27, 2008
at 07:52 AM
This is the dumbest proposition I've ever heard!
It has been a long and sometime stupid campaign, so, I suppose this is what one can expect after such a complicated bunch of issues
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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