By Emily Geiger
There has been a lot of people up in arms over the proposal backed by some Democrats to mandate that all of Iowa’s electoral votes go to the winner of the nation-wide popular vote.
I heard a very interesting discussion of this issue the other day on a certain local talk radio program, you know the one… the one no one admits listening to, but everyone does.
Anyhoo, some of the callers argued that the Democratic proposal really wouldn’t change much. If we go with the new proposal, Iowa’s say in the presidential general election will be based on population. It’s really not that different from the old electoral college system, with which Iowa’s say was based on population because our number of congressional representatives is based on population.
So, the new proposal’s backers say that we old-schoolers shouldn’t really mind the change.
But my question is, if they’re both based on population, why change?
I’ve heard a lot of math figures tossed around, but it’s been a long time since I took a math class. Actually, I don’t need a math class, because I think the numbers argument misses the point completely.
The new proposal doesn’t get rid of the electoral college. You’d have to change the constitution to do that, and the proponents of this plan are too lazy to actually do things the right way.
Here’s the real problem with the proposal. It ignores the fact that what is in the best interest of Iowa might be different from what, say, people New York and California want. Because this system doesn’t get rid of the electoral college, it sets up a scenario where 90% of Iowans could vote for Candidate A, and all of Iowa’s voting power would go to benefit Candidate B.
This isn’t about whether Iowa has 1% or 1.5% of the voting power in the nation. This is about Iowans losing their voice entirely.
I was relieved to read yesterday that Gov. Chester is acknowledging that this is a horrible idea. One would think that, perhaps, now, we could forget about this silly idea and get back to arguing about bicycle bills.
But no. You see, Chester has a frenemy (for all you old folks, that’s teen-talk for friend/enemy a la Paris and Nicole or John McCain and Mitt Romney). Chester’s frenemy, Iowa Supreme Democrat Mike Gronstal, who seems to have made it his personal mission to, um, shall we say, out-wizz Chester in every possible wizzing match, came out in full support of National Make-Iowa-Irrelevant, I mean the National Popular Vote Act. He said:
“I support the popular vote reforms because they will ensure that every Iowan’s vote is counted in presidential elections. It is mystifying to me why anyone would cling to an antiquated, winner-take-all Electoral College system that allows a person to be elected to the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.”
Really? Mystifying? The only thing about this that is mystifying is how Gronstal can say that this is good for the people of Iowa and keep a straight face.
Actually, I’m never really sure what Grontsal’s facial expressions really mean. I usually pick up anger, but it’s mixed with something else that looks a little like constipation, but I digress.
Bottom line: The Democratic governor (and former Secretary of State) and the Democratic current Secretary of State think this is a bad idea. And they’re talking about it. Publicly.
So, Mike, it’s time to hang it up and move on.
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