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WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE???

 

Or: How is the Electoral Method of Voting Supposed to Work

 

The system of voting for a President of the United States of America by the creators of the Constitution has been perverted.  Millions of people qualified to vote and who have voted have been disenfranchised. Disenfranchised means our votes have been nullified, made useless by the current method of voting.  Is this because the method designed by our Founders is faulty?  No.  It is because the method has been perverted.  So who says so and why?

Here is how it works so see for yourself.  (We will compare Electors to Congressmen.)

Before I say more, let me ask you a couple of questions: Who chooses your congressman?  Do you?  Where does he live?  Do you know more about him than Congressman X who lives in Main?  Very likely-especially after he’s been in office two years-or more.  I have a pretty good idea what our Congressman is like; he’s been in office long enough for me to know.  And I know folks who know him.  That helps.

You, also know when you vote for your Congressman that he’s supposed to represent you: he makes, or should make, laws you want made.  Similarly, Electors are chosen to represent you, too: they are supposed to be chosen by you for the purpose of choosing the best person, the best qualified one they know as the President of our country.  But do you know who you are choosing?  Rarely.  The system has been perverted!  If we know how something is supposed to work, then we can tell when it’s working and when it’s not.

How is the Electoral System supposed to work?

1. First, In each state a certain number of electors are to be chosen. ”...the number of Electors in each state...shall be equal to the whole number of Senators (combined with the) Representatives which the State is entitled to in the Congress.”1  How many Congressmen does your State have?  We have 53 here in California.  Add to that the number of Senators and we have 55 which tells you we are allowed 55 Electors.  You may have 4 Congressmen; add 2 Senators and you have 6 Electors.  This, of course, means small States have enough Electors to represent all the voters in their States and the larger States have enough to represent all the voters in their States.  All the voters in our country should, therefore, be represented-if they vote.  (Does it work that way?  That’s the catch keep it in mind.)

2. Electors Shall: a. be 25 years of age, b. a Citizen of the United States 7 years, when elected, c. an inhabitant of that State in which he has been chosen.2

3. The States, themselves, shall determine how the Electors are appointed or chosen.3  This sounds pretty clear and simple.  Voters choose Electors; Electors make their choice among the best person they know who could make a good President; the votes of the Electors (who represent those who chose them) those votes are counted; the one who gets the most votes becomes President.  Is this a good system?  Why do I say it doesn’t work the way our Founders planned it?

Who is your Elector?  Who chose the Electors?  Who decided for whom the Electors should vote?  Think about that.

In our State each “party” (Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc.) appoints the number of Electors that State is allowed.  Those Electors are committed to voting for the candidate chosen by their party.”  Which Elector did you vote for?  None!

“Oh, wait a minute!,” you say, “I voted!”

But did you vote for an Elector?  Look at your ballot.  What does it say?  “Party so-and-so’s choice is Candidate X (or Y or Z).”  Do you see the names of any of the Electors you should be voting for?  NO!  Your vote is NOT for Electors of your choice.  Your vote is for all the Electors of the party's choice.  (Do you remember marking your ballot in the place where you chose one of the parties?)

You may say, “Well, that’s all right.  I trust our party members.”  You are very trusting! 

Still, there is another point to consider: did you know that all of the Electors chosen by the winning party are then counted for the party’s Candidate?  If the party you did not vote for loses, ALL of the votes go to the winning party!  No other one of the four or five parties gets a single Elector to vote for them.  No matter how many votes each got in the election, only the party that got the most votes gets Electors AND THEY GET THEM ALL.  Even your congressman doesn’t have a problem like that.  You choose him and he gets to vote for you according to the party platform (maybe) and his conscience.  (That’s why you want a Congressman with a sensitive conscience!)

To summarize: In California each party chooses the number of Electors allowed for our state; these Electors are committed to vote for the party’s choice (the candidate) for President, the party who gets the most votes gets all of the Electoral votes for their candidate.  The other parties get none.

If your party were to lose in an election, who (what Elector/Electors) could have voted in that election for the candidate of your choice??

Think about what you have just read and we will talk another day about former elections and why the Electoral College still works better than the direct vote.

 


 

WASHINGTON ON PARTY SPIRIT

President George Washington, in his Farewell Address4 to the people gave a wise warning concerning those matters that would tend to the destruction of trust among their fellow citizens, trust necessary for them to continue to work together for the success of our Republican form of government.5  Read carefully Washington’s advice against letting those not honestly concerned with our best interests to cooperate together as “parties” are prone to do in order to influence our decisions and/or gain control over us.  This requires re-reading as I have discovered!

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our union it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views.

One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts.  You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other (alienate) those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head.  They have seen in the negotiation by the Executive and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government (as well as) in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi.

They (the two groups, the Westerners and the Atlantic States) have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties-that with Great Britain and that with Spain-which secure to them everything they could desire in respect to our foreign relations towards confirming their prosperity.

Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured?  Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?6 (Italics and words in parentheses Ed.’s)

 


 

CRITERIA FOR DECIDING: HOW SHALL I VOTE?

(Mr. H L. Richardson7 has given us some very important statistics that can give us a good reason to vote and encourage those who do that “your vote is not in vain!”  Note carefully his analysis of “voting numbers” below.)

 

VICTORY BELONGS TO THE FEW WHO FIGHT AND PARTICIPATE

Victory belongs to the few who fight and participate.  Voting for a candidate...either Republican or Democrat requires no more than being 18 years of age and warm....  However, Christians should be judicious about which party they join.  They should look to the area in which he resides and choose his registration based on his principles, not on who is able to win.  God honors the minority who honor Him.  Politics is a percentage game and victory does not go to the greatest numbers (of voters registered).  "To achieve victory,” as Howard Phillips says over and over gain, “we must first seek victory,"

Do majorities choose the candidates?  Horsefeathers!  Majority vote conjures up the illusion of better than half of any given segment of our population turning out to the polls but...the fact is "the majority" has never participated in any American election: many adults cannot vote; many who can are not registered; many (the remainder) who are registered do not vote.  Who remain?  60% of the adult population AND of these only about 83% turn out in the primaries!  This means that 20% of those adults who could have registered and voted, actually did vote!

 

 

IS POLITICS A CHRISTIAN CALLING? 

There is a great variety of interests and abilities as well as variations in intellect.  One characteristic is the ability to think in terms of political abstracts and philosophy.  Politics is philosophy in action.  It is the implementation of ideas within governmental structures with the power of those who govern to implement its desires.  And, just as there are those to whom God has given the responsibility as well as the talents for entering medicine, science, teaching, and other fields of endeavor there are a few men who are “tuned in” to politics.

What does this tell us about politics?  It tells us there are few who are really tuned in to the political arena and there are a lot more who are not.

If' all those workers, volunteers, precinct activists, party club members, plus those who financially contribute to politics were added up they constitute less than 6 per cent of the registered voters and those who comprise the number of registered voters is only 60%.  It is optimistic to assume that 5 percent is the optimum number of those citizens who care enough to participate in volunteer politics; they either like it or feel obligated to participate.  One in twenty of those who may (because of their particular area of concern) are interested; not many numerically, but still a lot of people!  Don't confuse those who vote with those who are politically involved.  If you get 5% of an interested group (such as a church), to vote, you can feel successful.

Only a small percentage of men are called to be leaders in the field of politics.  The object of the God fearing man is to be a positive leader, to educate and lead the Christian community, whose many interests lie in other fields of endeavor.  It is his responsibility to offer Christian leadership and political direction to the "nonpolitical" Christian in order that those who comprise the body of Christ's church can become a more positive force in state and national politics.

The Christian who is actively involved in politics must realize he is a minority within a minority, and will always remain so but so what!  Gideon needed but 300 to rout a much superior force.

 

THE MAJORITY HAS NEVER PARTICIPATED

IN ANY AMERICAN ELECTION

TO SUMMARIZE:

Many adults cannot vote

Many who can are not registered

Many (the remainder) who are registered do not vote

Who remain? 60% of the adult population AND

Of these only about 83% turn out in the primaries!

This means that 20% of the adults who could have registered and voted did vote!

Following is an actual case history in California that proves this:

 

Total Population: Approximately 600,000 - 100%

 

Those capable of registering 400,000 - 66%

Those who registered 236,000 - 38%

Those who voted in the Primary from both parties: approx.120,000 - 20%

 

Of the above 20%:

Majority Party vote: approximately 70,000

Minority Party vote: approximately 50,000

 

Eight candidates ran in the Majority party, splitting the 70,000 votes 8 ways so the minority party received the winning vote which was approximately 16,000 or 2.6% of the people living in that particular district.

 

Believe it or not, this was considered a landslide victory!  The example is not uncommon, in fact it is the rule rather than the exception.

The Christian who is actively involved in politics must realize he is a minority within a minority, and will always remain so but so what! Gideon needed but 300 to rout a much superior force.  To achieve victory, first we must seek victory.  Under such circumstances

YOUR VOTE DOES COUNT!

Victory belongs to the few who fight and participate

 


Footnotes:

1. Constitution, Article II, Section 1. Paragraph 2.

2. Constitution, Article I, Section 2. Paragraph 2.

3. Constitution, Article II, Section 1. Paragraph 2.

4. You may read all of Washington’s address at: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBprinterfriendly.asp?id=62

5. The above was taken from a pamphlet by Mr. H L Richardson and has been edited somewhat (particularly the first paragraph) for use by The Rebuilders.  It still retains the writer's original thoughts.

6. Washington’s address courtesy Wallbuilders. See footnote #7.

7. Ours is a Republican form of government-representation being its most distinguishing characteristic.  The greatest value to a representative form of civil government is a self-governed people, the only ones capable of sustaining honest representation.  How far we have come from having men whom one can trust to represent those who have chosen them to do so!  But party spirit can often tend to replace loyalty to principles rather than to the opinions of others whose character may not allow them to give good advice.


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