Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mob-rule democracy versus a republic

i continue to see (supposedly) educated people seriously discuss revising the US republic into a one-person-one-vote semi-direct "democracy"... and they don't see the problem with this... it makes me want to choke some sense into people... but i'm afraid their brains aren't getting enough oxygen to begin with!

we have 50 states... that's why we're called the "United States" of America... our founders recognized that individual states will have differing needs and desires, so they are independent of each other, except where common needs overlap (such as interstate commerce).

so, let's examine the idea of what i call mob-rule democracy and compare it to what happens in our republic... first, we must understand population/demographics and the electoral college.

the population of each state determines the amount of "electors" in the electoral college... there are 538 electors... each state gets one for each Representative and one for each Senator, per Article II of the US Constitution... there are 435 Representatives, divided among the states based on population, but no less than one per state... there are 100 Senators, divided among the states equally (2 each)... there are an additional 3 electors representing the District of Columbia, as required by the 23rd Amendment.

as of 2013, the estimated population of the US is 316,128,839 people.

now, to get elected, you need 50%+1 of the electors, 270, to vote your way... due to current population trends, it takes only 11 states to get 270 electors... CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, OH, GA, MI, NC, & NJ.

that doesn't sound very "democratic", does it?... where 11 of 50 states, 22%, dictate to the other 39 states who will be the President of the United States... shouldn't it take 26 states (50%+1)?... wouldn't that be more "democratic"?

but there are people who want "one-person-one-vote" democracy, where it takes 50%+1 of the popular vote for presidential elections... that's their version of "fair"... but is it?... it would only take NINE states to elect the President... CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, OH, GA, & MI... 9 of 50 states, 18%, would then dictate to the other 41 states.

how is that "democratic"?

furthermore, some states have population centers which can easily override the rest of the state... in California, the Los Angeles - Long Beach - Anaheim area has around 12 million residents, fully one-third of the population of the state... New York City metro area has around 8 million, where the entire state has 19 million; nearly one half of the state in one area... Clark County in Nevada (home of Las Vegas) has a population of nearly 2 million, while the entire state has only 2.8 million!

by now, it should be obvious that "one-person-one-vote" is as un-democratic as possible... mob-rule is possibly the worst form of governance.

Population of US States (plus Washington D.C.)
Distribution of Electoral Votes
Article II of the US Constitution
Map: California Home to Most Densely Populated Areas

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