Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thoughts on the Election Season

For the first time in my life, I've followed in-depth, state-by-state polling during a presidential election, thanks largely to, an amazing site run almost completely objectively by Nate Silver. You know the man's got real cred when he's been on The Colbert Report. What have a learned from all this statistical complexity?

Well, for one thing, the electoral college gives power to the few and takes it away from the many. States like New York, Illinois, California, and Texas are simply locked in. Voters for the minority party in those states are just out of luck. I know it's controversial to say that their votes no longer count, but the result for the state has clearly been decided at this point.

What would switching to a pure population vote do to the election season? It would make New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago much more popular, for one thing. Rural voters might feel disenfranchised, as would the less populous states in the west. But isn't the point of a democracy to give all citizens the right to cast an equal vote? Is it time to make the switch?

1 comment:

Paul said...

The loss of franchise in the large states (New York, Texas, California) could be mitigated if those states moved from a winner-take-all system. Their own legislators could do that.