The US Electoral College: Part 2, Alex OC

In my first part, I discussed the US Electoral College (United States Electoral College – Wikipedia) and how it originated, and in this part, I will discuss problems with it and efforts to abolish it or work around it.

Despite being advertised as a search committee, the Electoral College soon became a rubber-stamp body, and the electoral vote has long been interpreted as an approximate proxy for the popular vote. The electoral vote usually amplifies popular-vote margins, but out of the 58 Presidential elections, the two votes have gone in opposite directions 5 times, in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016. The 1824 election was the first of the 49 elections where at least some of the electors were chosen by popular vote.

In recent decades, the EC has caused a distortion in campaigning priorities, with much effort devoted to states that are nearly evenly divided: “swing states” or “battleground states”. States that are reliably Democratic or reliably Republican tend to get ignored.

There have been numerous attempts to abolish it or work around it.

Continue reading

The US Electoral College: Part 1, Alex H

The United States elects its Presidents in a very odd indirect way. Each state chooses some electors, and those electors then vote for the President and Vice President. Those electors were originally chosen by state legislatures, but with the rise of political parties, they soon became chosen by whichever party wins each state’s popular vote, the vote of ordinary voters. Electors normally vote for whichever candidates that their party has nominated, with exceptions being “faithless electors”.

Each state gets a number of electors equal to the sizes of its House and Senate delegations. Most states use “winner take all”, but Maine and Nebraska use one elector per House district and two electors for the whole state.

The name “Electoral College” seems odd by present-day standards, but that is because “college” is used in an earlier meaning of “assembly” as opposed to the present meaning of “institution of higher education”. So for present-day people, it ought to be renamed “Electoral Assembly”.

How did it come into existence?

Continue reading

Creative Writing Update

Three years ago, I wrote Some Creative Writing | NexusZine and I must update that. I’ve published my stories on:

Three of these stories are inspired by UFO contactee George Adamski’s alleged close encounters of the friendly kind. I ask “What if they are partially real?” and work out the consequences as science-fiction stories.

  • Tunguska and the Titanic – what might GA and his ET friends have in common?
  • The Great Bomb – a nuclear bomb, of course.
  • Contact across the Solar System – starting with GA’s contacts and continuing across the decades to contact for real in the near future.

The other ones are

  • Watching a Supernova Up Close – my first storytelling effort
  • Lincoln and Darwin Raglanized – if someone tried to kill them in their infancy, as had allegedly happened to many legendary heroes.
  • Alexander the Great and the Four Noble Truths – if AtG was like King Ashoka of India
Continue reading