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Electoral College

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NEWS
December 10, 2000
A NEEDED BALANCE IN A DIVERSE NATION Direct democracy is not always the best. This has been the general consensus of great minds since Aristotle. Direct democracy is to be feared. Should we be able to rape that woman? Let's take a vote. Can I kill my boss? Let's take a vote. Can I hurt a downtrodden minority? Let's take a vote. Direct democracy in its worst form is mob rule. That's why we do not have it in our Congress nor in electing our chief executive. The Electoral College protects the smaller, less-populated states from the larger ones.
NEWS
October 27, 2008
The fourth American presidency to take place despite the will of the people is almost over. It hasn't turned out very well. But even if you're in the distinct minority of Americans who approve of President Bush, you have reason to disapprove of our system for choosing presidents. Bush first came into office in 2000, but Al Gore won the popular vote. Perhaps most Americans wrote off that election as an anomaly. In fact, though, over the past 60 years, five other presidential elections could have thwarted the will of millions with a shift of mere thousands of votes in one or two states.
NEWS
November 9, 2000
The "too close to call" presidential election makes it clearly obvious that several changes need to be made. My suggestions: Abandon the electoral college. It's not a democracy when you can get the most votes and not win an election. Projections from TV networks should not be allowed to be broadcast. In their race to be first to call the winner, they were both embarrassed and may have influenced many a voter's decision. Make Election Day a national holiday to increase voter turnout.
NEWS
October 13, 1988 | By Gar Joseph, Daily News Staff Writer
Quick now, in the great Reagan landslide of 1980, what percentage of the vote did the president win? Seventy percent? Sixty percent? In fact, Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter and third party candidate John Anderson in 1980 by winning 51 percent of the popular vote. So where was the landslide? In the Electoral College, where the president is really elected. Reagan crushed Carter by winning 489 votes to 49. The Electoral College is a quirky, antiquated American invention that separates the voters from the candidates, magnifies the importance of big states over little states and turns routine wins into huge landslides.
NEWS
November 9, 2000 | By Stephen Seplow and Clea Benson, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
In the weary aftermath of Tuesday's long election count, the recurring debate over the Electoral College - and whether to change or abolish it - has resumed. Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) said he would propose a constitutional amendment to replace the college with the direct election of presidents, so that the candidate who got the most votes would win the Oval Office. Rep. Ray LaHood (R., Ill.) has said he would push for a similar amendment in the House. "A basic principle of democracy is that a majority should rule," Specter said during a news conference in Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 8, 2000 | By Stephen Seplow, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Every once in a while, the United States faces the real possibility - if not the likelihood - of a presidential election in which the candidate with the most votes loses. Without suggesting that they think it will happen, some people who poll for a living say that this year is one of those onces. An analysis of the most recent state-by-state polls suggests that an outcome in which Texas Gov. George W. Bush wins the popular vote but loses the election is within the bounds of possibility.
NEWS
September 23, 2011 | By Michael Smerconish
If the Pennsylvania Senate holds hearings on changing how the state apportions its Electoral College votes, I'd like to suggest a witness: Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia and author of A More Perfect Constitution . For years, Sabato has studied the Electoral College and contemplated changes such as the one proposed by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. Under the plan, Pennsylvania would go from a winner-take-all approach to one that would award two electoral votes based on statewide results and its 18 others determined by the vote in each congressional district.
NEWS
November 10, 2000 | By Robert Zausner and Tom Avril, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Yes. No. I don't know. Those were the opinions yesterday on whether to abolish the Electoral College from those closest to the situation - members of the Electoral College. Few people have cared to know very much about this usually innocuous body that technically decides who becomes the president of the United States. Suddenly, though, the college is as famous as Harvard. That's because it appears that, for the first time since 1888, its 538 members - pledged to vote for the candidates who won in their individual states - may make a man president though he lost the popular vote.
NEWS
November 9, 2000 | By Warren Goldstein
I bet you thought you were voting for a presidential candidate on Tuesday. Well, you weren't. You were voting for a slate of electors committed to that candidate. You didn't choose them; no one asked you. Frustrated? Confused? Welcome to the Electoral College - a.k.a. the School of Hard Knocks. Today we face the distinct probability that the winner of the popular vote (as of this writing, that would be Al Gore, by about 170,000 votes) will not win the electoral vote - and thus will lose the presidency.
NEWS
November 1, 2000 | By Larry Eichel
At a Bush rally the other day, an otherwise well-informed Republican voter asked me what happens if George W. wins the popular vote but Al Gore comes away with a majority of electoral votes. Would Bush be able to launch a court fight? Or would he just have to sit back and accept the outcome? I informed him, to his chagrin, that the electoral vote would rule. And I decided the time had come to write about the Electoral College, and how it may serve or pervert the political process on Tuesday.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 18, 2013 | BY JOSEPH HOEFFEL
PENNSYLVANIA'S Republican leaders think they can pull a fast one on us. Led by Sen. Dominic Pileggi, Republicans in Harrisburg are pushing a cynical scheme to dilute Pennsylvania's influence in the Electoral College - a thinly veiled attempt to gain party advantage in presidential elections. The top Republican in the state, Gov. Corbett, has refused to take a stand on these shameful shenanigans. We expect bipartisan leadership from our governor, not simple acquiescence to his party's most partisan fringe.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2013 | By Ellen Gray
* CONSTITUTION USA WITH PETER SAGAL. 9 p.m. today, WHYY 12. * TED TALKS EDUCATION. 10 p.m. today, WHYY 12.   IT DOESN'T take PBS' "Constitution USA with Peter Sagal" long to get to Philadelphia, where the document got hammered out. First, though, Sagal had to buy a motorcycle. Traveling on a customized red-white-and-blue Harley-Davidson - what could be more American? - the host of NPR's "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" crisscrosses the country in this monthlong series to talk with people about the document that was ratified nearly 225 years ago and has been causing arguments ever since.
NEWS
March 20, 2013 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, making a rare public foray into state legislative business, is urging Republicans to reconsider their proposal to award the state's electoral votes proportionally instead of on a winner-take-all basis. In a letter Monday to state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), Casey said the change would diminish Pennsylvania's influence in presidential elections relative to other big states that would continue to give all their electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, INQUIRER POLITICS WRITER
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, making a rare public foray into state legislative business, is urging Republicans to reconsider their proposal to award the state's electoral votes proportionally instead of on a winner-take-all basis. In a letter Monday to state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), Casey said that the change would "diminish" Pennsylvania's influence in presidential elections relative to other big states that would continue to give all their electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes.
NEWS
March 8, 2013
Don't swap trees for solar farm I was slack-jawed after reading that the Diocese of Camden plans to cut acres of woods in order to install solar panels behind St. Mary's Catholic Home in Cherry Hill ("Diocese looks to solar panels," Feb. 27). One mature, leafy tree produces enough oxygen in one season for 10 people to breathe for a year; it absorbs chemicals and pollutants from the soil and air, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the "net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. " The diocese chiefly is concerned with finding a cheaper source of electricity.
NEWS
March 7, 2013
The latest attempt to manipulate Pennsylvania's presidential vote provided another opportunity for Democrats to howl about cheating Republicans. And they had a point. But if state legislators from both parties want to do something more useful - and, yes, that's a big if - they should back a politically neutral proposal to end all such attempts to rig presidential elections. State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Chester) recently introduced a long-threatened bill to award most of Pennsylvania's presidential electors in proportion to the state's popular vote.
NEWS
February 9, 2013 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
While a Republican initiative to rejigger the Electoral College for future presidential elections is sputtering across the country, it remains alive in Pennsylvania - albeit not on the legislative fast track. Yet state Democrats are wasting no time attacking their opponents, pointing out that the keynote speaker at Friday's GOP state committee meeting in Harrisburg, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, rejected it as a "bad idea" two weeks ago. "It's an obscene effort to rig presidential elections so that Republicans would never lose," said State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery)
NEWS
February 3, 2013 | By Michael Smerconish
Sometimes 90 percent just isn't good enough. Ask Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in the U.S. Senate, who, despite a lifetime approval rating of 90 percent from the American Conservative Union, is out of step with some GOP Kentuckians. A recent Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll of 609 registered voters found twice as many people promising to vote against McConnell as those committed to supporting him (34 percent of Republicans said they'd support him against all competitors)
NEWS
December 27, 2012
By Robert M. Alexander Every four years, citizens are treated to a civics lesson related to one of the most intensely debated institutions in American politics, the Electoral College. Because it determines electoral strategies and contributes to outcomes, it's no surprise that more than 700 proposals to amend or abolish it have been made in Congress. In the wake of last month's election, a spate of such proposals have surfaced at the state level. After the 2000 election, many Democrats were outraged that the electoral vote trumped the popular vote.
NEWS
December 11, 2012
By Rob Richie and Devin McCarthy State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi piqued our interest last week when he told Bloomberg that his new electoral reform proposal "is not party-specific or partisan in any way, but just an attempt to have the popular vote reflected. " Pennsylvanians' votes certainly weren't reflected after a majority of them chose Democratic House candidates last month. In a remarkable distortion of voter preference, Republicans won 13 of the state's 18 House seats.
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