Wednesday, August 25, 2004

On the Electoral College

There's a great (very informal) debate going on at All Day Permanent Red on the Electoral College. I'm very much pro-EC; I think the EC is one of the niftiest ideas since the invention of the vote. There are (of course) things that can be said against it as well as for it, since it's an imperfect institution. I think the argument may ultimately come down to the question of whether Federalism or one-person-one-vote in Presidential elections is more important for the common good (whenever I use the term 'common good', by the way, I mean it in the medieval sense: not a separate collective good but the good each individual has in virtue of being a rational and therefore social/communal creature). A tricky sort of question, because one can always ask, On what basis would one decide the issue? And that's rather hard to say. I am very much Federalist-inclined, in part because I am very suspicious of Congress; in part (probably) because, being Texan, I have an exalted view of the importance of States; and in part because I'm not ready to throw out an important traditional connection with our Founding Fathers on a matter of abstract principle, unless there are clear abuses. But I would be inclined to argue the EC is the Constitutional institution with the least likelihood for abuse.

Of course, all arguments on Constitutional matters quickly get into very deep waters very quickly, so, as I said, it's a tricky sort of question. Anyway, go and see.

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