California undercuts electoral process
Last month I wrote about AR2948 (What Constitution?, also at California Conservative), a bill written by Sen. Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) in the California legislature that would undercut the Electoral process set forth in the constitution.
[AB2948] would ratify an interstate compact under which California's 55 Electoral College members would agree to support the winner of the national popular vote for President regardless of the outcome of the election in California" (San Francisco Examiner, 4/26/06)I did not expect the bill to pass, primarily because it so brazenly disregards the United states constitution, specifically Article I, Section 10 (h/t MikeZ), "No state shall ... enter into any agreement or compact with another state." Yet, despite the fact that the Bill presents an unconstitutional and unbalanced means of electing our President, on Tuesday the California Legislature still decided to approve it; the bill passed essentially along party lines, with Republicans opposing the bill.
What Umberg fails to understand (or chooses to ignore) is the very important role the electoral college plays in regards to balancing powers between states. Much the same way that the Federal Congress is composed of two Houses with very different numbers of members, the Electoral College plays a vital role ensuring that the interests and individuality of each state are not compromised. There was a distinct reason why the framers of our constitution did not call for a popular vote to determine the Presidency in the constitution
Umberg, the author, says that the basic premise is understandable even to children. However, it appears as though the importance of state's rights and balance of national and local interests, as set forth in the constitution, are not understandable to Democratic Senators. Hopefully Gov. Schwarzenegger will have the foresight to Veto this legislation.
Unfortunately, attempts to undermine our election system is not isolated to California. It has spread to the national level, with Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA), the two front-runners for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, proposing legislation that would give felons the right to vote. Despite contradicting the classical social contract,
Since rights come from agreeing to the contract, those who simply choose not to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as by committing crimes, risk losing some of their rights, and the rest of society can be expected to protect itself against the actions of such outlaws. To be a member of society is to accept responsibility for following its rules, along with the threat of punishment for violating them,this bill also contradicts current US election laws, which prohibit felons from voting. Kerry and Clinton see this as an opportunity for new voters, according to the Chron Watch:
"Whether they admit it or not, the Democrats need lawbreakers such as illegal aliens--who are being illegally registered as Democrats--and killers, rapists, and robbers in order to increase their base of far-left voters," says Mike Baker, political strategist and pollsterThe prevailing wisdom behind these legislative efforts is 'if we can't win on the issues, we'll change the rules.' Many are still bitter over Bush' victory in 2000, claiming that Bush 'stole the election' (despite being ratified by the left-leaning Supreme Court). More Democrats are in shock over the poor showing in 2004, showing the mentality of "we were right, it must be the voters that are wrong." Whatever is the impetus behind these maneuvers, they should be rejected.