And “W” takes the Series!
By: Nancy Salvato
It is the bottom of the ninth inning in game seven of the World Series. The score: 3-3, with two strikes, and runners positioned on 1st and 3rd. The stadium is quiet. And here we go. The windup and the pitch; it’s a fast ball. He swings, walloping that ball right over the 1st base line. Runners advance and. he scores! A base hit drives home the winning run! Fans are wild! Players run onto the field, hugging and slapping each other on the back! What a match! Fans sure got their money’s worth. Let’s give a quick recap about how the games lined up while our cameramen move onto the field.
Can anyone imagine questioning who won this series on the basis of how many runs were scored by each team during the seven games that were played? Of course, not! There would be no arguing, at least not about that. In the World Series, you don’t count up all the runs. Teams must win over and over again. Then, that being the case, why are there people who dispute that the 2000 election was stolen from Al Gore on the basis of the popular vote? George Bush won each state. And everyone knows that our national elections are not decided on the popular vote, they are decided on the basis of each win counted among the 50 states
Still, some would argue that this method of electing our president should be changed. (See: “Calif. bill would change electoral college“)
I would be the first to counter, never. And there are plenty of reasons that I should win this debate.
First, the Electoral College corrects for defects. It balances out errors and faults in the election process. Mathematicians will explain that votes cannot be counted accurately within a half of a million. In a close election, having the electoral college in place corrects for deficiencies. Indeed, multiple wins in multiple venues produces a stronger candidate. Therefore, our current system compensates for inaccuracies. Any person voted in as chief executive is a product of multiple constituents; 50 elections, as opposed to one.
Next, although we have a national citizenship, we don’t have a national people. Those serving in the national government are a reflection of 50 state peoples; multiple peoples residing in different states, each state represented in the federal system of government. Remember, each state ratified the constitution. There have never been a national people making national decisions. Weak states have a place under the electoral system that wouldn’t exist otherwise. By casting all a state’s votes one way, gives every state the importance it was meant to have.
Finally, any sort of national election would distort the power of the executive branch; giving it a power that no other branch could counterbalance. We wouldn’t have a president; we would end up with a dictator because a national plebiscite puts the president above every other branch. This is why electors in the college cast their votes to reflect the majority in their state. If there were proportional votes cast, again, there would be a national plebiscite.
People have been screaming about our antiquated election process since before our 43rd president took office. How would the citizens of New York feel if the Yankees were stripped of their World Series trophy on the basis of how many runs were scored throughout the series rather than how many games were won? How about Chicago? I am willing to wager that a lot of people would be up in arms. In all sporting events, there are winners and losers; even if it is by a hair. That’s why the saying goes, there’s first place and there’s not first place.
Copyright Â© Nancy Salvato 2006
Nancy Salvato is the President of The Basics Project, (www.Basicsproject.org) a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (C) (3) research and educational project whose mission is to promote the education of the American public on the basic elements of relevant political, legal and social issues important to our country. She is also a Staff Writer, for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets, where she contributes on matters of education policy.