Having just extricated themselves from the condition of subservience, our founding fathers were understandably obsessed with making sure that their new government didn't exchange a tyrant for a tyrant or for a group of tyrants. Their obsession led directly to our system of checks and balances where no single branch of government holds all of the power of government and each branch holds some power over the other two.
Your high school civics class might have left you believing that governmental checks and balances ended with the design of the big three branches, when in fact they are found everywhere. What the framers of the Constitution were most concerned with was guaranteeing individual liberty.
Congress itself was formed deliberately to balance expedience with deliberation - the reactive House of Representatives with its short terms and relatively high turnover balanced against the world's most exclusive debate club, the U.S. Senate. The point was to slow down the mob and give potentially misplaced passions time for reason to creep in.
[Sidebar]By now you're probably wondering... what's all of this really about? There's been a movement lurking through legislatures across the land. It's a movement that started way back in 2000 when certain folks from a certain side of the political spectrum felt that the will of the mob had been thwarted by the rule of law. Their main objective is to destroy the only institution that guarantees that states like New Mexico and her residents have a role in Presidential elections - the Electoral College.
The TRILLION DOLLAR spending, uh... "stimulus" package is a perfect example of the important role the Senate plays in protecting the country from mob rule. The House with nary a second thought stampeded an $800 BILLION spending package right down the taxpayer's throat. When it got to the Senate, the implications of spending for ACORN, condoms, and converter boxes to name just a few, caught up with the bill itself. The public's opinion of the so-called "stimulus" abruptly changed and the Senate is taking the time to actually read it.
Their first sally against the Electoral College was to agitate for the direct destruction of the institution itself. The problem is the Electoral College was created by the Constitution so only a Constitutional Amendment can remove it. However, states themselves determine how electors are chosen making it possible for a group of states to circumvent the Electoral College itself.
The scheme is to get enough states to sign a binding agreement to enable the signatories to control the Electoral College. When the agreement controls 270 or more electoral votes the signatories are bound to choose their electors not on the basis of who won the state vote, but on the basis of who won the popular vote in the signatory states. That means a state where one candidate has won the popular vote could give its electors to the opposing candidate.
Not surprisingly, the New Mexico version of the scheme was introduced by far left darling Representative Mimi Stewart. The folks over at democracyfornewmexico.com report that Stewart's scheme HB383 passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Thursday.
“New Mexico hopes to join a growing number of states including Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, and New Jersey to ensure that every vote is equal,” said Stewart. “We deserve a fair system that guarantees one person, one vote.”First of all, if Stewart were concerned about 1 person, 1 vote, she'd be concerned about the shady activities of groups like ACORN registering the Dallas Cowboys in Nevada. Second, take note of the states in Stewart's list. Except for Hawaii, all of them have massive populations compared to our fair state and all of them are safely held by Democrats.
You don't think that the fact that Stewart's a D has anything to do with her little scheme? It couldn't be that effectively destroying the Electoral College would allow highly populated, heavily blue (Democrat) states to choose the President for years? Naw...
The truth is that the Electoral College creates a modicum of balance just like having two U.S. Senators from every state balances the more populous states who dominate the House. In our nation's history there have only been 3 incidents where the winner of the Electoral College count failed to win a plurality of the popular vote (1876, 1888, 2000).
Normally, we'd believe that Stewart's scheme is a solution in search of a problem. But in this case it's something more nefarious - an attempt to irrevocably tip the Presidency to the left cynically hidden under the banner of voter rights.
If implemented, Stewart's scheme would effectively strip the voting rights away from every state with less than 10 or 15 Electoral College delegates. Folks that's a road to tyranny of the masses. A road to mob rule.