I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he suggested that state legislators have mandatory drug test placed on them. If you have to do drug tests before you work at a grocery store, shouldn’t you have to at least have a drug test before you serve in the state legislature? Not that I totally agree with the idea, but I have been moved a little more in the direction of yes, they should.
Isn’t it bad enough that our legislators get paid to worry about what the state cookie should be? Or learn about who Halle Berry is from a rap song? Certainly other legislative bodies around the country tie up valuable time with unimportant debates. Though trivial these two things may be, they do not annoy me nearly as much as Senator Joe McPherson’s bill to weaken Louisiana’s say in who the President will be.
Currently each state decides who their electoral votes go to. You win the state of Louisiana, and the electoral votes are legally binding to how the states vote. However, under McPherson’s plan, should Louisiana vote for a candidate, and the opposing candidate win the majority of votes, then Louisiana will be on record as voting for that candidate. Now this is one that does not matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, but rather, do you live in Louisiana, or do you live in Texas, California, or New York? If you live in a more populated state, then this bill is great to you. If you live in Louisiana, why then would you want Presidential candidates to overlook your state in favor of more populated centers such as New York?
The Electoral College was put into place as a means of leveling the playing field for smaller states, and being that Louisiana isn’t the biggest state in the nation, Louisiana ought to think twice before they give up so much of their influence. Not that Louisiana gets a lot of attention from Presidential candidates, at least not like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do, but being a small state as they are, let’s look at how McPherson’s bill would affect them.
If you are a Presidential candidate today, you are very concerned about getting an early jump in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. You fine tune your campaign to the needs of the people in those states. Even after their respective primaries, you continue to work those states because you still need to win them in order to become win the election. If they switched over to McPherson’s plan, once the primary is over, they become forgotten and more populated centers become the key to winning the election. Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire’s votes would only matter to candidates prior to their primaries. After that, who cares what Iowans think, or what the people in New Hampshire and South Carolina think? New York City, Houston, Los Angelos, Miami, Chicago, they now become the keys to winning the Presidency.
Smaller states, once the primary has been won, would no longer matter and with Louisiana further down the list on primary states would be relegated to campaign ads cluttering up Monday Night Football. What farmers in Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Dakota think, will no longer matter. States with less dense population, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada won’t matter. Why? Because there’s not enough votes there to overcome cities.
More importantly, under our current system, should voter fraud occur the impact would be limited in scope. If New York City managed to turn out 95% while the rest of the nation has a 50% voter turn out, there would be reason to suspect that there is voter fraud in New York City. However, the impact would be limited to the electoral votes of New York.
On the flip side of that, without the electoral votes limiting the impact voter fraud would have, it’s easy to see that New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia would become voter fraud centers. You control those cities, you could potentially control the fate of the country. With Chicago notorious for their politics, do you really want to take a chance on that?
There’s a reason we have the Electoral College and it’s a system that has worked for quite some time. I’ll barely mention the long drawn out battle that this will have in the court system, whether it’s Constitutional or not. What should be clear is that this is not about Republicans or Democrats, because both parties will alter their campaign strategies for the new rules. What this is about is populated centers V. less populated states.
While the last three Presidents came out of the south, Bush I and Bush II (Texas) and Clinton (Arkansas), we could very well see the last of Southern Presidents. Presidential candidates will more likely be from those populated Centers such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Philadelphia. Speaking of Chicago, how is that Chicago President working out for the best interest of Louisiana?
Why McPherson wants Louisiana to cede our say in who our President will be is unclear to me. Perhaps my friend is right, perhaps we ought to require legislators to have drug tests. After all, this is not the brightest idea to come out the Louisiana Legislature. We should not leave the fate of our nation in the hand of other people in other state’s honesty, and with bills like this, maybe we should trust our state legislators even less.