The Future Electoral Map and Efforts to Maintain Democracy
Because of demographic shifts, the Electoral Map may soon favor Democrats, and yet the Senate will still disproportionally favor Republicans. As we have seen, this has resulted in failure to censure or impeach/remove a bad President, while stacking the Courts disproportionately. Here is an attempt in bringing our democracy into balance, favoring fairness/ethics and not party lines
The big news of the past four years is the disproportionate power of the Presidency (made clear by the acts of a really bad President), while the Legislative Branch has become weak. Indeed, the two strengths our Senate seems to have is 1) to enable this bad President (by not censuring or using impeachment/removal powers for despicable acts), and 2) to stack our courts along party lines (by gaming the Supreme Court nomination process). Meantime, the Electoral Map may well change along new demographic lines, as people are moving from old- tech rust-belt States to new-tech Southwestern States, which may result in an overwhelming future Electoral advantage for Democrats (344–194 by my estimates) and yet only a narrow advantage in the Senate (52–48 by the same estimate). The real problem in our Democracy is that the Senate does not accurately reflect the attitude of our Nation, and the 67 vote majority needed to censure or remove a bad President sets the bar too high, which allows any President to do as they please. Ultimately, it also invites foreign Nations or too-powerful corporations to meddle in our Elections, as they can game thin Electoral margins and disproportionate Senates. Getting rid of the Filibuster would allow decisions to be made by simple majority, 51 votes, and removing most of the minority party’s power. With this obstacle removed, censure or impeachment/removal would be more likely, thereby keeping the President on their toes. It would also be good to change the Senate so that small States get one Senator, and huge States get three, to bring the Senate into balance. While we’re at it, the Electoral College should be changed to reflect “Proportional Popular Vote” (PPV) with third party electoral allocation, to further keep dark forces from gaming swing states.
At first glance, you may think that these methods would create some kind of chaos in our system. You might wonder if power would swing wildly back and forth, with one Party creating legislation, and the other party un-creating the same legislation. But in fact, this is more or less how European Parliaments work, and it essentially ensures that good leaders last a longer, while bad leaders are soon gone (in British terms, Tony Blair lasted 10 years, Maggie Thatcher 11 years, Neville Chamberlain 3 yrs…Blair and Thatcher were from opposing parties but both considered “good” while Chamberlain was “bad” and removed by vote of no confidence). The reality is that in our system, a Ronald Reagan, or Barack Obama would finish their 8 years, Clinton 6 years, and Trump 3 years (actually censure after 2 for Mueller Report, Stormy Daniels, compulsive lying, and business conflicts of interests, then impeachment/removal at 3 years for Ukraine incident). Remember that Al Gore would have finished out Clinton’s term and Mike Pence Trump’s, so this would maintain Party continuity but keep Presidents in check. Reagan may have been “censured” for Iran-Contra and Obama for “Benghazi” (not saying they were right/wrong but the votes may have been there), and each would have apologized and maintained power. This, I believe, is the best way to make Presidents accountable. Oh yes, and the power to indict a sitting President and an electric shock every time they tell a huge lie wouldn’t hurt either (so that Trump’s ass would additionally end up looking like a flame-grilled Whopper after 2–3 years).
As for the Senate, the States would have their number of Senators adjusted according to their most recent population numbers, similar to the House, but with the smallest States holding one Senate vote, while the most populous States would hold a maximum of three. Thus, most States would continue to hold two votes, while Wyoming, Vermont, the Dakotas, Alaska, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Montana would lose a vote, and California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, and Georgia would gain a vote. Using the future Electoral Map, that would change a 52–48 Blue State majority to 56–44, and remove the gridlock our Nation has recently faced. Plus, this is only fair, as currently a small State can hold a large State hostage. For those worried that this gives any one party too much power, bear in mind that there is a history of these supermajorities getting voted out. The last two occurrences were the Democratic supermajority of 1977 (voted out in 1980) and in 1964 (voted out in 1968). Even when Republicans held all three branches (most recently in 2016) they were soon overturned (in 2018, Democrats took back the House). It is as though our citizenry starts to fear those with too much power, or that those with undo power start making mistakes). To cite some examples, courts stacked too far either way can create damage for years to come, on the Liberal side “softy” justice and “no growth”, draconian police state justice and “too much growth” on the Conservative side. To summarize, the overall effect of these measures would be to decrease gridlock, keep good Presidents and remove bad ones. The Legislative Branch might “grow a pair” again (instead of many being a sitting President’s lapdog or dog whistle), to a level more in keeping with the Founding Father’s wishes. There may be some “oscillation” (things like ACA being approved-disapproved-approved over a few terms) but I believe it would be “dampened oscillation” (more like each party tweaking ACA until it becomes a better product).
The Electoral College has been discussed as a candidate for change, mostly by Democrats who have seen two elections in which their party won the popular vote, and lost the electoral vote. This is indeed a problem, since it allows corrupt candidates (or foreign powers) a chance to “game” a swing-State, like Florida in 2000, Wisconsin/Michigan in 2016 (or Ohio in “House of Cards”). It would seem that if each State assigned Electors by popular vote proportions (called “Proportional Popular Vote” or PPV), this would solve the problem. This would also eliminate the daunting logistics of a Nationwide Popular Vote, (NPV, which would be chaotic if several candidates split the vote, or “gamed” to split the vote), if not present a true “Vox Populi”. There is a great website, https://www.270towin.com/alternative-electoral-college-allocation-methods/ which discusses the problems with even a PPV. It turns out that such a system, because of third party candidates and round off, still favors the number of States “won” (in the 2016 election, PPV would have changed the Clinton 232 — Trump 306 tally to Clinton 265 — Trump 267, but since third-party candidates would have won 6 electoral votes, the results would have lacked the necessary 270 to elect and the decision would have been thrown to the House of Representatives, which was Republican at that time). You begin to understand that PPV is also prone to third party “gaming” and House interference (this is what would have happened in 1992 when the presence of Ross Perot certainly would have thrown the election into the hands of the House, since Clinton only gained 43% of the vote, Bush 39%, and Perot 19%…there, the Democratic House certainly would have elected Clinton president anyway but that would’ve been more “happenstance” and not exactly the “will of the people”).
Ultimately, an NPV is the only system that would have handed Al Gore or Hillary Clinton the elections in 2000 and 2016 respectively, but 3rd party “straw men/women” (like this year’s Kanye West candidacy) could also contaminate an NPV. Thus, I propose my own unique “proportional popular vote with third party squashing” (PPVTPS) system where a State’s third-party votes are assigned proportionally to the two leading candidates, thereby creating better election security and certainty. Under this system, the six Gary Johnson and Jill Stein electoral votes would have been assigned 3 to Hillary and 3 to Trump, and Trump would have won anyway by the narrowest of margins, 270 to 268, but at least the Electoral College would have more accurately reflected the Nation’s popular vote. Such third party vote reapportionment could apply to NPV also, with half of roughly 7 million third party votes going to Hillary’s 66 million in 2016, allowing her to maintain her 3 million popular vote advantage and victory in the election.
If you don’t like my PPVTPS or NPVTPS ideas (or are getting tired of all these acronyms), we could settle on the PPV. The PPV, though not perfect, more accurately reflects NPV, does not require a Constitutional Amendment (like an NPV) and maintains State “checks and balances” against localized frauds (think of an PPV Electoral College as a “circuit breaker” that would address irregularities in an individual State, without shutting down the whole country).