Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Democrats spend too much time talking about Republicans

I’ve been beating this drum for a while now and this morning it came up again.

Republicans in the Michigan legislature want to change how we allocate electoral votes. HB 4310 and SB 0489 would require that two of Michigan’s electoral votes be allocated based on the statewide popular vote and that one electoral vote be chosen in each of Michigan’s congressional districts.

This would result in a disproportionate number of electoral votes being awarded to Republicans because of the gerrymandering of congressional districts. For example, in the 2012 presidential election Mitt Romney, the Republican, with only 44.7% of the popular vote would have gotten a windfall 62.5% of Michigan’s electors.

But look what we are doing; we are talking about the Republicans.

We all know that the current system of “winner takes all” is unfair. Is there a better plan being offered by the Democrats?

Yes! But Democrats aren’t talking about it; instead they are talking about how unfair the Republic plan is.

The present unfair system of apportioning presidential delegates to the Electoral College benefits Democrats. Barack Obama, the Democrat, won with just 54.2% of the popular vote but he was awarded 100% of Michigan’s electors.

A few Democrats in the Michigan Senate are supporting SB 0088, a bill that would establish an National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to elect president. This bill has passed in ten states and was previously introduced into the 2013-2014 legislatures in both houses. But, there was not and is not a peep about it in the news.

And it isn’t just the media that is ignoring this good piece of legislation; the Democrats are giving no attention to it either. I have been very active in the Democratic Party for five years now and even though I have heard hundreds of Democrats bring up the bad Republican bills, I have never heard anyone mention the good Democratic bills.

Democrats are so busy trying to look like non-partisan centrists that they won’t tell you that they have proposed amending Michigan’s constitution (see HJR AA) to replace our highly partisan system of apportioning congressional and legislative districts with a much better non-partisan system.

In Congress, House Resolution 2173, the Redistricting Reform Act of 2015, would require States to conduct Congressional redistricting through independent commissions. Shouldn't we be talking about this instead of just complaining about Republican gerrymandering?

Democrats complain all day about how Republicans are suppressing voter registration. Then they forget to tell you about a Democratic bill that would allow a 16 year old applying for a driving license to preregister to vote (see HB 4799 and SB 0058) or a bill that would allow voters registered just ten days ahead of an election to vote (see HB 4816).

And what about Senate Bill 1970, the Raising Enrollment with a Government Initiated System for Timely Electoral Registration (REGISTER) Act of 2015, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont? This bill would require states to automatically register people to vote, if they are qualified, or update their voter registration when they apply for or update their state identification card or driving license.

Democrats run from the good progressive bills that they periodically offer and instead focus on the bad conservative bills offered by the Republicans. 

Maybe someone could explain this to me so that I can understand it? 


  1. A survey of Michigan voters showed 73% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    Support was 73% among independents, 78% among Democrats, and 68% among Republicans.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes.

    The National Popular Vote bill would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority

    Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, supports the National Popular Vote plan as the fairest way to make sure every vote matters, and also as a way to help Conservative Republican candidates. This is not a partisan issue and the National Popular Vote plan would not help either party over the other.

    On December 11, 2008, The Michigan House of Representatives passed the National Popular Vote bill (HB 6610) by a 65-36 margin.
    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


    1. This really should be a non-partisan issue and in a way it is.

      First, in 2008 when this passed in the State House, Democrats were in the majority. This was "lame duck" legislation. Republican in the State Senate blocked its progress.

      But let's not imagine that Democrats have been pushing this bill hard! While voters support it across the party spectrum, the Democrats just can't bring themselves to let go of the unfair advantage they get with "winner takes all" and push for the most fair and honest electoral system.

      So, the Democrats (in Lansing, not the voters) are stuck with the tactic of crying foul as Republicans attempt to give themselves an electoral advantage.

      I think Democrats would serve themselves better by insisting on the a National Popular Vote. So would the Republicans. but neither of them can resist the carrot of electoral advantage.

      There is a difference between Democrats and Republicans, but sometimes it is difficult for me to persuade the voters.