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'Brazen' ploy or more democratic?

September 09, 2007

Re "Brazen GOP operatives seek to rig presidential race," column, Sept. 3

It's fun to watch as politicians and political pundits talk out of both sides of their mouths, still bemoaning the fact that George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 despite losing the popular vote. Many people say we should eliminate the electoral college and settle the race democratically by the majority of the popular vote.

Fast forward to this article. The Republicans are proposing that California's electoral vote be divided according to congressional districts. Based on our recent redistricting, the proposal would almost ensure that 20 of California's electoral votes would go to the GOP. Whereas with the winner-take-all rules currently operative, the Democrats would get all 55.

So wouldn't the GOP proposal be more closely aligned to the popular vote here in California? Wouldn't California's vote result in a more democratically elected president?

Regardless of people's feelings about the electoral college, it is buried in the Constitution and is difficult to change without a federal amendment. But it is possible for each state to award its electoral votes according to congressional districts. Maine and Nebraska have already done that. Why not California?

Gerald Sozio

Los Angeles

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What is particularly galling about George Skelton's position is that he has argued the opposite position (favoring electoral college reform) in the past. However, in prior articles, Skelton has portrayed Republicans as intransigent reactionaries for resisting a more direct form of democracy.

In this column, even though the Republicans are pursuing what Skelton has advocated in the past, the Republicans are portrayed as attempting to steal the election.

I think the electoral college model provides a bad outcome for all Californians. We need to reform the process, even if that means Republicans in California get a modicum of political representation.

Tom Miller

Calabasas

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