Friday, December 9, 2016

Faithless electors and "representation"

Sorry, but "faithless electors" won't stop Donald Trump from assuming the Presidency.  A "faithless elector" is a member of the electoral college who refuses to vote how his or her state's voters instructed.  So far, one of Trump's electors has insisted that he won't vote for Trump.  Remember when the big deal was that pair of Bernie-worshipping idiots from Washington (state) who said they would never vote for Clinton in the EC?  Ah, good times, good times...

Anywho, a Trump elector won't vote for Trump.  Will there be any more?  Maybe, but not enough to stop him.  Should  there be?  Imagine the riots.  But, let's have some good, old-fashioned political science.

We distinguish between two concepts of representatives:  trustee representatives and delegate representatives.  Delegate representatives are supposed to carry out the wishes of the constituents mechanically, whatever those wishes are, and regardless of what the representative thinks of those wishes.  So, you want to declare war on Uruguay?  Fine.  Who am I to say "no?"

A trustee representative is supposed to do what he thinks is in the best interests of the constituents, regardless of what the constituents want.  No, we are not going to war with Uruguay, you fucking morons, because there is no reason to do so.  Also, I don't care if you people like federal highways.  We're privatizing the whole shebang, so that everything will be a toll road!  See what I did there?

You can see the philosophical divide.  And what does this have to do with faithless electors?  Everything.  Electors are selected by state.  If your state votes for Donald Trump, what should you do if you think he is an idiot child who shouldn't have control of nuclear weapons?

If you accept the trustee model of representation, you become a faithless elector, but if you accept a delegate model, you stick with Donny-boy.

And therein lies a real problem with the electoral college (as opposed to the bullshit).  Instead of just aggregating votes, we insert middlemen.  What purpose do the people in the electoral college serve?  Unless we accept the premise that they should, in some circumstances, act as trustees, they just create the potential for riots when they do so without our consent.  Otherwise, they serve no purpose.  Which, they basically don't.

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