I did very little promotion this weekend, and yet sold a fair number of books. It seems that after the madness of the Us election, people are catching up on their reading. The election left many people angry, tired, or worried and a good book (or one of mine) is a great way to relieve stress or calm down before returning to the fray. Personally, I am looking forward to watching last night’s SNL; Dave Chappelle is the host, and he is pretty damn awesome.
Now, onto tonight’s topic. The Electoral College. Although all of the votes in the US election have yet to be counted it seems that Hillary Clinton has the most votes, while President Elect Donald Trump has won the electoral college. I don’t like Trump, but he is not at fault in this. The problem is that people have been exploiting the electoral college for years because it is the best path to victory. In a system where one person’s vote is supposed to count for as much as that of anyone else, the idea that two out of the last five elections have been won by a party that has not won the popular vote is problematic.
I often write about systems on this blog. Systems and institutions are often villains in my works: the ancient strictures in the covenant that force gifted children to choose between loss of power and long servitude or the many pitfalls of the arena; the old laws that bind the Dwarves of Khazak Khrim and their slaves into a cycle of servitude and hate; and the exploitation of The Grand Championships for political gain and personal profit.
In my view systems become corrupted when people learn to exploit them for gain. As resistance to this corruption grows, those who benefit from exploiting the system rarely give it up, often engaging in worse corruption or outright violence to keep their advantage. Democrats have every reason to be upset over their loss, especially when it seems that Republicans have been making it much harder for certain groups to vote in many states.
Now before their surprise victory, some Republicans, including the President Elect were railing against the Electoral college as undemocratic. We all know that if Hillary Clinton had lost the popular vote and won through the electoral college, it would be the source of just as much salt to them.
This actually has been a problem in other ways for a long time, just hidden from most people. With the way the college is apportioned, winner take all in most states, a Democrat in Alabama or a Republican in California in most elections feel like they do not have a say.
The problem now is that reform is unlikely because the Electoral College currently seems to favour Republicans. Why would they give up an advantage? The flip side of the problem is that many people are angry about it, and feel that their vote does not count which leads to protest. If this continues the pressure for reform will grow, but the resistance from those who are exploiting the system will grow as well. Reform is likely inevitable, but if the college keeps favouring one side, the road will be rough. I expect it would be the same if the situation were reversed and the Democrats were enjoying this advantage.
In the end, I think no matter where you stand on the election, you can see how exploitation of systems can create corruption. There are many more examples, but this one is most pressing.