The League Of Ordinary Electors
In a post, and then in a comment thread about the Electoral College, Ryan Noonan develops the idea that the original intent of the Electoral College was for informed, educated people of diverse backgrounds, who hail from around the country, and who are not presently holders of governmental office.
Such people, the idea goes, should gather and hand-pick the President, divorced from partisan loyalties and with an eye towards the generalized public good. But where do we find such people? Tongue in cheek, Mike Schilling responded: Bloggers! And look at what we’ve got, right here at our disposal.
So here’s the rules:
- Anyone (including non-U.S. citizen bloggers or commenters) may self-select to serve as an Elector in our Electoral College, which will occur in the comments thread to this post. If you’re not a citizen of the U.S., please try to consider the U.S.’s best interests when assuming this role.
- Since the original intention of the Framers was that the House ultimately choose the President, we need only come up with a slate of up to five potential choices. Which is good, since that means we don’t need to all agree on a single person. But we do need to argue and deliberate to form consensus around only a few potential people.
- We need not limit ourselves to the current partisan nominees. Indeed I suspect that there is already a high degree of consensus that the present choices must somehow be sub-optimal. We can look beyond the sphere of current political personalities and governmental officeholders although they are not excluded from consideration. I think the discussion will be more interesting if we do at least look at people beyond that sphere.
- The Twelfth Amendment requires that we offer a potential President and potential Vice-President as a slate.
- However, the President and Vice-President must be residents of different states, natural-born United States citizens, over the age of 35, and not have served more than one term as President previously. The incumbents could be, but do not necessarily need to be, offered for consideration because they’ve served only one term so far.
- There is no bar to suggesting yourself, technically, but it’s a little bit rude, at least by late eighteenth-century social standards.
- If you’re going to suggest “My mom,” or more sarcastically “Burt Likko’s mom,” or someone else who is not likely to be well-known by the rest, at least explain why you think that person would be a good choice.
- Bear in mind that we’re picking a President to govern from 2013 through 2016, inheriting the government we have with real-life current events.
- If we can reach a majority, that’s great because we will simply announce who our preference would be. Otherwise, we can pick up to five people for President and five different people for Vice-President.
So — nominations, please?