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You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: samintx
Date: July 15, 2021 03:40PM
Why did the founders surrender our national election to the House under certain circumstances?
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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: AllGold
Date: July 15, 2021 03:44PM
Good question. I wish I had a good answer but I don't.



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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: July 15, 2021 04:10PM
You have to remember that the makeup of the House and Senate were different then . Senators were not elected by citizens, they were appointed by the states. Members of the house were elected, so they were seen as being closer to the people.

Also remember that it could take weeks for results to come in. So if there was a problem, it would take weeks to send out the word and then weeks to get an answer back from the states. Having the house settle the dispute just made sense.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: samintx
Date: July 15, 2021 04:30PM
Quote
Ombligo
You have to remember that the makeup of the House and Senate were different then . Senators were not elected by citizens, they were appointed by the states. Members of the house were elected, so they were seen as being closer to the people.

Also remember that it could take weeks for results to come in. So if there was a problem, it would take weeks to send out the word and then weeks to get an answer back from the states. Having the house settle the dispute just made sense.

I have already thought of the House=People but they were so wise and made this booboo.
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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: Ted King
Date: July 15, 2021 04:47PM
.



e pluribus unum



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/15/2021 04:48PM by Ted King.
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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: July 15, 2021 09:44PM
There were a series of decisions and innovations. The first innovation was to have something called a president of the United States. You didn't see that in England or France or other European countries. There was some talk of having a group of people as the chief executive. They settled on the president. It was also obvious that they expected George Washington to be the president.

Then there was the issue of how to select the president. As in so many other things, there had been compromises such as giving every state two senators, but they weren't going to have the senate choose the president or even the states voting as states. The compromise was to take a little of the House numbers and a little of the senate numbers and give each state the sum of the two. That settled the numerical question and provides us much room to complain about the Electoral College.

Then, being careful and experienced, they considered the likely result -- that somebody would win outright -- and they put a condition that it had to be a true majority. They kind of made a mistake in that pre-partisan era by determining that the second highest number of electoral votes would be Vice President, and that's how they ran things briefly, until they amended the constitution to allow for separate votes for president and Vice President.

So then they were faced with the following question -- what if nobody wins a majority of the electoral votes? You can read the original wording in the Constitution, but they felt that they had to deal with an ultimately deadlocked electoral college vote with nobody getting a majority. For example, if Ross Perot had won a bunch of electoral votes and neither major party candidate got a clear majority, what do you do then?

So there is a tie-breaker mechanism written into the Constitution, concocted with the understanding that there would be no clear and obvious and wonderful solution in an indecisive election, but they needed to try something. The actual result is something of a camel (an animal that looks like it was designed by a committee). Yes, the election for president would be thrown into the house, but it would not be a simple majority. No, the fact that the Democrats hold the current majority would not win it for Biden, because the Constitution throws in another compromise in which each state gets one vote in that House election of the president. California, with more than 40 Democrats, would get one vote, and North Dakota would get one vote. The result would have been a Trump victory in the House because the Republicans have more state delegation majorities.

The House part is a bit of a kluge. My guess is that by the time they got to the instructions for an election in the House, they were either sick of the whole thing or feeling the freedom to be inventive.

There are instructions for how nominees are taken up and if nobody wins a majority on the first round, they take the top five vote getters and try again, and so forth.

You can probably imagine some scenario in which the House couldn't get to a majority vote, and this is the sort of imagined scenario that pundits love to call a "Constitutional crisis." In practice, such crises usually get resolved one way or the other. For example, how should the congress have dealt with the amendments 13, 14, and 15 in a post civil war situation where southern delegations were not represented? There are still a few people who question those results.
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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: AllGold
Date: July 16, 2021 02:42PM
Good explanation, Bob.



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Re: You smart Constitution brains answer me this one.....
Posted by: Ted King
Date: July 16, 2021 03:12PM
Quote
AllGold
Good explanation, Bob.

agree smiley



e pluribus unum
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