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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 17, 2008 / 14 Tamuz 5768

The brilliance of the Electoral College

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Over the last two centuries, constitutional amendments to abolish or alter the Electoral College have been proposed in Congress more than 700 times. None has ever come close to being adopted - an indication, perhaps, of the existing system's enduring value. The most recent such proposal, introduced by US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, would eliminate the Electoral College in favor of direct popular election of the president. "If the principle of one-person-one-vote is to mean anything," Nelson declares, "the candidate who wins a majority of the votes should win the presidency."


Actually, in no more than four of the nation's 54 presidential elections since 1789 has the electoral vote winner not been the candidate who won the popular vote - and in each case, the margin separating the candidates has been minuscule (In 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote by about 500,000 votes -- just one-half of 1 percent of the more than 105 million votes cast.). If one-person-one-vote democracy is truly Nelson's highest civic value - he told the St. Petersburg Times that it is "the essential, fundamental principle" - his highest priority should be to abolish not the Electoral College, but the United States Senate.


After all, states are represented in the Electoral College roughly in proportion to their population: Each state has as many electors as it has members of Congress - from just three for the smallest states to 55 for California. But in the Senate, all states are equal, which means all voters are not. California, with 14.2 million registered voters, is entitled to the same number of senators as Wyoming, which has 265,000 voters. That makes the vote of a Wyoming resident 53 times as influential as the vote of a Californian. Shouldn't so flagrant a violation of the one-person-one-vote standard be intolerable?


Such concerns didn't trouble the framers of the Constitution, who did not believe that political contests should be decided by majority rule. They rejected "pure democracy," as James Madison explained in Federalist No. 10. They knew that with "nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual," blind majoritarianism can become as great a menace to liberty as any king or dictator. The term "tyranny of the majority" was coined for good reason.


That is why the framers went to such lengths to prevent popular majorities from too easily getting their way. They didn't concentrate unlimited power in any single institution, or in the hands of voters. They divided authority among the three branches of the federal government, and subdivided the legislative branch into two chambers. They reserved certain powers to the states. Time and again, the system they devised rejects simple majority rule. It takes only 51 senators (sometimes only 41) to block legislation that hundreds of lawmakers may support. The president can veto a bill passed by both houses of Congress - and it takes two-thirds of both the House and Senate to override his veto.


The Electoral College (like the Senate) was designed to preserve the role of the states in governing a nation whose name - the United State of America - reflects its fundamental federal nature. We are a nation of states, not of autonomous citizens, and those states have distinct identities and interests, which the framers were at pains to protect. Too many Americans today forget - or never learned - that the states created the central government; it wasn't the other way around. The federal principle is at least as important to American governance as the one-man-one-vote principle, and the Electoral College brilliantly marries them: Democratic elections take place within each state to determine that state's vote for president in the Electoral College.


To Senator Nelson's credit, he is trying to abolish the Electoral College properly: via constitutional amendment. Not so the backers of the so-called National Popular Vote compact, a scheme to evade the Constitution by persuading a bloc of states to pledge their electors to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote, regardless of the outcome of the vote in each state.


Neither effort is likely to succeed where 700 earlier efforts have failed. And a good thing too, for the Electoral College remains the best system for picking a chief executive suited to a nation like ours: a geographically large, ideologically diverse, socially complex federal republic. No political process is foolproof, but this one has survived 220 years and 54 peaceful presidential elections. "If the manner of it be not perfect," wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 68, "it is at least excellent."

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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