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November 07, 2012

And When It's Over


Chances are many of us were glued to our televisions into the wee hours as one of the closest presidential races ever came to a close.

It's possible, like the Bush/Gore race, we still don't know who won.

There has been much criticism of the Electoral College, and the role it plays in the election. This is not new, but it has intensified because of the way states are aligned politically.

The truth is, the people don't elect the president, Electoral College votes do. Since most states were solidly aligned with one candidate or the other, the battle was waged in the 10 or so "Battleground States" which deprived most people in this country from seeing either candidate up close and personal.

There was a day not too long ago when candidates strived to visit every state, a symbolic gesture indicating all of us were involved in the election process. There seems to be something wrong with a system that has both candidates spending all their time – and money –in a handful of states.

Speaking of money, the advent of the Super Pac -- fueled by an unfortunate Supreme Court decision – has put this country's fate in the hands of uber-wealthy individuals and corporations, many of whom undoubtedly place their own self-interest over the interests of the people.

Make no mistake about it – the money is flooding into both camps, despite the Democratic Party rhetoric to the contrary. What we need is for all candidates to agree on a predetermined spending limit and adhere to it – there's a fat chance that will happen.

As for the Electoral College, there have been frequent calls for reform over the years. It is archaic and unnecessary, and it's time to let the people decide.

Financial reform is obviously needed; perhaps donations should be pooled, and the money distributed amongst all the candidates equally. That would certainly restore sanity to the process, because let's face it --the big donors who put up the big cash expect something in return, and they get it. Unfortunately that's how the game is played.

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