Wednesday, September 09, 2020

O verdadeiro problema com o colégio eleitoral dos EUA

Não, não tem a ver com estados muito ou pouco povoados.

The Electoral College Will Destroy America, por Jesse Wegman (New York Times):

The main problem with the Electoral College today is not, as both its supporters and detractors believe, the disproportionate power it gives smaller states. Those states do get a boost from their two Senate-based electoral votes, but that benefit pales in comparison to the real culprit: statewide winner-take-all laws. Under these laws, which states adopted to gain political advantage in the nation’s early years, even though it was never raised by the framers — states award all their electors to the candidate with the most popular votes in their state. The effect is to erase all the voters in that state who didn’t vote for the top candidate. (...)

As Madison wrote in an 1823 letter, states using the winner-take-all rule “are a string of beads” and fail to reflect the true political diversity of their citizens. He disliked the practice so much he called for a constitutional amendment barring it.

It’s not only liberals who understand the problem with winner-take-all. In 1950, a Texas representative named Ed Gossett took to the floor of Congress to vent about the unfairness of a system that gave some voters more influence in the election than others, solely because of where they live. New York was at the time the nation’s largest and most important swing state, and the voters who decided which way it swung were racial and ethnic minorities in large urban areas.

“Now, please understand, I have no objection to the Negro in Harlem voting and to his vote being counted,” Gossett said, “but I do resent the fact that both parties will spend a hundred times as much money to get his vote and that his vote is worth a hundred times as much in the scale of national politics as is the vote of a white man in Texas.”
Já agora, convém lembrar que, nos anos 60, uma das críticas que se faziam ao colégio eleitoral era que, extamente devido ao winner-take-all, daria demasiado poder aos grandes estados; não é difícil perceber porquê: se ser o mais votado num estado, nem que seja por um voto, significa ganhar TODOS os votos desse estado, à partida os votos nos grandes estados tornam-se mais preciosos que nos pequenos (convencer meia-dúzia de eleitores na Florida pode ter muito mais impacto no colégio eleitoral do que convencer a mesma meia-dúzia no Maine); isso só não acontece na prática porque os grandes estados (Nova Iorque, Texas, Califórnia...) tendem a ser estados em que o vencedor ganha por margens esmagadoras (a exceção é capaz de ser mesmo a Florida).

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