Monday, April 18, 2005


The Electoral College helps prevent a candidate from pandering to one region, or running up their votes in certain states. In the Electoral College system, once you win a majority of the votes in a state there is no need to get more. In a direct election, the more votes in a state the better. Here's an example why this can be a bad thing. Massachusetts is very Democratic. The Democrats will almost always easily win 50% of the vote. In the Electoral College system, the Democratic candidate visits a few times to make sure he'll win and then moves on to other states. In a direct election, the Democratic candidate would spend a lot more time in Massachusetts trying to push his vote total to 70-80%. In a close election, why visit a state where the polls say it's 50-50%, spend a bunch of money and time, and maybe get 1-5% more votes when you can go to a safe state that says you're leading 60-40%, spend less money and effort, and maybe get 5-10% more votes. In direct election, candidates would spend more time in states they're easily going to win in order to run up their vote total. With the Electoral College, candidates have to actually fight the close states.

Homespun Symposium

The first of our weekly Homespun Symposium questions is as follows:
Is it time for the U.S. to end the Electoral College? If so, in favor of what alternative system? If not, why is it still relevant and beneficial to the nation?
This weeks question is from Tom, of Mud and Phud, and next weeks guest query will be from David A., of In Search of Utopia. Post your response on your blog, email me at marvin at marvinhutchens dot com, and I’ll link back to your response here. We’ll continue to add links until Wednesday evening.
Homespun Symposium Responses
ConsiderettesRedhunterMud and PhudBunker MulliganMark Rauterkus and Running MatesThe Commons at Paulie WorldSignaleerChris BergHopeful Cynic

Sunday, April 17, 2005

James Naughtie

James Naughtie, normally known as Jim, (born 1952 in Milltown of Rothiemay) is a BBC journalist and radio news presenter, especially of Radio 4's Today programme.
Educated at Aberdeen University and then the Syracuse University in New York, he began his journalism career in 1975 at the Aberdeen Press & Journal, moving to The Scotsman's London offices in 1977. The next year he moved to the paper's Westminster staff, and became its Chief Political Correspondent. He then, in 1981, worked for The Washington Post as the Laurence Sterne Fellow on its national staff. Naughtie joined The Guardian in 1984, and became Chief Political Correspondent there in 1985.
In 1986, he moved into radio journalism, presenting The Week In Westminster, and, in 1988, joining The World At One. He has also made several radio documentaries and series, and written two books, Playing the Palace: A Westminster Collection and The Rivals - The Intimate Story of a Political Marriage.
He has been a presenter of the televised Proms since 1992, and has also presented opera programmes such as Radio 3's Opera News.
Voted Radio Personality of the Year in 1991 as part of the Sony Radio Awards and Voice of the Listener and Viewer Award in 2001, Naughtie is married with three children.
On 31 December 2004, he appeared on a Radio 4 Hamish and Dougal Hogmanay special. He played Mrs. Naughtie's son.