New Bill to eliminate the Electoral College

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Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
I don’t think the definition of country is THAT nebulous. Primarily it is that you enjoy a monopoly on the legal use of force within your boundaries and an independent foreign policy. If some other authority can come in and legal override you, you aren’t a country. Similarly, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are not countries. Wales cannot decide to go to war with another country, for example. Northern Ireland clearly doesn’t enjoy a monopoly on force within its borders.

There’s no chance that any state would choose to secede if the electoral college were scrapped, Texas included. Texas tried seceding in the past over slavery, something far more consequential, and was mercilessly crushed.

I think it _is_ kind of nebulous (the wikipedia page for 'country' seems to me to concur).

And I'm not sure the average Scotsman would agree that Scotland was not a country.

But it's because its not a clearly-defined concept that such abstract definitions are not a convincing basis for justifying the electoral college. I still would argue it ultimately comes down to how strongly people feel about the status of their region or state or country or whatever.

Scotland is over-represented at Westminster, but one reason for not doing anything about that is the feeling of Scots that _as a country_ they would be overly-dominated by England if all representation was 'equalised'. They feel they are a country so they have, to a degree, be treated as one. And the strongest reason for paying attention to that is the fact that Scotland could conceivably quit the Union (and indeed came pretty close to doing so anyway).

I think in the end theoretical definitions are secondary to how people feel and what people are actually prepared to do. Denizens of US states don't, whatever they say, appear to feel and act as if their state is a country.