While you were away…

Election ’08

The presidential primary season got underway with ballots cast in Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan. The operative word in many campaigns was “change,” but the media’s tendency to cover the poll results rather than platforms was just the same.

Pundits on right and left insisted on “calling” the results, instead of allowing voters to decide them. It is not the job of news organizations to make projections on possible news, their job is to cover actual news.

The Superbowl is in less than two weeks. Without a doubt, pundits will be expected to offer their predictions as to who will take home the Vince Lombardi trophy. In sports, predictions are appropriate – the success of professional sports depends entirely on hype. Predictions are all part of making a simple game seem like the biggest event in the country. The difference is, the presidential election actually is the biggest event in the country. The coverage of any event can change its outcome. The only people who should be responsible for the outcome of the election are the voters.

New Jersey’s Electoral College may go extinct

Gov. Jon S. Corzine made New Jersey the second state heading toward eliminating the Electoral College in favor of allowing the presidential election to be decided by the popular vote. Illinois has also entered the compact.

This type of measure could be the spark that helps right America’s rapidly derailing election system. In a country where few vote, fewer care and ultimately the election is decided by an obscure and seemingly omniscient “college,” putting the power in the people’s hands could be a needed change. Many voters aren’t even sure who or what the Electoral College is and how their vote translates to electoral votes.

Executions on the way out also

Another outdated idea that has been tossed aside by the state is executions. The Legislature approved the bill, which Gov. Corzine supported.

The measure marks New Jersey’s second effort during the break to throw out stale ideas. Along with the Electoral College, the death penalty is an obstacle to truth. Where the Electoral College silences by overriding the popular vote, the death penalty permanently silences people who may have a legitimate claim to innocence, as is shown in cases where people on death row are exonerated, sometimes after it is too late.