“Tyranny of the Minority”

Inaugural Michelle Goldberg NYT column:

There are ways out.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact — a plan in which states agree to award all their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner — could circumvent the Electoral College if enough states enacted it.

Don Beyer, a Democratic representative from Virginia, has introduced the Fair Representation Act, which would change the way the House is elected, replacing single-member districts with larger districts represented by several people. They’d be chosen by a system of ranked voting that would allow third parties to compete without becoming spoilers, while giving political minorities a say in the process. The resulting delegations, Beyer told me, would be more likely to be proportional, creating space for Massachusetts Republicans as well as Oklahoma Democrats.

Enactment of either of these plans, which would transform the ways we choose our leaders, is remote. But absent reform, our system could eventually face a legitimacy crisis. Levinson, perhaps the most prominent among progressive critics of the Constitution, argues that the crisis is already here: “At some point we need to discuss the extent to which the entire constitutional system is full of these anti-majoritarian aspects.”


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