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Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956 - File 028. 1956-08. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1469/show/1427.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum. (1956-08). Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956 - File 028. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1469/show/1427

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum, Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956 - File 028, 1956-08, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1469/show/1427.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date August 1956
Language eng
Subject
  • Anti-communist movements
  • Conservatism
  • Politics and government
  • Hunt, H. L.
Place
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • journals (periodicals)
Type
  • Text
Identifier AP2.F146 v. 5 1956; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States: This item is in the public domain in the United States and may be used freely in the United States. The item may not be in the public domain under the copyright laws of other countries.
Item Description
Title File 028
Transcript on 1 fr the proposal is that a district-unit vote would still disfranchise many voters. Some maintain that only a direct popular vote would enable every vote to have an equal count. The question of gerrymandering was again discussed, some senators pointing out that state legislatures would be unreasonably tempted to rearrange their districts in order to include just the votes they desire those districts to contain. Mr. Daniel replied by saying, "I understand the Senator from Illinois [Paul H. Douglas, Chicago] is worried about some states which might gerrymander their districts, and may not set up their congressional districts as they should. In some states which adopt as an alternative the Mundt-Coudert plan it might give the Senator some concern. "But Section 4 of Article I of the Constitution provides as follows: The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall he prescribed in each state hy the legislature thereof; hut the Congress may at any time hy law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators. "So, it would seem to me that if any of the states misuse this power in electing electors by congressional districts, that is, by gerrymandering their congressional districts, Congress would have the right to do something about it."'"' Senator Douglas spoke at length, producing many tables and charts, illustrating his belief that big cities are actually underrepresented in the House of Representatives and state legislatures. Therefore, not only would the large cities and districts be unable to enact such legislation to correct gerrymandering, but the entire compromise would take away the only- slight advantage the big states and big cities have in the election of a President ancl Vice President. The objection to the 40 per cent plurality vote in the Daniel-Mundt amendment was met first by a change back to provision for a majority electoral vote in the compromise plan. But information made available to the Senate indicated that if a majority vote were necessary, eight and possibly nine of the last nineteen elections would have been decided in Congress. Knowing that a congressional decision would be so easily possible, third parties would be more powerful, ancl would hold the balance of power in many elections. Later a modification offered by Sen- retstonal Record. March 20, 1956, p. 4576. Page 26 -!— ator Olin D. Johnston of South Carolina was accepted by the sponsors of the compromise to the effect that a 45 per cent vote would be necessary for election, and this provision is included in the present form of the Daniel- Mundt amendment. Another major objection to the compromise is that under the dual system the combinations which are possible are almost limitless — in fact, two raised to the forty-eighth power, or over 281 trillion! Senator Douglas demonstrated various outcomes of the last election if certain combinations of the two systems had been used. Thus, in almost any election, except a huge popular landslide;, with the same number of votes in exactly the same states, districts, counties, wards, ancl precincts, a range of results stretching from a Republican landslide, to stalemate, to a Democratic landslide could happen, depending on which alternative the individual states selected.16 Perhaps the most vital objection to S. J. Res. 31, in its compromise form, is that, although some of the main evils of the present system are solved by it, several other problems would arise, and several factors would remain unknown. In the opinion of Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, "The world situation does not permit us to take the risk of experimenting with the constitutional system that is fundamental to our strength and leadership, particularly without full knowledge of the effects of such changes." He reiterated the best points of the present system, including the fact it is a federal, two-party system; one which has, except in one actually valid instance — discounting outright corruption — elected a President by a plurality of the popular vote; and one which gives both large states and small states certain advantages ancl disadvantages that offset each other. "Why should we in Congress be in such a hurry to adopt a drastic constitutional amendment which most of the voters do not know we are considering, and which they have certainly not demanded?"17 Along with this statement was presented the idea that if neither of the separate proposals was good enough to carry a two-thirds vote of the Senate, then a combination of the two was still not good enough to gain the confidence of the Senate. As Senator Kennedy put it, "In short, tbe Congress of the United States is to say to the ressional Record. March 2fi. 1956, p. 4976. - ttional Record, March 20, 1956, pp. 4577-8. states, "We cannot agree on any single system for electoral reform, and in fact we do not approve of either one of them; therefore, we are giving you your choice.' "18 The Humphrey Amendments From time to time over a period of years Senator Humphrey has sponsored an amendment for electoral reform incorporating the direct vote method of election. Before the final debates on the Daniel-Mundt corn- promise, Senator Humphrey again placed before the Senate this amendment, which he intends to propose at a later date. He claims it is the most democratic procedure possible. Sine* this amendment was not on the calendar of unfinished business, it has no' been debated, but will be discussed when it is formally proposed. The main points of this direct election method include: (1) Abolition of the electoral college. (2) Provision of a direct vote of the people for President and Vice President in a general election held in each state. (3) A plurality of at least 40 p?r cent would be necessary for election' (4) If no candidate for President receives 40 per cent of the popul*J vote, or if two candidates have 40 per cent or more but tie, the selection would be made by the House of ReP' resentatives. (5) In a similar case involving tn* Vice President, the Senate would make the selection. Immediately after placing this pi** before the Senate, Senator Humphrey offered another amendment involving the direct vote, cosponsored by Sen*' tors Lehman, James E. Murray ° Montana, and Richard L. Neubergef of Oregon. Provisions for this second Hun1' phrey amendment would: (1) Eliminate the electoral colli"-1' and the electors as such. (2) Retain the numerical stieii'-1'' of both houses of Congress, 53b ** the numerical basis for determin'"'" the election of Presidents and ^l Presidents. (3) Assign two electoral votes ', the candidate winning the plurality popular votes in each state. (4) Divide the remaining block '' 435 votes according to the propoi't'1" ol popular votes received by each c*" didate on a nationwide basis. Facts Forum News, August, 1®
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