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Senator HRUSKA. Among the States.
Mr. WARREN. You are the advocate of what is called a district plan; is this correct ?
Senator HRUSKA. Yes.
Mr. WARREN. Under a district plan, as I understand it, the unit rule is applied to the specific district, and the result is this: I will use an example from last year's hearings.
In Illinois, in 1964, take two different districts. On the one hand, President Johnson was ahead, the ex-President was ahead, and won by 140,000 votes. He won by 140,000.
On the other hand, Barry Goldwater won the other district by 84 votes. Yet both men got one electoral vote for each district.
The result is that the individuals in the one area amounting to probably 200,000 votes, are completely disenfranchised. They have no vote, and so this is what I am saying. I want to protect the minority, not just of the States but of all the people. So what it comes back to is, in this district those people whose voice was not heard would not be heard, and in the particular States it would simply go up from the districts to the States.
So what you would get in the ultimate result is a true picturing of what has happened, and there would be a protection of the minority vote.
Senator HRUSKA. In the district plan.
Mr. WARREN. No, very definitely not. I said in the district plan the minority vote was not protected.
Senator HRUSKA. But it would by popular vote?
Senator HRUSKA. Let me take that very example you give. Suppose we just multiply both of those figures by 1,000 and say that in California there are 140,000. Mr. WARREN. Yes.
Senator HRUSKA. Suppose—this will be all out of kilter with the actual population of California, but suppose—we multiply those two figures of 140,000 and 84,000 by 1,000, respectively.
Dr. ASHMAN. Eighty-four votes was the amount Goldwater won by.
Senator HRUSKA. Eighty-four. Well, all right.
Let us multiply then the figure of 140,000 and the figure of 84 by 1,000. You would then have the astounding total of 140 million on one side and 84,000 on the other. If California would come out with 140 million votes
Dr. ASHMAN. But that is people.
Senator HRUSKA. Or California and New York and Illinois and Ohio would come out with 140 million votes, and here we would have 84,000 votes in any one State, what incentive would there be for anyone living in a State of that size to come out and vote?
Mr. WARREN. Because, Senator, if you would take
Mr. WARREN. If you would take, say, 10 other States comprised of individuals, you could offset that.
Senator HRUSKA. All right. Multiply 84,000 by 10 and you have 840.000 by 140 million. How do you mean, offset it?
Mr. WARREN. You are using a hypothetical example. I do not know whether it is accurate. I do not think it is the same. But there is the possibility of there being an offsetting
Senator HRUSKA. It was a reality in your case, was it not, 140,000 against 84. It was a reality.
Dr. Ashman. But, Senator, they are not voting in the State, they are voting as American citizens for their President.
Senator IIRUSKA. Yes; I understand.
Dr. ASHMAN. And I cannot accept the fact that a Nebraskan or Californian-getting ready to vote, knowing his vote is as important as the other, is going to be worried about the fact there are more people living in another State when the fact that there are more people is not going to have any bearing on that election; it is only the total number of votes the candidate gets.
Senator HRUSKA. Except that if Mr. Harris and Mr. Gallup agree that the combination of big States are going to overwhelmingly for a Democrat, 90 percent, and the population in those States is so great that by taking 90 percent of five or six States, it would cancel probably 25 to 30 small States, and they would say, "We have no business in this league."
Senator Bays. Let me suggest that some polsters are pretty wide of the mark.
If I were concerned about only the Democratic Party then I ought to be battling as hard as I can to keep the present system, because under the present system the big States now have a great influence, and these States are traditionally Democratic. But that is not my concern here and so I am as opposed to the unit rule as is my colleague from Nebraska.
I want to say to my friend from Nebraska, however, who is a strong advocate of the district plan, that he is against disfranchising people at the State level, but appears to favor disfranchising them at the district level. Because if you elect an elector in each district then you are disfranchising the voters in the district who did not vote for that elector.
Senator HRUSKA. Under a district system in many situations you will find that the votes in metropolitan centers will be more or less isolated. Under the district plan that vote will stand and recognition will be given to those areas of the State which are pretty homogeneous, neither vote will go down the drain on either a State unit basis or a national unit basis. It gets a little more temperate result.
The small States want control because there are in California how many, 42 votes, but it will give a little more tempered result without absolutely controlling the situation. That is the spirit of the argument of those who have convinced me that the district plan is better.
Senator Bayh. It is indeed a spirited argument on both sides.
Senator BayH. Excuse me. I think the Senator is the one asking the questions.
Dr. ASHMAN. I know, but he said he had become a witness.
Dr. ASHMAN. I did not want to be presumptuous, but I did not understand the comment you made on Mr. Warren's statement on lowering the voting age. I believe you said action to be taken by another constitutional amendment would be even a further breakdown of the role of the State, as I understood it.
I do not know that I understand that, since inherent in the procedure for securing that constitutional amendment is a ratification by certainly more than a majority, two-thirds of the States, and doesn't that take it right back to the States, giving them the final word as to whether or not
Senator HRUSKA. Yes; it does.
As to the necessity for a constitutional amendment, certainly it will take three-fourths of the States.
Dr. ASHMAN. But my point was, we are engaged, as you know, in a campaign which not only concerns itself with the abolition of the electoral college or its reform, but with the lowering of the voting age, and we believe in that concept.
We have on occasion met those who oppose our efforts with respect to a constitutional amendment because they, although they very definitely feel and are for the ballot, they feel that the voting age should be done by the individual State along the concept you are discussing.
When I suggest to you from a political standpoint if a constitutional amendment must be ratified by the States, three-fourths of them, is this not indeed taking it back to them and giving them the same opportunity to express themselves one way or another, as if they brought it up through their own State legislatures?
Senator HRUSKA. It would be.
Dr. ASHMAN. Of course, you would have no opposition to our proposed amendment.
Senator HRUSKA. But what you are going to run up against, again is a practical matter of getting a two-thirds vote in the Senate and twothirds vote in the House, and then three-fourths of the legislatures.
If all of that energy and all of that wisdom were directed to the legislative system of the States then it could be achieved on an elastic, flexible basis which would be most pleasing to the 50 States that compose the Republic.
Dr. ASHMAN. Yes, sir.
Senator Bayu. I would like to deal with some questions which I think Mr. Warren is particularly
Mr. WARREN. Senator Bayh, if I can, I would like to make one further comment that I was attempting to make about the district idea.
I think it was interesting to note that while the basic objection of the Senator is that major States would be able to control the election, if you go through the district system, you find out that major districts would be able to control the individual States. So if you work on a theoretical plane, while the Senator does in the same manner that the Senator does not excuse, me, he objects to whole States being disenfranchised, he does not object to individual voters being disenfranchised, and while he objects to major States controlling smaller States, he does not object to major districts controlling minor districts.
It was just a point of emphasis that I wanted to place.
In your statement you touched on the communication gap which exists between generations. I thought, inasmuch as you are the president of this organization and you have talked to a number of student leaders around the campuses in the last month or so, that you might for our record again gives us a little better idea as to why some young people act as they do and why some have exhibited a lack of confidence in our system of government.
Is this feeling real? To what extent does the present electoral college system, which does not give to each voter the same weight at the ballot box and which does not guarantee the election of a President who has more votes than the man he is running against, to what degree does something like this enter into the problem of confidence in the system.
Mr. WARREN. I think it can be approached in a number of ways, Senator. But the first and probably the most important aspect of it is to realize that youth in this country have become a rather dramatic power, economically, socially, and politically.
Economically, they can make a product; politically, they can make & product, Eugene McCarthy; and socially, they can make a product. Some of the trends that are going on through youth throughout the entire country.
But more importantly, I think what we are seeing all over the country is their frustration, and there is a concern that they are not being heard, and so the result is that they are trying to go into the back door rather than the front door.
It is interesting that older people tell students, “You know you should act like an adult." Yet at the same time they do not give them an opportunity to act like an adult. They do not give them the responsibilities of an adult.
So I think what is happening is that there is frustration, and the root cause of it is that students do not feel like they are being listened to. They do not feel like they have a real say in the country.
They feel like they are being asked to do things, they are being asked to pay taxes, they are being asked to fight for their country, yet they are not given the consonant responsibilities.
Something that I found rather interesting along this line when I was researching was the fact that 44 percent of all those people who marry in this country marry before the age of 21–44 percent.
That means they take on the responsibilities of a family, of children, of contracting. They are total adults in every single respect except for one-they are not allowed to vote, and so frustration is resulting from this.
People do not feel like they are being listened to and, consequently, resulting with the disturbances, people are trying to come in through the back door rather than the front door.
I think young people want to, demand to, be heard. But I think they also want to listen. This was part of the statement. We want people to come, we want the opposition to come, to our campuses, to talk with us, to have a dialog and have communication, and that is the only way we are going to solve the problem.
Senator BAYH. That is a very compelling statement, and substantiates the judgment the Senator from Nebraska and I both have that
This younger generation is. This young generation that you are ready to give the vote to is more concerned with inequity than other generations.
They do demand that if we talk in terms of democracy that we give it to them, and it is a more tangible, realistic frustration for them when you say, "We can still elect a man President of the United States, even though most of the people did not vote for him.”
It does not bother people that are older, and that is exactly what Senator Bayh was getting at, and I think that is Dennis' answer. We have young people today who feel there is a great deal that must be done to get this country right. The term was “the establishment.” That is a little out now.
Now the "in" term is, I understand is, "the system.”
But this system, just as you are concerned about States being normative, they want our system to be normative.
Let us get rid of the 18-year-old vote; let us get rid of the electoral college; and then let us take a look at the filibuster and a couple of other things, and then let us take a look at the fact of the fellow who moves, and because of his registration may not be able to vote.
I am not agreeing with everything. I am just trying to join in the answer to Senator Bayh's question. Young people today are worried, unsettled, and they are frustrated. They are more attuned to inequity.
The inequity exists; why maintain the inequity, the inequity by a district plan, when you can eliminate the inequity?
Why concern yourself with the practicality as to how many Senators will vote for it?
Why not concern yourself with the practicality if the States will ratify that amendment if you get it through the Senate, and that is our position?
Senator HRUSKA. We cannot get along without a system in a nation of 200 million people, and we have to concern ourselves with what 100 men—99 men and one woman—will say about that. That is our system.
It is the purpose of a committee to try, where a change is desired, to whittle down that change, the proposed change, down or pad it up enough so that it will be acceptable to enough people to be able to put it before the 34 States for a decision.
Dr. ASHMAN. Then let the witness
Senator HRUSKA. Not until we change that system and say one man can do it. That would not work either, would it?
Dr. ASHMAN. The young people today are not as attuned and not as receptive to compromise as those who have lived with it longer. The fact that they are not as ready to accept compromise does not mean that the compromise is not right. They may be right.
In this particular case, I suggest they are.
Senator HRUSKA. I am interested in the repeated statement of these witnesses of the fact that youth is different these days than it was.
I have just shepherded three offspring of Mrs. Hruska and myself through the difficult ages of the twenties, and they are now approaching 30, so I know what you mean.
We have had many debates at our house. We have not settled many things, but we have had many debates on this subject.
FIRUSKA. Icase, I suggest they may