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Abolition of the electoral college v2.0

Kandahar

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Goobieman

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Kandahar said:
Some politicians and professors have found an ingenious way in which the electoral college may be circumvented, WITHOUT AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION. It's completely legal and constitutional. My only regret is that I didn't think of it first. Sheer brilliance.
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/060306ta_talk_hertzberg

So, in a close race, like in 2000, we'll have 50 state-wide recount fiascos rather than just one. Thats a great idea.

The EC works exactly as it should and the reasons for it are as legitimate today as they were in 1790.
 

Kandahar

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Goobieman said:
So, in a close race, like in 2000, we'll have 50 state-wide recount fiascos rather than just one. Thats a great idea.

Umm no, because the popular vote is never that close. Did you bother to read the article?

Goobieman said:
The EC works exactly as it should and the reasons for it are as legitimate today as they were in 1790.

Except small states don't have a common agenda that is opposite the large states.
 

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Kandahar said:
Umm no, because the popular vote is never that close. Did you bother to read the article?
I did.
It was in 2000. 500,000 votes over 50 states?

With the EC system as it is, you have something to win in each state, and as such, a large margun of victory in a state will preclude a recount. But if the winner of a state's EVs is determined by the overall popular vote, then the margin within any given state is meaningless, and all states are liable to be recounted.

Except small states don't have a common agenda that is opposite the large states.
You're sure about that? How?
 

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As the article states, the popular vote has gone hand in hand with the electoral vote, 97% of the time. I see no reason to change the current system, and the numbers speak for themselves, there is just not any logical reason to change this system that has served us well for so long.

It is a clever idea though, I just don't see it happening.
 

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Deegan said:
As the article states, the popular vote has gone hand in hand with the electoral vote, 97% of the time. I see no reason to change the current system, and the numbers speak for themselves, there is just not any logical reason to change this system that has served us well for so long.

It is a clever idea though, I just don't see it happening.

Right.

If Gore had not lost in 2000, no one would care.
 

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Goobieman said:
I did.
It was in 2000. 500,000 votes over 50 states?

With the EC system as it is, you have something to win in each state, and as such, a large margun of victory in a state will preclude a recount. But if the winner of a state's EVs is determined by the overall popular vote, then the margin within any given state is meaningless, and all states are liable to be recounted.

The chances of the nationwide margin of victory ever being so small that it had to be recounted...astronomically low. In the entire history of the United States, the popular margin has NEVER been so small that there was the slightest doubt as to who actually won it.

Goobieman said:
You're sure about that? How?

Politically, who does small-state Oklahoma have more in common with: Small-state Hawaii, or large-state Texas?
 

Kandahar

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Deegan said:
As the article states, the popular vote has gone hand in hand with the electoral vote, 97% of the time. I see no reason to change the current system, and the numbers speak for themselves, there is just not any logical reason to change this system that has served us well for so long.

But the article goes on to explain what the problem is. It's not just a matter of certain candidates winning, it's a matter of the vast majority of the country being completely disenfranchised.

Deegan said:
It is a clever idea though, I just don't see it happening.

Maybe not. But this seems like it would have a better chance of happening than a constitutional amendment to actually abolish the electoral college. All it would need would be the collective will of some group of states that adds up to 270+ EVs.
 

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It ain't gonna happen nor should it.....
 

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Kandahar said:
But the article goes on to explain what the problem is. It's not just a matter of certain candidates winning, it's a matter of the vast majority of the country being completely disenfranchised.



Maybe not. But this seems like it would have a better chance of happening than a constitutional amendment to actually abolish the electoral college. All it would need would be the collective will of some group of states that adds up to 270+ EVs.

I just don't see how this proposal keeps people from being "disenfranchised"? :confused:
 

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Deegan said:
I just don't see how this proposal keeps people from being "disenfranchised"? :confused:

If states assign their electors to the winner of the popular vote, they're effectively circumventing the electoral college and moving to a nationwide popular vote.

It keeps people from being disenfranchised, because under the current system there's absolutely no reason to go to the polls unless you live in a battleground state. The outcome in your state is already assured, and regardless of whether you'd vote for the guaranteed winner or loser in your state, your vote will not have any impact on the national election.
 

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Kandahar said:
If states assign their electors to the winner of the popular vote, they're effectively circumventing the electoral college and moving to a nationwide popular vote.

It keeps people from being disenfranchised, because under the current system there's absolutely no reason to go to the polls unless you live in a battleground state. The outcome in your state is already assured, and regardless of whether you'd vote for the winner or the loser, your vote will not have any impact on the national election.


But a California, Texas, or New York popular vote stills trumps, many smaller states, someone, or some state, will always be left feeling disenfranchised.
 

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Deegan said:
But a California, Texas, or New York popular vote stills trumps, many smaller states, someone, or some state, will always be left feeling disenfranchised.

Under a popular vote, one vote from a Californian would count for exactly the same amount as one vote from an Alaskan. Under the electoral college, the Alaskan's vote counts for MORE. Of course, that's only in mathematical theory. In reality, neither the Alaskan's vote nor the Californian's vote counts for anything since the outcome in their states are assured, no matter how close the national election is.
 

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Kandahar said:
The chances of the nationwide margin of victory ever being so small that it had to be recounted...astronomically low.
"Has" to be?
If your scenario were in place in 2000, every state WOULD be recounted, at the request of BOTH candidates.

In the entire history of the United States, the popular margin has NEVER been so small that there was the slightest doubt as to who actually won it.
In 2000 - the election that prompted the idea of a 'crisis' that demanded revision of the way we elect the President. - the margin was 0.51%. This DOES bring the 'winner' of the 'popular vote' in doubt, and would have resulted in 50 election contests.

In how many elections has the 'winner' of the PV and EC been different?
Whats the problem, all of a sudden?

Politically, who does small-state Oklahoma have more in common with: Small-state Hawaii, or large-state Texas?
And small state WY ND SD MT UT ID KS OK CO... who do they have more in common with - each other, or what other large states?
 

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Kandahar said:
Under a popular vote, one vote from a Californian would count for exactly the same amount as one vote from an Alaskan. Under the electoral college, the Alaskan's vote counts for MORE. Of course, that's only in mathematical theory. In reality, neither the Alaskan's vote nor the Californian's vote counts for anything since the outcome in their states are assured, no matter how close the national election is.


And... why is it that the President should be popularly elected by the people, when the President does not represent the people in our government?
 

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Is it possible that our nation's eyes are focusing on the election scandals that have been put upon us as of late?

Conceived as part of DeLay's strategy to give the Texas GOP extra seats in the House and thus cement Republican control, the plan was enacted over the dramatic protests of Texas Democratic lawmakers who at one point fled the state to avoid voting on it. The state indictment that forced DeLay to quit as majority leader alleges illegalities in his fundraising for the redistricting effort.
<snip>

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002838161_scotus02.html

Jensen, 45, is charged with using state staff and resources to benefit his own campaign and that of other Republican Assembly candidates through the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee (RACC). Schultz, 53, is charged with misconduct for allegedly using her state position to raise and track political donations for candidates
<snip>

http://www.madison.com/wsj/mad/top/index.php?ntid=74669&ntpid=2

Will they put a stop to including "leader issues" such as gay marriage or abortion on the same ballots as election candidates in a blatant attempt to draw out one particular side of the aisle over the other?
 

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Kandahar said:
Under a popular vote, one vote from a Californian would count for exactly the same amount as one vote from an Alaskan. Under the electoral college, the Alaskan's vote counts for MORE. Of course, that's only in mathematical theory. In reality, neither the Alaskan's vote nor the Californian's vote counts for anything since the outcome in their states are assured, no matter how close the national election is.

But you forget the states right to a voice, as I said, 50 million people can possibly vote in California, thus making them likely to influence every presidential vote in the future. There is a good reason why someone in Alaska's vote counts more then one in California, the smaller states must have a voice as well. This would simply make California, Texas, and New York the states that pick every future president, I guess what I'm say is, this changes everything, but still changes nothing, so why do it?:confused:


I though it might help to view the map..................


untitled.jpg
 
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Kandahar

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Goobieman said:
"Has" to be?
If your scenario were in place in 2000, every state WOULD be recounted, at the request of BOTH candidates.

No it wouldn't. Gore's 500,000 vote margin in the popular vote is not something that's easily disputed. 50,000 votes maybe...500,000 votes, there's no chance in hell.

Goobieman said:
In 2000 - the election that prompted the idea of a 'crisis' that demanded revision of the way we elect the President.

People have debated the electoral college since the time the Constitution was written. Not everything is about which putz currently happens to be in the White House. Get over yourself.

Goobieman said:
the margin was 0.51%. This DOES bring the 'winner' of the 'popular vote' in doubt, and would have resulted in 50 election contests.

0.51% in an individual state is one thing. In a national election, that's over 500,000 votes. How many votes was Al Gore able to shift into his column in Florida? Not many. So what makes you think that a candidate would be able to find half a million new votes in a nationwide recount?

Goobieman said:
In how many elections has the 'winner' of the PV and EC been different?

Four times by my count: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000. But the number of times it's been different is hardly the point.

Goobieman said:
Whats the problem, all of a sudden?

All of a sudden?

Goobieman said:
And small state WY ND SD MT UT ID KS OK CO... who do they have more in common with - each other, or what other large states?

Do their political similarities have anything to do with them being small states, or is it because they're all clustered in the same geographic area and have similar values? Do those states have much in common with small states like Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, etc?
 

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Gore lost. Get over it.

We won't get fooled again.
 

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Goobieman said:
And... why is it that the President should be popularly elected by the people, when the President does not represent the people in our government?

This is nothing but semantics. The issue being debated here is whether he SHOULD represent the people.
 

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Deegan said:
But you forget the states right to a voice, as I said, 50 million people can possibly vote in California, thus making them likely to influence every presidential vote in the future.

This assumes that every single person in California is going to vote the same way. If California is, say, 60% blue, it doesn't make sense to award 100% of its vote to the Democrat. This is harmful to the voters of BOTH political parties and reduces voter turnout, because the voter (correctly) believes that his vote does not matter.

Deegan said:
There is a good reason why someone in Alaska's vote counts more then one in California, the smaller states must have a voice as well.

Why?

Deegan said:
This would simply make California, Texas, and New York the states that pick every future president,

As opposed to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida picking every future president? Of course, it wouldn't necessarily be those particular states since battleground states change over time. But the point is that under the electoral college, candidates still confine all their efforts to a very small number of states.

Deegan said:
I guess what I'm say is, this changes everything, but still changes nothing, so why do it?:confused:

Because it would make the presidency more representative of the people and would give voters in red states and blue states a reason to go to the polls.
 

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Kandahar said:
No it wouldn't. Gore's 500,000 vote margin in the popular vote is not something that's easily disputed. 50,000 votes maybe...500,000 votes, there's no chance in hell.
0.5% margins are enough to trigger automatic recounts in many places; your assertion that 0.5% margin across the entire country is insurmountable is baseless. 500k votes isnt much compared to the 100M+ votes they came from.

And, again: regardless of the chance of finding the votes, BOTH parties would have recounted every state, looking for every vote they could get. Why would you want that?

Ohio, 2004 - Kerry made up 40,000 votes on Bush.

People have debated the electoral college since the time the Constitution was written. Not everything is about which putz currently happens to be in the White House. Get over yourself.
Likewise.

SOME people have debated it, but it hasnt been anywhere close to the forefront of political issuedom until after the 2000 election - and had Gore won, no one would have said a thing.

0.51% in an individual state is one thing. In a national election, that's over 500,000 votes.
Out of how many votes, total?
Expalin to me why you can potentially find 0.5% votes over 100k votes, but not over 100M votes.

Three times by my count: 1824, 1876, and 2000. That's scarcely the point though.
1876 1888 2000.
It is. Hardly anyone cared until 2000 - and you dont see Republicans whining about it. What's that tell you?

Do their political similarities have anything to do with them being small states, or is it because they're all clustered in the same geographic area and have similar values? Do those states have much in common with small states like Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, etc?
Same question back at you -- are the 'values' of ME MD DE VT RI a product of their smallness or their location?

And in any event -- Who cares? Point is small states do often share a common set of values opposite those of large states. Why should the small states suffer?

The --states-- elect the President, and so there needs to be some level of parity between the states. Thats what the EC does.
 
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Kandahar said:
This assumes that every single person in California is going to vote the same way. If California is, say, 60% blue, it doesn't make sense to award 100% of its vote to the Democrat.

But, if 50.02% of the country is blue, it DOES make sense to give all of CA's EVs to the Blue bacdidate?

How?
 

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Goobieman said:
0.5% margins are enough to trigger automatic recounts in many places; your assertion that 0.5% margin across the entire country is insurmountable is baseless. 500k votes isnt much compared to the 100M+ votes they came from.

And, again: regardless of the change of finding the votes, BOTH parties would have recounted every state, looking for every vote they could get. Why would you want that?

It's just not going to happen because the chances of a national election being that close are very very very small. See below.

Goobieman said:
Likewise.

SOME people have debated it, but it hasnt been anywhere close to the forefront of political issuedom until after the 2000 election - and had Gore won, no one would have said a thing.

Well I for one have been discussing it since before then. Just because you and your buddies haven't ever discussed a political point unless it's currently in the news, doesn't mean that we're all like that. Don't project your own faults onto the rest of America.

Goobieman said:
Out of how many votes, total?
Expalin to me why you can potentially find 0.5% votes over 100k votes, but not over 100M votes.

You almost never can find 0.5% in a single state either; recounts at that margin are mostly just a formality, and it takes a much slimmer margin than that to trigger any kind of serious investigation.

But there's a reason that it'd be easier in a state than a country: Take the difficulty of finding enough wrongdoing in a single state, and multiply that by the difficulty of doing the same thing in EVERY state.

Let's suppose, for example, that George Bush had won the popular vote in 2000 by approximately the same margin that he won Florida. Now let's assume that Al Gore was going to challenge that. He'd still have to come up with his margin in Florida (which he was unable to do)...but he'd have to also do it in EVERY OTHER STATE! He could find more in some states and less in others, of course.

Now let's look at it the other way...what would have been easier than trying to find enough votes in Florida to erase a margin of defeat? Trying to do the same in New Hampshire. If the 2000 election had hinged on New Hampshire instead of Florida (and assume that the margin of defeat was the same), the loser would've only had to find a couple missing ballot boxes to change the results.

The more votes that are cast in an election, the slimmer the margin of victory has to be for the loser to have any credible chance of overturning it.

Goobieman said:
1876 1888 2000.
It is. Hardly anyone cared until 2000 - and you dont see Republicans whining about it. What's that tell you?

Debates about the electoral college have been mostly nonpartisan from my experience, with both Democrats and Republicans arguing both sides. The only one who has tried to make it a partisan issue is you.

Goobieman said:
Same question back at you -- are the 'values' of ME MD DE VT RI a product of their smallness or their location?

Their location obviously, and that's exactly the point. Rhode Island has a lot more in common with New York than it does with Wyoming. The small state vs big state dichotomy is no longer an accurate model of American politics.

Goobieman said:
And in any event -- Who cares? Point is small states do often share a common set of values opposite those of large states. Why should the small states suffer?

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what some of those small state values are.

Goobieman said:
The --states-- elect the President, and so there needs to be some level of parity between the states. Thats what the EC does.

So the states should elect the president because the states elect the president. Makes sense... :roll:
 

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Goobieman said:
But, if 50.02% of the country is blue, it DOES make sense to give all of CA's EVs to the Blue bacdidate?

How?

The idea of this proposal is to move the nation to a popular vote without amending the Constitution. It wouldn't take effect until enough states had signed on to have a 270 EV majority.

So in theory it would be giving individual states EVs to the winner of the popular vote, but in reality it would simply be a nationwide popular vote.
 
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