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Wed Mar 29, 2017, 08:58 AM

This PERFECTLY Illustrates How INSANE The Electoral College Concept Is!


I haven't yet made a spreadsheet to calculate the numbers... but the EC is such an insanely obscene idea from a democratic perspective that in theory someone could win the presidency by ONE vote in all the smallest states needed to add up to 270 EC votes... yet not get a SINGLE vote in the rest of the states. In theory we might get a president who was REJECTED not by a mere 3 million votes... but perhaps 70-80 million people. And what if only 3 people voted in each of those states that comprise those 270 votes?

I know it's highly unlikely but this is the problem with ALL such a vote weighting schemes... such as ANY aspect of the Constitution that uses state suffrage. For instance the amendment formula now gives states with less than 4% of the population the ability to block any reforms.... and since no vote would be unanimous... those representing perhaps only 2.5% might be able to thwart any reform. In the other direction states with 40% of the population can ratify any amendment meaning it might be approved by 21% of the US population.

Only making such decisions using the POPULAR VOTE can eliminate this insanity.

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Arrow 74 replies Author Time Post
Reply This PERFECTLY Illustrates How INSANE The Electoral College Concept Is! (Original post)
eniwetok Mar 2017 OP
LakeArenal Mar 2017 #1
KittyWampus Mar 2017 #3
rogue emissary Mar 2017 #8
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #13
Warpy Mar 2017 #51
TheFrenchRazor Mar 2017 #42
Blue_Tires Mar 2017 #2
eniwetok Mar 2017 #21
L. Coyote Mar 2017 #4
VOX Mar 2017 #41
TheFrenchRazor Mar 2017 #43
a kennedy Mar 2017 #5
brooklynite Mar 2017 #6
eniwetok Mar 2017 #7
treestar Mar 2017 #16
Jim Lane Mar 2017 #18
WillowTree Mar 2017 #22
treestar Mar 2017 #23
eniwetok Mar 2017 #38
eniwetok Mar 2017 #20
treestar Mar 2017 #24
eniwetok Mar 2017 #25
MichMan Mar 2017 #33
eniwetok Mar 2017 #36
TheFrenchRazor Mar 2017 #44
Gabi Hayes Mar 2017 #26
NurseJackie Mar 2017 #9
eniwetok Mar 2017 #10
NurseJackie Mar 2017 #12
MichMan Mar 2017 #34
NurseJackie Mar 2017 #35
eniwetok Mar 2017 #39
pnwmom Mar 2017 #46
Ezior Mar 2017 #11
brooklynite Mar 2017 #14
eniwetok Mar 2017 #19
clementine613 Mar 2017 #47
eniwetok Mar 2017 #48
clementine613 Apr 2017 #71
eniwetok Apr 2017 #72
treestar Mar 2017 #15
ProfessorPlum Mar 2017 #17
ProfessorPlum Mar 2017 #28
eniwetok Mar 2017 #49
TheFrenchRazor Mar 2017 #45
caroldansen Mar 2017 #27
Calculating Mar 2017 #30
Calculating Mar 2017 #29
eniwetok Mar 2017 #32
Jim Lane Mar 2017 #31
ManiacJoe Mar 2017 #37
eniwetok Mar 2017 #40
Azathoth Mar 2017 #50
eniwetok Mar 2017 #54
Yavin4 Mar 2017 #52
duncang Mar 2017 #53
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #55
eniwetok Mar 2017 #56
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #57
eniwetok Mar 2017 #59
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #61
eniwetok Mar 2017 #63
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #64
eniwetok Mar 2017 #66
former9thward Mar 2017 #58
eniwetok Mar 2017 #60
forthemiddle Mar 2017 #67
eniwetok Mar 2017 #70
eniwetok Mar 2017 #62
mountain grammy Mar 2017 #65
Sgent Mar 2017 #68
eniwetok Mar 2017 #69
CK_John Apr 2017 #73
eniwetok Apr 2017 #74

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:27 AM

1. Eliminate the EC and return to paper ballots...nt

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:32 AM

3. And the asinine need to know who won the same night of the election.

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:58 AM

8. Exactly!

No one ever talks about that fact. Soon as the polling places close everyone wants to immediately know who won. Which makes it easier to screw with the results. Since so many states rely solely on electronic voting machines with no backups if there an error.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:20 AM

13. THIS!

It's more important to know fast instead of getting it right? I don't think so.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 03:06 AM

51. That can be done with adequate counters in each precinct

Oh, the bafflegabbers on the "news" won't tell you before you go to bed at 11PM, but you'll know when you get up the following morning, sooner if you stay up all night at election parties like this country used to have.

The problem is that they don't want to pay people to count and the bafflegabbers don't like to be kept waiting. I think most of us can stand it until the following morning. Really.

Paper ballots are the most secure system. Yes, ballot boxes can be stuffed if security is lax, but an adversarial system demands decent security. Goodness knows our country is adversarial these days.

Since the EC has demonstrated a reluctance to do its constitutional duty by standing between the presidency and an ignorant populist blowhard like the founders intended it to, we might as well scrap it.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 11:17 PM

42. word. nt

 

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:31 AM

2. I don't know if it needs to be eliminated outright

but it DOES need a serious re-working of the math because right now it's weighed too heavily on rural America and this has cost us two clear victories in 16 years...

And as much as it pains me to say, there's no guarantee the same fucking thing won't happen next time...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 02:29 PM

21. The EC, like the Senate, has a clear GOP Bias...

We've already had two presidencies stolen in just 16 years... and in the Senate Dems represent about 33 million more Americans than do the GOP.

It's our antidemocratic system that put the ACA, the Supreme Court... and environmental policy in play.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:39 AM

4. It also invites rigging the election in a few states by switching just a few votes.

It makes it really easy to steal an election by switching a mere 40,000 votes instead of having to switch a couple of million.



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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:42 PM

41. Yes! The worst aspect of the EC...

And all the overscaled focus on those same goddamned "battleground" states, every election, for decades now.

Sometimes it feels like that the "national" elections should just be held in four or five states. And yes, it represents a horrible vulnerability to rigging of various kinds.

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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 11:19 PM

43. absolutely, much easier to steal. nt

 

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:48 AM

6. All you have to do is convince those same small States to change the Constitution....

...It was a political deal made when they were trying to get the Constitution passed.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:54 AM

7. that's the Catch 22

The small states will NEVER give up power they don't deserve... so all reform is held hostage to a grotesquely antidemocratic amendment formula. The ONLY way I can see to reform the system is to shock it... say that California threatened secession if the Constitution was not finally made democratic.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:57 AM

16. 2/3 of states legislatures is 33 of them

http://mytowntutors.com/2012/08/the-electoral-college-by-state-highest-to-lowest/


The Electoral College by State: Highest to Lowest


1. California – 55
2. Texas – 38
3. Florida – 29
4. New York – 29
5. Illinois – 20
6. Pennsylvania – 20
7. Ohio – 18
8. Georgia – 16
9. Michigan – 16
10. North Carolina – 15
11. New Jersey – 14
12. Virginia – 13
13.Washington – 12
14. Arizona – 11
15. Indiana – 11
16. Massachusetts – 11
17.Tennessee – 11
18. Maryland – 10
19. Minnesota – 10
20.Missouri - 10
21. Wisconsin – 10
22. Alabama – 9
23. Colorado – 9
24. South Carolina – 9
25. Kentucky – 8
26. Louisiana – 8
27. Connecticut – 7
28. Oklahoma – 7
29. Oregon – 7
30. Arkansas – 6
31. Iowa – 6
32. Kansas – 6
33. Mississippi - 6

34. Nevada – 6
35. Utah – 6
36. Nebraska – 5
37. New Mexico – 5
38. West Virginia – 5
39. Hawaii - 4
40. Idaho - 4
41. Maine – 4
42. New Hampshire – 4
43. Rhode Island – 4
44. Alaska - 3
45. Delaware – 3
46. District of Columbia – 3
47.Montana – 3
48. North Dakota – 3
49. South Dakota – 3
50. Vermont – 3
51. Wyoming – 3

So the question is how many votes gives a state disproportionate representation?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

Also some states with disproportionately high representation will still agree it is unfair and go along:


Jurisdictions enacting law to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact
No. Jurisdiction Current
Electoral
votes (EV) Date adopted
1 Maryland 10 April 10, 2007
2 New Jersey 14 January 13, 2008
3 Illinois 20 April 7, 2008
4 Hawaii 4 May 1, 2008
5 Washington 12 April 28, 2009
6 Massachusetts 11 August 4, 2010
7 District of Columbia 3 December 7, 2010
8 Vermont 3 April 22, 2011

9 California 55 August 8, 2011
10 Rhode Island 4 July 12, 2013
11 New York 29 April 15, 2014
Total 165 (61.1% of the 270 EV needed)

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Response to treestar (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 01:10 PM

18. Amending the Constitution requires 3/4 of the states, not 2/3

 

I'm not clear whether your reference to two-thirds is intended to apply to abolishing the Electoral College. The point is that it would require the assent of 38 states, not just 33.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 02:31 PM

22. I think the 2/3 came from.......

.......the fact that the amendment first must be "proposed" by 2/3 of both the House and Senate. After that it has to go to the states, 3/4 of which have to ratify it for it to become law.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 06:35 PM

23. oh you are rights

it can be proposed by 2/3, but ratification takes 3/4
https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution

1. California – 55
2. Texas – 38
3. Florida – 29
4. New York – 29
5. Illinois – 20
6. Pennsylvania – 20
7. Ohio – 18
8. Georgia – 16
9. Michigan – 16
10. North Carolina – 15
11. New Jersey – 14
12. Virginia – 13
13.Washington – 12
14. Arizona – 11
15. Indiana – 11
16. Massachusetts – 11
17.Tennessee – 11
18. Maryland – 10
19. Minnesota – 10
20.Missouri - 10
21. Wisconsin – 10
22. Alabama – 9
23. Colorado – 9
24. South Carolina – 9
25. Kentucky – 8
26. Louisiana – 8
27. Connecticut – 7
28. Oklahoma – 7
29. Oregon – 7
30. Arkansas – 6
31. Iowa – 6
32. Kansas – 6
33. Mississippi - 6
34. Nevada – 6
35. Utah – 6
36. Nebraska – 5
37. New Mexico – 5
38. West Virginia – 5


39. Hawaii - 4
40. Idaho - 4
41. Maine – 4
42. New Hampshire – 4
43. Rhode Island – 4
44. Alaska - 3
45. Delaware – 3
46. District of Columbia – 3
47.Montana – 3
48. North Dakota – 3
49. South Dakota – 3
50. Vermont – 3
51. Wyoming – 3

So as few as 5 vote states would have to agree.

And unfortunately, a 5 vote state still has over 100% clout:

http://www.fairvote.org/population_vs_electoral_votes

A state needs 10 votes to be at less than 100% - so all from Alabama down have no motive to change it.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:41 PM

38. The National Popular Vote Compact is not an amendment

It's simply a way to get AROUND the EC while not amending it away. States with 270 EC votes would agree to cast all their EC votes for the popular vote winner regardless of how their state voted. It's not a bad plan B... or C. It's clever but much stands in its way.

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Response to treestar (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 02:26 PM

20. So the question is how many votes gives a state disproportionate representation?

ANY system that weighs the votes of voters differently can lead to antidemocratic results. For example the presidential vote for someone in WY weighs about 3.5x that of any voter in CA. For the Senate it's about 70x. We really need civic equality in the vote... so all votes weigh the same in terms of representation.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 06:36 PM

24. It does not look good in that

too many states have over 100% clout:

http://www.fairvote.org/population_vs_electoral_votes

But then again, people are not as state oriented as they were at the time of the founding of the Republic. They might see the lack of fairness. I come from a state with 3 votes and am perfectly willing that the other states get a fairer representation.

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Response to treestar (Reply #24)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 06:41 PM

25. I think our system has unintended consequences...

I think our system perpetuates a sense of one's statehood... and it also works to sabotage any democratic impulse in the People. Just look at Bernie Sanders. I love the guy but he doesn't get it... much of what he rails against is in large part due to our antidemocratic system... yet he NEVER calls democratic reforms that could change that. Why? He may never think of it... but also VT would never want to give up the power it doesn't deserve should we become a democratic system where state suffrage were abolished.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 07:57 PM

33. Wouldnt that make winning elections harder?

If California was to secede (along with it's 55 electoral votes) that always vote Democratic, how would progressives win in the remaining states?

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Response to MichMan (Reply #33)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:38 PM

36. I don't think the nation would let CAL go...

The People of CA as individuals are the most disenfranchised by the system of anyone in the nation. CA has a morally legitimate grievance. Their voters are disenfranchised and they are donor states to the red beggar states. And by now most Dems are getting a clue how screwed up our system is and just need that voice to make the cogent argument that just as the Articles of Confederation needed to be dumped... so do the antidemocratic aspects of our system... simply because it's failing to produce morally legitimate government based on the consent of the governed. The rabid right might not care if CA left... but that's because they WANT a system that allows them to impose their views on the nation that rejects them. I don't think the nation would let CAL go... and there's always the fear of contagion.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #33)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 11:25 PM

44. yes, but the other blue states could join them. works for me. nt

 

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 06:46 PM

26. and it's proving to be the end of what little democracy is left....the last 16 years have

 

done it to us.



not just standard oil, obviously. from 1904

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:00 AM

9. I remember reading that some states have a "work-around" plan. The participating states...

... have agreed (or passed laws) that say they'll give their Electoral College votes to the popular vote winner (regardless of how their state may have voted.)

Apparently, this plan doesn't need the participation of all states in order to work. As long as the TOTAL number of EC votes of the participating states is greater than 270, then mathematically it will be the equivalent of eliminating the Electoral College.

Or something like that.

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:03 AM

10. clever idea... but I suspect it's doomed

Congress has the power to block any interstate compact... and as soon as a state votes against its population, there will be hell to pay.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:15 AM

12. Found this link. Legal arguments for and against. I believe the "for" arguments are stronger.

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 08:05 PM

34. I don't like that idea

Here's why.

In 2004 for instance, Bush won the popular vote. Under that proposal, a state that voted heavily for Kerry, like California would have had to assign all their electoral college votes to Bush going against the will of their own voters. If every state did it, wouldn't that make every election unanimous even if the popular vote was very close?

That doesn't sit well with me

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Response to MichMan (Reply #34)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:08 PM

35. So you're opposed to it when it's not in your favor?

Seems legit.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #34)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:46 PM

39. either Dems stand for democratic principles... or they don't.

Last edited Thu Mar 30, 2017, 12:20 AM - Edit history (1)

It was 2004 and the prospect that Kerry might win the EC even if he lost the popular vote that blunted the anti-EC mood after 2000. And it's this hope that antidemocratic government might work for Dems that undermines the democratic impulse of even libs... the only possible source of democratic reform.

Democracy is the MORAL BASIS for government's powers. We can't expect the GOP to care. But if Dems don't understand that... there's really no hope of EVER making our system democratic.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #34)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 11:38 PM

46. But if it were the will of the majority of voters in the US that would be a fairer outcome

than what has been happening -- and will probably continue to happen.

I'm glad my state is part of the compact.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:07 AM

11. EC is crap, just like the way congress is elected

I know US citizens probably don't like this idea, but not only the EC sucks. I think the way you elect Senators and Representatives is a very bad election system, too.

As I understand it, one party could get 50,1% for every candidate and then win 100% of the congress seats. So 49,9% of voters are ignored. With gerrymandering, the concept is even worse.

I really like the German Bundestag election. There are 2 votes. First vote is for a candidate and works similar to congress (but nobody tried extreme software-based gerrymandering yet in Germany). Second vote is for a party. Using party lists, additional MPs are sent to the Bundestag to ensure that the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag are sized proportionally according to the results of the second vote. So if a small party wins 10% of second votes but no "direct mandate" (first vote candidate), they still get some seats in the Bundestag to have about 10% of seats.

The details are extremely complicated, since Bundeslδnder (states) have their own party lists.. There are also "άberhangmandate" (if a party wins too many direct, first vote candidates, with respect to their share of second votes) and "Ausgleichsmandate" (to make up for άberhangmandate) so the number of seats in the Bundestag actually varies over time. It has some downsides obviously, but I prefer this over any type of pure majority vote.

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Response to Ezior (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:32 AM

14. How many complaints have you read here about the Democratic Party, DCCC, etc?

About how they're "corporatist" or "anti-progressive" or "pro-Incumbent"?

Now you want the Party to decide who the list of candidates are?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 02:24 PM

19. the list system opens up the door for third parties...

The two party system isn't a product of voter desires... but the current way we elect representatives/senators in a winner take all system. It punishes voters who stray from one of the two parties with the so-called spoiler effect...

My personal feeling is Dems don't get it. Nearly half the nation doesn't vote... 65% in off year elections. Give the voters more choice with viable progressive parties and it will bring more people into the system which I assume Dems SHOULD be fore. Those progressive third parties and the Dems will be natural allies in most issues.

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Response to Ezior (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 12:10 AM

47. Not sure what you have against the election of senators...

It's not subject to an EC type system and is also not subject to gerrymandering. It's a straight popular vote.

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Response to clementine613 (Reply #47)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 12:23 AM

48. are you THAT unaware of vote weighting?

18% of the US population now gets 52% of the seats in the Senate.

Are you suggesting that ONLY way to have antidemocratic government is though the EC and gerrymandering?

Voting weighting schemes like the EC and Senate are ILLEGAL for states and municipalities.

What the Senate does is give any voter in WY a 70x bigger vote in the Senate than any resident in CA.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #48)

Sun Apr 2, 2017, 01:06 PM

71. I meant within each state...

You can't say that the election of any particular senator is a result of gerrymandering or the EC.

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Response to clementine613 (Reply #71)

Sun Apr 2, 2017, 10:32 PM

72. isn't the issue here what's ANTIdemocratic?

WHENEVER states have a say through state suffrage... either in the Senate or EC or amendment process... it's BY DEFINITION antidemocratic simply because states have no will... it's the PEOPLE in those states that are expressing an opinion... and every state has a different population. So in the end a "state" can represent 585,501 on the low end and 39,250,017 million on the high end... about 67:1 ratio. The idea that "states" should have equal power is not just antidemocratic... it's GROTESQUELY antidemocratic.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 10:37 AM

15. Yes.

This is the only office in the history of elections world wide to be decided in this way and where it is possible for a loser to get into the office.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 11:16 AM

17. There is a great video that shows that you only need to win about 22% of the vote to win the EC

I'll see if I can find it.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 07:00 PM

28. Here

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #28)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 12:32 AM

49. BRILLIANT VIDEO!!!

It did the math I was proposing in my OP.

Thanks!

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 11:32 PM

45. all the more reason that losers love it, and will never let it go. nt

 

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 06:48 PM

27. How do you get rid of the ec?

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Response to caroldansen (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 07:15 PM

30. It's kinda hard

The system is rigged in such a way that it not only rigs the game, but the players it benefits would need to vote to remove it. IDK how we'll ever get rid of it short of 'civil rights movement' style demonstrations and activism.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 07:14 PM

29. We'll never have fair elections so long as this abomination of a system exists

It was an abomination from its conception as a compromise with slave holding states. It directly causes some votes to be worth much more than others. It has now handed us BUSH AND TRUMP within only 16 years, and done incomprehensible damage to our nation and future. It gives disproportionate power to ignorant rural states when it comes to selecting the president, and cannot be allowed to stand if our nation is to thrive in the future.

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Response to Calculating (Reply #29)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 07:40 PM

32. and in the Senate.... Dems represent 33 million more Americans that the GOP

And the antidemocratic insanity is EVERYWHERE where state suffrage is involved.... and our ability to REFORM this insanity is also held hostage by the insanity.

Hmmmm, I seem to be stuck on that word.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 07:26 PM

31. The more important issue is the focus on swing states.

 

If you live in a solidly red or blue state, you have essentially zero say in the Presidential election. The only way your vote matters is if the country is close enough that the result turns on your state, and your state is close enough that its result turns on your vote -- but those two conditions are inconsistent. In a normal election, if California is at all close it means a major Republican wave, meaning that the Republican candidate is probably well over 300 electoral votes before the polls even close in California. If Wyoming is at all close, the Democrats are romping.

This factor is more important than the mathematical ratio of electoral votes to population. A vote in New Hampshire (even ignoring its important primary) counts more than one in Wyoming. A vote in Florida counts more than one in California. In fact, a vote in Florida counts more than one in Wyoming, whatever the mathematical ratio tells you.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:39 PM

37. The EC actually does a good job at achieving the goal it was designed to achieve.

The President is not elected by the people to be a representative of the people.
The President is elected by the states to be a representative of the union of the states.

The methods used to do this are a little dated given the current levels of communication and education.

The biggest problem most people have with the EC is that they do not agree with the goals of the process.
That is not to say that the goals should not be changed....

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #37)

Wed Mar 29, 2017, 09:52 PM

40. the EC was to magnify the power of white in slave states...

We've been brought up to believe all sorts of nonsense about the purpose of the EC. The federalist papers spew some crap about preventing a demagouge from becoming president. Ya, that worked like a charm. The EC INSTALLED a demagouge. But the federalist papers were designed to sell ratification. It's only when we dig into the minutes of the so-called Constitutional Convention do we get closer to the truth...

Madison on July 19th, 1787. Madison is for the popular vote but....

The people at large was in his opinion the fittest in itself. It would be as likely as any that could be devised to produce an Executive Magistrate of distinguished Character. The people generally could only know & vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention & esteem. There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections.



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Response to eniwetok (Reply #40)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 02:55 AM

50. That quote gets thrown around a lot

But the debate on picking the president was long and that is the only place where appeasement of the slave states is specifically mentioned. It's something of a cherry-picked quote that has been pushed by Prof. Amar at Yale and one or two others. However, plenty of other rationales were discussed during the drafting of the constitution.

Many of the northern states also voted against the direct election idea. In fact, democratic principles weren't exactly paramount to the framers. Some wanted the state legislatures to appoint the president; some wanted governors. James Wilson put forward the popular vote proposal and got voted down overwhelmingly (twice, I think). They eventually settled on the electoral college for a variety of reasons, including the fear that the general public were too uninformed and tribal to vote intelligently for the chief executive (they weren't exactly wrong on that score) and it would be better for a smaller group of men who could study the issues in depth to make that final decision.

So there's no doubt that appeasing the slave states was one motivation for not choosing direct elections, but the South had plenty of allies in their opposition to democracy. Hamilton later observed in one the Federalist Papers that the House was popular representation, the Senate was state representation, and the executive was a mixture of the two.

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Response to Azathoth (Reply #50)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 07:57 AM

54. Sure... but maybe it doesn't matter.

Other rationales were discussed but the net effect of having electors would be the same... that the election of the president would be un- or antidemocratic in some way.

The Constitution was a balance between trying to create a new government that would remedy the problems of the Articles, an expansion of power to the People (white freemen) and a way every interest invited to the Convention could protect itself from the other interests.... and one of those interests that was to be specially protected was slavery. The net result was a system that set the politics of 1787 in cement.

We could forever debate the justifications of their decisions but my feeling is the Framers are dead, it's our nation now... and it doesn't matter if Madison's rationale was the ONLY reason we have the EC. We are stuck with an antidemocratic and virtually reformproof system that WAS largely designed to protect slavery.

We are now stuck with a system that can't contain corporate power and is failing miserably to provide us morally legitimate government based on the consent of the governed. But to tackle these defects we need to confront our Civic Religion that we are just mere mortals don't dare try and reform our system. The Framers had the courage to dump the Articles when they failed. We must find it in ourselves to have the same courage. But the options are few... a gradualist approach working within a straightjacket that might take 50-100 years... or to shock the system and force a constitutional crisis... such as if CA threatens secession unless the system is finally made democratic.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 03:25 AM

52. And it has policy implications as well.

Farm states get protection from global markets because of their impact on the EC.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 04:25 AM

53. I have always wondered what would happen

If all states were required to split votes according to votes. I know democrats would lose some in California, New York, etc but they would pick up some in Texas. Florida, etc.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 08:03 AM

55. It Also Seems To Be Doing The Opposite of The Intent

The intent was that we had a system to stop a foreign power from pushing a populist candidate, or a ideologue from gaining the presidency by putting a layer of people who could deflect the common will by saying "No, not this person." Instead, it's a rubber stamp process that has now, twice in 16 years, put someone into office that did not even gain a plurality, in the latter case influenced by a foreign power and pushed by wealthy ideologues.

To me, the biggest problem is the "winner take all" casting of electoral votes most states employ. The buffer concept would work equally well if the votes were cast by each state, proportional to the popular vote. Then it would take only a few highly principled people in a mix of states around the union to say "no, not this person". Today, it takes MASSIVE defection and we end up where we are now.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #55)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 08:18 AM

56. we can't unravel "winner take all"

If one state does it to make the antidemocratic EC a wee bit more fair... it's not that partisans in other states will do the same. They'd see it as giving their side an advantage. Imagine CA with its 55 EC votes going proportional... that would give the GOP perhaps some 20 votes they could add to their winner take all GOP states.

There's simply NO way to make the EC democratic... even if ALL the states went proportional. This is because the formula automatically and arbitrarily tosses 100 senate seats into the mix atop congressional districts and this disproportionately magnifies the power of small population states. And whenever the votes of SOME citizens are weighed differently than others, there's a possibility of someone rejected by the People actually winning an election.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #56)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 08:56 AM

57. Don't Disagree, E

I think getting rid of it is the best option, but "it" wouldn't be president right now if it was proportional. Not 100% reliable for sure, but in this one instance it would make the difference.

We completely agree it's the appendix of the body of government. Useless and should be excised.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #59)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:39 AM

61. Six of the 9 Scenarios Show Clinton on Top

One of them by a wide margin.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #61)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:43 AM

63. Really? One?

Most are virtual ties... which does NOT reflect HRC trouncing Herr Trump by 3 million votes.

There's no way to fix the EC because it's based on weighting the votes of some citizens more than others. In the end there will ALWAYS be a possibility of someone REJECTED by the People "winning" through the EC. It all depends on the mix of states.

If all the EC can do is ratify the popular vote... THEN IT'S NOT NEEDED.

If it can override the popular vote then IT SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.

Dems need to stop being AWOL on democratic principles.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #63)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:50 AM

64. You Can Quit Yelling At Me

I already agreed the best thing to do is eradicate it. What about that isn't enough? I was commenting that a modification to the system would be preferable to what we have not, but admitted it would be best to launch it.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #64)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:55 AM

66. sorry...

After I posted I looked back to see who posted. I'm just oversensitive to so many Dems actually buying into, and supporting an antidemocratic system. It's the core hypocrisy in the Democratic Party... and belief in the system is more important than if their core programs face existential threats.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:08 AM

58. "I know it's highly unlikely"

No, your example has zero probability of happening. The checks in our Constitution have worked well for 230 years including the electoral college. Without the electoral college candidates would completely ignore the majority of states and their concerns. The present system has worked well for Constitutional amendments. It should be very hard to amend the Constitution and only should be done when there is a consensus in the nation.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #58)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:30 AM

60. I know it's "improbable": SO WHAT!!

it doesn't matter if the most extreme example is "improbable"... but we KNOW that all that matters for morally legitimate government is that those who are REJECTED by the People should never "win" elections... and those representing the minority SHOULD NEVER GOVERN. Yet we now have a truly antidemocratic tyranny of the minority in both the Whitehouse AND the Senate where Dems represent 33 million more people than do GOPers... yet GOPers control the Senate.

As for amending the Constitution... sure, it SHOULD be hard to amend. But just what do you mean by "consensus"? Right now states with 4% of the Constitution can block any amendment... yet states with 40% can ratify any amendment. I believe this should be done by a popular vote... perhaps 66% supermajority... but done over 2 presidential election cycles.

The ONLY way to guarantee morally legitimate government is if everything is done proportional to population... which means abolishing state suffrage. Vote weighting schemes are ILLEGAL for states and municipalities. They were used in the south to keep whites in power.

This need NOT turn into a tyranny of the majority. The Bill Of Rights proves legitimate rights can be protected constitutionally WITHOUT risking minority government. But if you believe that the weighting votes is the moral way to protect rights... then what's the moral basis for not giving EVERY historically oppressed group a bigger vote? Why are those who choose to live in small states the chosen ones?




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Response to eniwetok (Reply #60)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 11:22 AM

67. Rightly or wrongly

What you are asking for is a whole new system of Government.
The United States is not, nor has is ever been a democracy. If that is what you want it to become you must start from scratch and do either a Constitional Convention, or maybe a revolt of the populace to replace the whole damn thing.

Please remember we as a country was founded on the construct of a co-commitment of States, hence the name United STATES of America, not United Populace of America.

Just as the European Union is now based on the union of the individual countries, not the meshing of all countries into one big new country.

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Response to forthemiddle (Reply #67)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 03:14 PM

70. in republican political theory all power derives from the PEOPLE

The Articles of Confederation was to be a perpetual union... not to be changed except through unanimous agreement of the states. But the Articles were failing and essentially reform-proof. So the Framers violated their mission to fix the Articles and started from scratch. How could they do this? Because they did so in the name of the People.

In the end the Framers are dead and it's OUR nation now. And if the system can clearly not provide morally legitimate government based on the Consent Of The Governed... and signature Dem programs are facing an existential threat BECAUSE the system is antidemocratic... then Dems need to get their priorities straight... will it be Framer Worship or finally fixing the defects in our system? Will we have the courage of the Framers to do what needs to be done? And if those choices weren't hard enough... demographic changes are making the system more and MORE antidemocratic.

Dems wear blinders at their own peril.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #58)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:39 AM

62. the currents of antidemocratic government are insidous

Clarence Thomas was confirmed by Senators representing less than 50% of the US population. Thomas becomes a key vote in Bush v Gore which hands the presidency to Bush even though he was rejected by the People. The bottom line... each vote in Bush's FL lead weighed 1000x that of any vote in Gore's national lead. And in this last election those 55k in Trumps 3 state lead outweighed 3 MILLION votes in Hillary's national lead.

This is the sort of insanity that antidemocratic voting schemes create.

If all the EC can do is ratify the popular vote... then it's not needed.

If the EC can overturn the voice of the People then it's an antidemocratic abomination that NO free people should tolerate.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:53 AM

65. Blood red

that's the color of the electoral map of the USA. That's all the GOP needs. But the truth is, no state is solid anything. The map itself is there to infuriate and divide us, and it does.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 12:18 PM

68. I'm not a huge fan of the EC

but giving 3 votes to a small state doesn't seem unreasonable.

Now the Senate on the other hand, is just horrible.

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Response to Sgent (Reply #68)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 02:52 PM

69. Why should ANY voters get a bigger vote than others?

The first step to seeing through the official rationalizations for our system is to stop seeing how STATES are represented... and start looking how fair the system is to INDIVIDUALS. Once you take that step... the official justifications we were all brought up with fall apart.

As for the EC it's now given us now TWO presidents who were REJECTED by the people... and Bush and Trump have brought changes to the nation that the nation also REJECTED. What is self government if the system does this to its people.

There can not be ANY vote weighting/dilution schemes without risking a tyranny of the minority.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Sun Apr 2, 2017, 11:22 PM

73. What a total waste of time looking backward as if we didn't have enough problems..

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Response to CK_John (Reply #73)

Sun Apr 2, 2017, 11:41 PM

74. are you suggesting we don't bother to understand what needs to be fixed?

We have problems BECAUSE DEMS 150-100-80-50-16 YEARS AGO DIDN'T BOTHER WITH DEMOCRATIC REFORMS that would abolish the EC and perhaps make the Senate democratic.

Are you suggesting that we ignore the problem even though it's painfully clear the system has a GOP bias and signature Dem safety net programs face an existential threat even if more people WANT Dems than GOPers?



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