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Mon Sep 9, 2019, 08:28 AM

We can't let the Founders' Electoral College, Senate tradeoffs distort democracy forever



Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez recently inspired fresh debate over the hoariest of institutions, the Electoral College. "Every vote should be = in America," she tweeted, "no matter who you are and where you come from. The right thing to do is establish a Popular Vote. & GOP will do everything they can to fight it."

On cue, Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw protested: "Abolishing the Electoral College means the politicians will only campaign in (and listen to) urban areas. That isnot a representative democracy. We live in a Republic, which means 51% of the population doesn't get to boss around the other 49%."

In Crenshaw's world, apparently, democracy works better when the 49% chooses for the other 51%. Indeed, The New York Times' Nate Cohen calculates, President Donald Trump could win reelection in 2020 "whilelosing the national voteby as much as five percentage points."


This is an extremely important issue. This opinion piece from USA Today handles it expertly.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/09/09/electoral-college-distorts-american-democracy-abolish-it-now-column/2234060001/

10 replies, 936 views

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Response to tymorial (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 08:35 AM

1. As bad as the racist electoral college is...

The primaries are set up so that we can have only candidates who "appeal" to rural conservative sparsely-populated states. 80% of the population lives in urban centers.

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Response to tymorial (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:01 AM

2. We should go back to many of the original plans in the Constitution but NOT this one

1. We should have the runner up be vice president again.

2. We should NOT allow the Supremes to decide constitutionality. It is NOT in the Constitution.

3. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative.

And it's way past time to abolish all electorates and electors. It was a half ass measure to keep slaves out of the voting system while still counting them as citizens. Let the people vote. More democracy not less.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:59 AM

7. The electorate is US. But yes, abolish "electors" voting by proxy "for" us.

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Response to tymorial (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:24 AM

3. Our Founding Fathers were men of property who feared popular democracy

A few obvious facts explain this: The Founders did not imagine political parties. In apportioning representation by population, they acceded to southern demands that slaves be counted as three-fifths of a person. Yet, like slaves, women did not vote.

That long-ago America had 13 states, not 50. Our Founding Fathers, many slave owners themselves, were men of property who feared popular democracy. They could not anticipate the vast and varied America we now inhabit; the evolution of our social philosophy; or the needs of a diverse society for a government responsive its people all of which, one can reasonably imagine, many would have regarded with something akin to horror.

Which, of course, brings us to the Electoral College. If ever there was an institution rooted in the then, not the now, this is it.

...

Yet there's another remnant of constitutional vote-swapping that makes the Electoral College look like a plebiscite: the U.S. Senate. In practice, the Senate upholds all the supposed virtues of the Electoral College, privileging small states and over-representing rural areas. Its very existence operates as a bulwark against urban dominance and, therefore, as a compelling argument against the supposed necessity of preserving the Electoral College.

What did America writ large get in return for this tradeoff? Not the disinterested body that our Founders fondly imagined, free from unruly political passions. Today's Senate is polarized between underrepresented blue states and overrepresented red states, allowing partisans from unpopulated states to help strangle popular legislation. It is, in short, a satrapy for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


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Response to dalton99a (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:34 AM

5. Great analysis on the fossil that is the US Senate. Having both it and the EC is unnecessary...

redundancy in allegedly protecting the rights of small states.

One man/woman, one vote should prevail.

Enslavement of humans no longer exists in this country so neither should the Electoral College which is a vestige of that system.

As for the Senate and the 600k people in Wyoming having as much say as the 40M of California, it goes wihout saying that a revision is in order.

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Response to brush (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:01 AM

8. Murder Turtle is the perfect poster boy for abolishing the Senate.

One "person" is allowed to block legislation that 90% of the population is desperately demanding.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:08 AM

9. Agreed. It's arguable that he has more power than the president. I prefer to call him Moscow Mitch..

now even though he does resemble a turtle.

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Response to brush (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:15 AM

10. "Moscow Mitch" may be a more useful name politically.

Honestly, he has earned so many epithets that it's hard to choose.

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Response to tymorial (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:24 AM

4. The EC is archaic and a vestige of enslavement. Yes, let's get rid of it. As for the repug argument.

that candidates would only campaign in urban areas, people in rural areas have TVs and computers for social media to see and hear what candidates have to say. They also have cars if it's important enough to them to see the candidates.

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Response to tymorial (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:36 AM

6. Excellent read

This country is being held hostage by a 250 year old piece of paper. Continuous minority rule is not going to end well. No other country has the mechanisms in place to promote tyranny of the minority.

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