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Old 06-17-2019, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
If the results were reversed, would we see positions in here flip?
AFAIK, septimus is not a Republican so I doubt his would change. There's a couple Democrats in this thread that I suspect would indeed flip.
  #402  
Old 06-17-2019, 02:53 PM
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The Electoral College helps compensate for the Republican disadvantage in raw vote totals (i.e., declining demographics, etc.) If we went by national popular vote then each presidential election would only get bluer by the decade.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:56 PM
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Or until the Republicans adjust their stances to appeal to more voters.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:14 PM
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There are a number of countries in which the joint head of state/government is done by direct election. I believe Brazil is the largest such country with a population in excess of 200 million. If they can do so, I see little reason to believe their are insurmountable problems with the U.S. doing so.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:36 PM
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The Electoral College helps compensate for the Republican disadvantage in raw vote totals (i.e., declining demographics, etc.) If we went by national popular vote then each presidential election would only get bluer by the decade.
I don't see the downside.
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Or until the Republicans adjust their stances to appeal to more voters.
And this is the upside.
  #406  
Old 06-17-2019, 03:53 PM
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Hey DSYoungEsq, when you say this:

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I know plenty of Republican politicians who are for democracy and fairness. Their definition of exactly what that entails might not jibe with yours, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Is this what you mean?

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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
The Electoral College helps compensate for the Republican disadvantage in raw vote totals (i.e., declining demographics, etc.) If we went by national popular vote then each presidential election would only get bluer by the decade.
  #407  
Old 06-17-2019, 07:09 PM
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There are a number of countries in which the joint head of state/government is done by direct election. I believe Brazil is the largest such country with a population in excess of 200 million. If they can do so, I see little reason to believe their are insurmountable problems with the U.S. doing so.
France is the only Western G7 country. But you're right, it works in Russia, Mexico and Bolivia so I'm sure America can make it work somehow.
  #408  
Old 06-17-2019, 07:43 PM
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Candidate A need not file suit in California. He pursues Florida, alleging that the national popular vote is incorrect and unless/until it is fixed the people of Florida are being misserved; that Florida must cast its votes according to the will of Florida since California has not delivered accurate totals. If the state government of Florida goes along with this argument, so much for the NPVIC.
Look, forget the compact. If there’s a vote for President that is 67.185 million for A and 67.154 million for B, there ought to be a recount.
  #409  
Old 06-18-2019, 01:22 AM
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It would be more accurate to say that in all four of those cases, the loser belonged to a party named "Democratic". Civil War-era Democrats were not the same party as modern Democrats.
True, but irrelevant, right? The same party was harmed: the anti-Republicans. The current anti-Republicans want to try and avoid this happening again, hence the NPVIC.
  #410  
Old 06-18-2019, 01:27 AM
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So the fuck what?

Are you saying that there is literally no other argument for electing presidents by popular vote? You know, if I give you a list of 10 reasons why we should eat Chinese for dinner tonight, and you say that one of the reasons is self-serving, that doesn't negate the other reasons.

ETA: let me say I agree with you that this interstate compact gimmick is NOT the right way to change the law, and I think the courts will strike it down. But this obsession you have with someone pushing policies that are good for their interests is really tiresome.
The assertion that was being made is that the Republicans are opposed to Electoral College reform simply because it butters their bread to oppose it. The NPVIC is worth supporting, the alternate thought goes, because it is an altruistic attempt at making the country more "democratic". But I assert that this is nonsense. The NPVIC is simply an attempt by the Democratic Party to obtain a political advantage they currently lack. Given this blatantly political motivation, I don't see that arguing that the Republican opposition is blatantly political in motivation has any value as a reason to criticize what they are doing. Pots and kettles, you know.

Please note that I have not said that the reason not to implement the NPVIC has anything to do with Democratic Party motivations. Please do not impute to me that which I have not asserted.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:42 AM
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"No u" is not a respectable answer on this board. But it does answer the question, doesn't it?
See my reply above as to what my comment is about. In short: criticizing Republicans for being political in their reasons when Democrats are being equally political in their reasons is pot and kettle time.

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Yes, the Democrats generally support expanding and strengthening democracy. Now, how about the facts that make you believe the Republicans do so equally?
Ah, now this is kinda the nub to the whole thing. "Expanding and strengthening democracy": explain how exactly what the NPVIC does is "expanding and strengthening democracy"? On the contrary, it does quite the opposite: it ignores the preferences of the people in the states in question, as expressed in their votes, in favor of the votes of people in other places in the country. That's not "expanding and strengthening democracy"; that's simply changing the nature of the country from a federal system of government to a national system that ignores the states when it comes to choosing the President.

I've asserted in the past (in this thread indeed, I believe) that, in order to establish that this is a change that should be adopted, those in favor (like you) should establish exactly why it's necessary to make such a change. So far, I have only seen that people who are in favor of it are in favor of it because the current system somehow offends their sensibilities. Ignoring for a moment the fact that I suspect that, for many, their sensibilities are motivated by their political losses, rather than actual principles, the simple fact that someone (say you) prefers the idea of a national "democracy", as opposed to a federal democracy isn't a reason to make a change. If we were all sitting down around a table trying to decide what to do to set up the country ab initio, you could make your arguments for what you want. But, of course, you'd probably find that your demands would be rejected just as they were back in 1787 in Philadelphia, and for much the same reasons. And then you'd have to decide if you should just take your marbles and go home and not play with those who won't accept your vision, or if you should cut a deal and try to get at least some of what you want (you know, like actually happened).

I'm not unutterably opposed to revamping (or eliminating) the Electoral College. But I believe it should be done only after demonstrating how it is failing to accomplish the goals we hold important in the selection of a President. I can tell you for a fact that you simply won't be able to convince large swathes of the country to accept your idea of a popularly elected President. I live in South Carolina. I know the people here pretty well by now. And I can tell you without fear of contradiction that, if it ever comes to the point that the people of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York get to choose who the President over South Carolina is, the compact that is the United States will most likely unravel post haste.


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The fact that there is a serious discussion about it should tell you that "accepted" is not quite an accurate term.
It is "accepted" because, you know, it's what we've been doing for over 200 years. The fact that a minority of people want a change doesn't make it any less the "accepted" practice.
  #412  
Old 06-18-2019, 01:46 AM
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"how is ensuring that the person who wins 3 million more votes becomes president democratic" send tweet
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The United States is currently running a series of concentration camps at the border. If you support or defend this, you're a monster and we cannot be friends.
  #413  
Old 06-18-2019, 02:38 AM
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What gets me about the whole anti-EC thing is that most Republicans would benefit significantly from abolishing it.

For better or worse, the two party system is stable. If some tweak to the current system were to remove some of the red-state bias, all that would happen is that candidates would shift left slightly. It's no surprise that US elections are typically so close. It's designed into the system. It would not lead to some permanent Democratic presidency.

Ok, but there's still a leftward shift--what would Republicans stand to gain from that? Well, here's a hint--here are the top per-state Republican tallies from the 2016 election:
4,685,047
4,617,886
4,483,810

Not enough of a clue? Try this:
SPOILER:
Texas: 4,685,047
Florida: 4,617,886
California: 4,483,810
That's right--California has the third highest Republican population in the US. Does anyone think they're being paid attention to? For that matter, does anyone think the Republicans in Texas are being paid attention to? Of course not--we know this by looking where the candidates stopped. In 2016, Trump stopped once each in California and Texas. Once, for two states in the top three. In Florida, Trump stopped 35 times.

This isn't about Republican vs. Democrat, red state vs. blue state or anything like that. It's swing state vs. not. Why does Trump know that he can (for instance) fuck up trade agreements, harming California producers in the process, and not care a bit about backlash? Because those 4.4 million Republican votes are completely worthless. Why can he make a half-assed promise about increasing the water supply and do just about the minimum non-zero effort in following through? Same thing. And of course the same is true of Texan Republicans as well, because Trump knows the state is his almost no matter what.

So in exchange for what's likely to be a tiny leftward shift in the overall platform, the majority of Republicans (everyone not in a swing state)--whose specific needs are currently being ignored (or worse, spent as political capital in other areas)--would gain the president's ear. Aside from certain sets of single-issue voters, just about everyone stands to gain from that.

But no, muh tribalism. Sigh.
  #414  
Old 06-18-2019, 03:22 AM
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I think the whole "do president by popular vote" things is well intentioned but misleading. Innocuously misleading instead of maliciously misleading, but misleading nonetheless. The Electoral College is a bad institution that has every problem noted with it, but its main baffling feature is it's worse than popular vote... which is still really bad.

For direct national offices like President, we'd be much better served by a number of systems built to elect single people, such as Instant Runoff Voting where you rank candidates in order of preference, or (my preferred) Combined Approval Voting where you rate each candidate Approve/Neutral/Disapprove. There are other systems of course, these are just my preferred options. No method is perfect, but there are good theoretical reasons why any voting system has explicit tradeoffs between desirable effects and possible exploits. Pretty much all methods have better features than Popular Vote.

For Congress, there's also various proportional methods, both preserving the concept of states and disregarding it. I'm partial to MMP (directly vote for a representative, and then fill out an equal number of seats based on the proportion of votes for each party), but again, there are other methods. This eliminates a lot of really nasty issues like Gerrymandering.

Even disregarding all that and assuming you're still for the EC, if you like the feature of the Electoral College that it prevents one class of people from overwhelming the voices of others to me it's not clear that the current version is what you want. The Small/Large state distinction isn't really much of a distinction that represents the actual dividing lines in modern American politics. There are much more fundamental divisions such as gender identity, racial categorization and SIRE, income level, incarceration status, religious affiliation and so on. I'm an Oregonian but that's pretty far down my list of things I care about being represented in the Senate or when voting for President. It's non-obvious to me that when you care about amplifying the voices of the downtrodden that arbitrary decades or centuries old political-geographic boundaries should be the basis for determining this amplification. Especially when a lot of classes of underrepresented people, such as immigrants or queer people aren't localized to a geographic region but instead have their voting power as a class diluted by being spread out across the US.

Of course, this gets into a bunch of extremely hairy questions like "What classes of people 'deserve' an elector(/senator)? How many electors do each group get? How does one go about redistributing these electors, or adding a new class that should have electors?" For instance, if what I proposed was the case you'd expect that at the moment perhaps LGBT people would be fighting for representation in Congress and the EC based on sexuality and trans/cis status, and could be especially disenfranchised while trying to get that, not to mention the inherent administrative violence in determining what's a "valid" identity for political purposes and who is "allowed" to belong to that group for voting purposes, but I feel it's at least a good illustration of why the EC's stated goal is suspect at best.

The benefit of the popular vote compact is it probably doesn't require a constitutional amendment and possibly doesn't require an act of congress at all, but I do worry that if it were to become the deciding factor in elections it would convince people that we've finally fixed everything when we really just went from a tragically bad system to a really bad system.

Last edited by Jragon; 06-18-2019 at 03:26 AM.
  #415  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
See my reply above as to what my comment is about. In short: criticizing Republicans for being political in their reasons when Democrats are being equally political in their reasons is pot and kettle time.
IOW, "no u". :Shrug:

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explain how exactly what the NPVIC does is "expanding and strengthening democracy"?
Stalling tactic now.

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On the contrary, it does quite the opposite: it ignores the preferences of the people in the states in question, as expressed in their votes, in favor of the votes of people in other places in the country.
Yes, it makes all votes count equally, unlike the current system.

Oh, I see - you think the removal of an advantage is the imposition of a disadvantage. No, friend, it is not.

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That's not "expanding and strengthening democracy"; that's simply changing the nature of the country from a federal system of government to a national system that ignores the states when it comes to choosing the President.
Which has the effect of expanding and strengthening democracy. Now you're into self-contradiction - what other fallacies would you like to demonstrate for us?

Quote:
I've asserted in the past (in this thread indeed, I believe) that, in order to establish that this is a change that should be adopted, those in favor (like you) should establish exactly why it's necessary to make such a change.
And we have done so, and your replies are either "no u" or nonsensical.

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So far, I have only seen that people who are in favor of it are in favor of it because the current system somehow offends their sensibilities.
If you really do oppose democracy itself, it's high time you explained that, or even simply admitted it. As you've been told before, short of that, your motivations are left to be inferred, and the inference won't be favorable to you.

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And I can tell you without fear of contradiction that, if it ever comes to the point that the people of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York get to choose who the President over South Carolina is, the compact that is the United States will most likely unravel post haste.
South Carolina tried that once before, remember? It didn't turn out so well. Better luck next time.

Anyway, it's We the Dirt, and government of the dirt, by the dirt, and for the dirt, right? Screw the people; they can't be trusted to vote correctly.
  #416  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
So in exchange for what's likely to be a tiny leftward shift in the overall platform, the majority of Republicans (everyone not in a swing state)--whose specific needs are currently being ignored (or worse, spent as political capital in other areas)--would gain the president's ear. Aside from certain sets of single-issue voters, just about everyone stands to gain from that.

But no, muh tribalism. Sigh.
The Confederacy still exists - you can still see it on the electoral map, because of the lack of need of any candidate to focus on it. A democratic electoral process might help finally put that monstrosity and all the evils it stood for and stands for today back into history. Weaken the tribalism and you'll weaken the hate. Maybe, but it can't hurt.
  #417  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
The assertion that was being made is that the Republicans are opposed to Electoral College reform simply because it butters their bread to oppose it. The NPVIC is worth supporting, the alternate thought goes, because it is an altruistic attempt at making the country more "democratic". But I assert that this is nonsense. The NPVIC is simply an attempt by the Democratic Party to obtain a political advantage they currently lack. Given this blatantly political motivation, I don't see that arguing that the Republican opposition is blatantly political in motivation has any value as a reason to criticize what they are doing. Pots and kettles, you know.
The technical term for this kind of bullshit is "lalalalalalaican'thearyou!!!"

In this very thread, people have asserted opposing principles that are worth seriously considering, that have nothing to do with political advantage. For example, my position is that:
1. the electoral college does not serve the purpose that many associate with it (that electors might operate with some independence from the vote of their state;
2. there's nothing particularity special about the office of the presidency that should make it immune from the principle that whomever gets the most votes, wins; and
3. the compact will be struck down by courts as an illegal interstate agreement.

Others have disagreed with these points, including people who believe that the electoral college is preferable, for example:
1. our system should give more deference to small states;
2. there's an important matter of not having too much direct democracy in our system.

I disagree with these points, but they are points that can be considered and debated in good faith.

If you are going to boil down debates to, "Dems want to win and will say anything to do it; and R's want to win and will say anything to do it," then I posit that you're actually not interested in the merits; and more interested in a Trumpian "drain the swamp" knee-jerk reactionary position toward political disagreements.

Quote:
Please note that I have not said that the reason not to implement the NPVIC has anything to do with Democratic Party motivations. Please do not impute to me that which I have not asserted.
Well, your arguments so far have embraced very little substance, so I've had a hard time telling if you have a point at all.
  #418  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:34 AM
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Jragon, you're comparing apples to oranges. Whether a voting system is a popular vote or not is a completely independent question of whether it's single nontransferable vote. We currently have a nontransferable electoral college vote. We could change that to an approval electoral college vote, or to a nonstansferable popular vote, or to an approval popular vote. Or to many other combinations.
  #419  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
... For example, my position is that:
1. the electoral college does not serve the purpose that many associate with it (that electors might operate with some independence from the vote of their state;
2. there's nothing particularity special about the office of the presidency that should make it immune from the principle that whomever gets the most votes, wins; and
3. the compact will be struck down by courts as an illegal interstate agreement.
We were in opposition in one of the sub-debates, but I note that I agree with your #1 and #2.

As for point #3, if we could be sure that NPVIC would be safely overturned in all states then we could ignore it. The worry is that some states would overturn it and some wouldn't.

A significant case is when the popular and electoral votes give different results, as happened in 2000 and 2016. If this happens again (what does Nate Silver give as the probability of this?) I fear that the losers under NPVIC would be sore losers, and go into a frenzy hiring lawyers and cheaters. Such a result would be very bad for American politics, and would favor the side (guess who? ) that delights in frenzy, cheating, and legal chicanery.
  #420  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:31 AM
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As for point #3, if we could be sure that NPVIC would be safely overturned in all states then we could ignore it. The worry is that some states would overturn it and some wouldn't.
I'm not sure what you mean by "overturned in the states...." What I'm saying is that Federal courts would likely find that this type of agreement among states is illegal without either Congress approving it or a constitutional amendment. Then presumably courts would easily find that states that carried out the compact would be in violation of the ruling, leading to a big mess. Is that what you are referring to?

And I'll just note that my previous post addressed to you in which I challenged your scenario where recounts are challenged everywhere was predicated on this compact being legalized. If such a system were legally instituted, it would make recounts considerably rarer, IMHO.
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