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Old 03-20-2019, 12:03 PM
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Should the US electoral college really attempted to be abolished? Or is this just political rhetoric


Many 2020 Democratic hopefuls are campaigning on eliminating the electoral college. Such a move would require a constitutional amendment, which would require 2/3 approval by the Senate and House and ratification by 3/4 of the States.

Seems doubtful that such an amendment could occur purely from a political perspective.

There are also many arguments about why the electoral college should be eliminated and why it shouldn't.

Pro removal:
- Popular vote for POTUS allows every vote to be counted
- Shifts the campaigning from electoral battleground states to across the country
- Shifts unfair power from less populated states to states with higher populations

Pro Status Quo:
- Founding fathers created a representative democracy not a true democracy, and the electoral college kept more populated states from having unfair power over less populated states
- The EC fosters the support of a two party system
- Any new system would be fraught with its own problems that make it unappealing

The above reasons were lifted from various pundits points of view. I'm sure there are many more reasons for each side of the argument.

So do you believe that there should be a real attempt at abolishing the EC, or is it just too unlikely, and the current rhetoric is just that? Rhetoric to appeal to a democratic base?
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:07 PM
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Sounds to me like an attempt at chipping away at a mountain. It may or may not happen (and doesn't seem likely,) but in the meantime it appeals to many (D) voters and fires up the D base. There's certainly nothing for Democratic candidates to lose by arguing for it.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:09 PM
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The EC fosters the support of a two party system
I don't think the EC makes much difference in this regard. In any first-past-the-post system, a 2-party system is the natural way to go. It couldn't be any other way, because the party that fractures is doomed to lose. Even without an Electoral College, you'd still see a Democratic and Republican party, because neither side can afford to not be united in one big blue or red bloc.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:12 PM
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The current rhetoric is just pure pandering to the base while the various candidates each try to get to the left of the others. "Should" it happen? I don't know, but it seems extremely unlikely to happen anytime soon, and any attempt to push it seems quite likely to fail. If I could convince the next Dem candidate to spend time, energy, and money focusing on this rather than other more-salient issues, I'd consider it a victory for my side.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:18 PM
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Should it happen? Yes
Should the Democrats support it? Yes
Should it be a main point in any candidate's platform? No
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:30 PM
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Should it happen? Yes
Should the Democrats support it? Yes
Should it be a main point in any candidate's platform? No
My position as well, broadly speaking.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:42 PM
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Should it happen? No. It's a horrible idea that would lead to the country being run by the coasts and urban areas.

Should Democrats support it? Not if they actually care about what is good for the country.

Should it be a main point in any candidate's platform? Well, it's more likely to happen than fixing climate change by teaching cows not to fart, so there's that.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:47 PM
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Of course it should be abolished because it is anti-democratic. The majority of the people voted for Clinton, but Trump is president because of what amounts to a gimmick in the electoral system.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:49 PM
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Many 2020 Democratic hopefuls are campaigning on eliminating the electoral college. Such a move would require a constitutional amendment, which would require 2/3 approval by the Senate and House and ratification by 3/4 of the States.
Separate from the pros and cons, it could be accomplished by the states changing the way they allocate electors.
The movement to have the states give their votes to the winner of the national popular vote is gaining steam.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:51 PM
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Yes, I believe that the EC should be abolished, or at least reformed to offer more equitable weighting (maybe eliminate the 2 senators per state formula? Just a guess.) Regarding the political hurdles, indeed the likelihood of this occurring in my lifetime are slim. But that does not mean it should not be proposed and pushed. By making this a talking point it moves the discussion along (see Overton window).

A more likely scenario is the end-run that many states are attempting - pledging to assign their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of how their own state votes. This strategy leaves the electoral college intact, but changes the outcome. This does not require a change to the constitution.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:54 PM
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Of course it should be abolished because it is anti-democratic. The majority of the people voted for Clinton, but Trump is president because of what amounts to a gimmick in the electoral system.
She won a plurality of votes, not a majority.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:56 PM
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A more likely scenario is the end-run that many states are attempting - pledging to assign their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of how their own state votes. This strategy leaves the electoral college intact, but changes the outcome. This does not require a change to the constitution.
This has greater potential to backfire on the Democrats than on Republicans. IIRC, it is mostly blue, not red, states who are going along with this sort of initiative. This means that if a Republican wins the national popular vote but would have lost the Electoral College otherwise, that he might now win the EC because these blue states will now be giving their EVs to him.

If a Democrat wins the national popular vote, on the other hand, then he was likely to carry these blue states anyway, so this rule change is of no benefit to him.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:58 PM
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She won a plurality of votes, not a majority.
True, but that's a distinction without a difference. If she got more than Trump, she got more than Trump, whether it's 51%-49% or something like 35%-34%.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:03 PM
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This has greater potential to backfire on the Democrats than on Republicans. IIRC, it is mostly blue, not red, states who are going along with this sort of initiative. This means that if a Republican wins the national popular vote but would have lost the Electoral College otherwise, that he might now win the EC because these blue states will now be giving their EVs to him.

If a Democrat wins the national popular vote, on the other hand, then he was likely to carry these blue states anyway, so this rule change is of no benefit to him.
It doesn't matter where the states come from, as long as they total to more than 270 EV before they agree to implement the initiative. At that point, the remaining states can do whatever, it's not going to change the outcome of the election.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:05 PM
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Should it happen? No. It's a horrible idea that would lead to the country being run by the coasts and urban areas.
No it wouldn't, at least not any more than the country in the present is run by swing states. It would result in every single American citizen having the exact same possible voting influence on who becomes President as every other American citizen. Today, some Americans have much, much more voting influence on who becomes President than other Americans.

Right now, presidential candidates don't go to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, or many more of the largest American cities to campaign for the general election. It seems reasonable to believe that individual Americans in those cities should have just as much voting influence as to who becomes President as the individual Americans who live in Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine, Nevada, and other swing states.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 03-20-2019 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:11 PM
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Quoth Velocity:

This has greater potential to backfire on the Democrats than on Republicans. IIRC, it is mostly blue, not red, states who are going along with this sort of initiative. This means that if a Republican wins the national popular vote but would have lost the Electoral College otherwise, that he might now win the EC because these blue states will now be giving their EVs to him.
You're mixing up the scenario where it happens with the scenario where it doesn't happen. Right now, it's all blue states, but in a world where it's already passed, it must necessarily include some red states, which wouldn't have voted for the Democrat without the compact. To compare the impact on the two parties, all you have to answer is the question "Is it more likely for the Republicans or the Democrats to win the electoral college without winning the popular vote?". And the answer to that question is clear.

Which is, of course, why Republicans support the status quo. But so far as I can tell, it's the only reason to support the status quo. All of the other reasons boiled down to "Our Founding Fathers wanted the system to be broken and not work right, and so it should be broken and not work right".
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:17 PM
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There are a lot of great reasons we have the EC, one of which is avoiding tyranny of the majority. Ten wolves and nine sheep voting on what to have for dinner is a bad situation. Also, elections are much harder to steal, because you would need to know much too late which states needed to be focused on. In a straight national vote, any election trickery is beneficial to the count.

There are other reasons expounded upon by others who have studied the EC for decades, but I'd suggest that instead of trying to alter the system to be more favorable to them, Democrats should try to understand and change what went wrong in the system we have. And it wasn't Russia stealing votes, it was a wave of populism combined with one of the most, historically, disliked Democratic candidates.

Last edited by Dacien; 03-20-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:20 PM
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No it wouldn't, at least not any more than the country in the present is run by swing states. It would result in every single American citizen having the exact same possible voting influence on who becomes President as every other American citizen. Today, some Americans have much, much more voting influence on who becomes President than other Americans.

Right now, presidential candidates don't go to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, or many more of the largest American cities to campaign for the general election. It seems reasonable to believe that individual Americans in those cities should have just as much voting influence as to who becomes President as the individual Americans who live in Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine, Nevada, and other swing states.

The rural votes are at a disadvantage however. For electoral affirmative action they need to carry more weight than the urban ones.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:22 PM
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We're missing something else, namely the likelihood of the states to comply should the system ask them switch their electors to someone different from their state's majority. I posit that one party is more likely to renege on the compact, and the Supreme Court would likely not interfere since it is an intra-state political issue, thus the compact does indeed benefit Republicans, IMO, since they wouldn't honor it if they were called upon to.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:22 PM
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The rural votes are at a disadvantage however. For electoral affirmative action they need to carry more weight than the urban ones.
I don't understand what you're trying to say. I'm advocating that every single American voter should have the exact same voting influence on who becomes President.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:27 PM
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There are a lot of great reasons we have the EC, one of which is avoiding tyranny of the majority. Ten wolves and nine sheep voting on what to have for dinner is a bad situation. .
I don't think the EC saved us in 2016 from being eaten by wolves.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:28 PM
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No it wouldn't, at least not any more than the country in the present is run by swing states. It would result in every single American citizen having the exact same possible voting influence on who becomes President as every other American citizen. Today, some Americans have much, much more voting influence on who becomes President than other Americans.

Right now, presidential candidates don't go to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, or many more of the largest American cities to campaign for the general election. It seems reasonable to believe that individual Americans in those cities should have just as much voting influence as to who becomes President as the individual Americans who live in Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine, Nevada, and other swing states.
You're not really proving your point. Candidates don't select cities to visit based on relative voting power of the residents. Which cities they choose to visit as a measure of democracy is silly.

And in the last 10 weeks of campaigning, Clinton did visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. Trump visited Houston. And of course, they both "visited" New York.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:29 PM
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I'd rather have tyranny of the masses than tyranny of them asses.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:29 PM
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There are a lot of great reasons we have the EC, one of which is avoiding tyranny of the majority. Ten wolves and nine sheep voting on what to have for dinner is a bad situation. Also, elections are much harder to steal, because you would need to know much too late which states needed to be focused on. In a straight national vote, any election trickery is beneficial to the count.

There are other reasons expounded upon by others who have studied the EC for decades, but I'd suggest that instead of trying to alter the system to be more favorable to them, Democrats should try to understand and change what went wrong in the system we have. And it wasn't Russia stealing votes, it was a wave of populism combined with one of the most, historically, disliked Democratic candidates.
We have the courts and the constitution to prevent a tyranny of the majority. The same courts and constitution that prevent us from having a tyranny of the minority right now.

There's a lot of work to be done on our electoral processes but ending the EC is a great start.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:32 PM
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I don't understand what you're trying to say. I'm advocating that every single American voter should have the exact same voting influence on who becomes President.
I think what the other side is advocating is that certain Americans should have their votes count more than others. Specifically Americans that tend to vote the right way. Maybe we can refer to them as "real Americans"?

Also, if tyranny of the majority is bad, isn't tyranny of the minority even worse?
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:36 PM
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No it shouldnít be abolished. What should happen is the House of Representatives should be expanded.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:40 PM
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Anyone claiming that the election would be dominated by the coasts should give New York gubernatorial elections. It's an excellent test case - NYC is just shy of half the state's population, and there's no electoral college for counties. And yet, candidates campaign over the whole state. Weird, right?

Hell, that makes me think. EC advocates, would you advocate an EC system for state elections?

Similarly, anyone talking about "tyranny of the majority", how is tyranny of the minority any better? All you've done is shift who gets the power from the majority of the voters to the minority with a certain arbitrary geographic distribution. Why is this better?
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:47 PM
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Also, relevant Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/studentactivism/...401286147?s=19

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Old 03-20-2019, 01:49 PM
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No it shouldnít be abolished. What should happen is the House of Representatives should be expanded.
To what - 6500?

Seriously, the one unratified amendment from the original Bill of Rights says that the House of Representatives should be capped at "one member per 50,000 persons;" with a current population estimate of 325 million, that would be 6500 members.

A more viable alternative: change the method of determining how many electors each state gets (example: have 999 electors - that way, 500 are needed to win - with each state and DC getting three, and the other 846 divided proportionally with no guarantee that any state would receive more than their initial three). Of course, your way and the National Popular Vote Compact seem to be the only two ways to change it without having to amend the Constitution.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:10 PM
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I guess another question is: should the United States change it's form of government from a Democratic Republic or Representative Democracy to a true Federal Democracy.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:12 PM
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I guess another question is: should the United States change it's form of government from a Democratic Republic or Representative Democracy to a true Federal Democracy.
What would that entail?
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:14 PM
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The rural votes are at a disadvantage however. For electoral affirmative action they need to carry more weight than the urban ones.
based on 2018 population estimates each electoral vote from Wyoming is about 200,000 people. California and Texas it is over 700,000 people per electoral vote. A vote in WY is worth three times as much as a vote in CA or TX. That is a long way from "one man one vote"
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:16 PM
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based on 2018 population estimates each electoral vote from Wyoming is about 200,000 people. California and Texas it is over 700,000 people per electoral vote. A vote in WY is worth three times as much as a vote in CA or TX. That is a long way from "one man one vote"
Well if we were a true democracy, that would make sense. But considering that we're not, it does make sense.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:18 PM
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Personally, I would to see the EC reformed rather than eliminated. Right now, we have a sort of buyer's remorse, with no practical means of returning the defective product. If the EC were set up like an actual "college", where the members (chosen by district) were to convene and choose the president (preferably from one of their own), there could be mechanisms by which they could hold an interim convention that might replace a bad executive so that the country could overcome an obvious mistake before more damage is done. And instead of having to worry about deadlocks, they could decide to throw their leading choices to the voters for a quick election.

I believe that well-designed reform could turn the electoral college into an even more democratic institution than just getting rid of it.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:31 PM
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I think what the other side is advocating is that certain Americans should have their votes count more than others. Specifically Americans that tend to vote the right way. Maybe we can refer to them as "real Americans"?

Also, if tyranny of the majority is bad, isn't tyranny of the minority even worse?
The House of Representatives is already the natural intended check against tyranny of the minority.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:35 PM
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You're not really proving your point. Candidates don't select cities to visit based on relative voting power of the residents. Which cities they choose to visit as a measure of democracy is silly.
As the only measure, sure. But if they're never (or almost never) visiting these big cities, and spending much, much more time interacting with and campaign in places with much lower populations, then that seems a lot less fair and "democratic" to me than candidates focusing on where they can earn the most American citizens' votes.

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And in the last 10 weeks of campaigning, Clinton did visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. Trump visited Houston. And of course, they both "visited" New York.
Fair enough, I'll change never to almost never. My fundamental point is that every American citizen should have the exact same voting power on who becomes President, and that isn't the case with the EC.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:36 PM
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To what - 6500?

Seriously, the one unratified amendment from the original Bill of Rights says that the House of Representatives should be capped at "one member per 50,000 persons;" with a current population estimate of 325 million, that would be 6500 members.

A more viable alternative: change the method of determining how many electors each state gets (example: have 999 electors - that way, 500 are needed to win - with each state and DC getting three, and the other 846 divided proportionally with no guarantee that any state would receive more than their initial three). Of course, your way and the National Popular Vote Compact seem to be the only two ways to change it without having to amend the Constitution.
What would be wrong with 6500 reps? Thatís more democracy!
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:40 PM
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As the only measure, sure. But if they're never (or almost never) visiting these big cities, and spending much, much more time interacting with and campaign in places with much lower populations, then that seems a lot less fair and "democratic" to me than candidates focusing on where they can earn the most American citizens' votes.



Fair enough, I'll change never to almost never. My fundamental point is that every American citizen should have the exact same voting power on who becomes President, and that isn't the case with the EC.
You are asking for states to give up power. That isnít going to happen in this case. Itís like booting France or the UK off the permanent UN Security Council because they have disproportionate international influence. Why would they ever not veto such a proposal? To be fair to India or Brazil?
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:42 PM
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This has greater potential to backfire on the Democrats than on Republicans. IIRC, it is mostly blue, not red, states who are going along with this sort of initiative. This means that if a Republican wins the national popular vote but would have lost the Electoral College otherwise, that he might now win the EC because these blue states will now be giving their EVs to him.

If a Democrat wins the national popular vote, on the other hand, then he was likely to carry these blue states anyway, so this rule change is of no benefit to him.
I'd think you'd be more likely to get broader popular support behind proposals to proportionally allocate a state's EC delegates according to the party split within the state.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:47 PM
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The arguments in favor of retaining the EC are weak, weak, weak. (That doesn't matter, since they're basically only meant to provide rhetorical ammunition to Republicans, who want to preserve it --when they do, and few seem not to -- because it benefits their party.)

I'll shoot down a few I've seen versions of in this thread, knowing that it probably won't do much good, since good-faith, well-informed arguments for the EC are rare. (And even those are bad.) For the record:
1) "Only the coasts/large cities will decide." Nonsense. Every vote will count equally, and believe it or not there are plenty of Republicans in New York, California, NYC, LA, et al who will suddenly be effectively reenfranchised by a popular vote.
2) "Candidates will ignore small/rural states." They basically ignore plenty of them now, because those states' winners are foregone conclusions. Please don't ask me for cites before asking yourself whether this is true, because it's true.
2a) "Candidates won't visit small/rural states." We're a country of 330 million people. (Not all vote, obviously.) The vast majority of us -- I'm sure it's way more than 99% -- get "visited" by our candidates through media. (Unless "visited" specifically means "came personally and spoke at some event nearby that I didn't go to, but theoretically could have.") We meet them though news coverage and advertising and word of mouth. Quit pretending that, say, general election candidates' visits to Iowa bring most Iowans closer to them, somehow. (I am not talking about the Iowa caucus process here, but someone will make an argument based on that, I have a feeling, so here I am saying "don't," since the Iowa caucuses are not a national election.)
2z) This "they won't take small/rural states seriously" argument is, IMHO, actually an argument that "they won't take us Republicans/older people/white people seriously" -- the central anxiety of modern conservatism. People, disenfranchising Californians is not going to make homophobia cool again, or get people to shut up about our country's racist past and present.

Maybe I'll add more when I have some time -- though, as I said, basically no one has an argument for the EC that's good-faith and not based on false reasoning. (Hey, fight my ignorance! And yes, "basically no one" is not the same as "no one." But the good-faith arguments I've seen are somewhere between weak and utterly repellent, so bring your A game.)
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
You are asking for states to give up power. That isnít going to happen in this case. Itís like booting France or the UK off the permanent UN Security Council because they have disproportionate international influence. Why would they ever not veto such a proposal? To be fair to India or Brazil?
Only a very few states would functionally be giving up any power. Large swing states like Florida and Ohio have "power" in terms of influencing a presidential election regardless of whether we have the EC or not. And right now, small non-swing-states like Vermont or Wyoming, have no power in terms of electing Presidents -- at least without the EC, their citizens' votes would be worth just as much as everyone else's. Only small swing states have outsize power with the EC -- I'm sure Iowa, NH, and the like enjoy the outsize influence they have for President, but that doesn't mean it isn't less fair and less democratic than abolishing the EC.
  #42  
Old 03-20-2019, 02:53 PM
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I'd think you'd be more likely to get broader popular support behind proposals to proportionally allocate a state's EC delegates according to the party split within the state.
So we'll still massively over-weigh small state voters with those two extra Senate-based EVs (etc.). Will we divide all states' EVs fractionally? If so, how many decimal places will we take it to? If we have to do rounding, the "odd EV votes/even EV votes" issue will suddenly become a new way to think about swing states.

It's farcical.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:10 PM
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Should it happen? No. It's a horrible idea that would lead to the country being run by the coasts and urban areas.
Why not? That's who SHOULD run the country. As it is, progress is being held back for fear of offending ignorant hayseeds, rubes, rednecks, and hillbillies.

The electoral college sucks, but a national popular vote would suck even more. Imagine the chaos if the national vote for each candidate was within 100. I can see where some states might be tempted to pad their totals or suppress votes to help their guy. Right now, there's no reason to suppress black votes in Mississippi since no Democrat is ever going to carry the state. But if it means possibly tipping the national vote, then there is all the reason in the world for Republicans to suppress the vote everywhere.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:12 PM
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The arguments in favor of retaining the EC are weak, weak, weak. (That doesn't matter, since they're basically only meant to provide rhetorical ammunition to Republicans, who want to preserve it --when they do, and few seem not to -- because it benefits their party.)

I'll shoot down a few I've seen versions of in this thread, knowing that it probably won't do much good, since good-faith, well-informed arguments for the EC are rare. (And even those are bad.) For the record:
1) "Only the coasts/large cities will decide." Nonsense. Every vote will count equally, and believe it or not there are plenty of Republicans in New York, California, NYC, LA, et al who will suddenly be effectively reenfranchised by a popular vote.
2) "Candidates will ignore small/rural states." They basically ignore plenty of them now, because those states' winners are foregone conclusions. Please don't ask me for cites before asking yourself whether this is true, because it's true.
2a) "Candidates won't visit small/rural states." We're a country of 330 million people. (Not all vote, obviously.) The vast majority of us -- I'm sure it's way more than 99% -- get "visited" by our candidates through media. (Unless "visited" specifically means "came personally and spoke at some event nearby that I didn't go to, but theoretically could have.") We meet them though news coverage and advertising and word of mouth. Quit pretending that, say, general election candidates' visits to Iowa bring most Iowans closer to them, somehow. (I am not talking about the Iowa caucus process here, but someone will make an argument based on that, I have a feeling, so here I am saying "don't," since the Iowa caucuses are not a national election.)
2z) This "they won't take small/rural states seriously" argument is, IMHO, actually an argument that "they won't take us Republicans/older people/white people seriously" -- the central anxiety of modern conservatism. People, disenfranchising Californians is not going to make homophobia cool again, or get people to shut up about our country's racist past and present.

Maybe I'll add more when I have some time -- though, as I said, basically no one has an argument for the EC that's good-faith and not based on false reasoning. (Hey, fight my ignorance! And yes, "basically no one" is not the same as "no one." But the good-faith arguments I've seen are somewhere between weak and utterly repellent, so bring your A game.)
The reason for the EC is simple and it is the same reason for the composition of the U.S. Senate. If you are going to have a country made up of small states and large states, the small states will not join if you have a system where the large states can use their majority power to ignore the will of the small states.

The small states would not have ratified the Constitution otherwise. It was the deal that was made. It had the same "unfairness" at the time the deal was made, but it was made so that we would have a union of states. There are no take backsies on that deal.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:23 PM
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The reason for the EC is simple and it is the same reason for the composition of the U.S. Senate. If you are going to have a country made up of small states and large states, the small states will not join if you have a system where the large states can use their majority power to ignore the will of the small states.

The small states would not have ratified the Constitution otherwise. It was the deal that was made. It had the same "unfairness" at the time the deal was made, but it was made so that we would have a union of states. There are no take backsies on that deal.
It isn't the same deal now. In 1790 the smallest state, Delaware had 59,096 people. The largest state, Virginia, has 691,937. Thus the maximum ratio between states was 11.7 to 1. In 2010, the smallest state, Wyoming, had a population of 563,626. The largest state, California, has 37,253,956. The ratio of largest state to smallest state is now 66.1 to 1. In 1790, the largest states were more than generous in giving the smaller states more than 10 times the representation they deserve in the Senate. Now, the smallest state has 66 times the representation it deserves.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:26 PM
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If its not ok for the large states to ignore the will of the small states, then why is it ok for the small states to ignore the will of the big states? Just because that gets you your way? Is that really all that matters? Why can't your side even comprehend why the larger states may resent that? You do realize that the longer this goes on and the more power gets concentrated into the less populated areas as we get more and more urban as a country is not sustainable right? What would happen if 80% of the people lived in urban areas, but everything is still being controlled by the 20% that live more spread out in the less populated areas? At what point would you agree that that power imbalance isn't fair or healthy for a democratic country? Only if it happens to your side?
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  #47  
Old 03-20-2019, 03:34 PM
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It isn't the same deal now. ...
It doesn't matter. The deal is still in effect, and will remain in effect whether the ratio is 6:1, 66:1, or 6000:1. If you want to change it, you're going to need the consent of (at least some of) those states that are currently benefiting from the deal. "Because it's unfair" has thus far proven unpersuasive in winning their consent. I suppose you could keep trying that approach, but I doubt the outcome will change. Perhaps a more fruitful approach would be to work on some ideas that might win their consent. Try figuring out what you could give WY / VT / AK / the Dakotas in exchange for abolishing the Electoral College.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:37 PM
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Should it happen? No. It's a horrible idea that would lead to the country being run by the coasts and urban areas.

Why is that a problem? I can see that those who aren't who live in rural districts might feel that their interests will be given short shrift relative to the desires of the majority, but so does any other minority. What is specifically special about rural interests that it needs to be persevered.

Would you feet the same way about a proposal to give African American votes extra weight since without it the country will be run by the whites?

Last edited by Buck Godot; 03-20-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:46 PM
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I think the idea of actually giving 538 electors the constitutional power to overturn in election is a horrible idea -- and it can still happen, regardless of what individual state laws are on the books. Quite literally, these individual electors could be bought off or persuaded in some other way to overturn a democratic result, and there's nothing that can be done to reverse the outcome. That is setting the table for a political crisis, and the closer the election, the more likely it is we'll eventually be confronted with that constitutional test.

I don't object to having state-by-state contests, so we can keep the point system, but get rid of the actual electors themselves. The Enlightenment era assumption that electors can act as an emergency brake on democracy run amok has been proven, once and for all, to be ineffectual. If anyone was ever unfit to hold office, if there was any election in which that emergency brake or 'eject button' should have been used, it was the last one, and it failed us. So it's clear that the electors themselves are just a hand-me-down assumption and another example of an 18th Century thought experiment that failed.

Additionally, I think that whatever system is used should be used consistently throughout the states. If we want to make it a winner-take-all contest, then all states should.
  #50  
Old 03-20-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dacien View Post
There are a lot of great reasons we have the EC, one of which is avoiding tyranny of the majority. Ten wolves and nine sheep voting on what to have for dinner is a bad situation.
Why is it a better situation to have the nine sheep vote to eat the ten wolves, and have them prevail on the question?

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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
I guess another question is: should the United States change it's form of government from a Democratic Republic or Representative Democracy to a true Federal Democracy.
This is an irrelevant point. The Constitution defines our government, period. And quibbling over what flavor of government the Constitution provides is the most obscene form of navel gazing that can be done. So tell me: when the Constitution was amended to provide for direct election of Senators, what form of democracy did the U.S. have before and after that change? And who made the declaration that our form of government had changed from Democratic Nuance Number One to Democratic Nuance Number Two? And lastly, who the fuck cares?
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