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  #251  
Old 03-23-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
So the lowest 4 have net emigration, and 5 of the lowest 8 have net emigration. I think that that backs my point pretty well, and to point at the most populated of the least populated 8 states is pretty much the definition of cherry picking.
See, here is why there's no point talking to you. I most certainly didn't point to the most populated of the least populated. I pointed out that the bottom group of 8 is a mixed bag. I was addressing a post where you said they were all the same. I am not gonna spend another billion pixels on what you REALLY said was different from the words you typed.
  #252  
Old 03-23-2019, 11:43 PM
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And yes, FPTP pretty much guarantees a two-party system.

If that's so, it should be easy to come up with examples of countries other than the US that have FPTP and a two party system.

Which countries do you have in mind in support of your statement?
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  #253  
Old 03-24-2019, 12:46 AM
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If that's so, it should be easy to come up with examples of countries other than the US that have FPTP and a two party system.

Which countries do you have in mind in support of your statement?

The UK ? They have quite a few parties going around, but in practice only two, the SNP being a special case : it has enough local appeal right now to get seats in the Commons (basically they take over most every Scottish constituency these days, due to FPTP) but it's never going to get to form a government because nobody votes for them outside of Scotland. I don't even know if they have candidates outside of Scotland.


But the interesting thing if you consider the 2015 general election is that UKIP got twice as many votes as the SNP, for only one seat (compared to 50+ seats for the SNP) - this because while they appeal to assholes all over the country, they don't seem to be able to bring enough localized assholes to bear to top either Labour or the Tories. If England had proportional representation, UKIP would have gotten 1/3rd as many seats as Labour in 2015 ; but the result was 232/1 instead. That's how FPTP works.
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  #254  
Old 03-24-2019, 01:20 AM
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Current Party Standings in the UK House of Commons:

Conservative Party (314)
Democratic Unionist Party (10) (supporting the Government)
Labour Party (245)
Scottish National Party (35)
Liberal Democrats (11)
The Independent Group (11)
Sinn Féin (7) (abstentionist)
Plaid Cymru (4)
Green Party (1)
Independent (10)

That doesn't look like a two party system to me, but rather a multi-party system. It's dominated by the two largest parties, certainly, but the only reason PM May is in office is because of support from a third party.

And no, the SNP does not "take over most every Scottish constituency these days, due to FPTP". Current Scottish representatation in the Commons:

Scottish National Party: 35
Conservative: 13
Labour: 7 MPs
Liberal Democrats: 4

So a split of 35 to 24.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 03-24-2019 at 01:25 AM.
  #255  
Old 03-24-2019, 11:31 AM
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The partisan favoritism argument is a very poor one, both wrt the EC and other aspects of enhancing democracy. Florida voters re-enfranchised 1.2 million ex-felons in the midterms. This may benefit Democrats, but more importantly it benefits the electorate in general by expanding the franchise. The Florida legislature is now constructing a bill to require those recently re-enfranchised voters to satisfy their court cost reimbursement requirements before being allowed to cast a ballot. Passage would help Republicans (in the short run) but would also suppress the people's right to exercise their vote. We can attribute some parts of both actions to partisanship but can Republicans not see the difference?

Republican obstructionism to the expansion of voter rights is not a long term road map for winning over majority support. The American people see it for what it is and it's another reason why the GOP is now running third among new party registrants.
  #256  
Old 03-24-2019, 12:48 PM
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See, here is why there's no point talking to you. I most certainly didn't point to the most populated of the least populated. I pointed out that the bottom group of 8 is a mixed bag. I was addressing a post where you said they were all the same. I am not gonna spend another billion pixels on what you REALLY said was different from the words you typed.
Cool story, bro.

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If that's so, it should be easy to come up with examples of countries other than the US that have FPTP and a two party system.

Which countries do you have in mind in support of your statement?
FPTP that also has a national election for a single spot.

Not so easy to search for, first you have to look at only the countries that don't have parliamentary systems, then look up what type of politics they have.

As most democracies tend toward parliamentary systems, what would actually be much easier would be to find a single example of a country with a FPTP system for electing a national leader that does have more than two viable parties.
  #257  
Old 03-24-2019, 12:54 PM
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..

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  #258  
Old 03-24-2019, 01:05 PM
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A lot of Latin America has strong presidential elections and an independent parliament, however, all the examples I've looked at so far are not FPTP systems.
  #259  
Old 03-24-2019, 01:53 PM
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Cool story, bro.
I was going to make a pithy rejoinder but then I realized: there's no way of knowing what you meant by "cool", "story" or "bro".
  #260  
Old 03-24-2019, 02:41 PM
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I was going to make a pithy rejoinder but then I realized: there's no way of knowing what you meant by "cool", "story" or "bro".
You issues with basic vocabulary are noted.
  #261  
Old 03-24-2019, 03:00 PM
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You issues with basic vocabulary are noted.
I see that you are not able to have a civil discourse without resulting to insults, so this is my last reply to you in this thread.
  #262  
Old 03-24-2019, 06:50 PM
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the EC retains a feature in that gives a very minor bump to a presidential candidate who shows wide geographic range of support instead of those who concentrate their support.
a) This is nonsense: Hillary Clinton's support had a wide geographic range, from Maine and Miami to San Diego and Seattle, and on to Honolulu. The same was true for Al Gore. Yet the EC worked against them both.

b) What you're really saying is, acreage matters, and should continue to matter, in American elections: that the voters in states with greatest acreage per resident should count more.
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So, at the outset, we are talking about something that only makes a difference in a handful of very close elections.
Two of the last five.
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When you have such a close election anyways, isn't it more beneficial to have a president who has a breadth of support instead of large and deep support in a single region?

You see this same sort of thing in 2000 and 2016
See above. Democrats have plenty of breadth of support.

But what should be more important: they have more support. That should trump all other considerations in determining the winner of the general election.
  #263  
Old 03-24-2019, 07:59 PM
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a) This is nonsense: Hillary Clinton's support had a wide geographic range, from Maine and Miami to San Diego and Seattle, and on to Honolulu. The same was true for Al Gore. Yet the EC worked against them both.
Well, Gore and Hillary both won less states than Romney and McCain.
  #264  
Old 03-24-2019, 09:54 PM
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It should absolutely be abolished. It has long since ceased to be anything but a (bad) proxy for direct voting for president. As originally designed, people were supposed to be voting for electors whose opinions they valued and trust them to choose a president. Now people (even when they know who the electors are) are really just voting for the presidential candidates themselves.
  #265  
Old 03-24-2019, 11:07 PM
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Right, and in a debate, you have argument and you have counter argument. We have laid out the argument for changing the EC, and your argument is a combination of "nu-uh" and "good luck with that.
On a board dedicated to fighting ignorance, debates should be based on facts, not your opinion. Do you have any facts?
  #266  
Old 03-24-2019, 11:50 PM
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.... b) What you're really saying is, acreage matters, and should continue to matter, in American elections: that the voters in states with greatest acreage per resident should count more. Two of the last five.See above. Democrats have plenty of breadth of support...
I don't think anyone's saying that. Washington DC gets the same number of Electoral College votes as Alaska and Wyoming, and I haven't seen anyone suggesting that should change in Alaska's or Wyoming's favor just because they dwarf Washington DC in acreage.
  #267  
Old 03-25-2019, 02:52 AM
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I don't think anyone's saying that. Washington DC gets the same number of Electoral College votes as Alaska and Wyoming, and I haven't seen anyone suggesting that should change in Alaska's or Wyoming's favor just because they dwarf Washington DC in acreage.
OK, then what did UltraVires mean by the EC rewarding 'breadth of support'?
  #268  
Old 03-25-2019, 03:34 AM
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OK, then what did UltraVires mean by the EC rewarding 'breadth of support'?
I don't know, but if I had to guess, my guess would be he's referring to the # of states, irrespective of their "acreage".
  #269  
Old 03-25-2019, 10:31 AM
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I don't know, but if I had to guess, my guess would be he's referring to the # of states, irrespective of their "acreage".
That doesn't make any sense either, since you can win the EC by winning just 11 states.
  #270  
Old 03-25-2019, 10:33 AM
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Do you believe our nation was destroyed by the 17th Amendment?
No. The 17th didn't have any impact to the dual-sovereignty foundation of the country, it just changed the election method of Senators from the state government to the populace within the state - there was no transfer of power outside the state.

I don't necessarily think the 17th was an overall improvement in getting better quality, more level-headed Senators, but that's best left for a different thread.

I don't think just changing the EC to a popular vote election would "destroy" the country either, but it'd be chipping away at dual-sovereignty bedrock, and the same logical arguments for eliminating the EC apply directly to the Senate, multiplied by 10. I don't see how you can be in favor for eliminating one and not the other, on the basis of electoral "fairness" alone.

And if electoral "fairness" is the ultimate end-goal here, what are we even doing with state borders to begin with? How is it fair that a large State like California only has one Governor representing all those people? How is it fair that I may live 2 miles from the California border but don't get to vote in their elections, especially if they impact me? I massively dislike Ted Cruz, how is it fair that I can't vote him out, beyond the fact that I don't have a primary residence in Texas? What's so magical about a line laid down on a map 200 years ago that causes laws to change just stepping over it? How is that fair?
  #271  
Old 03-25-2019, 10:48 AM
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You issues with basic vocabulary are noted.
Knock this insufferable crap off. Go to the Pit to get your digs in if you must.

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  #272  
Old 03-25-2019, 11:05 AM
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That doesn't make any sense either, since you can win the EC by winning just 11 states.
It certainly makes more sense to me than the "acreage" theory. Every state one wins includes a "bonus" two electoral college votes above and beyond the share of the states EC vote that are approximately based on their population. Winning more states nets a candidate more "bonus" EC votes. There's an advantage to appealing to many states as opposed to a few (but not so much of an advantage that a candidate can't overcome it by winning a relatively small number of the largest states)
  #273  
Old 03-25-2019, 11:32 AM
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That doesn't make any sense either, since you can win the EC by winning just 11 states.
Only 100 / 538 electoral votes are assigned equally to the states - the rest are assigned based on (quasi)population. The EC is still weighted much more towards population - but someone focusing on only 11 states has to overcome a 78 EV starting deficit to do so. Not impossible, but its essentially the same thing as conceding Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin right off the bat.
  #274  
Old 03-26-2019, 05:31 AM
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There's an advantage to appealing to many states as opposed to a few (but not so much of an advantage that a candidate can't overcome it by winning a relatively small number of the largest states)
OK, but it still comes down to: why should this advantage exist? And why shouldn't all voters be equally worth appealing to? If a Presidential candidate can swing 100,000 voters to his/her side, why should it matter which state they're in?

ETA: And why should a minority have greater power than the majority, under any circumstances? Sure, the majority's power should not be absolute, but it should still have more power than the minority. The EC has become a vehicle for upending that principle.

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  #275  
Old 03-26-2019, 05:36 AM
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Ultimately this is all about an attempt to retroactively assign some sort of moral purpose to a system that was jerry-rigged by the Founders to keep the country from disintegrating into pieces before it got off the ground.
  #276  
Old 03-26-2019, 09:00 AM
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Ultimately this is all about an attempt to retroactively assign some sort of moral purpose to a system that was jerry-rigged by the Founders to keep the country from disintegrating into pieces before it got off the ground.
No. It's got the same "moral purpose" it always did, to give a little extra power to lower population states. You just think that's a stupid moral purpose.
  #277  
Old 03-26-2019, 09:13 AM
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No. It's got the same "moral purpose" it always did, to give a little extra power to lower population states. You just think that's a stupid moral purpose.
"Your vote should count considerably less if you live in certain geographical regions" is an indefensibly stupid moral purpose.
  #278  
Old 03-26-2019, 09:25 AM
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ETA: And why should a minority have greater power than the majority, under any circumstances? Sure, the majority's power should not be absolute, but it should still have more power than the minority. The EC has become a vehicle for upending that principle.
The EC is based on a weighed composition of both the majorities of the wills of the each state, accounting for population size, as well as the majorities of the wills of the states, as individual, unique entities.

If you don't believe in the concept of a state as an individual identity with it's own value, and think that the state is merely the collection of the total populace within it's arbitrarily-assigned borders, then obviously that portion of the EC as described by the Constitution is meaningless/archaic/unfair/undemocratic. And I totally understand that argument.

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Ultimately this is all about an attempt to retroactively assign some sort of moral purpose to a system that was jerry-rigged by the Founders to keep the country from disintegrating into pieces before it got off the ground.
I think there's a lot of truth here. But that's also why I think we should think long and hard about the ramifications to the union first prior to making any sort of drastic change, and make absolutely sure this isn't a decision that's just made on some level just because there was an election or two where "my team didn't win".
  #279  
Old 03-26-2019, 09:59 AM
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"Your vote should count considerably less if you live in certain geographical regions" is an indefensibly stupid moral purpose.
Luckily, no one said that.
  #280  
Old 03-27-2019, 10:42 AM
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No. It's got the same "moral purpose" it always did, to give a little extra power to lower population states. You just think that's a stupid moral purpose.
I think it's a stupid moral purpose.

The little states get their boost with the composition of the Senate, as bad a piece of national representation as the world has maybe ever seen. The presidency is a national office, we don't need to be playing the little electoral games we devised 200 years ago to keep a small, agrarian, slave-holding nation together.
  #281  
Old 03-27-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet
"Your vote should count considerably less if you live in certain geographical regions" is an indefensibly stupid moral purpose.
Luckily, no one said that.
No, they said "Your vote should count considerably more if you live in certain geographical regions." A totally different thing.
  #282  
Old 03-27-2019, 01:10 PM
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No, they said "Your vote should count considerably more if you live in certain geographical regions." A totally different thing.
Again, "Your vote" didn't even play into this at all, at the time "they" created the EC, so all this discussion of semantics is meaningless. It's the equivalent of specifying what "your vote" is on an individual appropriations bill going through the Senate.

Your state government picked the EC voters that were allocated to it. Not you. Each state's vote started with a baseline of 3 EV, with more EV allocated to it based on population size. So the only votes that "counted" considerably more came from big states.

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  #283  
Old 03-27-2019, 02:48 PM
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it'd be chipping away at dual-sovereignty bedrock, and the same logical arguments for eliminating the EC apply directly to the Senate, multiplied by 10.
That's really the biggest issue with scrapping it by far. The US is a union of semi-sovereign states, NOT some kind of monolithic unitary country with arbitrary subdivisions. That's why the Federal government can't override a state decision (like say... an execution) even when there's some kind of foreign policy issue at play; it's not something the Federal government has any say over whatsoever.

By scrapping the EC, you're effectively reducing the importance of the states' role in the process in favor of the arguable "fairness" of the popular vote. Which is essentially the same thing as if you were to abolish the Senate or make it proportionally elected somehow.
  #284  
Old 03-28-2019, 07:36 AM
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No. It's got the same "moral purpose" it always did, to give a little extra power to lower population states. You just think that's a stupid moral purpose.
This is one of the (many) mistakes the pro-EC side is making. The purpose was never to give lower population states extra power. The purpose was originally to give extra power to states with a lower proportion of voting population. States that had comparatively large populations of people who were not even considered citizens.

The idea was to give Virginia extra power, the largest state. Not Delaware.
  #285  
Old 03-28-2019, 11:02 AM
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I believe you're thinking of the 3/5th compromise, not the Electoral college.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:18 PM
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I believe you're thinking of the 3/5th compromise, not the Electoral college.
Umm... The 3/5ths compromise is part of the Enumeration, which apportions Representatives and thus, Electors.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:50 PM
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Umm? You think I don't know what the 3/5th compromise was? The HoR and the EC are based on a data input: census numbers. The 3/5th was a compromise on how that input number was calculated. With the end of slavery, that calculation changed but the EC kept doing what it always did, give states with a smaller voter population a base level of influence in the election of the President.
  #288  
Old 03-28-2019, 01:32 PM
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And it did, indeed, give Virginia more power than it otherwise would have. And South Carolina. And Georgia. All large, agrarian states, that would never have allowed the United States to come into existence without that compromise.

The lower population states already have disproportionate power via the Senate. But the President (theoretically) is the executive for the entire population. If the 3/5ths compromise is no longer relevant, why stick with the equally dated Electoral College?
  #289  
Old 03-28-2019, 01:52 PM
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Because the Electoral college is not as dated, not even close. You can't possibly think that "give lower population votes a bigger say" is as dated as slavery. Or are both ideas equally as abhorrent to your modern eye?
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:57 PM
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I believe you're thinking of the 3/5th compromise, not the Electoral college.
You are wrong.

The electoral college gave slave owners in Virginia two to three times the power in the selection of the President than they would have had with direct popular vote.

It was never really about small states. That's a modern fiction.
  #291  
Old 03-28-2019, 01:59 PM
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Naaah. Virginia was a big state even if you didn't count slaves. You're wrong.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:18 PM
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If the 3/5ths compromise is no longer relevant, why stick with the equally dated Electoral College?
I think this argument is wildly at odds with previous anti-EC arguments. If your problem is how big states (I see how Virginia is singled out here historically and not Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, or New York ) ended up receiving a greater share of Representatives (and thus EC votes) than they would have otherwise, the obvious solution you should be angling for is to get rid of the extra Representatives allocated by population size, and go back to the New Jersey Plan, right?
  #293  
Old 03-28-2019, 02:27 PM
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Naaah. Virginia was a big state even if you didn't count slaves. You're wrong.
This is bonkers. They got two to three times the power that they would have had under direct popular vote. It's not about state population and it wasn't then.
  #294  
Old 03-28-2019, 02:27 PM
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And South Carolina. And Georgia. All large, agrarian states, that would never have allowed the United States to come into existence without that compromise.
Yeah, that huge state of Georgia, with its massive....2 House Representatives after the first census.
  #295  
Old 03-28-2019, 02:47 PM
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This is bonkers. They got two to three times the power that they would have had under direct popular vote. It's not about state population and it wasn't then.
Instead of just, I don't know, checking the 1790 US census , let's just throw around numbers like "two to three times" pulled out of the air.

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  #296  
Old 03-28-2019, 02:57 PM
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By scrapping the EC, you're effectively reducing the importance of the states' role in the process in favor of the arguable "fairness" of the popular vote. Which is essentially the same thing as if you were to abolish the Senate or make it proportionally elected somehow.
I don't disagree with decentralized federalism as a principle. But many of the states' boundaries are based on 19th Century political divisions that no longer reflect blocs of common interest, so why should those particular units be privileged? The Central Valley of California is swamped by the CA cities - it's unfriendly political territory for the Ds, and not enough population to swing CA for the Rs, so gets ignored all around. Yet it has ~6.5 million population, more than the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana combined. (just picking an example where a rural group of mainly R voters are disadvantaged by the current arrangement, since the current narrative is that it's mainly urban D voters).
  #297  
Old 03-28-2019, 03:34 PM
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The electoral college gave slave owners in Virginia two to three times the power in the selection of the President than they would have had with direct popular vote.
So I'm trying to walk through your logic here... according to this, Virginia and Pennsylvania had roughly the same number of free white males over age 16, which was 110,000. But Virginia's total population was 747,000, and Pennsylvania's 434,000. As a result, Virginia had 21 electoral votes, and Pennsylvania had 15.

The 3/5ths Compromise looms large over this question, I agree with the others... but at best I could see an argument that Virginia had a 40% advantage over Pennsylvania, not a 300% advantage. So what am I missing?
  #298  
Old 03-28-2019, 04:07 PM
Lance Turbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
Instead of just, I don't know, checking the 1790 US census , let's just throw around numbers like "two to three times" pulled out of the air.
Sounds like a great idea. Are you going to do that? Or do you want me to do that? Why didn't you do it?

Ok I'll go.

There were 81 EV in the 1792 election. We can calculate the expected voting power of a state in a direct election by multiplying 81 by the ratio of a state's voting age population to the sum of all states' populations. We'll use free white males 16+ from the 1790 census as a proxy since this should produce roughly correct results.

We scale this voting power so it sums to 81 so that we can directly compare it to each state's electoral votes and thus see which states gained and lost the most as a result of the Electoral College.

Code:
State		EV	Exp	Diff
Virginia	21	19.13	1.87
South Carolina	8	6.14	1.86
Georgia		4	2.26	1.74
Kentucky	4	2.61	1.39
Rhode Island	4	2.76	1.24
Delaware	3	2.03	0.97
Maryland	10	9.64	0.36
Vermont		4	3.87	0.13
North Carolina	12	12.07	-0.07
New Hampshire	6	6.22	-0.22
Massachusetts	16	16.46	-0.46
New Jersey	7	7.80	-0.80
Connecticut	9	10.44	-1.44
New York	12	14.44	-2.44
Pennsylvania	15	19.11	-4.11
Lookee there. Virginia gained the most followed by South Carolina.

I will admit my initial estimate was off, but the underlying point remains intact. Low population states got a bump, but high slave population states got a bigger bump.
  #299  
Old 03-28-2019, 04:30 PM
asterion is offline
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I'm convinced people keep arguing the 3/5ths compromise wrong. At least, I keep hearing arguments that the compromise benefited the high percentage slave states. It hurt them, though not as much as saying slaves had zero value for the purpose of apportionment. There are three ways to count the slave population for the purpose of apportionment: As worth zero, as worth one, or as some fraction between the two. Zero lowers the power of the states with more slaves, one maximally increases the power, and a fraction is the compromise. Obviously the states with large numbers of slaves want that number as close to one as possible. Zero would make the House smaller initially. The Apportionment Act of 1792 set Virginia at 19 and Massachusetts at 14. The percentage of slaves in Virginia was 39.1% and Massachusetts at zero. Total slave percentage in the US was 17.8%.

So, backing out all the slaves and assuming the 33,000 persons per representative for the rest, Virginia would be either 15 or 16. Assuming the other extreme, it's either 24 or 25.

Sometimes you see the same argument inside a state regarding prison population. Should a prisoner count for where he lived before being sent to prison or where the prison is physically located? If it's the prison, then it will somewhat increase the population of the district for state-level representation.
  #300  
Old 03-28-2019, 05:15 PM
YamatoTwinkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
I will admit my initial estimate was off
I'll say. It appears we've backtracked from a "this is bonkers - two to three times the voting power!" to what amounts to a 10% boost for Virginia by your own math.

Of course Virginia and slave states benefited from the 3/5 compromise (at least relative to a hypothetical 0/5 compromise). Nobody here specified otherwise. But Pennsylvania, the biggest loser here according to your analysis, actually supported the Virginia Plan, which would have given Virginia even more power. Because it also would have benefited Pennsylvania. So did Massachusetts.
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