60
   

Let's get rid of the Electoral College

 
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2012 06:23 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
In what line of expertise?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2012 06:27 pm
@spendius,
Any that might actually inform one of your opinions about our electorate process.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2012 05:12 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
You're not saying anything Finn. You're just asserting that I'm uninformed about the process. Which is a relative thing.

I have read The United States--The History of a Republic by Hofstadter, Miller and Aaron, The American Federal Government by Max Beloff, The American Political Tradition by Hofstadter and his anti-intellectualism book, The Saga of American Society by Dixon Wecter, Carl van Doren's The Great Rehearsal, and a great deal else. Veblen's main works. Most of Mailer. I've read Nixon's Six Crisis. Kissinger's White House Years.

So much in fact that it would take too long to list. I was a Reader's Digest subscriber at 14. I've read Galbraith. Plus loads of fiction of one sort or another.

Quincey Adams was elected by the House. All I said was that in the event of a muddle, which is unlikely with only two serious candidates , the result would be, or could be, decided in Congress. The USSC only decided the result in Florida.

Your political scene is also pretty well covered on the type of programmes on TV that I watch. I have been through the betting odds for every state and for the EC result. I predicted an Obama win 9 months ago on one of the threads.

I watch CBS and Fox News every night.

That was funny last night when Scott Pelley fronted the news in a bright yellow survival jacket. I dare say that he was in the 1% most safe Americans at the time. Possibly 0.1%. One had to wonder if all his back up staff were similarly attired. What with Bill O'Reilly's "No spin zone" and him looking out for you all and Pelley's frightening seriousness I assume the broadcasters think you are are yikkle kiddiewinks.

I only said that there is always Congress. Why that should prompt your indignation I can't imagine.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2012 05:16 am
@spendius,
Big Business runs the show on behalf of Big Business. What's good for General Motors is good for America.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2012 06:39 am
@spendius,
What process would be required to get rid of the EC?

And what would replace it?
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2012 09:01 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
If you're going to comment on US foreign policy, aka war crimes/terrorism city, do some more serious research. Otherwise...
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2012 09:22 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

What process would be required to get rid of the EC?

And what would replace it?


A Constitutional Amendment would be necessary and that's a long and complex process. What would replace it? Why, election by popular vote of the electorate, of course.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2012 04:30 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Who, or what, would have a mandate?

I don't think it would ever be considered.
0 Replies
 
T Roberts
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:03 pm
While I think my understanding of the origin and reason for creating the Electoral College is valid, I think it's way past time to abolish the system. With instant communications now within reach of the masses, the issues of transportation to the polls and information about the candidates, the reason for its existance has expired. Today, it allows big money to concentration on just the key states. Many Americans have chosen not to vote because they believe their vote no longer matters. If we were to repeal the Electoral College and adopt a simple majority, then every vote would truly count. If the "majority rules" in a democracy, then majority vote should decide the presidential election.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:06 pm
@T Roberts,
I'm sure the Liberal Northeast would agree with you.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:09 pm
@T Roberts,
Quote:
If the "majority rules" in a democracy, then majority vote should decide the presidential election.


It's a bit of a far-fetched assumption that a democracy is in play imo.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:11 pm
@spendius,
It's a bit of a far-fetched assumption that democracy has ever been in play.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:11 pm
@T Roberts,
I'm sure most reasonable people will agree with you. Your stance isn't even particularly 'liberal', just pragmatic and practical.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:12 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

It's a bit of a far-fetched assumption that democracy has ever been in play.


Agreed.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:13 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Wanting the EC to cease operating is akin to wanting it to stop raining. Or wanting it to start raining.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2012 06:29 pm
@spendius,
Again, agreed. But the theory behind abolishing it is just as valid as the wish to avoid floods during monsoon season.
0 Replies
 
Rickoshay75
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2012 02:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Flunking the Electoral College

Quote:
There is no reason to feel sentimental about the Electoral College. One of the main reasons the founders created it was slavery. The southern states liked the fact that their slaves, who would be excluded from a direct vote, would be counted " as three-fifths of a white person " when Electoral College votes were apportioned.

The founders also were concerned, in the day of the wooden printing press, that voters would not have enough information to choose among presidential candidates. It was believed that it would be easier for them to vote for local officials, whom they knew more about, to be electors. It is hard to imagine that significant numbers of voters thought they did not know enough about Barack Obama and John McCain by Election Day this year.

And, while these reasons for the Electoral College have lost all relevance, its disadvantages loom ever larger. To start, the system excludes many voters from a meaningful role in presidential elections. If you live in New York or Texas, for example, it is generally a foregone conclusion which party will win your state’s electoral votes, so your vote has less meaning " and it can feel especially meaningless if you vote on the losing side. On the other hand, if you live in Florida or Ohio, where the outcome is less clear, your vote has a greatly magnified importance.

Voters in small states are favored because Electoral College votes are based on the number of senators and representatives a state has. Wyoming’s roughly 500,000 people get three electoral votes. California, which has about 70 times Wyoming’s population, gets only 55 electoral votes.

The Electoral College also makes America seem more divided along blue-red lines than it actually is. If you look at an Electoral College map, California appears solidly blue and Alabama solidly red. But if you look at a map of the popular votes, you see a more nuanced picture. More than 4.5 million Californians voted for Mr. McCain (roughly as many votes as he got in Texas), while about 40 percent of voters in Alabama cast a ballot for Mr. Obama.

One of the biggest problems with the Electoral College, of course, is that three times since the Civil War " most recently, with George W. Bush in 2000 " it has awarded the presidency to the loser of the popular vote. The president should be the candidate who wins the votes of the most Americans.



If we only used a country wide vote, we would still need a state by state, city by city voting system for accurate counting.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2012 03:18 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
The problem with killing of the EC is that would allow the popular vote to elect the Prez; however, this has the undemocratic effect of permitting the most populous states to control the final vote. Small population states like RI would never have a say in the vote unless they voted in agreement with larger states.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2012 03:32 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:

The problem with killing of the EC is that would allow the popular vote to elect the Prez; however, this has the undemocratic effect of permitting the most populous states to control the final vote. Small population states like RI would never have a say in the vote unless they voted in agreement with larger states.


Well, isn't that the same situation as now? The states with the largest populations have the largest number of electoral votes. Therefore, as Ohio and New York and California go, so goes the nation. Here in Hawaii my vote was a throw-away; we only have four electoral votes so the popular vote is meaningless. It's even worse in some of those states that still have only three electoral votes.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2012 03:37 pm
Far from it. South Carolina has seven representatives, and therefore nine electoral votes. Connecticut has fiver representatives and therefore seven electoral votes. That means that Connecticut has 70% of South Carolina's House delegation, but 77% of its electoral vote. The real effect of the College is hidden because of the current polarity of politics in this nation. There have been fifteen minority Presidents, i believe, and when Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams each polled the same number of electoral votes in 1824 (Adams was supposed to be Jackson's VP), the House elected Adams just to spite the Republicans (as Jefferson's party was then known).
0 Replies
 
 

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