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Dissolve Electoral College

 
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 07:33 am
dlowan wrote:
(Aside - not meant to derail the debate - can states in the USA NOT make their own laws - about legalising marijuana or recognising gay marriages, for example?)


There are varying levels of law but generally a city/town or state can pass any law they chose provided it is within their Constitutional authority to do so and doesn't conflict with a law created by a higher level of government that also has Constitutional authority.

In the case of marijuana, the Federal Gov. has been deemed to have the Constitutional authority to identify and regulate narcotics and other "controlled substances" and passed laws making possesion illegal.

States can supplement the Federal law but can't conflict with it so a state can't just say possesion is totally legal.

(There's much more to it than that but it gives a quick picture..)
0 Replies
 
perception
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 08:02 am
Sofia wrote:
I am really suspicious of the motivations of the liberal establishment, and their aficianados' attempts to equate patriotism with Nazism. It is presumptuous and insulting.


Yes Sophia, I put those misquided efforts in the same category as the ACLU attempts to rewrite the intentions of the gentlemen who founded this country.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 08:06 am
Perception and Sofia - are you saying that you think someone on this thread has "equated patriotism with Nazism"?


(Thanks for the explanation, Fishin'!)
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 08:24 am
Dlowan:

The thing on Patriotism keeps showing it's ugly head---The implication is that Patriotic feelings, symbols or anything indicating pride in country is the first step toward fascism
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 08:39 am
Where is that implication? I often speak against patriotism - but the reason you mention is not one of my reasons - (although I think hyper-patriotism IS quite dangerous). I have not anywhere here seen the implication you speak of - certainly not on this thread.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 08:59 am
dlowan wrote:
Where is that implication? I often speak against patriotism - but the reason you mention is not one of my reasons.


You say you often speak against patriotism-----could you define your reasons.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 09:11 am
I think the proper question is not WHETHER to dissolve it, but HOW to dissolve it:

--Sulphuric acid or Nitric acid?
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 09:15 am
If someone on this thread had equated patriotism with Nazism, I would have referred to it.

I find it hard to believe, as often as it is done, that you haven't seen it, dlowan. It permeates the OpEds, and this forum.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 09:19 am
I am only too happy to do so, Perception - but, as it is nearly 1.00 am here, I will not be doing it now - also - this topic is a digression from the topic of this thread - and seems likely to cause some excitement - how about I open a new thread for this debate tomorrow, my time?
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 09:28 am
Dlowan
Good idea----it's a topic that deserves serious analysis.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 02:15 pm
fishin' wrote:
In the last 20 years the single candidate than ran from the state with the least number of EC electors (i.e. the "smallest" state) would be Clinton from Ark which has 6 votes.

Not so. Dole (1996) was from Kansas, which also had 6 electoral votes.

fishin' wrote:
The 17 states with 5 EC electors or less have had a grand total of ONE President elected from their states (Franklin Pierce of NH in 1852).

While it's true that no president, other than Pierce, has been elected from a state with 5 or fewer electoral votes, a number of candidates have been chosen from states with 6 or fewer votes (6 being the same number of electoral votes as Clinton's Arkansas) and one -- Taylor -- was elected:

In 1848, Lewis Cass of Michigan (5 electoral votes) ran as the Democratic candidate for president. Zachary Taylor of Louisiana (6 electoral votes) was elected as the Whig candidate.

In 1856, John C. Fremont of California (4 electoral votes) ran as the Republican candidate for president.

In 1884, James G. Blaine of Maine (6 electoral votes) ran as the Republican candidate for president.

In 1964, Barry Goldwater of Arizona (5 electoral votes) ran as the Republican candidate for president.

In 1972, George McGovern of South Dakota (4 electoral votes) ran as the Democratic candidate for president.

In 1996, Bob Dole of Kansas (6 electoral votes) ran as the Republican candidate for president.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 06:38 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
fishin' wrote:
In the last 20 years the single candidate than ran from the state with the least number of EC electors (i.e. the "smallest" state) would be Clinton from Ark which has 6 votes.

Not so. Dole (1996) was from Kansas, which also had 6 electoral votes.


Hmmm.. The chart I looked at showed KS having 7. Has it changed in recent years?
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 09:02 am
fishin' wrote:
Hmmm.. The chart I looked at showed KS having 7. Has it changed in recent years?

I got my information from here and here. Both show Kansas with 6 electoral votes in 1996. Perhaps Kansas gained a congressional district as a result of the 2000 census.
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RicardoTizon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 09:26 pm
Based on the information provided it seems that Presidential Candidates from smaller state has about the same chances as those bigger states, is that correct? If so then it is a positive argument for dissolving EC.
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yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 11:08 pm
of course candidates from smaller states have a fundamental disadvantage. those from larger states usually have a larger built-in base. there are exceptions though. al gore lost his home state.
dissolving the EC is a very fundamental change in how our republic operates. the UNITED STATES was founded on the idea that we are a collection of independent states.
0 Replies
 
RicardoTizon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 06:09 am
The states would still remained independent as it is nothing would change except the voting procedure for the Presidency. Without the EC isn't it that the state are still independent in a sense.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 09:28 am
Ricardo_Tizon wrote:
Based on the information provided it seems that Presidential Candidates from smaller state has about the same chances as those bigger states, is that correct? If so then it is a positive argument for dissolving EC.


I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion. Of course anyone that is a candidate has the same mathmatical chance as any other once they become the candidate (i.e. if there are 6 candidiates then they all have a 1 in 6 shot at winning..) but the history shows that the winners have seldom been from any of the "small states".

There have been 7 or 8 names mentioned as coming from the "small states" but bumping the number of EC votes up to 7 to qualify as a "small state" eliminates the idea of "middle states". It brings the number of states considered to be "small" to 23 or 24 - that's half of them. We've had 43 Presidential elections and at least 3 people running per elelction so there have been at least 129 candidates. 7 or 8 of them managed to get there from a "small state".

You have the small states comprising 48% of the total states with 6% of the candidates and the larger states with 52% of the states and 94% of the candidates. Does that make the skew more apparent to you?

It also doesn't change the fact that the US is, as ye110man mentioned, a union of states. You said:

Quote:
The states would still remained independent as it is nothing would change except the voting procedure for the Presidency. Without the EC isn't it that the state are still independent in a sense.


That "nothing" you mention is a pretty big issue to a lot of people when you look at the whole scheme of things. Remaining independent "in a sense" isn't what the states signed up for nor was it the basis for our entire Constitution. Going to a direct popular vote would be a significant erosion of the concept of state autonomy and is why a Constitutional Amendment to eliminate the EC isn't going to pass anytime in the near future.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 10:19 am
fishin' wrote:
We've had 43 Presidential elections and at least 3 people running per elelction so there have been at least 129 candidates. 7 or 8 of them managed to get there from a "small state".

No, there have been 54 presidential elections. And if we restrict our focus to the top two candidates in each election (which would mirror the way the voters have viewed most elections), then there have been 108 major party presidential candidates. As I mentioned above, there have been 10 candidates from states with 6 or fewer electoral votes (counting Clinton twice for his 1992 and 1996 candidacies).

fishin' wrote:
You have the small states comprising 48% of the total states with 6% of the candidates and the larger states with 52% of the states and 94% of the candidates. Does that make the skew more apparent to you?

Not sure where you get the 48% figure. By my count, there were (as of the 2000 election) 19 states with 6 or fewer electoral votes, which would come out to 38%, not 48% (the number may have changed as the result of the 2000 census, but I don't have those figures at hand). But even that smaller figure is deceptive.

Although (as I point out above) the percentage of candidates from small states is a bit higher than you suggest, fishin', it's still clear that candidates are more likely to come from big states than from small states. But then we also have to remember that more people come from big states than from small states. Take, for instance, the 2000 election: the 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) with 6 or fewer electoral votes had 84 electoral votes, taken together. That represented 15.6% of the total number of electoral votes (and over-represented the total populations of those states). Now, if 10 out of the 108 major party candidates, throughout history, have been from small states, that represents 9.3% of the total -- still not equal to 15.6%, but a lot closer.

Granted, this isn't exact science here, and we're comparing historical data that aren't entirely comparable, but I think we can get a better sense of what we're talking about if we keep some of these points in mind.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 10:38 am
joefromchicago wrote:
Not sure where you get the 48% figure. By my count, there were (as of the 2000 election) 19 states with 6 or fewer electoral votes, which would come out to 38%, not 48% (the number may have changed as the result of the 2000 census, but I don't have those figures at hand). But even that smaller figure is deceptive.


You're right. I used a number I had counted up yesterday but when I went back and looked that was the total for 7 EC electors or less - not 6.

Quote:
Granted, this isn't exact science here, and we're comparing historical data that aren't entirely comparable, but I think we can get a better sense of what we're talking about if we keep some of these points in mind.


Agreed! A lot of this is somewhat complicated by who is/was a "small state". Of the people listed yesterday as being from states with few EC votes two are from states that now have large EC representation so that mucks things up too. Is "large" or "small" based on today's numbers or the numbers in place at the time the election happened???

If we could just get everyone to move to places so that the population would be evenly spread around the whole country life would be much easier! Wink
0 Replies
 
yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 11:01 am
still isn't accurate as we added 47 states since the beginning with fluctuating numbers of electoral votes. plus we didn't include the bull moose party and other popular but short-lived parties.
but if you stick with only the presidents that have been elected, it'll make it a lot easier. anybody know how many presidents have come from states will less electoral votes than the average at the time? or how many presidental candidates have beat candidates from states with more electoral votes?
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