3
   

The obvious solution to the Electoral College mess

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 10:45 am
The three-fifths compromise certainly gave the slave-owners a hugely disproportionate political power--which i doubt had been fully considered by the authors of the constitution. It also allowed them to effectively silence dissent within their own states--hence the separation of the western counties of Virginia into a new state, as well as the widespread support for the preservation of the union in eastern Tennessee and the mountainous regions of the Carolinas.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 10:57 am
Damn. BBB is a tough cookie. She finds me (1) wrong in the content of my arguments; (2) wrong in the selection of these arguments; and (3) offering arguments that answer the wrong question. No slack.

I doubt that I'll get any from Setanta either. He is correct in his recitation of the historical facts and motives, however I don't think I would buy his implied suggestion that a popular vote has not and would not harm the smaller states. We do now have direct election of Senators from all states, however, the key provision of two senators from all states, large and small, remains.

For BBB: If every state were to do as you propose, and provide for the proportional assignment of electoral votes, then we would have, in effect, abolished the electoral college and gone to a direct popular vote. With this in mind, I do believe I am addressing the right question.

The southern states, before the Civil war took partial credit for their non-voting slaves in the assignment of both electors and congressional seats. This in effect gave unwarranted extra voting power to the white voters in those states. The right remedy for this of course was emancipation and legislation to prohibit the former impediments to the exercise of the vote by black citizens.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:00 am
Ihave neither implied nor expressed an opinion on the relative effect to be expected from a popular vote.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:07 am
I stand corrected.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:14 am
George
Poor George, you seem to be having a bad hair day.

Pray tell me why you object to having a democratic one-person-one-vote process rather than voters in smaller states having, in effect, super votes, which I find very undemocratic?

BBB
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:20 am
Setanta
Setanta, being the wonderful historian that you are, could you explain to all of us how the electoral college has helped the smaller states to gain, I believe, more than their fair share of the federal budget for their representative's pork barrel projects while the larger states appear to be getting short changed in this respect.

All states indulge in pork. I understand part of the small southern states historic power has derived from the seniority system in both houses that allowed them to control most committees and the lucre that flows from the power. But how does the electoral college facilitate this power?

BBB
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:28 am
BBB, you seem to be under the mistaken notion that the US is a democracy. It's a represenative republic and that is why we do not have one-person-one-vote for president.

The tyranny of the majority must never be allowed.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:28 am
George
George, you seem to be using that sly old trick of defending the winner-take-all electoral college system with the plea that the small states would be ignored in an election. What a blessing that would be in today's world.

I can tell you that living in a battleground state makes me wish for a little less attention from candidate's spin ads and appearances that provide little really important issue information to voters and cost local tax payers a lot of scarce money attendant to the candidate's visit for which the city and state is largely not reimbursed. New Mexico is a poor state and I'd rather see the campaign visit expense money used for education rather than tooting any candidate's horn.

BBB
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:30 am
McG
McG

Scroll Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:34 am
Re: McG
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
McG

Scroll Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


I believe Thomas said this best...

Quote:
Translation: I know what my opinions are, and I don't want to confront them with facts and arguments that might refute them. Better shun the bastards who have the nerve to disagree with me, and stick to discussing with those who agree with me.

Correct?
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:40 am
Re: George
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Poor George, you seem to be having a bad hair day.

Pray tell me why you object to having a democratic one-person-one-vote process rather than voters in smaller states having, in effect, super votes, which I find very undemocratic?

BBB


Actually it is a good day, but sympathy in any reasonable form is always welcome.

I outlined my reasons in a post above.

With a popular election candidates and political parties will naturally put their resources and attention in those areas in which they can gain the greatest political benefit at the least cost. I fear this will result in the effective disenfranchisement of folks in Wyoming, New Mexico and like places.

Moreover the attendant focus on our largest population centers will add its own bias to the process and increase the payoff potential for corruption in these population centers.

Finally I note that the electoral college has altered the outcome of only three elections from what would have occurred with a popular vote. In only one did the winner of the majority of votes cast end up the loser. In the other two cases the holder of the smaller plurality lost. In all three the popular vote margins were very small.

In every other election the electoral college process provided the nation with a clear outcome by amplifying the underlying tendencies in the popular vote. This is a significant benefit that contributes to stability.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 11:54 am
George
George, so I guess you like the idea of Super Votes as opposed to one-person-one-vote. Why?

It kind of reminds me of the slave state's vehicle of The three-fifths compromise to create their own version of super votes. Do we need that kind of mischief again on different issues in today's world?

BBB
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 07:40 pm
Re: BBB
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
DontTreadOnMe wrote:
one man/woman, one vote. ...would mean america becoming a true democracy, rather than a republic, though...


Changing from winner-take-all to proportional allocation of electoral college votes would not change the US government to a democracy; it would still be a republic.

BBB


my intent would have been clearer if i'd said popular vote vs. ec? i wasn't addressing a proportional ec at all. although, i think that would be a great idea.

in a popular vote we would be a democracy. and as you say, a proportional would leave the country a republic.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 07:56 pm
When I was dicussing this very issue with Anon two or so years back I did some research on what the effects of all states switching to a EC vote based on Congresional Districts as ME and NE use now.

I got back as far as the 1852 election (when Franklin Pierce beat Winfield Scott) and after 3 weeks of counting county by county election data and adjusting for changes in Congressional Districts over the years it turned out that not one election result would have changed in the end if everyone had used the ME/NE system all along.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2004 01:43 am
Re: Setanta
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Setanta, being the wonderful historian that you are, could you explain to all of us how the electoral college has helped the smaller states to gain, I believe, more than their fair share of the federal budget for their representative's pork barrel projects while the larger states appear to be getting short changed in this respect.


No, BBB, i cannot explain to you how the electoral college accomplishes a legislative end, as it is not a legislative institution. I have no reason to state, imply or assume that the electoral college either facilitates or inhibits the passage of pork barrel legislation. All money bills originate in the House. If states with the lesser populations benefit disproportionately in the race for pork, i've seen no evidence of it. Smart people in Congress use committee chairmanships and trade votes on issues which are unimportant for their districts for votes in matters which are. The electoral college has absolutely nothing to do with the legislative process.

Quote:
All states indulge in pork. I understand part of the small southern states historic power has derived from the seniority system in both houses that allowed them to control most committees and the lucre that flows from the power. But how does the electoral college facilitate this power?


You need to make a distinction here. What is legislated in the several states has no reference to Federal legislation, except in so far as Federal legislation binds the actions of the states, and is not set aside by the judiciary on constitutional grounds. Andrew Jackson organized the first modern political party--the Democrats--and Martin Van Buren extended the political machine to most of the states. The party was organized earliest and most effectively in the southern states which bordered Tennessee, and copied the party machine. This lasted only about a generation, and largely because there was no effective opposition to the Democrats. The political crises of the 1850's were in large measure the product of the imminent threat of the marginalization of the political power of slave-holding states, despite their exploitation of the three-fifths compromise and party organization.

None of which derived from, benefited from nor had any other reference to the electoral college.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2004 10:00 am
Setanta
Setanta, thanks for the overview. I think I was not clear in my question to you. I meant to ask does or did the southern states benefit more from the electoral college winner-take-all votes to increase their power in the executive branch via presidential appointments, etc.---which ultimately gave them more power to legislate more federal money in their direction than their population size justified? Does this continue today? Is this advantage the real reason for opposition to changing from winner-take-all to proportional voting?

BBB
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2004 10:12 am
Well, i think a case might be made that Southerners had undue influence in the executive due to the EC--but it would be shakey. We've had a lot of Presidents from Virginia, although none since Woodrow Wilson. But, then, Virginia was the most populous state in the beginning. Additionally, you have, once again, the significant influence of Jackon's creation of a modern political machine in Tennessee, and it's rather rapid spread to adjoining southern states.

I would say the advantages accrue to the "two party system," which partakes of the classic Arab saying: "I agains my brother, my brother and I against our cousin, all of us against you." The two parties are constantly at each others throats, but will close ranks to smother any other competition.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
TEA PARTY TO AMERICA: NOW WHAT?! - Discussion by farmerman
 
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 02/22/2024 at 09:09:23