Author Topic: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System  (Read 4804 times)

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Offline ytowndan

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2016, 08:59:29 PM »
Maine is leading the way with instant runoff voting!  Too bad they didn't have it in place six years ago, they could have avoided LePage sliding into office with less than half of the vote.  Not to mention, they now have the ability to run serious, qualified third party/independent candidates.  Way to go, Maine!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/maine-ranked-choice-voting_us_581e49bee4b0aac62484dfb8
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 09:18:43 PM by ytowndan »
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Offline rowjimmy

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2016, 02:32:22 PM »
Maryland approved a measure to have its electors follow popular vote regardless of the statewide result if and only if, enough states to comprise an electoral majority approve similar measures.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18053715/ns/politics/t/maryland-sidesteps-electoral-college/

Offline VDB

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2016, 03:47:16 PM »
I like those state-by-state initiatives as a way to sidestep the huge challenge of changing the constitution to undo the EC. However, something tells me we'll need to see an election where the Republican gets screwed for a change in order for this not to just devolve into a (real or perceived) partisan matter.

Kind of speaking of, here's an interesting theory:
The real reason we have an Electoral College: to protect slave states
there is no explanation
it's all inside your head


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Offline slslbs

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2016, 04:15:24 PM »
^^
there was an article on Time's web site last week that said the same thing

I don't think we'll see and end to the EC or gerrymandering because the party in power likes to avoid democracy to stay in power.
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Offline ytowndan

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2016, 05:48:22 PM »
I was hoping he'd bring up the fact that slavery is also the main reason we have the abomination that is the US Senate, but that's a different topic for a different time.

I tend to agree with Steve and VDB.  As much as I want to see the EC abolished, those in power because of it will never let it go.  Close to half of the country just got what they wanted because of this flawed system.  We'd be nuts to think they'd willingly give it up now.  Maybe if/when the Republicans get screwed by it we can all come together. 

In the meantime, I'm hoping for momentum with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.  I'm glad Maryland is the latest to get on board.
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Offline rowjimmy

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2016, 06:05:52 PM »
I'm going to be correcting people on this point for four years:
A quarter of the country selected Trump. Not half.

Half of the country didn't vote for a wide variety of reasons that could be said to include a feeling that their vote doesn't matter. (On topic!)

Nearly half of the votes cast did go his way, yes. But that's a significant difference, imo.

Offline ytowndan

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2016, 06:53:49 PM »
I'm going to be correcting people on this point for four years:
A quarter of the country selected Trump. Not half.

Half of the country didn't vote for a wide variety of reasons that could be said to include a feeling that their vote doesn't matter. (On topic!)

Nearly half of the votes cast did go his way, yes. But that's a significant difference, imo.

Noted, thanks.  And I shall join you on your correction quest from this point forward. 
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Offline runawayjimbo

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2016, 02:44:24 PM »
Maryland approved a measure to have its electors follow popular vote regardless of the statewide result if and only if, enough states to comprise an electoral majority approve similar measures.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18053715/ns/politics/t/maryland-sidesteps-electoral-college/

That's from 2007? Either way, seems like the ultimate abdication in state sovereignty. I wonder how the citizens of reliably blue MD will feel when (not if, when) a Republican wins the popular vote?

Kind of speaking of, here's an interesting theory:
The real reason we have an Electoral College: to protect slave states

Like many components of our founding, the EC may have been borne out of necessity from our country's original sin. However, I disagree that this compromise is indicative of our racist heritage and nothing more. The underlying principles behind the EC are still sound IMO.

First, the EC allows every corner of our country a voice in the election of the president. And whether or not that began as an appeasement to Southern slave-owning states is largely irrelevant since there is just as much reason to continue this tradition today. Take a look at the map below. If you think we are polarized today, how do you think it would look if the presidency was decided by a handful of densely populated areas at the expense of the vast majority of the geography of the country? Voters in these rural areas just voted, overwhelmingly, for the most hated candidate in history (well, the second most hated I guess). It's easy to dismiss these 60M people as ignorant racists, but what I have been trying to point out in the last week is that the majority of them were simply saying "fuck you" to a system that has left them behind (a point a certain senator from VT made quite effectively). Allowing the president to be decided by the major metropolitan areas and no where else would be a kick in the nuts for them from which I  don't see how we come back.

Second (and somewhat related), the EC protects our national unity (as fragmented as that may be) in a way that popular voting does not. Also the EC (along with the Senate) provides an incentive for the federal government to consider policies that work for the entire country and not just the coasts. Now, I'm sympathetic to the "one person, one vote" view that the EC treats a person's vote in Nebraska to be worth more than one in New York. But if California voters feel like their vote is somehow "less" than someone in South Dakota, maybe they should consider their place in our union and whether or not they want to reevaluate that relationship (something that, apparently, has picked up steam in the wake of this election).

Finally, one of the greatest logical fallacies practiced by proponents is that the election would have worked out EXACTLY the same in a popular voting system. Republicans don't spend time or money in Oregon and New Jersey just like Dems don't go to Oklahoma or Idaho. So you can't compare popular vote totals in the system we currently have for the one you want; change the system, change the score. The Christian conservative in California will be sure to show up in this system. Would that result in greater turnout and thus greater engagement in the political process than we currently have? Maybe. But can you imagine the amount of money candidates would need to compete across all 50 states? I don't see how you can get around the fact that popular voting would lead to an explosion in the incestuous relationship of politicians and their donors.

So, if you want to upend the system that has created the most stable form of governance in the history of civilization - one far that has indisputably been more effective at consistently and peacefully transitioning power from one party to the next than any parliamentary setup - it shouldn't be on the back of an emotional plea of "we were robbed" following a difficult campaign. And it certainly shouldn't be under the guise of "that's racist" as implied by the Vox article. That shit never works out well. See here for an example.

/rant


Offline rowjimmy

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2016, 03:01:07 PM »
Well, as Trump is going to #draintheswamp, the monied interests won't be involved so we can surely have a pure democratic process, right?


Right?

Whay are you laughing so loud?

Offline Hicks

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2016, 03:21:56 PM »
Yes, Trump won a geographic landslide in parts of the country primarily populated by cows.

Seems like a great way to elect our leaders to me. 
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Offline sunrisevt

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2016, 03:32:49 PM »
Maryland approved a measure to have its electors follow popular vote regardless of the statewide result if and only if, enough states to comprise an electoral majority approve similar measures.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18053715/ns/politics/t/maryland-sidesteps-electoral-college/

That's from 2007? Either way, seems like the ultimate abdication in state sovereignty. I wonder how the citizens of reliably blue MD will feel when (not if, when) a Republican wins the popular vote?

Kind of speaking of, here's an interesting theory:
The real reason we have an Electoral College: to protect slave states

Like many components of our founding, the EC may have been borne out of necessity from our country's original sin. However, I disagree that this compromise is indicative of our racist heritage and nothing more. The underlying principles behind the EC are still sound IMO.

First, the EC allows every corner of our country a voice in the election of the president. And whether or not that began as an appeasement to Southern slave-owning states is largely irrelevant since there is just as much reason to continue this tradition today. Take a look at the map below. If you think we are polarized today, how do you think it would look if the presidency was decided by a handful of densely populated areas at the expense of the vast majority of the geography of the country? Voters in these rural areas just voted, overwhelmingly, for the most hated candidate in history (well, the second most hated I guess). It's easy to dismiss these 60M people as ignorant racists, but what I have been trying to point out in the last week is that the majority of them were simply saying "fuck you" to a system that has left them behind (a point a certain senator from VT made quite effectively). Allowing the president to be decided by the major metropolitan areas and no where else would be a kick in the nuts for them from which I  don't see how we come back.

Second (and somewhat related), the EC protects our national unity (as fragmented as that may be) in a way that popular voting does not. Also the EC (along with the Senate) provides an incentive for the federal government to consider policies that work for the entire country and not just the coasts. Now, I'm sympathetic to the "one person, one vote" view that the EC treats a person's vote in Nebraska to be worth more than one in New York. But if California voters feel like their vote is somehow "less" than someone in South Dakota, maybe they should consider their place in our union and whether or not they want to reevaluate that relationship (something that, apparently, has picked up steam in the wake of this election).

Finally, one of the greatest logical fallacies practiced by proponents is that the election would have worked out EXACTLY the same in a popular voting system. Republicans don't spend time or money in Oregon and New Jersey just like Dems don't go to Oklahoma or Idaho. So you can't compare popular vote totals in the system we currently have for the one you want; change the system, change the score. The Christian conservative in California will be sure to show up in this system. Would that result in greater turnout and thus greater engagement in the political process than we currently have? Maybe. But can you imagine the amount of money candidates would need to compete across all 50 states? I don't see how you can get around the fact that popular voting would lead to an explosion in the incestuous relationship of politicians and their donors.

So, if you want to upend the system that has created the most stable form of governance in the history of civilization - one far that has indisputably been more effective at consistently and peacefully transitioning power from one party to the next than any parliamentary setup - it shouldn't be on the back of an emotional plea of "we were robbed" following a difficult campaign. And it certainly shouldn't be under the guise of "that's racist" as implied by the Vox article. That shit never works out well. See here for an example.

/rant



While I'm not entirely convinced you're right, that is some sound argument.  :beers:

On the other hand, if I think too hard about the missed opportunities of 2000 & 2016, I'll fucking explode.  :frustrated:
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Offline rowjimmy

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2016, 03:34:47 PM »
Yes, Trump won a geographic landslide in parts of the country primarily populated by cows.

Seems like a great way to elect our leaders to me.

Someone has to represent the pastures.

Offline sunrisevt

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2016, 03:35:48 PM »
So, if you want to upend the system that has created the most stable form of governance in the history of civilization - one far that has indisputably been more effective at consistently and peacefully transitioning power from one party to the next than any parliamentary setup - it shouldn't be on the back of an emotional plea of "we were robbed" following a difficult campaign.

Would you raise the same objection to Republicans who attempt to do away with the filibuster in the coming years?
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Offline Hicks

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2016, 03:49:10 PM »
Yes, Trump won a geographic landslide in parts of the country primarily populated by cows.

Seems like a great way to elect our leaders to me.

Someone has to represent the pastures.

He's literally making bullshit great again. 
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Offline runawayjimbo

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Re: The Electoral College and the Two-Party System
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2016, 03:52:25 PM »
Well, as Trump is going to #draintheswamp, the monied interests won't be involved so we can surely have a pure democratic process, right?


Right?

Whay are you laughing so loud?

I LOL'd.

So, if you want to upend the system that has created the most stable form of governance in the history of civilization - one far that has indisputably been more effective at consistently and peacefully transitioning power from one party to the next than any parliamentary setup - it shouldn't be on the back of an emotional plea of "we were robbed" following a difficult campaign.

Would you raise the same objection to Republicans who attempt to do away with the filibuster in the coming years?

Absolutely. I believe I have a post somewhere around here about why it was a mistake for Dems to be changing the rules when they were going down that road in '13.

I'll admit I will probably enjoy some guilty pleasure in watching the flip from "do-nothing, obstructionist Republicans" to "virtuous, conscientious objecting Dems," but I think you'll find that I will oppose President Trump (gross) and his merry-men in Congress at least as much as I did the Big O. I mean, his entire NatSec/Defense team is getting the ole W band back together. And John Bolton in the running for State? JOHN FUCKING NEVER MET A WAR HE DID'NT LOVE BOLTON.

Fuck that shit.