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Abolish the Electoral College

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/20/2011 9:12:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Who thinks that the electoral college should be abolished in the U.S? They can basically decide to elect whomever they wish and disregard the popular vote. I don't think it has happened yet, but they have the power to do so.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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8/20/2011 10:07:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Never mind that the winner-takes-all system means that if you didn't vote for the same candidate as your state, your vote is counted the other way regardless.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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8/20/2011 10:15:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Oddly enough, it is within the interests of every individual state to go by the rules of the electoral college, as if the entirety of the state's vote goes to the state's majority, then the majority of the state is more likely to win, which is favored by the majority in that state.
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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8/20/2011 11:21:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/20/2011 9:12:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
Who thinks that the electoral college should be abolished in the U.S? They can basically decide to elect whomever they wish and disregard the popular vote. I don't think it has happened yet, but they have the power to do so.

Yeah, no--they don't. The "electors," MUST vote the way their state votes. That's part of how the college is designed.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/20/2011 11:38:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/20/2011 11:21:00 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 8/20/2011 9:12:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
Who thinks that the electoral college should be abolished in the U.S? They can basically decide to elect whomever they wish and disregard the popular vote. I don't think it has happened yet, but they have the power to do so.

Yeah, no--they don't. The "electors," MUST vote the way their state votes. That's part of how the college is designed.

No, they CAN vote the other way. It would be a felony, but they CAN do it, and the vote would count.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/20/2011 11:39:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
http://answers.yahoo.com... This isn't a very good source, but its the quickest I could find. Most said yes.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/20/2011 11:40:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
As far as I can tell state laws vary on what their electoral college members can do.
Regardless, empowering majorities further is a bad bad thing. It's easier to chop off the electoral college's heads than the majorities' heads if it comes down to it.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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8/20/2011 11:42:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/20/2011 11:38:06 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/20/2011 11:21:00 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 8/20/2011 9:12:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
Who thinks that the electoral college should be abolished in the U.S? They can basically decide to elect whomever they wish and disregard the popular vote. I don't think it has happened yet, but they have the power to do so.

Yeah, no--they don't. The "electors," MUST vote the way their state votes. That's part of how the college is designed.

No, they CAN vote the other way. It would be a felony, but they CAN do it, and the vote would count.

I doubt it would still count--seeing as how most states have binding laws in place in which the elector is figuratively a mouthpiece.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/20/2011 11:59:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sad fact is the founders reasoning for the electoral college is just what you'd think it is: they didn't trust common folk to vote intelligently.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/21/2011 12:12:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/20/2011 11:59:15 PM, Wnope wrote:
Sad fact is the founders reasoning for the electoral college is just what you'd think it is: they didn't trust common folk to vote intelligently.

I don't actually think it was. There's some other constitutional requirements that are for that purpose, as far as I can tell the actual original purpose for the electoral college was just part of the compromise so the small states wouldn't feel pissed at lacking political importance. Simple logrolling. Non-monetary pork.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
BennyW
Posts: 698
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8/21/2011 12:20:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I used to think the same thing. However, I realize that a purely popular vote could cause problems particularly for smaller state. I now advocate that more states adopt the Maine-Nebraska method, where each congressional district is allotted one vote rather than the whole state being a winner take all.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
You didn't build that-Obama
It's pretty lazy to quote things you disagree with, call it stupid and move on, rather than arguing with the person. -000ike
BennyW
Posts: 698
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8/21/2011 12:22:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/20/2011 11:42:33 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 8/20/2011 11:38:06 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/20/2011 11:21:00 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 8/20/2011 9:12:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
Who thinks that the electoral college should be abolished in the U.S? They can basically decide to elect whomever they wish and disregard the popular vote. I don't think it has happened yet, but they have the power to do so.

Yeah, no--they don't. The "electors," MUST vote the way their state votes. That's part of how the college is designed.

No, they CAN vote the other way. It would be a felony, but they CAN do it, and the vote would count.

I doubt it would still count--seeing as how most states have binding laws in place in which the elector is figuratively a mouthpiece.

They can and occasionally do vote other than what they have pledged to. It is called a faithless elector and it does count.
You didn't build that-Obama
It's pretty lazy to quote things you disagree with, call it stupid and move on, rather than arguing with the person. -000ike
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/21/2011 12:24:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
That's what I tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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8/21/2011 12:28:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/21/2011 12:24:14 AM, 000ike wrote:
That's what I tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen.

Fine, I concede that OCCASIONALLY there are faithless electors. But, truly, popular vote DOES have too many flaws. I'm in favor of the system Benny described.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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8/21/2011 1:49:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/21/2011 12:20:53 AM, BennyW wrote:
I used to think the same thing. However, I realize that a purely popular vote could cause problems particularly for smaller state. I now advocate that more states adopt the Maine-Nebraska method, where each congressional district is allotted one vote rather than the whole state being a winner take all.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Is a winner-take-all any more fair when it has a county scope?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/21/2011 2:05:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/21/2011 12:12:23 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 8/20/2011 11:59:15 PM, Wnope wrote:
Sad fact is the founders reasoning for the electoral college is just what you'd think it is: they didn't trust common folk to vote intelligently.

I don't actually think it was. There's some other constitutional requirements that are for that purpose, as far as I can tell the actual original purpose for the electoral college was just part of the compromise so the small states wouldn't feel pissed at lacking political importance. Simple logrolling. Non-monetary pork.

The compromise came from deciding the ratio of how much votes from states counted. However, if you look at the Federalist papers and opinions of individual founders, you find them following the mainstream opinion of the elites, which was that representative government, even in terms of voting, was needed because normal people could not devote resources to inform themselves enough to make a rational choice. This wasn't a "radical" opinion at the same. Same sort of thing as racism back in Victorian days.

The founders could have instituted direct democracy with weighted votes between states leading to the same result as an electoral college. That would equally solve the small/big state problem.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/21/2011 2:12:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
You can decide whether its good or bad, but one affect of the electoral college is that it dampens the effect of voter mobilization.

Campaigns don't care about convincing other side. They want to piss their own side off enough so that some of them get off their @sses and vote.

So, let's say, Republicans are really pissed about Obama in office, while the Democrats are lukewarm. Even in a state where Democrats are a majority, Republicans may win because they better mobilized voters.

Electoral candidates vote regardless of their enthusiasm about candidates (as long as its better than the other guy). Since inidividuals rarely change their stance, the mobilization effect would disappear.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,230
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8/21/2011 3:06:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
What a horrible idea. A politician could then bribe California and New York for 90% of the votes and then squeak by on the other 48 states with 25% of the vote.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/21/2011 4:42:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is a horrible idea.

The original reasoning behind it was a north south issue. At the time the population of the north was far more heavy and concentrated in their cities and towns, whereas the south was much more rural and the populations were smaller and more dispersed. The fear was that the country would always have a president from the north who disregarded southern issues. Those principles exist today with smaller states (in population) going without any chance of representation. Furthermore, a presidential candidate would only need to campaign in a couple largely populated states and ignore any of the lesser populated states. As it is now they are falling over each other for states like New Hampshire and Iowa, whereas with a simple majority these would be completely ignored, along with about 40 other states. The electoral college is a states rights issue, and without it we add more to the tyrrany of the majority.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/21/2011 5:59:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The founders could have instituted direct democracy with weighted votes between states leading to the same result as an electoral college.
That doesn't sound like something that would have occurred to them. Or most people. Nerds weren't invented yet :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/21/2011 6:07:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/21/2011 5:59:05 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The founders could have instituted direct democracy with weighted votes between states leading to the same result as an electoral college.
That doesn't sound like something that would have occurred to them. Or most people. Nerds weren't invented yet :P.

They sort of did this with the way the house of representatives are put in place. I still think they wanted to keep it in the realm of states rights, because they don't really give much detailed direction to the states in how they will come up with the votes, they leave that up to the state assemblies.

Quick little factoid i didn't know until recently: The senate was a body of members who were appointed by state assemblies up until 1913 (I think that's the date), and since then they were to be voted on by the citizens of the states.
sadolite
Posts: 8,836
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8/21/2011 2:47:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/20/2011 9:12:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
Who thinks that the electoral college should be abolished in the U.S? They can basically decide to elect whomever they wish and disregard the popular vote. I don't think it has happened yet, but they have the power to do so.

Abolish the electoral college and all Presidents from this day forward will be decided by the populations of the 10 largest cities in America. The electoral college is the core of a "Republic" without it it's just another piece of crap mob rule "Democracy" The founders of this country knew this and that is why the electoral college exists. They did everything they could to prevent this nation from being a Democracy. Democracy is just mob rule. Albeit we are an oligarchy now. They just hold elections every four years to make you think your vote means something. Govt will be business as usual no matter who is in office. How much evidence does one need. there is no difference in the parties, they both spend like drunken sailors and "together" they will pummel this country into the ground.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

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