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Author Topic: My Idea for Reforming the Electoral College  (Read 4067 times)
Illuminati Blood Drinker
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« on: November 27, 2010, 11:07:08 pm »
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My idea for reforming the electoral college goes like this:

Let us take a state, called Sample State. Sample State has 100 Electoral Votes. Now, after a presidential election, the Democratic Candidate wins 45% of the vote, and the Republican Candidate wins 55% of the vote. Under the current system, the Republican would receive all 100 electoral votes. However, under my system, what would happen instead would be that the Republican would receive 55 electoral votes, and the Democrat would win 45 electoral votes. In short, the electoral votes would be distributed by proportion of the statewide popular vote, rather than being awarded by winner-take-all. This idea was also proposed in Colorado as a referendum in 2004, but was defeated.

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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 06:49:37 am »
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Support. That would be a major improvement from the current system.

EDIT : However, it should be done nationwide, because if only certain States use that system it could actually worsen distortion between the EVs and the PV.
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 08:18:48 am »
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Support. That would be a major improvement from the current system.

EDIT : However, it should be done nationwide, because if only certain States use that system it could actually worsen distortion between the EVs and the PV.

Of course...a national requirement on distribution defeats the entire purpose of the EC. Might as well abolish it entirely.
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 01:29:21 pm »
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Support. That would be a major improvement from the current system.

EDIT : However, it should be done nationwide, because if only certain States use that system it could actually worsen distortion between the EVs and the PV.

Of course...a national requirement on distribution defeats the entire purpose of the EC. Might as well abolish it entirely.

Indeed, it would be the best and most straigthforward solution.
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 09:55:56 pm »
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If we can't abolish it outright I would support this.
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 12:36:22 am »
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Support. That would be a major improvement from the current system.

EDIT : However, it should be done nationwide, because if only certain States use that system it could actually worsen distortion between the EVs and the PV.

Of course...a national requirement on distribution defeats the entire purpose of the EC. Might as well abolish it entirely.

There would still be the +2 bonus for small states.  A voter in Wyoming would still have an outsized influence over the election outcome relative to a voter in California.  Bush would have won in 2000 under a system like this (likely with no need for recounts), because he did so much better in the small states than the large states.
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 12:41:39 pm »
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Another idea is giving each congressional district an individual electoral vote.
For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won Indiana and it's 11 electoral votes. McCain, won 6 Congressional Districts to Obama's 3. McCain would get 6 of Indiana's electoral votes, and Obama would get 5 (3 CD's + 2 for winning statewide) That system would put the EV closer to the PV, without completely ruining the election system in America.

My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 03:45:52 pm »
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Another idea is giving each congressional district an individual electoral vote.
For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won Indiana and it's 11 electoral votes. McCain, won 6 Congressional Districts to Obama's 3. McCain would get 6 of Indiana's electoral votes, and Obama would get 5 (3 CD's + 2 for winning statewide) That system would put the EV closer to the PV, without completely ruining the election system in America.

That is a very bad idea. Imagine how bad gerrymandering would get.

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My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.


That wouldn't happen, obviously.....but it seems logical that states with high population are....gasp.....worthy of more attention than Iowa or New Hampshire.
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Thomas D
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 06:10:41 pm »
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Another idea is giving each congressional district an individual electoral vote.
For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won Indiana and it's 11 electoral votes. McCain, won 6 Congressional Districts to Obama's 3. McCain would get 6 of Indiana's electoral votes, and Obama would get 5 (3 CD's + 2 for winning statewide) That system would put the EV closer to the PV, without completely ruining the election system in America.

My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Not true. If you're a Republican running for President why go to FL where you may net 100,000 votes when you can go to AL and net 500,000 votes. Or if you're a Democrat, why go to OH where you may net 75,000 votes when you can go to MD and net 400,000 votes.


This plan would help one-party states. More so then big states.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 06:12:20 pm by Thomas D »Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2010, 02:24:54 pm »
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My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Mass democracies with an electorate almost as large as the American one which use a PV system for the election of the President have not had this issue.
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2010, 06:27:33 pm »
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My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Mass democracies with an electorate almost as large as the American one which use a PV system for the election of the President have not had this issue.

Of course not, a vote is a vote, no matter where it's cast. I don't understand why EC supporters have convinced themselves of something that makes so little sense.
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2010, 11:22:32 pm »
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My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Mass democracies with an electorate almost as large as the American one which use a PV system for the election of the President have not had this issue.

How many mass democracies use an FPTP system to elect their top leader? The answer is very few. Most use a parliamentary system to indirectly choose the prime minster of equivalent position. Those that directly elect their leader often use a runoff if no one gets a majority vote (eg. France).

Of course not, a vote is a vote, no matter where it's cast. I don't understand why EC supporters have convinced themselves of something that makes so little sense.
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2010, 02:39:13 am »
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My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Mass democracies with an electorate almost as large as the American one which use a PV system for the election of the President have not had this issue.

Of course not, a vote is a vote, no matter where it's cast. I don't understand why EC supporters have convinced themselves of something that makes so little sense.

How many mass democracies use an FPTP system to elect their top leader? The answer is very few. Most use a parliamentary system to indirectly choose the prime minster of equivalent position. Those that directly elect their leader often use a runoff if no one gets a majority vote (eg. France).

Out of the ten largest countries in the world, Indonesia and Brazil use direct elections to choose their presidents and Nigeria and Russia use direct electoral-type events to choose theirs. Neither Indonesia nor Brazil have the problems suggested, although Hashemite could certainly tell you a good deal more about elections in Brazil than I can.
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2010, 09:43:57 pm »
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My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Mass democracies with an electorate almost as large as the American one which use a PV system for the election of the President have not had this issue.

Of course not, a vote is a vote, no matter where it's cast. I don't understand why EC supporters have convinced themselves of something that makes so little sense.

How many mass democracies use an FPTP system to elect their top leader? The answer is very few. Most use a parliamentary system to indirectly choose the prime minster of equivalent position. Those that directly elect their leader often use a runoff if no one gets a majority vote (eg. France).

Out of the ten largest countries in the world, Indonesia and Brazil use direct elections to choose their presidents and Nigeria and Russia use direct electoral-type events to choose theirs. Neither Indonesia nor Brazil have the problems suggested, although Hashemite could certainly tell you a good deal more about elections in Brazil than I can.

I was thinking of the many parliamentary democracies in Europe and Asia, and you are correct that many countries that emerged in the 20th century use a congressional system with a president. Even so, I think the core of my statement stands. Direct presidential election without protection against a minority plurality winner is rare.

In your list above, Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia all use a runoff if the president doesn't get 50% on the first round (I don't know if Nigeria uses a runoff or not in their current form of government). The US system is a pre-modern way to conduct a runoff - a hybrid based on the experience from Britain, the novelty of an elected head of state, and the lack of good communication in the 18th century to conduct a direct runoff. In the Constitution, Congress acts as the runoff if 50% of the electors are not won. Above all, the founders wanted to prevent a tyranny in the new country and the overlapping majority requirements were one way to accomplish that.

To my point. If US was to be properly modern in its election for president, then there should be a runoff provision if no candidate receives 50%. This could be with a second round of voting or with an IRV system. Any system without that type of basic protection would be sorely lacking, IMO.
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2010, 09:49:23 pm »
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Muon, I agree wholeheartedly. When I say I support "populär vote" elections, I merely mean that the President should be directly elected by the people, and not by an electoral college.

IRV would be the best possible system.
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2010, 10:34:03 pm »
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Muon, I agree wholeheartedly. When I say I support "populär vote" elections, I merely mean that the President should be directly elected by the people, and not by an electoral college.

IRV would be the best possible system.

My statement underlies my great objection to the NPVIC. In order to get around a constitutional amendment, the Compact cannot use any kind of runoff to select electors. Nor can it use an IRV in the states with a Compact, since it wouldn't be known in the other states which candidates would be left for a runoff.
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2010, 01:12:51 pm »
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Yes, if the current system had to be dismantled. Otherwise no.
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2010, 01:26:31 pm »
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Another idea is giving each congressional district an individual electoral vote.
For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won Indiana and it's 11 electoral votes. McCain, won 6 Congressional Districts to Obama's 3. McCain would get 6 of Indiana's electoral votes, and Obama would get 5 (3 CD's + 2 for winning statewide) That system would put the EV closer to the PV, without completely ruining the election system in America.

My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.

Actually, candidates would focus on swing districts, instead of swing states.  Every district has roughly the same population.  Also, this opens the electoral college to major abuse by gerrymandering.
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2010, 01:27:35 pm »
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Muon, I agree wholeheartedly. When I say I support "populär vote" elections, I merely mean that the President should be directly elected by the people, and not by an electoral college.

IRV would be the best possible system.

My statement underlies my great objection to the NPVIC. In order to get around a constitutional amendment, the Compact cannot use any kind of runoff to select electors. Nor can it use an IRV in the states with a Compact, since it wouldn't be known in the other states which candidates would be left for a runoff.

The hope is that the NPVIC would ultimately spur the adoption of a constitutional amendment relating to Presidential elections.
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2010, 04:08:52 pm »
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Muon, I agree wholeheartedly. When I say I support "populär vote" elections, I merely mean that the President should be directly elected by the people, and not by an electoral college.

IRV would be the best possible system.

My statement underlies my great objection to the NPVIC. In order to get around a constitutional amendment, the Compact cannot use any kind of runoff to select electors. Nor can it use an IRV in the states with a Compact, since it wouldn't be known in the other states which candidates would be left for a runoff.

The hope is that the NPVIC would ultimately spur the adoption of a constitutional amendment relating to Presidential elections.


Only if we a had a strong three-way race that ended up with a winner who got less than 40% of the PV and that the supporters of the other two candidates both opposed, so that it would be obvious that if a runoff had occurred, the winner would been strongly trounced.
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 10:28:12 pm »
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Another idea is giving each congressional district an individual electoral vote.
For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won Indiana and it's 11 electoral votes. McCain, won 6 Congressional Districts to Obama's 3. McCain would get 6 of Indiana's electoral votes, and Obama would get 5 (3 CD's + 2 for winning statewide) That system would put the EV closer to the PV, without completely ruining the election system in America.

My concern with eliminating the EV completely or adopting this idea is that candidates will only focus on highly populated areas, and states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will be ignored.


A Maine/Nebraska  idea is quite logical.
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2010, 08:44:44 am »
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What's "logical" about it?
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« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2010, 10:50:21 pm »
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I was thinking of the many parliamentary democracies in Europe and Asia, and you are correct that many countries that emerged in the 20th century use a congressional system with a president. Even so, I think the core of my statement stands. Direct presidential election without protection against a minority plurality winner is rare.

In your list above, Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia all use a runoff if the president doesn't get 50% on the first round (I don't know if Nigeria uses a runoff or not in their current form of government). The US system is a pre-modern way to conduct a runoff - a hybrid based on the experience from Britain, the novelty of an elected head of state, and the lack of good communication in the 18th century to conduct a direct runoff. In the Constitution, Congress acts as the runoff if 50% of the electors are not won. Above all, the founders wanted to prevent a tyranny in the new country and the overlapping majority requirements were one way to accomplish that.

To my point. If US was to be properly modern in its election for president, then there should be a runoff provision if no candidate receives 50%. This could be with a second round of voting or with an IRV system. Any system without that type of basic protection would be sorely lacking, IMO.

Given that the US's two-party system which is barely broken and where candidates will usually win with more or close to 50%, one could say without erring much that it is equivalent to the runoffs used in mass democracies such as Brazil and Indonesia. My point was that in those states, Brazil in particular, candidates have won while losing highly populated areas. Lula was reelected with over 60% of the vote in 2006 despite losing the most populated state. Collor won comfortably in 1989 despite losing by a landslide in almost all major cities. Furthermore, there is no proof that candidates in Brazil (or Indonesia, I don't know) focus their campaigns excessively on big states such as SP/MG/RJ/BA.
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