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Author Topic: Time to dump the Electoral College  (Read 3333 times)
JFK-Democrat
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« on: September 26, 2012, 11:44:55 pm »
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I think most of us on this site are political junkies and the endless discussions about swing states and EV counts, make the presidential race seem like the Super Bowl, however, after the last 3 elections where we have this extremely narrow focus on a handful of states(and now this election playing out the same way), I am starting to think that this cannot be good for the country in the long term.

Is it time to dump the electoral college? I know democrats are approaching the point of having a lock on the electoral college, i think we could easily win the next two or three presidential races in a row...and as a democrat I like nothing more than seeing the teapublicans lose, but I still think its time we ditched the EC system and replace it with direct popular vote and a runoff if someone fails to get more than 50% of the vote.

Realistically I know the only way we get to have a real discussion about this issue, is if we have a reverse 2000. I also don't think the National Popular Vote compact would survive a constitutional challenge.

So the question is, how do we get both parties to agree to change the current system?
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We in this country, in this generation, are -by destiny rather than choice- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men".   Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas, November 22, 1963
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 12:00:16 am »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

As for your theory about the Democrats having a lock on the EC, have you not noticed that traditionally Republican states have enjoyed an increase in their share of the EC over the past few years while the opposite has held true in Democratic bastions? It is largely because people are voting with their feet, so to speak. The Democratic Party has veered too far to the left. Too many Democratic policies in too many places are hampering economic growth. People are leaving for states that have better opportunities (i.e., usually the more Republican states).

Just because a lot of Hispanics have yet to figure out that the reason why they or their ancestors had to leave their native land is because of anti-growth, left-wing economic policies that does not mean they will not catch on eventually. I know plenty of Hispanics who now recognize this. Rubio is just the beginning.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 12:06:18 am by Politico »Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 12:06:48 am »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

Good thing no states are being neglected under the current system
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 12:09:53 am »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

Good thing no states are being neglected under the current system

States that are wholly satisfied or wholly unsatisfied with the incumbency are not neglected.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 12:22:09 am by Politico »Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 12:17:26 am »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

Good thing no states are being neglected under the current system

States that are wholly satisfied or wholly unsatisfied are not neglected.

What does this even mean?
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 12:20:14 am »
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It's got almost half the 270 electoral votes it needs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact
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Politico
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 12:21:53 am »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

Good thing no states are being neglected under the current system

States that are wholly satisfied or wholly unsatisfied with the incumbency are not neglected.

What does this even mean?

Fixed.
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JFK-Democrat
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 12:26:50 am »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

Lets see, right now all the action is in about 5 or 6 states. So that's not a valid argument. Also, the large states send more tax revenues to the federal government, yet when it comes to the national election they are virtually ignored, thereby depressing turnout in these states.

Maybe when Democrats have a lock on Florida and Texas becomes a swing state, conservatives will be wiling to have a serious discussion about this issue.
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We in this country, in this generation, are -by destiny rather than choice- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men".   Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas, November 22, 1963
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 12:27:43 am »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 12:35:00 am »
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The popular vote is used in all democratic countries that elect President, there's no reason it can't be used here. Electoral votes don't really make a lot of sense.
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 12:48:31 am »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

This is a worse idea than the current Electoral College, because of gerrymandering.  For example: North Carolina, which cast more votes for Obama than McCain, yet McCain won 10 of its 13 current districts. 
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 12:48:49 am »
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  • Abolish the electoral college.
  • Abolish the concept of voter registration. When you turn 18, ta-da: you are eligible to vote.
  • Abolish the states' ability to determine voting criteria.
  • Create a national voter database that permits every citizen one vote and is instantly verifiable with SSN & a unique PIN.
  • Institute secure electronic voting systems that work like this.
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SteveRogers
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 01:16:59 am »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

That's not better.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2012, 01:19:04 am »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

That would be about a million times worse unless you want the way we elect Presidents to be super unrepresentative.
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BlueSwan
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 01:19:26 am »
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  • Abolish the electoral college.
  • Abolish the concept of voter registration. When you turn 18, ta-da: you are eligible to vote.
  • Abolish the states' ability to determine voting criteria.
  • Create a national voter database that permits every citizen one vote and is instantly verifiable with SSN & a unique PIN.
  • Institute secure electronic voting systems that work like this.
Agreed, except for the part about e-voting, which I still don't trust.

My only real objection to a PV system is that it would make the whole election debacle much less interesting for political junkies like us. But really, it is the only way to go.
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SteveRogers
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2012, 01:54:44 am »
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I think most of us on this site are political junkies and the endless discussions about swing states and EV counts, make the presidential race seem like the Super Bowl, however, after the last 3 elections where we have this extremely narrow focus on a handful of states(and now this election playing out the same way), I am starting to think that this cannot be good for the country in the long term.

Is it time to dump the electoral college? I know democrats are approaching the point of having a lock on the electoral college, i think we could easily win the next two or three presidential races in a row...and as a democrat I like nothing more than seeing the teapublicans lose, but I still think its time we ditched the EC system and replace it with direct popular vote and a runoff if someone fails to get more than 50% of the vote.

Realistically I know the only way we get to have a real discussion about this issue, is if we have a reverse 2000. I also don't think the National Popular Vote compact would survive a constitutional challenge.

So the question is, how do we get both parties to agree to change the current system?


When you look at the history of how the role of the presidency has developed over the course of U.S. history, it's pretty surprising that there hasn't ever been a real push to get rid of the electoral college. The EC made sense originally, but pretty early on in our history we as a nation decided to make the presidency something a little different than what the founders had in mind. Today the electoral college makes absolutely no sense and I'm not really sure who would miss it if it were abolished.

A "reverse 2000" would definitely probably get the ball rolling, but to really seal the deal you'd want to have an election thrown to the House. An unlikely scenario, but imagine if Obama won the popular vote but tied Romney in the electoral college 269-269. The House would elect Romney along strict party lines, but I'd think it'd be wildly unpopular. Republicans might agree to back an amendment afterwards in order to save face.

As for the National Popular Vote Interstate compact, the constitutional arguments against it seem pretty weak. It's pretty clear that the constitution gives the states wide latitude in determining how to allocate their electoral votes. The real problem with an interstate compact is that it would lack legitimacy in the eyes of much of the public. It would basically look like a small minority of states trying to mandate a sweeping change for the whole country.
 
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2012, 01:56:13 am »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

This is a worse idea than the current Electoral College, because of gerrymandering.  For example: North Carolina, which cast more votes for Obama than McCain, yet McCain won 10 of its 13 current districts. 
I am however against the winner take all conclusion the electoral college uses.  The candidate you voted for in your state and county, should be counted, not canceled out.
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2012, 02:06:51 am »
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I think the only way the EC would be done away with would be a 269-269 tie where the popular vote winner loses the presidency due to partisanship in the House (I had this happen once in President Elect 1988, but I cannot remember the details). Otherwise, I think there is no chance of it being changed. If 2000 was unable to do it, nothing short of the aforementioned will do the job.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 02:11:33 am by Politico »Logged

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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 02:41:36 am »
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I think the only way the EC would be done away with would be a 269-269 tie where the popular vote winner loses the presidency due to partisanship in the House (I had this happen once in President Elect 1988, but I cannot remember the details). Otherwise, I think there is no chance of it being changed. If 2000 was unable to do it, nothing short of the aforementioned will do the job.
A tie will likely never happen, given states will lose and gain electoral votes in the future which will throw off odds.  We can all agree that the EC needs to be abolished sooner than later.
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 06:29:39 pm »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected

I'm in NY, we're completely neglected and have no voice - it's solid blue.  No matter what you do, different areas will have more influence.

Except now, the concerns of the people of Ohio arbitrarily outweigh those of us in upstate New York, it's equally unfair.
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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2012, 10:48:42 pm »
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Every state has a voice as it is right now. If we changed to a PV setup, people would only campaign in places like CA, NY, TX and FL in order to drive up turnout. Many states would be neglected.

As for your theory about the Democrats having a lock on the EC, have you not noticed that traditionally Republican states have enjoyed an increase in their share of the EC over the past few years while the opposite has held true in Democratic bastions? It is largely because people are voting with their feet, so to speak. The Democratic Party has veered too far to the left. Too many Democratic policies in too many places are hampering economic growth. People are leaving for states that have better opportunities (i.e., usually the more Republican states).

Just because a lot of Hispanics have yet to figure out that the reason why they or their ancestors had to leave their native land is because of anti-growth, left-wing economic policies that does not mean they will not catch on eventually. I know plenty of Hispanics who now recognize this. Rubio is just the beginning.

I'm sorry Politico but you are a complete fool. California and Texas are ignored by the two major candidates because they are both guaranteed to go to their respective candidate. So they only focus on Ohio, Florida, and other swing states. Under this system, almost everywhere is ignored except for a few select locations. The only difference is that it's fair to make a persons vote come before a State's. It's so simple that the fact that you don't understand this makes you look ridiculous.
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2012, 12:41:33 pm »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

This is a worse idea than the current Electoral College, because of gerrymandering.  For example: North Carolina, which cast more votes for Obama than McCain, yet McCain won 10 of its 13 current districts. 

Quite, and it might well encourage more gerrymandering.  Indeed, hasn't the Omaha district been deliberately made a bit harder for Obama to win?

Gerrymandering is a far worse problem with the US political system than the Electoral College IMO.
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2012, 03:51:53 am »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

That would be about a million times worse unless you want the way we elect Presidents to be super unrepresentative.

It would at the very least closely resemble how most Anglophone Prime Ministers are selected.
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2012, 05:39:21 pm »
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They only way I'd really be comfortable with keeping the Electoral College would be to require every state to award EVs proportionally (like that 2008 Colorado ballot initiative). Possibly coupled with an increase in the size of the House, maybe implementing something like the Wyoming Rule, to ensure greater proportionality.

And while we're at it, if nobody has an Electoral College majority it'd probably be better if it led to a top-two runoff rather than having Congress pick a winner.
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2012, 05:47:14 pm »
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I'm against the electoral voting system.  It needs to be abolished, and a congressional district voting system like Nebraska and Maine ought to be enacted.  Or use the house district map for the votes.

That would be about a million times worse unless you want the way we elect Presidents to be super unrepresentative.

It would at the very least closely resemble how most Anglophone Prime Ministers are selected.

Districts are drawn....differently....in the U.S.
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