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Author Topic: Time to dump the Electoral College  (Read 4012 times)
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koenkai
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2012, 08:16:07 pm »
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Districts are drawn....differently....in the U.S.

True, but that doesn't make them automatically less representative. US House districts are a hell lot more representative than say, Japanese or Manitoban districts.
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« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2012, 11:05:29 pm »
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Districts are drawn....differently....in the U.S.

True, but that doesn't make them automatically less representative. US House districts are a hell lot more representative than say, Japanese or Manitoban districts.

As they are drawn now and as they are always going to realistically be drawn, it's horrendously unrepresentative. Yes, in this magical fantasy land where Republicans and Democrats actually come together to caring about electoral reform, proportionality, and open election laws, it could work, but that's not going to happen. As it stands now, doing things the Maine-Nebraska way would heavily stilt the election against the Democrats.
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« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2012, 11:07:56 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.

Having like an extra 150-200 House seats is an electoral reform dream of mine, but I don't expect it to ever happen. We're incapable of changing anything.
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« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2012, 11:47:29 pm »
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The time to dump it came centuries ago.
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2012, 12:09:23 am »
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As they are drawn now and as they are always going to realistically be drawn, it's horrendously unrepresentative. Yes, in this magical fantasy land where Republicans and Democrats actually come together to caring about electoral reform, proportionality, and open election laws, it could work, but that's not going to happen. As it stands now, doing things the Maine-Nebraska way would heavily stilt the election against the Democrats.

If we said, used US house seats for a parliamentary system, they'd actually be pretty representative by international standards. IIRC, the average house district seat is like R+1.5, which is largely due to the Voting Rights Act creating 40 all-black districts. And even then, being +1.5 tilted in a direction isn't really that bad.

For really amusing parliamentary districts, you can look at Manitoba. Where the PCs need to thwomp the NDP by around 10% in order to take a narrow majority. Or Singapore, where the PAP could still hold an majority if they managed to lose 40-60. Or Japan between 1945-1993 (the districts were even funnier because they were multi-member districts). A grimmer example is the South African Nationals triumphing in 1948 (and instituting apartheid), despite losing the actual popular vote by around 38%-49%.
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2012, 01:42:07 am »
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As they are drawn now and as they are always going to realistically be drawn, it's horrendously unrepresentative. Yes, in this magical fantasy land where Republicans and Democrats actually come together to caring about electoral reform, proportionality, and open election laws, it could work, but that's not going to happen. As it stands now, doing things the Maine-Nebraska way would heavily stilt the election against the Democrats.

If we said, used US house seats for a parliamentary system, they'd actually be pretty representative by international standards. IIRC, the average house district seat is like R+1.5, which is largely due to the Voting Rights Act creating 40 all-black districts. And even then, being +1.5 tilted in a direction isn't really that bad.

For really amusing parliamentary districts, you can look at Manitoba. Where the PCs need to thwomp the NDP by around 10% in order to take a narrow majority. Or Singapore, where the PAP could still hold an majority if they managed to lose 40-60. Or Japan between 1945-1993 (the districts were even funnier because they were multi-member districts). A grimmer example is the South African Nationals triumphing in 1948 (and instituting apartheid), despite losing the actual popular vote by around 38%-49%.









Come on now.
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2012, 08:32:44 am »
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The comparison to parliamentary systems touches on the real weakness of the NPVIC. It fails to guarantee the national leader wins the majority of something, instead of just a plurality. In modern democracies there are typically two ways to insure a majority for the national leader.

Parliamentary democracies use an intermediate body to elect their national leader. An outright majority of that body is needed. The US constitution preserved that concept in the Electoral College while divorcing it from the actual political body of Congress except in the case of no EC majority. The key to these systems is that a majority of that intermediate body is essential to protect the public from a minority faction that is able to win a plurality, but not a majority and presumably be unable to govern. I do feel that a CD-based system in the US is not the solution unless there is a uniform, neutral system of drawing districts.

For democracies with direct election the usual process is a run-off election between the top two vote-getters. France is a typical example. The intent is to insure that the national leader can be supported by the majority of voters. A minority faction that cannot swing the votes for a majority is blocked. Some jurisdictions use a ranked vote on the ballot to act as an instant runoff vote.

The NPVIC completely overlooks this. The NPVIC could have only applied when there was 50% or more for a candidate, but that doesn't get at a 2000-type election where neither candidate gets 50% of the vote. The NPVIC could have required its signatories to institute IRV to help resolve ties, but then the question remains as to how it would integrate with non-signatory states. I think the more appropriate method is along this line, but it takes a bit more work than the simple NPVIC can provide.
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2012, 09:30:36 pm »
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Come on now.

As awkwardly as they're drawn/gerrymandered, you've shown absolutely nothing that suggests that these districts are actually highly unrepresentative. Because they're frankly not. If California voted 55% Republican and you got that map, you'd have a case.
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« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2012, 01:58:07 pm »
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As awkwardly as they're drawn/gerrymandered, you've shown absolutely nothing that suggests that these districts are actually highly unrepresentative. Because they're frankly not. If California voted 55% Republican and you got that map, you'd have a case.

What about the Pennsylvania one?  Or North Carolina with the new map, as mentioned in another post.

Also, moving to the Maine-Nebraska system increases the motivation for gerrymandering.
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« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2012, 09:55:05 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.

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.
No sir, you are the fool, to think that politics are only about the campaign.  To think that New York or Texas are ignored in the governing of the country and the political decisions that are made in Washington is the ranting of someone who spends all of their time sitting in front of their computer studying polls and electoral maps, rather than living in this great country.
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« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2012, 08:32:24 pm »
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Well, since JFK posted, more states are in play. 

I want an Electoral College.  I don't want a President of New England, New York, and New Jersey, or a president of the South.
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« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2012, 06:00:14 am »
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I like the idea of fifty-one citizens, randomly selected from amongst the states (but with a massive concentration being those from Maryland, DC and Virginia, obviously) being put into a swish hotel with the candidates for three weeks and them electing the new PopPresident.
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« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2012, 06:36:52 am »
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I honestly believe Australia has the best system in the world, i.e. the parties congresmen/women & senators vote for who they want to lead, then depending on how many electorates you win, you become President with the ruling party.
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« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2012, 09:37:39 am »
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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.

I don't know about proportional allocation of electoral votes, but the Wyoming rule would fix most of the problems with the electoral college. Gore would have won in 2000 for instance with a larger House and consequently a larger and thus more representative electoral college. This change would also make it essential for the two parties to try for all the big states once again as they would gain substantially in Electoral Votes.

I think it general needs to be fixed, but I don't think it needs to be dumped. The problem it has is that it relies on its component parts to do their intended roles. The House is not currently because the districts are too large and thus it isn't serving its role as the voice of popular will.

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« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2012, 09:55:16 am »
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As they are drawn now and as they are always going to realistically be drawn, it's horrendously unrepresentative. Yes, in this magical fantasy land where Republicans and Democrats actually come together to caring about electoral reform, proportionality, and open election laws, it could work, but that's not going to happen. As it stands now, doing things the Maine-Nebraska way would heavily stilt the election against the Democrats.

If we said, used US house seats for a parliamentary system, they'd actually be pretty representative by international standards. IIRC, the average house district seat is like R+1.5, which is largely due to the Voting Rights Act creating 40 all-black districts. And even then, being +1.5 tilted in a direction isn't really that bad.

For really amusing parliamentary districts, you can look at Manitoba. Where the PCs need to thwomp the NDP by around 10% in order to take a narrow majority. Or Singapore, where the PAP could still hold an majority if they managed to lose 40-60. Or Japan between 1945-1993 (the districts were even funnier because they were multi-member districts). A grimmer example is the South African Nationals triumphing in 1948 (and instituting apartheid), despite losing the actual popular vote by around 38%-49%.









Come on now.

What is your point about Arizona? That was a commission map that produced a 4-4 map in 2006 and then 5-3 map in both 2008 and 2010. The stuff up in the north was done to appease tribal differences. In the most recent process, that was dropped because the local tribes changed their opinion about being in the same district. I don't see how AZ is a good case against gerrymandering. There are far better examples. Going by how it looks on the surface can be very misleading, but indeed those are the ones people look at. The most common example is the complaints lodged by Democrats regarding MI-08. Have you have seen a more box like district?
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« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2012, 08:19:00 pm »
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Well, making a visual point is easier that writing a long post. Tongue

But still, the maps I posted are absolute abominations and need to burn in a fire. You can't draw such convoluted lines making no geographic and then claim FPP is awesome because it allows the representation of local communities.
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



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« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2012, 02:10:48 am »
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The time to dump it came centuries ago.
+1,000,000

I can remember when the electoral college was first explained to me in 8th grade, during the 2000 debacle, and thinking to myself "this is a terrible system."

The day this antique is abolished is going to be a great day.
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« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2012, 01:52:21 pm »
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This is bull. I know how direct election works and it's not true candidates are focusing on just w few regions/cities. They need to campaign truly nationwidely.

With EC, everything is ignored except of few swing states.
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« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2012, 04:37:02 pm »
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I'd love to see the Electoral Votes be allocated proportionally by state. First round: divide the votes of all candidates by the number of electors in that state, then divide the candidate's votes by the quota and the number of electors are allocated. Second round: all unallocated electors are pooled nationwide, using all the unused or surplus votes, with all candidates that have won at least 3 electors to qualify for the nationwide allocation; all the votes for the unviable candidates are given to the voter's following choice.
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« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2012, 03:02:24 pm »
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A popular vote system is the only system that is fair.  And if no candidate gets more than 50% of the national vote, then have a run-off election.  Sure, we wouldn't have an Atlas, but elections are not supposed to be a game.  What is important is to have a president that is elected by the majority.

Here's an excellent reason why a popular vote with a run-off election is the best system.
In 1844, no candidate received 50% of the popular vote.  If we had a run off election, James Birney whose Liberty Party was in favor of abolishing slavery would endorse Clay and he would in return, if not abolish slavery, at least run an anti-slavery administration.

The electoral college made Birney's voters completely irrelevant and the issue of slavery was ignored.
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« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2012, 10:02:02 pm »
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A ludicrous claim for several reasons.  First off, there is no reason to assume that all of Birney's votes would have gone to Clay in such a scenario.  Secondly, Polk's margin would have gone up in the first round (tho not enough to bring him above 50%) if South Carolina participated in a popular vote.  Third, in any such rematch with slavery being brought up as an issue, Clay would lose a fair chunk of his southern support for precisely that reason.

Indeed, had the Presidency been elected by the popular vote with a runoff, the Civil War would at the very least been delayed a while, for it would have been impossible for the Republicans to win the White House under such a scenario.
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« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2012, 10:24:11 pm »
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I honestly believe Australia has the best system in the world, i.e. the parties congresmen/women & senators vote for who they want to lead, then depending on how many electorates you win, you become President with the ruling party.

IRV is mediocre, though, and can lead to unrepresentative results. It also does, on its own, protect against gerrymandering (though Australia presumably has some sort of independent district-drawing committee; not sure how it works). And the Australian Senate is possibly even worse than the US Senate, though at least it doesn't have arcane cloture rules.

Indeed, had the Presidency been elected by the popular vote with a runoff, the Civil War would at the very least been delayed a while, for it would have been impossible for the Republicans to win the White House under such a scenario.

Debatable at best. Given the choice between Lincoln and Breckinridge, I suspect most Douglas voters would have gone with Lincoln. At the very least, not enough would have gone with Breckinridge for him to win, since Breckinridge + Bell was still well short of Lincoln. Of course, Breckinridge voters would have reluctantly supported Douglas, but the breakdown of the Democratic Party would have been more severe at that point, and you have no guarantee that a Douglas type would ever manage the nomination (probably not).
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« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2012, 01:29:26 am »
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I honestly believe Australia has the best system in the world, i.e. the parties congresmen/women & senators vote for who they want to lead, then depending on how many electorates you win, you become President with the ruling party.

IRV is mediocre, though, and can lead to unrepresentative results. It also does, on its own, protect against gerrymandering (though Australia presumably has some sort of independent district-drawing committee; not sure how it works). And the Australian Senate is possibly even worse than the US Senate, though at least it doesn't have arcane cloture rules.

Indeed, had the Presidency been elected by the popular vote with a runoff, the Civil War would at the very least been delayed a while, for it would have been impossible for the Republicans to win the White House under such a scenario.

Debatable at best. Given the choice between Lincoln and Breckinridge, I suspect most Douglas voters would have gone with Lincoln. At the very least, not enough would have gone with Breckinridge for him to win, since Breckinridge + Bell was still well short of Lincoln. Of course, Breckinridge voters would have reluctantly supported Douglas, but the breakdown of the Democratic Party would have been more severe at that point, and you have no guarantee that a Douglas type would ever manage the nomination (probably not).

Nah. For all of Breckinridge's faults, he was still a Democrat.  Most Douglas supporters would have voted Breckenridge if there was only a choice between him and Lincoln with his wicked Whiggish ways.  Of course, the idea that party politics would have remained the same under such a different method of electing Presidents is somewhat ludicrous.
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My ballot:
Ervin(I) Gov.
Sellers(D) Lt. Gov.
Hammond(R) Sec. of State
Diggs(D) Att. Gen.
Herbert(D) Comptroller Gen.
Spearman(R) Supt. of Education
DeFelice(American) Commissioner of Agriculture
Hutto(D/Working Families) US Sen (full)
Scott(R) US Sen (special)
Geddings(Labor) US House SC-2
Quinn(R) SC House District 69
TBD: Lex 1 School Board
Yes: Am. 1 (allow charity raffles)
No: Am. 2 (end election of the Adj. General)
No: Local Sales Tax
Yes: Temp Beer/Wine Permits
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