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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 36056 times)
Nichlemn
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« Reply #150 on: February 24, 2013, 05:13:24 pm »
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For defenders of the Electoral College: if it's such a great system, do you think it should it be implemented elsewhere? Should states have Electoral Colleges through their counties to elect their statewide offices? Should France switch to an Electoral College for their Presidential elections? If not, why not?
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Undecided Voter in the Midwest
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« Reply #151 on: February 26, 2013, 10:23:18 pm »
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I think the original premise behind the electoral college was to give the individual state legislatures some check on the power of the presidency. The point being that each state's legislature would choose electors who would vote for a candidate who would serve that state's interests. But since all states now use the popular vote to choose their electors, that's all moot.

I think it would be good to scrap the EC and go to a basic popular vote system; that way maybe the candidates would start to campaign for votes in the solid GOP and Dem states, instead of just focusing on the few swing states. Maybe they'd pay more attention to the concerns of the voters in the "safe" states, as well.

Last year, Obama and Romney were basically just running to be the president of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania... the other states didn't matter to them at all.
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bedstuy
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« Reply #152 on: February 26, 2013, 11:50:34 pm »
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The electoral college keeps in check the voting power of each individual state.  While bigger states are still more powerful, it's not as disproportionate as it would be with direct popular vote.  For example, if Candidate X carries California, and Candidate Y carries Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, then at this point, both candidates would be tied at 55 electoral votes.  Under direct popular vote, however, Candidate X would be so much further ahead because California has so many more people than even the second-most populous state (Texas), let alone those four states combined.  What I'm trying to say is that the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College for a reason, and I don't think it's anyone's job to say that it doesn't work.

Also keep in mind that with only four exceptions in our nation's history thus far, the winner of the popular vote and the electoral college have been the same.  And ironically, if it weren't for 2000, most of the people on this uber-liberal forum wouldn't be advocating for repealing the electoral college.

Summary of your argument:
The electoral college is the best system because a different system would allocate power differently.  And it's how we've always done it so it must be right. 

That's such a blatantly tautological argument. The question is WHY pick one system or the other?  WHY is the electoral college more fair?  You're not making a principled argument.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #153 on: May 25, 2014, 04:15:03 pm »
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One case for the Electoral College is that it makes ballot-stuffing for the President (let us say giving one nominee more votes than the size of the electorate) pointless. If one State has an extremely-rigged set of votes (100% of all electors vote, and all vote for one Party) that means no more than if the winner of that state's vote got only a plurality of 48.86% of the vote over the second-place finisher who got 48.85% of that state's vote.

As 2000 showed, there might not be time in which to contest vote fraud on a large scale, especially if the state making the difference between winning and losing is the last to certify its vote total. Flawed process, as in 2000, is bad enough. Outright fraud could lead to the nullification of a Presidency that has already begun. 

Suppose that in 2012 there had been a Presidential election chosen by direct popular vote, and that the only crooked state in its voting were Texas.  In an honest vote based on the popular vote in real life, President Obama wins the Presidency by  4,985,401 votes. The State Legislature of Texas issues 5 million more votes than were in fact cast for Mitt Romney in Texas and certifies that result. Romney wins, barring a decision in the courts that gets incredibly messy.   

Nothing in the Constitution mandates an honest count of the vote except for some "equal protection of the law" clause that might not overtly apply to voting. Nothing in the Constitution, for that matter, mandates that there even be a popular election within the State; the vote could be conceivably made by the State Legislature or even a coin flip.

One crooked politician could decide everything.

OK -- so 2000 stinks. By 2008 Barack Obama had established a beat-the-cheat strategy that ensured that no single State would decide everything.  If one is ahead one uses such a strategy.

 

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PiMp DaDdy FitzGerald
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« Reply #154 on: May 25, 2014, 04:37:01 pm »
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One case for the Electoral College is that it makes ballot-stuffing for the President (let us say giving one nominee more votes than the size of the electorate) pointless. If one State has an extremely-rigged set of votes (100% of all electors vote, and all vote for one Party) that means no more than if the winner of that state's vote got only a plurality of 48.86% of the vote over the second-place finisher who got 48.85% of that state's vote.

As 2000 showed, there might not be time in which to contest vote fraud on a large scale, especially if the state making the difference between winning and losing is the last to certify its vote total. Flawed process, as in 2000, is bad enough. Outright fraud could lead to the nullification of a Presidency that has already begun. 

Suppose that in 2012 there had been a Presidential election chosen by direct popular vote, and that the only crooked state in its voting were Texas.  In an honest vote based on the popular vote in real life, President Obama wins the Presidency by  4,985,401 votes. The State Legislature of Texas issues 5 million more votes than were in fact cast for Mitt Romney in Texas and certifies that result. Romney wins, barring a decision in the courts that gets incredibly messy.   

Nothing in the Constitution mandates an honest count of the vote except for some "equal protection of the law" clause that might not overtly apply to voting. Nothing in the Constitution, for that matter, mandates that there even be a popular election within the State; the vote could be conceivably made by the State Legislature or even a coin flip.

One crooked politician could decide everything.

OK -- so 2000 stinks. By 2008 Barack Obama had established a beat-the-cheat strategy that ensured that no single State would decide everything.  If one is ahead one uses such a strategy.

 


As Ernest mentioned, if we do a national popular vote then we would have federal control over elections, making a cheating politician's job a lot more difficult.
Also, voter fraud like that is far more difficult than you make it out to be.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #155 on: May 25, 2014, 04:42:54 pm »
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One case for the Electoral College is that it makes ballot-stuffing for the President (let us say giving one nominee more votes than the size of the electorate) pointless. If one State has an extremely-rigged set of votes (100% of all electors vote, and all vote for one Party) that means no more than if the winner of that state's vote got only a plurality of 48.86% of the vote over the second-place finisher who got 48.85% of that state's vote.

As 2000 showed, there might not be time in which to contest vote fraud on a large scale, especially if the state making the difference between winning and losing is the last to certify its vote total. Flawed process, as in 2000, is bad enough. Outright fraud could lead to the nullification of a Presidency that has already begun. 

Suppose that in 2012 there had been a Presidential election chosen by direct popular vote, and that the only crooked state in its voting were Texas.  In an honest vote based on the popular vote in real life, President Obama wins the Presidency by  4,985,401 votes. The State Legislature of Texas issues 5 million more votes than were in fact cast for Mitt Romney in Texas and certifies that result. Romney wins, barring a decision in the courts that gets incredibly messy.   

Nothing in the Constitution mandates an honest count of the vote except for some "equal protection of the law" clause that might not overtly apply to voting. Nothing in the Constitution, for that matter, mandates that there even be a popular election within the State; the vote could be conceivably made by the State Legislature or even a coin flip.

One crooked politician could decide everything.

OK -- so 2000 stinks. By 2008 Barack Obama had established a beat-the-cheat strategy that ensured that no single State would decide everything.  If one is ahead one uses such a strategy.

 


As Ernest mentioned, if we do a national popular vote then we would have federal control over elections, making a cheating politician's job a lot more difficult.
Also, voter fraud like that is far more difficult than you make it out to be.

I most certainly hope so! It would be a crime -- at the least federal perjury to certify a false statement of a vote.
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