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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 34215 times)
Хahar
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« Reply #75 on: April 08, 2010, 11:39:18 pm »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?

The Maine-Nebraska system is preferable.

I would agree, if only for the effect of gerrymandering in the larger states.  Perhaps the EVs that are paired with the number of representatives could be allocated proportionally rather than by congressional district, and then the two remaining EVs allocated to the statewide winner a la Maine-Nebraska.

That's rather complicated.
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« Reply #76 on: April 09, 2010, 04:10:51 am »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?

The Maine-Nebraska system is preferable.

I would agree, if only for the effect of gerrymandering in the larger states.  Perhaps the EVs that are paired with the number of representatives could be allocated proportionally rather than by congressional district, and then the two remaining EVs allocated to the statewide winner a la Maine-Nebraska.

That's rather complicated.

What?  How on earth is it complicated?
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« Reply #77 on: April 09, 2010, 08:28:29 am »
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What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?

The Maine-Nebraska system is preferable.

I would agree, if only for the effect of gerrymandering in the larger states.  Perhaps the EVs that are paired with the number of representatives could be allocated proportionally rather than by congressional district, and then the two remaining EVs allocated to the statewide winner a la Maine-Nebraska.

That's rather complicated.

What?  How on earth is it complicated?

It's complicated because it's not just going by the popular vote. Which is what we should be doing.

I know it makes politics lose some of it's game-like appeal, but we can still have fancy color-coded red-and-blue scoreboards.
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« Reply #78 on: April 09, 2010, 01:48:11 pm »
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It prevents a regional candidate from controlling the whole country.  I candidate can't run up huge totals in New York, New Jersey and New England and still win the presidency.

Quite the opposite is true. Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have had a prayer in the 1860 popular vote. Lincoln was a regional candidate and won only because of the EC.

Lincoln won the west, Midwest, and North east. He also handily won the popular vote.

He was nowhere near a majority in the popular vote. I think it's safe to say that Breckinridge and Bell voters would take Douglas over Lincoln.

True, but FPTP would have replaced the EC anyway.

If FPTP had been used, the Democrats wouldn't have nominated three candidates and handed Lincoln the election.

No, they still would have. Vote splitting would have just transferred to the national level as opposed to the state level. Thus, if they didn't see the problem in the EC, why would they in FPTP?
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« Reply #79 on: April 09, 2010, 05:17:40 pm »
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In answer to the thread's question, no. It's an anti-democratic anachronism. The 2000 Florida fiasco shows that a close contested vote count can be just as contested and devisive whether nationwise or confined to a single state. The electoral college effectively limits campaigning to the approx. 1/3 of the country that live in swing states, rendering votes in the remaining states essentially meaningless.

Scrap it.
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« Reply #80 on: April 11, 2010, 02:04:31 pm »
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One question I would posit to supporters of the EC: should individual states adopt such a system to determine the state wide winner? Give a certain number of EV's to the candidate who wins each county?

The bottom line as I see it is that the popular vote is good enough to determine the winner of every other election in the entire US at all levels except the Presidency, and I fail to see what's so uniquely different about the President that it's not good enough for that election, as well. 230 years ago it might have been (when travel and communications between states were almost infinitely more difficult than they are today) but there's no longer any reason that grouping people by geography makes any more sense than grouping them by any other trait. It would be just as illogical to award a certain number of EV's for the winner of each gender, each race, each income group, etc.
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« Reply #81 on: April 11, 2010, 06:15:06 pm »
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In answer to the thread's question, no. It's an anti-democratic anachronism. The 2000 Florida fiasco shows that a close contested vote count can be just as contested and devisive whether nationwise or confined to a single state. The electoral college effectively limits campaigning to the approx. 1/3 of the country that live in swing states, rendering votes in the remaining states essentially meaningless.

Scrap it.

As if that doesn't happen in popular vote contests? There is no reason for Colorado candidates to campaign in Denver or Boulder or the Eastern plains or the rural east, same effect, no?

If you abolished the EV, elections would simply be each candidate trying to have high base turnout in population centers.
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« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2010, 01:38:31 am »
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If you abolished the EV, elections would simply be each candidate trying to have high base turnout in population centers.

As opposed to...?
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« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2010, 04:40:55 am »
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Should we create an electoral college for our gubernatorial election in Illinois? I mean, how is it fair that Chicago has more to say than some rural farming county?
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« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2010, 09:41:39 am »
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Candidates aleady campaign primarily in population centers. As it stands now, they just only go to those population centers in battleground states. Great for Columbus and Tampa. Bad for most of the country. How much attention did Obama or McCain play to rural Wyoming?
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« Reply #85 on: April 12, 2010, 01:51:42 pm »
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Remember the Weeds episode where Shane had to debate the girl he had a crush on about the EC, with him debating against it? And all he said was "George W. Bush" and basically won, but then she got really mad at him?

Great episode.
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« Reply #86 on: April 14, 2010, 09:45:59 am »
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Funny, that doesn't happen in other countries that use direct votes for their presidential elections.

Their aren't many other countries (if any) of our size with such free and fair elections to compare ourselves to.

Out of the five largest countries, four are democracies. India's larger than the United States, but it doesn't have direct presidential elections. Indonesia and Brazil, which are smaller than the United States (but not by that much) both do. In Indonesia in 2009, the election was certainly not dominated by cities; the winning candidate, Yudhoyono, won in urban and rural areas. In Brazil, both left-wing city-backed candidates and right-wing rural candidates have won.

In 2006, Lula won over 60% of the vote despite losing in Brazil's largest city and state (Sao Paulo). Lula also won more votes than Reagan did in 1984.
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« Reply #87 on: April 14, 2010, 09:50:59 am »
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Should we create an electoral college for our gubernatorial election in Illinois? I mean, how is it fair that Chicago has more to say than some rural farming county?

States made the federal gov't, counties did not make the states.

As I believe in strong federalism, I think it should be involved in Presidential elections (then again, I may be biased as I live in a swing state).
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« Reply #88 on: April 14, 2010, 09:52:49 am »
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Candidates aleady campaign primarily in population centers. As it stands now, they just only go to those population centers in battleground states. Great for Columbus and Tampa. Bad for most of the country. How much attention did Obama or McCain play to rural Wyoming?

But in the current system it is convincing swing voters to support you, in a PV system it would encourage high base turnout.
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« Reply #89 on: April 14, 2010, 10:57:09 am »
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Candidates aleady campaign primarily in population centers. As it stands now, they just only go to those population centers in battleground states. Great for Columbus and Tampa. Bad for most of the country. How much attention did Obama or McCain play to rural Wyoming?

But in the current system it is convincing swing voters to support you, in a PV system it would encourage high base turnout.
You think Obama wasn't focused on getting his people out in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Miami? Obviously, you have to do both in either system. The difference is that in the EC, you only have to worry about people in swing states. As it stands now, swing voters in Texas or New York or any other solid state are completely ignored.
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« Reply #90 on: April 14, 2010, 06:34:07 pm »
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Candidates aleady campaign primarily in population centers. As it stands now, they just only go to those population centers in battleground states. Great for Columbus and Tampa. Bad for most of the country. How much attention did Obama or McCain play to rural Wyoming?

But in the current system it is convincing swing voters to support you, in a PV system it would encourage high base turnout.
You think Obama wasn't focused on getting his people out in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Miami? Obviously, you have to do both in either system. The difference is that in the EC, you only have to worry about people in swing states. As it stands now, swing voters in Texas or New York or any other solid state are completely ignored.

Why? Obama would have been better off in a PV system getting high base turnout in NY, CA and IL then campaigning for swing voters in Nevada or Missouri.

Besides, I am of the opinion that states are not powerful enough in the current system, thus I like the EC because it helps preserve what power the states still have. In a way, the system works balances out pretty well. The EC favors swing states, the Senate favors small states, and the house favors partisan states.
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« Reply #91 on: April 14, 2010, 09:04:26 pm »
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States don't vote. People do.
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« Reply #92 on: April 14, 2010, 10:00:45 pm »
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Candidates aleady campaign primarily in population centers. As it stands now, they just only go to those population centers in battleground states. Great for Columbus and Tampa. Bad for most of the country. How much attention did Obama or McCain play to rural Wyoming?

But in the current system it is convincing swing voters to support you, in a PV system it would encourage high base turnout.
You think Obama wasn't focused on getting his people out in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Miami? Obviously, you have to do both in either system. The difference is that in the EC, you only have to worry about people in swing states. As it stands now, swing voters in Texas or New York or any other solid state are completely ignored.

Why? Obama would have been better off in a PV system getting high base turnout in NY, CA and IL then campaigning for swing voters in Nevada or Missouri.

Besides, I am of the opinion that states are not powerful enough in the current system, thus I like the EC because it helps preserve what power the states still have. In a way, the system works balances out pretty well. The EC favors swing states, the Senate favors small states, and the house favors partisan states.
You're correct that the EC favors the swing states. However, candidates are still just as focused on getting out their base. They focus heavily on their base, but only in swing states. Just because a state is "swinging" doesn't mean that most people in the state are swing voters. Take Florida, for instance. Everone knows that it is a huge electoral prize and a swing state. You'd better believe that Barack Obama is trying as hard as possible to get "high base turnout" in Broward, Miami, and Palm Beach.  What he doesn't give a crap about are voters (swing or otherwise) in the forty or so states whose electoral votes are a foregone conclusion. You keep saying that the EC forces candidates to concern themselves with swing voters. What it actually does is get them to focus on swing states. The two are not the same.
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« Reply #93 on: April 15, 2010, 05:56:27 am »
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If anything swing voters would be more powerful in a normal election.
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« Reply #94 on: April 16, 2010, 12:11:00 am »
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We should leave it as is just because it's more interesting.  And to conservatives who fear "big cities determining the election" just look at Obama's campaign in 2008, which was about maximizing votes in big cities and telling rural areas to screw off.

Oh yeah, Vermont screwed off by a margin of negative 37 points.
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« Reply #95 on: April 16, 2010, 12:44:41 am »
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We should leave it as is just because it's more interesting.  And to conservatives who fear "big cities determining the election" just look at Obama's campaign in 2008, which was about maximizing votes in big cities and telling rural areas to screw off.

Oh yeah, Vermont screwed off by a margin of negative 37 points.

You betcha it did. Wink
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« Reply #96 on: April 22, 2010, 09:48:41 pm »
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We should leave it as is just because it's more interesting.  And to conservatives who fear "big cities determining the election" just look at Obama's campaign in 2008, which was about maximizing votes in big cities and telling rural areas to screw off.

Oh yeah, Vermont screwed off by a margin of negative 37 points.

Obviously VT is still a Republican state that votes Democratic simply to spite them for their hatred of the real, rural America.
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« Reply #97 on: April 25, 2010, 05:57:36 pm »
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I'm not sure if I posted this before, but the electoral college often makes Presidential winners seem more legitimate and gives them a greater mandate to govern (based on perceptions). For instance, I'm not sure people would have perceived Obama as having a large mandate if they would have just looked at the PV percentages. I mean, winning 2/3 of the EVs is certainly much more impressive than winning 53% of the PV.
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« Reply #98 on: April 25, 2010, 06:34:44 pm »
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I'm not sure if I posted this before, but the electoral college often makes Presidential winners seem more legitimate and gives them a greater mandate to govern (based on perceptions). For instance, I'm not sure people would have perceived Obama as having a large mandate if they would have just looked at the PV percentages. I mean, winning 2/3 of the EVs is certainly much more impressive than winning 53% of the PV.

You think distorting reality is a benefit of the EC?
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« Reply #99 on: April 27, 2010, 02:20:26 pm »
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We should leave it as is just because it's more interesting.  And to conservatives who fear "big cities determining the election" just look at Obama's campaign in 2008, which was about maximizing votes in big cities and telling rural areas to screw off.

Oh yeah, Vermont screwed off by a margin of negative 37 points.

Obviously VT is still a Republican state that votes Democratic simply to spite them for their hatred of the real, rural America.

Along with almost all of Wisconsin outside the Milwaukee suburbs, the eastern half of Iowa, most of central and NW MI plus the UP, northern Minnesota, all of rural New England (other than that one county in Maine), Big chunks of rural New Mexico, the Texas border counties......
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