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  Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?
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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 59559 times)
Bo
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« Reply #100 on: April 27, 2010, 04:57:20 pm »

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?

Yes, in most cases.
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Franzl
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« Reply #101 on: April 27, 2010, 04:58:43 pm »

If distorting reality is a good thing....why don't we make every vote count double! That would double that winner's margin of victory!
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Vepres
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« Reply #102 on: April 27, 2010, 09:36:48 pm »

If distorting reality is a good thing....why don't we make every vote count double! That would double that winner's margin of victory!

You fail at math.
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Хahar 🤔
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« Reply #103 on: April 27, 2010, 09:39:23 pm »

If distorting reality is a good thing....why don't we make every vote count double! That would double that winner's margin of victory!

You fail at math.

He actually doesn't.
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Vepres
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« Reply #104 on: April 27, 2010, 10:46:18 pm »

If distorting reality is a good thing....why don't we make every vote count double! That would double that winner's margin of victory!

You fail at math.

He actually doesn't.

Percentage-wise, it looks no different, which is the only thing most people see.
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Franzl
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« Reply #105 on: April 28, 2010, 05:55:52 am »

If distorting reality is a good thing....why don't we make every vote count double! That would double that winner's margin of victory!

You fail at math.

He actually doesn't.

Percentage-wise, it looks no different, which is the only thing most people see.

I didn't say anything about percentage.
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Vepres
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« Reply #106 on: April 28, 2010, 06:54:59 pm »

If distorting reality is a good thing....why don't we make every vote count double! That would double that winner's margin of victory!

You fail at math.

He actually doesn't.

Percentage-wise, it looks no different, which is the only thing most people see.

I didn't say anything about percentage.

It's implied. I rarely hear anybody say "candidate x won by a 300,000 vote margin".
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Хahar 🤔
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« Reply #107 on: April 28, 2010, 08:41:24 pm »

Vepres:

The point:                  --------------------->

You:                                        O
                                              -|-
                                               /\
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Mangez des pommes !
Antonio V
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« Reply #108 on: May 03, 2010, 09:13:19 am »

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.

No, district voting would create an even greater flaw. Add to that Republican gerrymandering... Proportional representation is the only (partially) democratic option.
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Franzl
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« Reply #109 on: May 03, 2010, 10:35:16 am »

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.

No, district voting would create an even greater flaw. Add to that Republican gerrymandering... Proportional representation is the only (partially) democratic option.

I wasn't aware that Republican gerrymandering was the only type of gerrymandering.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #110 on: May 03, 2010, 01:04:49 pm »

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.

No, district voting would create an even greater flaw. Add to that Republican gerrymandering... Proportional representation is the only (partially) democratic option.

I wasn't aware that Republican gerrymandering was the only type of gerrymandering.

Ooops...
Well, maybe I wrote too precipitously what I thougt in my heart of hearts. Obviously there, the adjective "republian" is quite useless. Wink
Still, all the gerrymanderings I've heard of for the moment were in favor of republicans.
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Roemerista
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« Reply #111 on: June 25, 2010, 11:17:23 am »

1. We are not a popular democracy, we are a democratic republic. And I would wish it on none of us to have it any other way. In the great spirit of American checks and balances, we need another layer of protection against the passion of the masses. While I may like Rousseau's idea of the "General Will" being infallible, he admits it can be led astray. When you vote you are not voting for the President, you are voting for someone to represent the leader you will.

2. It gives voices to the States! We are in deed one nation, but lets face it, the worst enemy of a republic is vast territory and many people. I, being from Mass. have little connection with someone living in Oregon or California, but some sense of kinship shared in our imagined community. Yes we are American Citizens, yes we probably live in similar towns & cities, and drive on similar roads, but there is a far different community dynamic. The Electoral college gives proportional representation by geography, ensuring we never elect someone favoring one state or area too heavily.



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Antonio V
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« Reply #112 on: June 25, 2010, 11:28:01 am »

1. We are not a popular democracy, we are a democratic republic. And I would wish it on none of us to have it any other way. In the great spirit of American checks and balances, we need another layer of protection against the passion of the masses. While I may like Rousseau's idea of the "General Will" being infallible, he admits it can be led astray. When you vote you are not voting for the President, you are voting for someone to represent the leader you will.

Most pointless argument ever. The Electoral College is neither a check nor a  balance against tyranny of the mass, it simply distorts its will without weakening it.
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Roemerista
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« Reply #113 on: June 25, 2010, 11:35:14 am »
« Edited: June 25, 2010, 11:37:36 am by MQuinn »

No, theoretically an elector can ignore the leader chosen. And electors have chosen to vote against their party choice in the past, rare, but it happens. They just face the wrath of their party afterwards. Although States can by law forbid this.

If we had a multi-party system it would be more relevant, e.g. divide the popular vote enough a "fringe" group can take the lead, whereas the electors could so chose to endorse a more "appealing" candidate instead of the one they were sent to do so. Thus if their candidate is behind they could endorse a candidate who is closer to their original vote, in order to try and get someone closer to their position.

Just because it is not necessary now, does not make it irrelevant.

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Vepres
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« Reply #114 on: June 25, 2010, 01:51:22 pm »

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.

No, district voting would create an even greater flaw. Add to that Republican gerrymandering... Proportional representation is the only (partially) democratic option.

I wasn't aware that Republican gerrymandering was the only type of gerrymandering.

Ooops...
Well, maybe I wrote too precipitously what I thougt in my heart of hearts. Obviously there, the adjective "republian" is quite useless. Wink
Still, all the gerrymanderings I've heard of for the moment were in favor of republicans.

Maryland is the only clear Democratic gerrymander. Though, one could argue that Massachusetts is too, though that is largely irrelevant as all the representatives would be Democrats now in a reasonable redistricting as they are today.
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Del Tachi
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« Reply #115 on: July 16, 2010, 01:30:50 pm »

It forces candidates to win a MAJORITY of something.  Most of the time in the Popular Vote there is no majority, just a plurality.  However, in the electoral college you have to the majority of the EV's. 
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Bo
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« Reply #116 on: July 16, 2010, 04:04:54 pm »

It forces candidates to win a MAJORITY of something.  Most of the time in the Popular Vote there is no majority, just a plurality.  However, in the electoral college you have to the majority of the EV's. 

To be fair, you could have a PV system with runoffs if necessary, like they have in France. Also, you could have a plurality of EVs and win in the House.
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zorkpolitics
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« Reply #117 on: July 26, 2010, 04:51:53 pm »

1. We are not a popular democracy, we are a democratic republic. And I would wish it on none of us to have it any other way. In the great spirit of American checks and balances, we need another layer of protection against the passion of the masses. While I may like Rousseau's idea of the "General Will" being infallible, he admits it can be led astray. When you vote you are not voting for the President, you are voting for someone to represent the leader you will.

2. It gives voices to the States! We are in deed one nation, but lets face it, the worst enemy of a republic is vast territory and many people. I, being from Mass. have little connection with someone living in Oregon or California, but some sense of kinship shared in our imagined community. Yes we are American Citizens, yes we probably live in similar towns & cities, and drive on similar roads, but there is a far different community dynamic. The Electoral college gives proportional representation by geography, ensuring we never elect someone favoring one state or area too heavily.


Actually we founded as  a Federal Republic, in which power is shared between the States and the Federal government.  One aspect of being a Federal Republic is the power states have to select electors, instead of the people directly. Hence the Electoral College should serve to reinforce the State-Federal power sharing, unfortunately, except for the brief campaign by Fred Thompson, no one mentions Federalism any more.
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tsx1968
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« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2010, 09:11:15 pm »

The electoral college has the word "college" in it.  The original idea was to make it like IA "college" football, which uses a complicated voting system (the BCS) instead of a simple playoff system.  It was all part of the original design.
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2010, 09:20:44 pm »

The electoral college has the word "college" in it.  The original idea was to make it like IA "college" football, which uses a complicated voting system (the BCS) instead of a simple playoff system.  It was all part of the original design.

What?  The electoral college in our constitution was designed about eighty years before the first game of college football was played.
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tsx1968
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« Reply #120 on: September 13, 2010, 09:42:17 pm »

The electoral college has the word "college" in it.  The original idea was to make it like IA "college" football, which uses a complicated voting system (the BCS) instead of a simple playoff system.  It was all part of the original design.

What?  The electoral college in our constitution was designed about eighty years before the first game of college football was played.

Sorry, I guess I should have used a smiley...thought it was obvious enough, but I've seen enough dumb posts to understand where you're coming from.   Smiley
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #121 on: September 13, 2010, 09:52:00 pm »

Sorry!  As you're new, I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic or are a complete idiot, and unfortunately, given the caliber of new posters we've had lately, I assumed the latter.  So again, sorry.  And welcome.
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tsx1968
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« Reply #122 on: September 14, 2010, 06:57:52 am »

No problem.  Lesson learned and thanks.
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CitizenX
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« Reply #123 on: June 02, 2011, 08:16:40 pm »
« Edited: June 02, 2011, 08:40:19 pm by CitizenX »

As opposed to election by national popular-vote.

None of the conventional arguments strike me as persuasive. But conventional or unconventional, line 'em up.

Sarah Palin.

If the electoral college worked the way it was intended it would never allow her to be president regardless of the popular vote.
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Cincinnatus
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« Reply #124 on: June 02, 2011, 09:12:03 pm »

As opposed to election by national popular-vote.

None of the conventional arguments strike me as persuasive. But conventional or unconventional, line 'em up.

Sarah Palin.

If the electoral college worked the way it was intended it would never allow her to be president regardless of the popular vote.

She'd never be president with the popular vote.
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