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| | |-+  Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 56131 times)
Beet
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« on: April 08, 2010, 10:35:45 pm »

The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.
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Beet
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 10:46:04 pm »

The electoral college is an absurd anachronism whose best argument for retention is the sentimental value that might be attached to the notion of federalism in Presidential elections, but really ought to have been abolished a long, long time ago; and has only survived as long as it has because it has for the most part seemed a mere formality. But the distortion that it creates in politics hurts the United States every day.

For example, notice how the President never has any incentive to visit states that went strongly for his or her opponent. People say that the EC benefits small states at expense of the large but that's not really true (that would be the US Senate). The real losers in the EC system are solid partisan states; the winners are swing states. Alabama is as much of a loser in the EC as is New York. Florida is as much of a winner as is New Hampshire.

As opposed to a system where NY city, LA, Miami, etc would decide elections? Talk about depressing turnout.

If that were true, the EC would have benefited McCain in the last election, because he lost all those cities. But instead, the EC benefited Obama. If you gave McCain a victory in the popular vote by adding 4% to his totals (to 49.6) an subtracting 4% to Obama's totals (to 48.9) that gives McCain a popular vote win of about 100,000. But he still would have lost the EC because he would have lost all the Kerry states plus IA, CO, NV, and NM.

Anyway I don't see how you can say there's "one man one vote" which seems intuitively fair when everything is distorted by 535 elitist "electors".
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 10:48:22 pm by Beet »Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 10:57:26 pm »

What do you mean the problem is the winner take all system in the EC? How would you reform it?
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 11:29:04 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.

Isn't that still winner take all, only on a more granular level?
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