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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 59473 times)
Vepres
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« on: August 05, 2009, 11:55:40 pm »

It gives the smaller states more influence.  If you're in a small state, that's a good thing.

It grows out of the same compromise that gave us the Senate, balancing the power of the people at large against the power of individual states.

Yeah. Many people say it favors small states, but come on. Obama and McCain spent much more time in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida than Montana, New Hampshire, or New Mexico.
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Vepres
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 12:13:32 am »

Gives minorities a bigger say, and every reason you can think of not to have a "national" media campaign, which would happen in a system soley based on the popular vote. Who would visit Iowa then?

Why does Iowa deserve to have people visit?

Lonely corn tastes terrible!
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Vepres
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 06:36:06 pm »

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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 11:47:42 pm »

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.
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Vepres
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 01:48:11 pm »

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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Vepres
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 06:15:06 pm »
« Edited: April 11, 2010, 06:16:37 pm by Vepres »

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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Vepres
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 09:50:59 am »

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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Vepres
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010, 09:52:49 am »

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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Vepres
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 06:34:07 pm »

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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Vepres
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« Reply #9 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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Vepres
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« Reply #10 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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Vepres
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« Reply #11 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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Vepres
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« Reply #12 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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