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Best wishes today for our American Tappers

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  • For those interested, California's junior US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced a bill this afternoon to abolish the electoral college. Long shot, but worth watching.
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • For those interested, California's junior US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced a bill this afternoon to abolish the electoral college. Long shot, but worth watching.

    I laud the effort, but doubt I’ll see that change in my lifetime. Polls dating back at least to the 70s have consistently indicated that most Americans want to do away with this system, but doing so would face nearly insurmountable hurdles. For one thing, given current demographics, the EC appears to favor the GOP, so there’s little chance of any proposed constitutional amendment getting through the Republican-controlled Senate and House. Second, an amendment would have to be approved by 38 states; it’s difficult to envision that a sufficient number of smaller states would willingly reduce their political clout.

    As a sort of coda to this whole mess, as of late yesterday the popular vote difference was over one million and climbing. A number of pundits have noted that in 2012, when it briefly appeared that Obama might win the electoral college but lose the popular vote, Trump was vocal in characterizing the EC as a “travesty” and a “disaster for democracy”. Four short years later he has undergone a change of heart and sees it as a work of “genius”. You gotta laugh, because if you didn’t you’d cry.
  • simp7fan
    4163 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    For those interested, California's junior US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced a bill this afternoon to abolish the electoral college. Long shot, but worth watching.
    Funny to think of her as junior. They've both been my senators since I could vote. Hah!

    I understand the resistance. How'd we ever get slavery abolished with that attitude? (Seriously, how did we do that? Was it while the South was still seceded?)
    Here is my signature. Or maybe it's not.
  • KrustyBrand
    15340 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    simp7fan wrote: »
    For those interested, California's junior US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced a bill this afternoon to abolish the electoral college. Long shot, but worth watching.
    Funny to think of her as junior. They've both been my senators since I could vote. Hah!

    I understand the resistance. How'd we ever get slavery abolished with that attitude? (Seriously, how did we do that? Was it while the South was still seceded?)

    If you’re interested, watch Spielberg’s Lincoln. Or better yet, read Christian G. Samito’s Lincoln and the Thirteenth Amendment and/or Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals. (In the interests of accuracy, I’ll note that Goodwin’s book is not solely devoted to the passage of the amendment, but covers it in passing. It nevertheless provides an excellent overview of Lincoln’s political maneuvering during his time in office.)
    Post edited by KrustyBrand on
  • Pinpal00
    995 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    I've always been in favor of ending the EC, but now is not the time.

    Any effort at this time will be viewed (with considerable justification) as an attempt to deligitimize this election. Nothing good will come of it. In fact, I'm not sure enough time has passed since Gore v. Bush! I do get the counter argument: if we wait for a time when such an action is no longer controversial, there will be no interest in doing it. I just think what Boxer is proposing will rightly be viewed as pure politics.

    ***

    Some nearly random stuff:

    There is a movement below the federal level where states have been individually pledging their electors to the national winner regardless of how that state voted. The idea hasn't exactly caught fire for the reason KB pointed out above: the EC favors Republicans now, and they ain't playing.

    Just mentioning, since slavery was brought up, that those interested should Google the three-fifths compromise to see how slavery played a role in the creation of the electoral college. This notion of smaller states getting disproportionate representation occurred to everyone at the time, but it wasn't what motivated Madison and friends.

    ***

    In any case, we're a long way from anything happening here, and I agree with Trump on one thing: if we had an entirely different system based on overall vote, both candidates would have run differently. We'll never know how that election would have turned out.
    Post edited by Pinpal00 on
  • I was looking up all these things that led me to learning more about how closely tied our constitution is to slavery and compromises related thereto. That the three-fifths compromise was to give these southern states less power is a funny notion because of how flipped that is now where we all think that they need that power. They purposely disenfranchised their freedman to make sure they would effectively remain slaves because they were worried about how they'd vote. Why should we be worried about how effective their voting power is when they didn't worry? The electoral college is just one of the remaining parts of the constitution that can change leaving behind a better document.

    KB, it looks like the amendment made it through partially through a compromised deal but also through taking advantage of reconstruction and manipulating the southern governments by setting up their public officials. So, basically what I said, if that's all correct. It doesn't give me much faith in the process if we can't get an important change through without taking advantage of a war instead of 100% using the political process.
    Here is my signature. Or maybe it's not.
  • IckabodSchrek
    5912 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    So I'm curious. All of you who what to get rid of the EC, what's the solution to make sure that each state is fairly represented? Are you willing to have each state have an equal number of representatives and senators? If there were no EC, clearly the most populated cities would elect the president, one party will remain in control...which eventually you won't like for a whole host of reasons...might as well elect a king. And as was stated many times on here already, the more populated areas would have more representation in governing as well as spending of federal tax dollars. If this were to happen, I foresee first, a refusal of the citizens of the less represented areas to pay federal taxes. The government will try to inforce and collect- leading to an outright revolt and civil war.

    I think a better solution may be to take a good look at states like Maine and Nebraska who employ a district system in which electors vote proportionally based on the state's popular vote. It you look back at the electoral map I posted in this thread it shows red and blue strips for Maine. Then it would be up to the individual states to make certain all areas of their state were fairly represented. This would end the 'one state takes all' electoral votes like what happens now. Colorado put this on their ballots in 2004 but it was rejected by the voters. This tells me that voters just aren't receptive to changes to their constitution....yet.
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • IckabodSchrek
    5912 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    34riog8.jpgH
    Here's the updated map with updated results.
    You can see the votes for Maine and Nebraska in the bottom right.
    Post edited by IckabodSchrek on
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • So I'm curious. All of you who what to get rid of the EC, what's the solution to make sure that each state is fairly represented? Are you willing to have each state have an equal number of representatives and senators? If there were no EC, clearly the most populated cities would elect the president, one party will remain in control...which eventually you won't like for a whole host of reasons...might as well elect a king. And as was stated many times on here already, the more populated areas would have more representation in governing as well as spending of federal tax dollars. If this were to happen, I foresee first, a refusal of the citizens of the less represented areas to pay federal taxes. The government will try to inforce and collect- leading to an outright revolt and civil war.

    It depends on the unit by which you judge fairness. Is it at the level of the state or the individual? Personally, I find it hard to understand why, for example, 2 people should have the same degree of influence or be apportioned the same amount of resources as 2000 individuals. In my estimation a person’s vote shouldn’t be weighted more or less based on that person’s wealth, religion, educational status, or race. Nor should be it be weighted based on the state where they happen to reside. Most Americans are made uncomfortable when the results of the popular vote don’t coincide with those of the electoral college; we perceive that the system has somehow failed. We know how to fix it; we just lack the political skill and will to do so.

    I sorta understand the concern about regional balance, but we already have an institution — a critical and influential one — that addresses this. The Senate.
    I think a better solution may be to take a good look at states like Maine and Nebraska who employ a district system in which electors vote proportionally based on the state's popular vote. It you look back at the electoral map I posted in this thread it shows red and blue strips for Maine. Then it would be up to the individual states to make certain all areas of their state were fairly represented. This would end the 'one state takes all' electoral votes like what happens now. Colorado put this on their ballots in 2004 but it was rejected by the voters. This tells me that voters just aren't receptive to changes to their constitution....yet.

    This only works if all (or almost all) of the states buy in and I see virtually no chance of that happening. Too many states will want to make themselves more “attractive” to potential campaigners by employing a winner-take-all scheme.
  • IckabodSchrek
    5912 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    245nbqh.jpg.
    I read this earlier on al.com...interesting?
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • @ Krusty Brand

    Very good point about the Senate.

    The idea of it not being 'fair' to remove the EC is ridiculous- it would be fairer if everyone was given the same weighting. America is first and foremost a collection of people, not a collection of collectives.
  • IckabodSchrek
    5912 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    23uv2mr.jpg
    I saw this- this morning also showing the most concentrated Clinton votes. No wonder there's a division(unrest?) going on in California right now.
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • 23uv2mr.jpg
    I saw this- this morning also showing the most concentrated Clinton votes. No wonder there's a division(unrest?) going on in California right now.

    Bogus reasoning, as far as I can ascertain. The map originally appeared in Business Insider. Someone appropriated it and added the text about the Electoral College. To be clear, even in its altered form it says absolutely nothing about voting patterns in either the blue or gray areas.

  • rbl1sw.jpg
    This was the "actual" that I posted earlier in this thread. If you care to compare.
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • This was the "actual" that I posted earlier in this thread. If you care to compare.

    I get the fact that there’s a rough (although far from absolute) correlation between population density and voting patterns. What I absolutely don’t understand is the idea that we have to correct for that by diluting the relative strength of more populous states in the presidential voting scheme.

  • IckabodSchrek
    5912 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    Read up on what's going on in California right now. Then imagine our whole country.
    Sorry had to cut this short before. Check out sixcalifornias.com
    Post edited by IckabodSchrek on
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • 23uv2mr.jpg
    I saw this- this morning also showing the most concentrated Clinton votes. No wonder there's a division(unrest?) going on in California right now.
    I will continue to reiterate:

    A person's vote should NOT be worth less just because they live in a city. A person is a person, no matter their race, religion, nationality, age. As @KrustyBrand said, the same should apply for a person's city/state.
  • IckabodSchrek
    5912 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    Not disagreeing with either of you. I'm just not hearing any solutions.
    DeesToonTown in Crawl to the Finish #The Grumple Is Free!
  • KrustyBrand
    15340 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    Not disagreeing with either of you. I'm just not hearing any solutions.

    There is no perfect solution that will make everyone happy. Embedded within the problem space for this issue is a zero-sum situation — a relative gain by one individual or group will necessarily be offset by another’s loss. But there are solutions that are fairer than the status quo. To my mind (and I realize some will disagree) the only realistic solution is direct popular vote. It’s the most straightforward approach and is also the option that the American electorate has repeatedly expressed a preference for. Two of our last three presidents have now come into office after losing the popular vote to the rival candidate. Nothing so damages the perceived legitimacy of a democratic institution than the perception that its members have unfairly come to power.


    Post edited by KrustyBrand on
  • Quickly, @IckabodSchrek, I don't think any special system needs implemented to replace the EC. In California, where we're always accused of being a Democratic rubber stamp we've had back and forth Republican and Democratic governors, including the fact that Ronald Reagan came from California. We famously had Schwarzenegger. Currently we have liberal Jerry Brown. All with a popular vote system. Don't forget that the U.S. presidential elections have almost always lined up with the popular vote, so this changes nothing but eliminating the EC upset.
    Here is my signature. Or maybe it's not.
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