The electoral college issue we forgot

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The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby meeks on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:37 am

So for the 2nd time in under 20 years the vote of the people did not elect the leader, but the vote of the electoral collage did. Actually let me rephrase that. Twice in under 20 years Americans were shown that they don't actually have a system that elects who they voted for, but a system that hopefully parallels who the government voted for.
The most recent time it happened (Trump elected) people's thoughts were redirected from "hey there's something wrong with this electoral process" to "Russia hacked the election" and we've never gone down that path of thinking again. By saying Russia hacked it makes it sound like "they changed the vote you cast", thereby indirectly leading your line of thinking. Even if they did release Hillary's emails (this thread is not about whether that occurred or not) there was no hacking of votes, as it's made to sound.

So when are people going to refocus on the fact we don't really have a democratically elected government? And that we may never have had one (because it's the electoral college that determines who's in charge)?

THAT should be the movement we get behind. Get rid of the e.c. in favor of democracy.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:11 am

meeks wrote:So when are people going to refocus on the fact we don't really have a democratically elected government? And that we may never have had one (because it's the electoral college that determines who's in charge)?

THAT should be the movement we get behind. Get rid of the e.c. in favor of democracy.


If you and or anyone else should want this to change they would have to follow the procedures for doing so.

To understand why this is so one should understand that
the United States is a federal republic.

The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
From the New York Packet. Friday, November 23, 1787.
MADISON



A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.

Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.

The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed10.asp

One should also understand the differences between state and federal government.

Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,--is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it.

Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments.

Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage.

The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States.

A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:41 am

There are and were valid concerns at the time, that those asking for this now may not understand
or not be able to forsee the eventual outcome.

The inference to which we are brought is, that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS.

If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.

When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.

To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed.

Let me add that it is the great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.

By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.

If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.

Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:44 am

Does that mean that you're against electing the president based on the number of people who voted for him?

Btw, the first quote cited above simply states that a republic differs from a democracy. Fine. Nowhere does that imply that the need or requirement of an electoral college. For example:

The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest;


I.e., as a republic our government has a small number of citizens elected by the rest. Of course "the rest" means the rest of the citizens. The electoral college is not the rest of the citizens.

The electoral college was created to assure that states with low voting populations would have the same influence in the government and the presidential election. It was a way to protect the minorities (i.e., the states where there were lots of people who weren't allowed to vote) against the majorities. Specifically, those were the northern states which had much larger voting populations. The idea was to preserve "democracy." Anyway, googling origin of electoral college is easy.
https://www.reference.com/government-po ... 8548d434ee

However, the ex-Maine governor just acknowledged it:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ex+governor+s ... 1_g&ia=web

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) bashed proposed legislation in Maine that would circumvent the Electoral College during a presidential election, claiming this week that such a move would effectively silence “white people.”

LePage, who came under fire in 2016 for suggesting people of color in Maine were “the enemy,” warned that “minorities” would have more control if more bills meant to ensure the president is elected by the national popular vote are passed.

“Actually what would happen if they do what they say they’re gonna do is white people will not have anything to say,” LePage told WVOM FM’s “George Hale Ric Tyler Show” on Tuesday. “It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida.”


Bill O'Reilly said something similar. https://www.billoreilly.com/b/Abolishin ... 98108.html

Of course, he says that it isn't the not-white people, it's the leftists, liberals, democrats. See, he'd have to say that it's the White people who are pushing this. They vote too.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:01 pm

Steve James wrote:Does that mean that you're against electing the president based on the number of people who voted for him?



It means that I understand the reasoning behind the present system,
for those wanting to change it there are procedures for doing so.



Had this president wanted to win by popular vote he most likely would have.
His strategy for winning the office was based on the electoral vote as are all candidates are
or should be running for the office..

Would expect the next election cycle to be in inline with the popular vote and
electoral collage vote, as more and more of his policies are implemented.
Last edited by windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:19 pm

Had this president wanted to win by popular vote he most likely would have.


That's what he said :). I'm sure he understands the reasoning behind the present system too. I'm not sure how he'd change anyone's vote, though, legally that is.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby oragami_itto on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:44 pm

This president didn't expect to win.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby meeks on Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:28 pm

it essentially means that the current method of having someone elected to office is done through a series of back office manipulation, financial contributions, and negotiations for some sort of compensation for the vote of the member of the e.c. - it means that we need to stop saying "we are a free people that elect our leaders" when in fact it's a puppet show where they tell you that you need to get out and vote, but in fact it's just like handing a controller with a dead battery to your toddler to make them think they're playing the car racing game when in fact you are holding the live controller that is playing the game.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:44 pm

meeks wrote:it essentially means that the current method of having someone elected to office is done through a series of back office manipulation, financial contributions, and negotiations for some sort of compensation for the vote of the member of the e.c. - it means that we need to stop saying "we are a free people that elect our leaders" when in fact it's a puppet show where they tell you that you need to get out and vote, but in fact it's just like handing a controller with a dead battery to your toddler to make them think they're playing the car racing game when in fact you are holding the live controller that is playing the game.



In every state but Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who wins the most votes (that is, a plurality) in the state receives all of the state’s electoral votes.

The number of electors in each state is the sum of its U.S. senators and its U.S. representatives. (The District of Columbia has three electoral votes, which is the number of senators and representatives it would have if it were permitted representation in Congress.) The electors meet in their respective states 41 days after the popular election.

There, they cast a ballot for president and a second for vice president. A candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes to be elected president
.



how is any of this "back room"





The reason that the Constitution calls for this extra layer, rather than just providing for the direct election of the president, is that most of the nation’s founders were actually rather afraid of democracy. James Madison worried about what he called “factions,” which he defined as groups of citizens who have a common interest in some proposal that would either violate the rights of other citizens or would harm the nation as a whole. Madison’s fear – which Alexis de Tocqueville later dubbed “the tyranny of the majority” – was that a faction could grow to encompass more than 50 percent of the population, at which point it could “sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.” Madison has a solution for tyranny of the majority: “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

https://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-r ... l-college/

https://www.congress.gov/resources/disp ... tPapers-68
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:55 pm

There have been five United States presidential elections in which the winner lost the popular vote including the 1824 election, which was the first U.S. presidential election where the popular vote was recorded.[1] Losing the popular vote means securing less of the national popular vote than the person who received either a majority or a plurality of the vote.[2][3]

In the U.S. presidential election system, instead of the nationwide popular vote determining the outcome of the election, the President of the United States is determined by votes cast by electors of the Electoral College. Alternatively, if no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes, the election is determined by the House of Representatives. These procedures are governed by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Contents
1 Elections
1.1 1824: John Quincy Adams
1.2 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes
1.3 1888: Benjamin Harrison
1.4 2000: George W. Bush
1.5 2016: Donald Trump


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... pular_vote

seems like the system is working as designed.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby edededed on Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:16 pm

The electoral college adds unnecessary complexity and intrigue to the voting process; as a result, the parties strategize by state. As a result, many votes are wasted - e.g. if you live in a state that is consistently a Democrat state, as a Republican you may not go to vote - since your vote will not "count" anyway.

If it was a popular vote instead, everyone's vote would "count," presidential candidates would have to think about convincing the entire nation (and not just big swing states), and political intrigue can be minimized.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:43 pm

When the Federalists [I meant Founders] composed the electoral college, the majority of people in the southern states were not allowed to vote, though in fact they were counted as residents. This group included slaves, of course, and also women. The system was designed to preserve minority rule.

It's interesting that the people who support the electoral college are usually in favor of other restrictions on particular individuals. I understand why slaveholders in the south would fear the "democracy" of allowing their slaves to vote. As to why people today fear "democracy" --after decades of claiming to want to make the world safe for it-- is clear, too. Democrats, liberals, leftists, socialists, et al just love democracy. They even run voter-registration drives.

Yeah, I know the points won't be addressed. Like the man said, the system is working as designed. But, there's no contemporary reason to not to use the popular vote. Well, except Bill O'Reilly and the ex-governor of Maine's reason. Fuck. Just say that we're against democracy. It'd save a lot of confusion.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:50 pm

edededed wrote:The electoral college adds unnecessary complexity and intrigue to the voting process; as a result, the parties strategize by state. As a result, many votes are wasted - e.g. if you live in a state that is consistently a Democrat state, as a Republican you may not go to vote - since your vote will not "count" anyway.

If it was a popular vote instead, everyone's vote would "count," presidential candidates would have to think about convincing the entire nation (and not just big swing states), and political intrigue can be minimized.



A few States that have most of the u.s. population would determine the president who is in charge of the federal government for all 50 states.


How does it add complexity, the states themselves can address what proportion of the electors that are granted during an election.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby edededed on Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:12 pm

The few populous states have the advantage in both systems anyway; however, I still stress that the popular vote makes each vote "count," while the electoral vote is more like a game with complicated rules. (In either system, I don't think that candidates will visit low-population states.)

By complexity, I just mean that I think voting should be as simple as possible - i.e. "who had more votes?" That would reduce political opportunity to make strategies around just certain big swing states like Ohio and Florida, etc. A 3rd party might actually have a chance as well.

Another way to look at it:

Popular vote: every vote has an equal effect
Electoral college: some votes have a stronger effect than others
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:19 pm

A few States that have most of the u.s. population would determine the president who is in charge of the federal government for all 50 states.


Not true. It only affects the presidential election. Secondly, every state does not get the same number of electors. In fact, the number of electors a state has is directly correlated to its population. The same is true in the House. Alaska only has one representative; California has 50 something. This fact is usually reflected in the election. You counted 5 exceptions. The other 40+ times, the candidate won the popular vote.

More importantly, Electors have a choice. They usually (almost universally) vote according to who wins the state, but the're not legally required to do so.
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