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Author Topic: One thing Americans are united on...  (Read 5276 times)

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2007, 04:07:15 PM »

Quote from: hairyheretic on June 08, 2007, 02:22:38 am
Isn't that what democracy is supposed to be? One man, one vote and all of that, and whoever gets the most votes wins?

I have to confess, I don't understand the US system at all. I expect there is some historical basis for it, but if the person who gets the less number of votes still comes out the winner, then that seems to me to be a system in need of change.

 No. That's mob rule. I agree it could be improved a bit, but I don't see a need to remove the electorial collage. It was put in there for a very good reason and has worked for the life of the country.

The electoral collage became compromised when one party the Republicans began tinkering with it in the mid nineties. Redistricting the alignment in bases of more favorable political ambitions of the party and not the true representation of the population to the electoral vote.

This played out in the 2000 election in proof with Gore winning the popularity vote and since it no longer matched the electoral collage vote.  Bush won, as the inherent strategy is not to win the vote of the populous but collect the well place pockets of electoral votes now positioned. 

So it is out dated and corrupted no easy fix is available. 

Offline NightBird

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2007, 09:37:30 PM »
Gerrymandering ( **) has been around a very long time, and has been used by both sides of the aisle. It's all part of the game of influence, like a number of other abuses that tend to be common to established governments of all sorts. Whatever good ideas humans come up with to be reasonable, other humans tend to muck them up to their own advantage.

** this article is under neutrality dispute, but it does note the age of the process and has the advantage of containing a scan of a period cartoon about the original instance that gained the concept the name

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2007, 12:02:32 AM »
The Electorial colledge is elected once four years to chose the President.
The Elector meet in the capitols of their states and cast ballots.
These are then taken to Washingdon DC ands there opened and read by the Prsident of the Senate (the vice President)
A candidate to win must have a majority of the possible votes.
Each state has a number of Electors equal to the number of Senators (2 per state) and the number of representatives(varies by the Population of the state as measured in Census years)
Most State elect (Nebraska does it differently) the electors as a block by a plurality of the vote in the state. Thus all of the Electors will go to one party(candidate) if he (maybe someday she) gets more votes then any of the other candidates.

 1.The smallest states have 3 times the weight they would if the vote were apportioned by population,
2 By the largest states cast large blocs of votes making them critical to win.
3. Note that if a candidate hgets a huge majority in a state the number of electoral vote he gets stays the same.
4 On the other hand if the race is a three way + race a candidate might get all the electoral votes with a plurality that would be below 50%+1
5 This why a president is sometimes elected with a minority of the popular vote.
6. What happened in 2000 was that Florida- a big state was very close and it went to Bush after disputes about the propriety of voting procedures. Gore wracked huge majoritys in New York and California (and several Northeastern states)
So why does this cumbersome systewm remain in place
1. Both small and large states have an interest in continuing it.
2. It suits all parties. The two major parties have premised their stataegies for hundred(s) of years around it and a small pary might hope to win a number of three way contests
3. and l;ast but not least...Amending the American constitution is very diffecult. The accepted Procedure is by 2/3 of both houses of congress and ratified by 3/4s of the states. In a word it is easy to block constitutional amendments.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2007, 09:14:45 AM »
However, the states can change how they allocate their electoral votes. They do not all need to go to the same person who wins the state.

Nebraska and Maine give out their electoral votes based on who wins each Congressional district, hence it is entirely plausible for three candidates to win an electoral vote in Nebraska, and for two candidates to win an electoral vote in Maine.

I really wish other states would go this route, it would make things more interesting for sure.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2007, 08:49:57 PM »
The American system, especially the Electoral College, was designed to promote stability, to make sudden political change difficult.  This made sense back in the 18th century, when political stability was often hard to come by, and the American Republic was young and subject to being swayed by small pressure-groups, newcomers, religious fanatics, and so forth.

However, the stability promoted by the Electoral College is now far more a liability than asset.  Change is exactly what America needs today...the present system is ossified beyond redemption, with the Demopublicans endlessly recirculating the same ideas and the same faces.  We haven't had a truly innovative, radical idea implemented or even seriously considered in America for what...forty years now?  Even the two parties are increasingly looking alike.  And the status quo--deficit spending, adventurism, and increasing statism--is killing us.

Offline Zakharra

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2007, 11:03:49 PM »
 That requires a Constitutional Amendment. Something that would be very hard to do, so the electorial collage stays. I think it was put in there for a very good reason, and is still a viable method of Presidential selection.

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2007, 05:31:47 PM »
That means it's a straight popularity contest then. It's require a Constitutional emendment as well.  As for the computers, I'd trust that less than paper ballets, since they can be hacked and a good hacker could steal an election very easily.

Just like all the world's banks and governments are utterly bankrupt and destitute because their databases employ no security whatsoever.

We're not living in the 1984 "War Games" era.  This is 2007.  Hackers are mere nuisances.  Brute-force techniques no longer work to crack encryption codes.  The only lapses in computer security today are the humans involved in it.  "Duh...why does this site want me to enter my bank account information?  A-hyuck."