Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Quick Search: in
Electoral College
View unanswered posts
View posts from last 24 hours

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next  
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Off the Wall
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
sn1987a
n00b
n00b


Joined: 30 Aug 2002
Posts: 26
Location: Houston Tx

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
sn1987a wrote:
Similar to what Mnemia has been saying, EC actually increases voting power.

Increases? Or disperses across a wider group of people?

I would say increases. My chance (anybody's chance) of influencing the election is greater.
klieber wrote:

sn1987a wrote:
A districted election, like EC, makes it more likely that your vote is the deciding one in the election. Florida is a good (barring all the "irregularities" and problems) example of this. It is more likely that a state able to swing the vote will be very close, than that the entire country is close.

OK, I can buy this argument. But the question that doesn't get answered is, "is this a Good Thing"? (and if so, why?)

--kurt

Why wouldn't it be a Good Thing. The whole point of voting is select the winner. If it increases the chance that my vote does that, then it is more effective. Note that everyone's voting power increases.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
klieber
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 3657
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sn1987a wrote:
I would say increases. My chance (anybody's chance) of influencing the election is greater.

If it increases everyone's voting power, then why have it at all? The net effect of such an increase would be zero. After all, the end result is fixed -- one candidate will win, the rest will lose.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that it increases the voting power of certain groups of people while taking away power from others?

sn1987a wrote:
Why wouldn't it be a Good Thing. The whole point of voting is select the winner. If it increases the chance that my vote does that, then it is more effective. Note that everyone's voting power increases.

Again, if everyone's voting power truly increases equally, then the net effect is zero. If that's truly the case, then the Electoral College is nothing but another layer of gubment bureaucracy.

If, OTOH, the increase in voting power is not uniform, then one has to question whether or not artificially inflating the value of one person's vote over another is a Good Thing.

--kurt
_________________
The problem with political jokes is that they get elected
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sn1987a
n00b
n00b


Joined: 30 Aug 2002
Posts: 26
Location: Houston Tx

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:

Again, if everyone's voting power truly increases equally, then the net effect is zero.


That argument, reductio ad absurdum, implies that are current system in not better than a dictatorship where everybody also has an equal (but 0) vote.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
klieber
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 3657
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sn1987a wrote:
That argument, reductio ad absurdum, implies that are current system in not better than a dictatorship where everybody also has an equal (but 0) vote.

OK, fine. Let me phrase the argument a different way. Wyoming has ~500,000 people and 3 electoral votes. California has ~33 million people and 54 electoral votes. Additionally, there are 538 total electoral votes and ~280 million people in the US. So, Wyoming, with 0.17% of the population controls 0.5% of the electoral votes. California, on the other hand, has 11% of the population, yet controls just over 9% of the electoral votes.

Therefore, it's fairly obvious that the electoral system does not increase the voting power of everyone. In fact, if you live in California, your voting power is significantly decreased, especially in relation to other parts of the country.

--kurt
_________________
The problem with political jokes is that they get elected
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sn1987a wrote:
That argument, reductio ad absurdum, implies that are current system in not better than a dictatorship where everybody also has an equal (but 0) vote.

I disagree.

Say you have a three-person family: one parent and two children.

Voting system A: one person, one vote. I will define the power of a vote as its value divided by the sum of the values of all votes cast. In this case, all members of the family have a vote power of one-third.

Voting system B: one person, two votes. Supposedly everyone's voting power has been increased. As klieber noted, this does not change the relative power of votes. All members of the family have a vote power of two-sixths, or one-third again.

Voting system C: parent gets 3 votes, children get 1. This is close to your dictator situation, since the parent has veto power over a coalition of all other voters. A subtle difference is what happens when the parent abstains. In this case, relative voting power is not equal: the children have one-fifth, and the parent three-fifths.

If what you are saying by "dictatorship" is that one person (the dictator) has a vote power greater than all other voters combined, that's still not "everybody has zero". "everybody has zero" is anarchy, and causes a division by zero error in my vote power calculation. "Everybody has 0 and the dictator has nonzero" is a dictatorship, but then you have violated your claim that all voters' power increases equally, because the dictator has gained power at the expense of the citizens.

I maintain that the Electoral College transfers power to voters registered in smaller states from those registered in large states. It does not increase everybody's voting power - that is a meaningless concept. Only relative shifts of power are relevant, because otherwise you're multiplying numerator and denominator at the same rate.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sn1987a wrote:
A districted election, like EC, makes it more likely that your vote is the deciding one in the election.
Having your vote be more likely to decide the election is not, IMO, a sensible means to base a voting system. Florida is a good example of this ;)
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mnemia
Guru
Guru


Joined: 17 May 2002
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
sn1987a wrote:
That argument, reductio ad absurdum, implies that are current system in not better than a dictatorship where everybody also has an equal (but 0) vote.

OK, fine. Let me phrase the argument a different way. Wyoming has ~500,000 people and 3 electoral votes. California has ~33 million people and 54 electoral votes. Additionally, there are 538 total electoral votes and ~280 million people in the US. So, Wyoming, with 0.17% of the population controls 0.5% of the electoral votes. California, on the other hand, has 11% of the population, yet controls just over 9% of the electoral votes.

Therefore, it's fairly obvious that the electoral system does not increase the voting power of everyone. In fact, if you live in California, your voting power is significantly decreased, especially in relation to other parts of the country.

--kurt


Although the vote of a Californian voter is lesser statistically than that of a Wyoming voter, I would propose that the Californian still has more effective power than the Wyomingite based on just the absolute numbers of electors. Wyoming's contribution to the overall election is so small that the concerns of their voters are virtually ignored, while the issues important to Californians cannot be ignored by a candidate hoping to win. In a purely population based numbers game, where everyone had a precisely equal vote, the rights of lesser populated states would be trampled on by the national government. Let's say California decides that they need Colorado river water more than Wyoming needs it. Or let's say California decides that it should be able to send its nuclear waste to Nevada (both real issues). In a popular majority election, I predict that smaller states would become little more than the dumping and extraction grounds feeding the cities in larger states. Wyoming's apparent "larger share" of the electoral college in my opinion compensates for the larger absolute numbers California commands.

Also, the Electoral College preserves state soveirgnty because it allows the individual states to decide how their elections are run to some degree. In this particular case, you should also remember that 3 votes is the lowest possible amount of electors that a state can have. Wyoming has two senators and one representative, and the number coorelates to that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mnemia wrote:
In a purely population based numbers game, where everyone had a precisely equal vote, the rights of lesser populated states would be trampled on by the national government. Let's say California decides that they need Colorado river water more than Wyoming needs it. Or let's say California decides that it should be able to send its nuclear waste to Nevada (both real issues). In a popular majority election, I predict that smaller states would become little more than the dumping and extraction grounds feeding the cities in larger states. Wyoming's apparent "larger share" of the electoral college in my opinion compensates for the larger absolute numbers California commands.

Also, the Electoral College preserves state soveirgnty because it allows the individual states to decide how their elections are run to some degree.

I am unconvinced that local sovereignty is a good thing, especially when it comes to administering elections. I have voted in two different districts in California - one urban with a long and embarrassing record of voting irregularities, gross mismanagement, hopelessly outdated technology (punch cards and hanging chads) and one relatively wealthy and suburban, with optical ballot readers that instantly count and verify the ballot, so that if there is a problem it can be corrected immediately. Why should this inequity be allowed to stand?

I am also unconvinced that states' rights are a good way to solve regional issues, such as the water and hazardous waste disposal concerns you mention. Only a federal (or regional) government, run by people accountable to both sides of the debate will be impartial enough to resolve the dispute fairly. If California tries to bully the Pacific Northwest out of its hydroelectric power, or Colorado out of its water, or force Nevada to accept its hazardous waste without fair compensation, that should not be permitted.

The example they gave us in economics of public policy is two towns on a river. The upstream town has no incentive to keep the river clean, and so, left unchecked, they will build dams and dump garbage into it. The downstream town is penalized by this, and has no recourse. The problem is solved by merging the towns, so that the problems of the downstream town become those of the upstream town as well. Thus, the dam would be much less likely to be approved, and if it were, a much fairer compensation package is ensured for the residents adversely affected.

The long-term solution is to include by law indirect costs in the cost of goods. Make people who produce toxic waste pay the full environmental and social cost of that waste, including the cost of the bureaucracy to oversee it. This creates a huge incentive to invest in production methods that don't create as much hazardous waste, and raises prices for goods that do produce it.

Make water cost in California reflect the hardship suffered by ranchers in Wyoming if their water supplies are diverted. Make consumers of water in California (not taxpayers, like they did with the @#%$%@# power mess) pay these indirect costs as well.

But don't make me have to round up two of my friends to vote with me just to offset the vote of one registered Wyoming voter in the presidential election. It's unfair.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
masseya
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 2602
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
The only difference from Plurality (the technique used now) is that you can vote for as many candidates as you want. Tristam29, if you're following this thread, you could have voted for Anybody But Clinton in 1992 - you could have voted for both Bush and Perot. Nader supporters dissatisfied with both Gore and Bush, but afraid to cast a green vote for fear of handing the election to Bush? Just vote for both Nader and Gore.

Howdy! I know I'm a little late in this thread but ::tosses hat into ring:: I'm interested by it. :)

Although, I said I would have voted for anybody I don't really like the idea of actually being able to do this. I think this would encourage multiple larger parties. I would really not like to see this happen from a practical standpoint. If there were three main parties instead of the two we have right now governmental things would be even more complicated than they currently are. I guess I just think this is a Bad Thing (tm) because it's already too overwhelming, confusing, and difficult for Joe Schmoe to figure out. Most of the time this means that people just don't try.

As for the value of a vote, I think that a person from California does have a vote that is of less value than say a person from Wyoming precisely for the reasons klieber stated above. However, I don't have a problem with this because it does somewhat normalize things. California has more of a say about things than Wyoming does overall though, so if California is close (like less than 1000 votes..) then it would sure have mattered more for a person in Cali to have voted than it would for a person in Wyoming if Wyoming was close.

The Electoral College situation is at the core of one of the biggest problems with our government. It's sort of a majority vs. minority issue. I think the solution of normalizing it and spreading things out a little bit works very well because it's a simple solution. I certainly think negating some of the effect of forcing politicians to only care about large population centers is important. I can't think of a simpler way of achieving the same effect.
_________________
if i never try anything, i never learn anything..
if i never take a risk, i stay where i am..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristam29 wrote:
I guess I just think this is a Bad Thing (tm) because it's already too overwhelming, confusing, and difficult for Joe Schmoe to figure out. Most of the time this means that people just don't try.
If Joe Schmoe can't figure it out and chooses to not try, then I don't want to make it any more easy for him. Having a 2 party system is too complicated... we should just have a 1 party system, that way Joe doesn't have to try.

Quote:
I certainly think negating some of the effect of forcing politicians to only care about large population centers is important. I can't think of a simpler way of achieving the same effect.
Are you suggesting the EC accomplishes this?
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
masseya
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 2602
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
If Joe Schmoe can't figure it out and chooses to not try, then I don't want to make it any more easy for him. Having a 2 party system is too complicated... we should just have a 1 party system, that way Joe doesn't have to try.

This is a little unrealistic. The main reason for a political party is to make things easier for people to understand what's going on. That way at each level of government you can 'know' what a candidate stands for by what party they associate themselves with. If you were to be really taken literally in that you think everyone should put forth maximum effort to come to a decision, then there would be no parties and each person would speak to their candidate in person or perhaps even give each candidate a lie detector test to make sure they were telling the truth.

The idea behind having a 'representative' is also a big part of making thigs easier for Joe Schmoe. If you want a democratic government where Joe Schmoe's purpose is to try really hard then there would be no representatives and you would have to take part of each day to vote on particular bills, etc.. that other people have introduced and that you would have had to read personally. Your representative is your proxy for making this process easier. I certainly think that going to a three party system would make things far more complicated because your job as Joe Schmoe would no longer be black and white. You would have to look a *lot* harder to find the party that held the largest number of opinions that were closest to yours. Participation in government in the US is already pretty low. I'd be scared what to think if there actually was a powerful third party that didn't simply replace one of the existing ones quickly. As long as there are two major parties and a bunch of fringe parties it allows for Joe Schmoe to be a lot lazier and still voice his opinion.

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
I certainly think negating some of the effect of forcing politicians to only care about large population centers is important. I can't think of a simpler way of achieving the same effect.
Are you suggesting the EC accomplishes this?

I think it's a pretty good solution. It's not perfect, but I don't think that it's inneffective to the point where people are truly being maligned in mass quantities. For the most part, it works pretty well. This is kinda like an instant replay in football - If you are going to overturn something that's already been settled upon you should have a pretty darn good reason why. I can't name a good reason to replace the EC. I'm more than interested to hear ideas though. :)
_________________
if i never try anything, i never learn anything..
if i never take a risk, i stay where i am..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristam29 wrote:
This is a little unrealistic.
That was kind of my point. But having a 2 party systems is no better, because then you have idiots who vote 'Democrat' or 'Republican' with no clue about what they are voting for.
Quote:
The main reason for a political party is to make things easier for people to understand what's going on. That way at each level of government you can 'know' what a candidate stands for by what party they associate themselves with.
No offense, but I think that is very naive. Two candidates from the same party can be very, very different.
Quote:
If you were to be really taken literally in that you think everyone should put forth maximum effort to come to a decision, then there would be no parties and each person would speak to their candidate in person or perhaps even give each candidate a lie detector test to make sure they were telling the truth.
If I were to be taken out of context perhaps, but not literally. To learn about a candidates history, what their opinions are on issues that the voter cares about requires no such nonsense.
Quote:
The idea behind having a 'representative' is also a big part of making thigs easier for Joe Schmoe. If you want a democratic government where Joe Schmoe's purpose is to try really hard then there would be no representatives and you would have to take part of each day to vote on particular bills, etc.. that other people have introduced and that you would have had to read personally.
Again, not what I meant.
Quote:
Your representative is your proxy for making this process easier.
100% correct. And Joe Schmoe should learn the rep's trackrecord and voting history on issues Joe cares about, etc.
Quote:
I certainly think that going to a three party system would make things far more complicated because your job as Joe Schmoe would no longer be black and white.
Thank you for demonstrating one of the major flaws in the two party system. This probably is on my top 5 (maybe 3) list of reasons to replace it. I don't like the idea of a 2/3/4/5/6 or whatever party system. I want the 'Jesse Ventura' candidate to have a viable opportunity as much as the 'Nader' candidate, etc. Defining an arbitrary number is counter, IMO, to a democratic (albeit representitive) system.
Quote:
You would have to look a *lot* harder to find the party that held the largest number of opinions that were closest to yours.
Son of a $%*#@, you mean Joe might have to turn the TV off for a few hours? *gasp*
Quote:
Participation in government in the US is already pretty low. I'd be scared what to think if there actually was a powerful third party that didn't simply replace one of the existing ones quickly. As long as there are two major parties and a bunch of fringe parties it allows for Joe Schmoe to be a lot lazier and still voice his opinion.
If Joe is 'lazy', I don't want his uninformed opinion on a ballot.

Tristam29 wrote:
I certainly think negating some of the effect of forcing politicians to only care about large population centers is important. I can't think of a simpler way of achieving the same effect.
Under the current system, politicians DO ignore small population centers. In fact, they really only pay attention to the large population areas that have the potential to 'swing'. Thank you for pointing out another 'Top 5' reason against the current system.
Quote:
It's not perfect, but I don't think that it's inneffective to the point where people are truly being maligned in mass quantities.
I think it is a huge reason less than 50% of the populaton votes.
Quote:
For the most part, it works pretty well.
I think just the opposite (no, really, my ranting hasn't been support for it ;)).
Quote:
I can't name a good reason to replace the EC.
I think you've named several :D. I'd like to see the voting systems rac linked to go into effect. Hate 2-party candidate x, so you feel obligated to vote for y? Sure, go ahead, but you also get to vote for ignored-non-2-party-candidate that you really want to vote for.


If we changed the current method of voting (see rac's links), I'd be more willing to give the EC another chance. In the current system, I think the combination (voting method/EC) is extremely ineffective, except in maintaining an ignorant 2-party system.
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One major problem with Plurality voting is the spoiler effect. Having a strong Nader hurt Gore, so the preferences of those who preferred Nader to Gore to Bush were not really fairly represented. This is generally the case for those who preferred Perot to Bush to Clinton in 1992, and certainly the case for those who preferred Buchanan to Bush to Gore in 2000.

Both IRV and Approval allow the secondary preferences of these voters to be registered. The two major parties have such convoluted allegiances that they are poisoned. The Republican party cannot embrace a candidate that alienates fundamentalist Christians or oil companies. The Democratic party has no room for a candidate that is willing to anger either teachers' unions or Hollywood.

There are parts of the two party platforms and positions that I would like to mix and match. I can't do that with the current system - I have to vote for the lesser of two evils. This makes me sad. I am especially not looking forward to the California governor's race.

One original function of political parties was to disseminate information. That function is no longer needed. Any possible speeches, position papers, etc., can be and are spread today for considerably lower cost that 100 years ago. I think that the voter registration patterns (rise in independents or "decline-to-state-affiliation" registrations) indicate that the USA is weary of "red v. blue", and wants and deserves a more subtle choice, and a voting system capable of delivering it.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since my point/arguments have been validated, I'll lock the thread now.

:D
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
masseya
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 2602
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
The main reason for a political party is to make things easier for people to understand what's going on. That way at each level of government you can 'know' what a candidate stands for by what party they associate themselves with.
No offense, but I think that is very naive. Two candidates from the same party can be very, very different.
I'm not saying that everyone is exactly the same, but at the very least you'll be able to identify their views on most things. A candidate has a responsibility to vote along party lines for the most part, or they won't find that they have many friends when they are trying to push their own legislation.

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
If you were to be really taken literally in that you think everyone should put forth maximum effort to come to a decision, then there would be no parties and each person would speak to their candidate in person or perhaps even give each candidate a lie detector test to make sure they were telling the truth.
If I were to be taken out of context perhaps, but not literally. To learn about a candidates history, what their opinions are on issues that the voter cares about requires no such nonsense.
Quote:
The idea behind having a 'representative' is also a big part of making thigs easier for Joe Schmoe. If you want a democratic government where Joe Schmoe's purpose is to try really hard then there would be no representatives and you would have to take part of each day to vote on particular bills, etc.. that other people have introduced and that you would have had to read personally.
Again, not what I meant.
Quote:
Your representative is your proxy for making this process easier.
100% correct. And Joe Schmoe should learn the rep's trackrecord and voting history on issues Joe cares about, etc.
Quote:
You would have to look a *lot* harder to find the party that held the largest number of opinions that were closest to yours.
Son of a $%*#@, you mean Joe might have to turn the TV off for a few hours? *gasp*
This simply won't happen. You are longing for a time when large numbers of people cared about politics. That has been gone for many years. People used to pay attention to politics, read the newspaper every day, remember political promises and hold their candidate to those promises personally. This won't happen in today's world. Joe Schmoe doesn't turn off the TV. Other things began to distract Joe from politics after the Industrial revolution and we've been slowly moving away from a system of personal responsibility in politics to a system of built-in responsibility. This is especially important in today's America of unbelievably low voter turnout. When you go to any system with more than two parties you lose the builtin responsibility of the system that allows a guy like Joe to vote directly against the current party if things are going poorly and for it if things are going well. Joe's not going to turn off the TV. Waiting for it to happen is a waste of time. Once another political party is thrown into the mix as a serious contender there's very little ability for Joe to see who is responsible for what the current situation is. Let's say that Congress is fully divided three ways. No one party should have been able to do anything if everyone only voted for their own party's legislation. Therefore, no one party is responsible and Joe won't be able to pick the one that did stuff wrong or right without taking more than your average TV timeout. Joe's not going to do that. He's just going to start voting for the guy that has the most endearing commercial or something equally un-political.

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
I certainly think that going to a three party system would make things far more complicated because your job as Joe Schmoe would no longer be black and white.
Thank you for demonstrating one of the major flaws in the two party system. This probably is on my top 5 (maybe 3) list of reasons to replace it. I don't like the idea of a 2/3/4/5/6 or whatever party system. I want the 'Jesse Ventura' candidate to have a viable opportunity as much as the 'Nader' candidate, etc. Defining an arbitrary number is counter, IMO, to a democratic (albeit representitive) system.
Are you saying you would like to eliminate political parties entirely? I would support this much faster than I would adding a third, fourth, fifth, etc.. party into the current system. However, political parties aren't going to die. There are too many advantages for politicians to be a part of a larger 'party', so even this is a non-option.

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
Participation in government in the US is already pretty low. I'd be scared what to think if there actually was a powerful third party that didn't simply replace one of the existing ones quickly. As long as there are two major parties and a bunch of fringe parties it allows for Joe Schmoe to be a lot lazier and still voice his opinion.
If Joe is 'lazy', I don't want his uninformed opinion on a ballot.
You would rather have Joe's confused, apathetic submission?

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
I certainly think negating some of the effect of forcing politicians to only care about large population centers is important. I can't think of a simpler way of achieving the same effect.
Under the current system, politicians DO ignore small population centers. In fact, they really only pay attention to the large population areas that have the potential to 'swing'. Thank you for pointing out another 'Top 5' reason against the current system.
At least guessing which population center is going to swing a particular region is harder with the Electoral College. I don't think that the EC maligns small population centers very badly at all. When you are living in a world of majority rule, it's tough to be the little guy. I think the EC gives the little guy just as much of a fighting chance as it can without being blatantly unfair to the fact that more people actually live in larger population centers. (surprising, i know..) Besides, this is becoming more of a non-issue with every technological advance. Candidates are getting a heck of a lot more exposure in small population centers now than they did when everyone was traveling via horse and getting to the small population centers could actually pose a threat to your life.

kanuslupus wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
It's not perfect, but I don't think that it's inneffective to the point where people are truly being maligned in mass quantities.
I think it is a huge reason less than 50% of the populaton votes.
I think the main reason that people don't vote is that they simply feel like a drop in the bucket. If we went to a system where everyone voted directly for the president everyone would be an even smallerdrop in an even bigger bucket. I think that some change to the system would be nice to help drum up voter turnout. I would possibly like some of the ideas expressed in the links that rac pointed out except for the fact that I don't like the concept of having a nationally powerful third (or fourth, etc..) party and I feel as though those vote counting systems would encourage it too much. Perhaps, they should be implemented to prevent the two main parties from becoming too similar. If people start voting for anyone else in mass quantity it would be a sign to the main partys that there are votes to be had for the person that changes their tune.

kanuslupus wrote:
If we changed the current method of voting (see rac's links), I'd be more willing to give the EC another chance. In the current system, I think the combination (voting method/EC) is extremely ineffective, except in maintaining an ignorant 2-party system.
I have looked at rac's links. I am not fully in favor of them for the reasons mentioned above. Even if I were though, this won't be a simple thing to change, especially in Forida. :)
_________________
if i never try anything, i never learn anything..
if i never take a risk, i stay where i am..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristam29 wrote:
When you go to any system with more than two parties you lose the builtin responsibility of the system that allows a guy like Joe to vote directly against the current party if things are going poorly and for it if things are going well.

:cry: :cry: :cry:

I have never understood this inherent notion of duality in politics. I have never had a serious political discussion with anyone who claims to agree more with every statement made by a politician of Party A than Party B. Fewer and fewer Americans think and vote this way, and the trends of increasing indepent voter registration that began with John Anderson's campaign in 1980.

The Plurality voting system is designed to foster animosity and fearmongering among two parties. It may not actually have that as an explicit design goal, but it is a direct result.

A vote against the Democrats is a vote for the Republicans. Those damn tax-and-spend liberals want to take your hard-earned paycheck and squander it on welfare queens who drive Cadillacs. Those soft-on-crime liberals would make furlough programs that let Willie Horton out of jail to come rape your daughter.

A vote against the Republicans is a vote for the Democrats. Those heartless fatcats are only interested in pillaging the treasury to pad their enormous bank accounts, and then retire to a cushy lobbying job. They want to mortgage your childrens' future to make their oil companies rich. They want to cut down the rainforest just so they can build another wing onto their estates. They want to get us into a war and kill innocent people so that they can make life safe for the multinational companies that got them elected.

This sort of inflammatory rhetoric and negative campaigning survives because it is sound strategy. If you had an Approval system, a significant number of voters (perhaps even Tristam29) would say "you know what, the Democrats and the Republicans are at least reliably centrist. That Pat Robertson and his Armageddon Party, Pat Buchanan and his America First party, Ralph Nader and his Unsafe at any Party, Jesse Jackson and that Rainbow Party, they're all a little extreme for me. I think I'll vote for the Republican and Democratic candidates."

Now since this type of voter exists, the Republican and Democratic candidates must not become overly critical of one another, and could even feel free to borrow good ideas from one another. If one acted particularly negatively, my theoretical voter could choose to punish them by voting only for the other major-party candidate.

I don't care if there are 2, 3, 17, 500 or 0 political parties. What I want is the same thing that happens here in the forums, and in open source projects in general. People have a common goal of making the government do a better job of providing needed common goods like national defense, food safety inspection, public education, environmental protection, etc., and they shamelessly borrow and improve one anothers' ideas to get there.

No one party has a monopoly on good ideas, but the current voting system ensures that ideas from outside either of those two major parties have a hard time percolating into the mix, and also make it harder for these ideas to cross the aisle. That's what bothers me, and that's what I want to fix.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
masseya
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 17 Apr 2002
Posts: 2602
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
Tristam29 wrote:
When you go to any system with more than two parties you lose the builtin responsibility of the system that allows a guy like Joe to vote directly against the current party if things are going poorly and for it if things are going well.

:cry: :cry: :cry:
[...]
This sort of inflammatory rhetoric and negative campaigning survives because it is sound strategy. If you had an Approval system, a significant number of voters (perhaps even Tristam29) would say "you know what, the Democrats and the Republicans are at least reliably centrist. That Pat Robertson and his Armageddon Party, Pat Buchanan and his America First party, Ralph Nader and his Unsafe at any Party, Jesse Jackson and that Rainbow Party, they're all a little extreme for me. I think I'll vote for the Republican and Democratic candidates."
[...]

I am not necessarily against the alternate voting systems that you have suggested. I'm against creating a system of government where there's a legitimate possibility that three or more parties could have and maintain roughly equal power at the same time. This is when you lose accountability. I do not know if your suggested systems would create such an environment or not. I would lean more towards saying that they would increase the chance that my 'nightmare' situation could happen, but I'm not sure if they would actually bring it about on their own.
rac wrote:
I don't care if there are 2, 3, 17, 500 or 0 political parties. What I want is the same thing that happens here in the forums, and in open source projects in general. People have a common goal of making the government do a better job of providing needed common goods like national defense, food safety inspection, public education, environmental protection, etc., and they shamelessly borrow and improve one anothers' ideas to get there.

No one party has a monopoly on good ideas, but the current voting system ensures that ideas from outside either of those two major parties have a hard time percolating into the mix, and also make it harder for these ideas to cross the aisle. That's what bothers me, and that's what I want to fix.
There is no simple way to do something like this. The two concepts are based on entirely different theories. Politicians need to have a system of credit in our society because they need to be able to establish who did what so voters have something to base their decisions on. Because there has to be a commodity (political credit), politicians are assumed to want all the power for themselves and a system of checks and balances creates a way to make sure that this won't happen. Now, every politician can be motivated by whatever they want as long as they work their hardest to get things done.

In the open source world, most people don't care about the who just as long as the how works out alright. This does cause some big problems because people sometimes have different opinions on the how. If those opinions are serious, then there's a split of the source code and two new projects are formed. This is not a Good Thing (tm) when it comes to politics because there can't be two different versions of the United States existing at the same time. There's no simple system of checks and balances that would be able to resolve serious conflicts.

Most of the time those conflicts aren't fully resolved because large conflicts just turn into choices or religious wars. (except for the vi vs. emacs thing.. emacs users are just wrong..) KDE or gnome? fluxbox or blackbox? commandline or gui? Many of the big conflicts simply have simultaneous solutions that aren't possible in real world political problms. How can we have both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice? Is it possible to both increase and decrease taxes?
_________________
if i never try anything, i never learn anything..
if i never take a risk, i stay where i am..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristam29 wrote:
I'm against creating a system of government where there's a legitimate possibility that three or more parties could have and maintain roughly equal power at the same time.

What happens in parliamentary countries (Japan's the only one I've lived in) is that in order to form a ruling government, if no party has a majority, it must form coalitions with other smaller parties in order to govern. I like this system, because the smaller parties can play the major parties against one another, and can therefore get some of their more well-refined or palatable-to-the-mainstream ideas adopted, or at least listened to. In a sense, it's somewhat similar to the dynamics of the Electoral College - the small parties get to be Oregon and Wyoming and Kentucky, instead of just having the election every year be about whether California or Texas gets to govern.

Quote:
The two concepts are based on entirely different theories. Politicians need to have a system of credit in our society because they need to be able to establish who did what so voters have something to base their decisions on. Because there has to be a commodity (political credit), politicians are assumed to want all the power for themselves and a system of checks and balances creates a way to make sure that this won't happen. Now, every politician can be motivated by whatever they want as long as they work their hardest to get things done.

I posit that open-source development projects work along many of the same lines. You bank credibility by writing good code and working well with others. Once you have a certain amount, you can influence code development. Users, lurkers and minor developers often find particular people whose opinions they respect, and they tend to use their opinions as bellwethers on issues they have not researched personally, or feel are over their head. Similar to representative democracy, in a sense.

The checks and balances are, in the American system, to ensure that the executive, legislative, and judicial branches remain in relative balance of power. I'm not trying to address the mechanism of government, just elections, so I don't think checks and balances are relevant here (but I agree with you that they're important - like that "Congress alone has the authority to declare war" one, for example, that everyone seems to have completely forgotten about since the Gulf of Tonkin).

Quote:
there's a split of the source code and two new projects are formed. This is not a Good Thing (tm) when it comes to politics because there can't be two different versions of the United States existing at the same time.

I agree that forks are an area where the analogy breaks down.

Quote:
(except for the vi vs. emacs thing.. emacs users are just wrong..)

M-x smack-unbeliever-into-submission
:)

Quote:
Many of the big conflicts simply have simultaneous solutions that aren't possible in real world political problms. How can we have both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice? Is it possible to both increase and decrease taxes?

The tax issue is more subtle with more opportunity for negotiation and compromise, because one often has wiggle room in terms of which taxes get raised and how the money gets spent.

Abortion is one of those issues that I really hate discussing. I haven't heard anything new in an abortion debate in over twenty years from either side. I prefer issues where there are lots of complex tradeoffs and opportunities for mutually beneficial outcomes. Abortion seems to me a bleak, zero-sum, heat without light wasteland.

The point I was trying to make is that often people agree on a goal, but disagree on the method to get there.

Everyone wants better schools. Democrats are politically unable to support innovative programs like vouchers because of the backlash from the teachers' unions. Republicans have a hard time opposing overarching inflexible zero-tolerance policies because they don't want to be perceived as soft.

Liberals have a hard time supporting innovative solutions to entitlement waste because of their albatross of support of the welfare state.

Conservatives have a hard time admitting that such policies as discriminatory mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses and "three-strikes" legislation only perpetuate racial inequality and create a huge burden on the state to house so many prisoners.

I want politicians to be free to adopt and drop policies based on how well they work, not because of some arbitrary ideological promise, or the political views of the person they came from.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristam29 wrote:
A candidate has a responsibility to vote along party lines for the most part, or they won't find that they have many friends when they are trying to push their own legislation.
Yes they do, however, I think that swath is quite broad.
Quote:
This simply won't happen. You are longing for a time when large numbers of people cared about politics.
I'm not really longing for it, but it would be nice for people to have a minor interest in the way their government controls their lives. I don't expect anything to change in my lifetime.
Quote:
When you go to any system with more than two parties you lose the builtin responsibility of the system that allows a guy like Joe to vote directly against the current party if things are going poorly and for it if things are going well.
Ds & Rs will always vote for their party because the problem must be with the other one. In this example, Joe would have to be somewhat of an 'independant'. In the case of an independant voter, I think more than 2 parties would help Joe. Don't forget, he can still watch the Pablam channel for pretty charts on who to blame. For the most part, media blames most problems on the Republicans (yes there are exceptions).
Quote:
Once another political party is thrown into the mix as a serious contender there's very little ability for Joe to see who is responsible for what the current situation is.
I don't agree at all. Currently, someone has to blame the other party, so Joe is 'choosing' which side to beleive. Adding parties wouldn't change much in this respect.
Quote:
Let's say that Congress is fully divided three ways. No one party should have been able to do anything if everyone only voted for their own party's legislation.
I don't think I'm following. Even when the House or Senate is split equally, representatives frequently vote for something that a large part of their party disagrees with. This isn't really uncommon (yes, I've watched CSPAN).
Quote:
Therefore, no one party is responsible and Joe won't be able to pick the one that did stuff wrong or right without taking more than your average TV timeout.
I simply don't see it as being that big of a deal. Whomever is telling Joe now who's fault it is will still be telling Joe who's fault it is with 3+ parties involved. Joe ends up deciding who he believes. If 5 roughly equal parties are in office, and 3 point to 1 party, I'm thinking that makes it more clear than and R/D blaming the other because they have to.
Quote:
Joe's not going to do that. He's just going to start voting for the guy that has the most endearing commercial or something equally un-political.
Well, many already do. I don't see any difference between blindly voting vs. voting for someone because they are pretty, etc.
Quote:
Are you saying you would like to eliminate political parties entirely?
I want the potential to exist for any number of parties to be relevant at any given time. If the next election used a different systemn (Approval, IRV, similar), I think the votes 3rd parties would get would increase drastically. I also think this demonstrates that active voters are interested, and would become more interested. Over time, as people became more comfortable with the system, 3rd parties would become a viable contender for President and certainly larger numbers of them being representatives.
Quote:
I would support this much faster than I would adding a third, fourth, fifth, etc.. party into the current system.
No parties would probably cause Joe to go into convulsions. I'm not opposed to having no parties, but the media would maintain/create them anyway.
Quote:
You would rather have Joe's confused, apathetic submission?
No. That is why I want the system to change. I think more have succumbed to apathy under the current system than would be created if the election system was changed. Maybe Joe would become interested again. Chances are he is already confused and on the road to apathy.
Quote:
At least guessing which population center is going to swing a particular region is harder with the Electoral College.
I always thought it had been the same handful of states. That is why NH and the other swing states are so heavily campaigned. In either case, I don't see the benefit of being able to predict.
Quote:
I think the EC gives the little guy just as much of a fighting chance as it can without being blatantly unfair to the fact that more people actually live in larger population centers.
I don't care where they live. I do think that taking value out of my vote and giving it to someone else is blatantly unfair. That is why I want to see change. Incidentally, I hope to live rurarly someday. 20 miles to the nearest neighbor or something like that :D
Quote:
Besides, this is becoming more of a non-issue with every technological advance. Candidates are getting a heck of a lot more exposure in small population centers now than they did when everyone was traveling via horse and getting to the small population centers could actually pose a threat to your life.
Exactly. Another box checked for why the EC is outdated. When The People couldn't see their representatives very often, the Representative government was the best thing that could have happened. Recounting the entire countries votes would have been way beyond practical back then. With technology, there should be no reason 'votes' aren't counted 3 times before the final tally. Actually, the vote would be counted accurately the first time.
Quote:
I think the main reason that people don't vote is that they simply feel like a drop in the bucket.
I have never heard or heard of anyone complaining about this. On the contrary, I have heard many people complain about having to vote for the lesser of two evils.
Quote:
I don't like the concept of having a nationally powerful third (or fourth, etc..) party and I feel as though those vote counting systems would encourage it too much.
I only see maintaining the status quo as doing more harm. Other countries successfuly use other voting methods.
Quote:
Perhaps, they should be implemented to prevent the two main parties from becoming too similar.
Won't happen. Both are already corrupt and in the pockets of Big Business. The Ds just seem to be able to make people think otherwise.
Quote:
If people start voting for anyone else in mass quantity it would be a sign to the main partys that there are votes to be had for the person that changes their tune.
The current parties will not significantly change without other influencial parties. They've proven it.
Quote:
Even if I were though, this won't be a simple thing to change, especially in Forida. :)
I think FL would have one of the easiest chances making the change... NOW! They would be viewed as trying to fix a problem that was obviously a fiasco (and a direct result of the 2-party system I might add).
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
Ralph Nader and his Unsafe at any Party
:lol:
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
The checks and balances are, in the American system, to ensure that the executive, legislative, and judicial branches remain in relative balance of power. I'm not trying to address the mechanism of government, just elections, so I don't think checks and balances are relevant here (but I agree with you that they're important - like that "Congress alone has the authority to declare war" one, for example, that everyone seems to have completely forgotten about since the Gulf of Tonkin).
Interestingly enough, this doesn't prevent wars, just creates sillly names like "Police Action". Also, military benefits do not recognize anything after the Korean War as being a War. I think it was the KW, might have been earlier.

Shouldn't it be eMac? Is that some new Apple product? (Yes, I know what emacs is).

rac wrote:
Conservatives have a hard time admitting that such policies as discriminatory mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses and "three-strikes" legislation only perpetuate racial inequality and create a huge burden on the state to house so many prisoners.
At the risk of starting another thread, I personally thought this targeted criminals, regardless of their color. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
I always thought it had been the same handful of states. That is why NH and the other swing states are so heavily campaigned.

New Hampshire gets so much attention not because of the Electoral College, but by virtue of it historically having the earliest primary election. Iowa was another state that had a similar focus. But the race to schedule earlier primaries is another thread (along with whether only party members should be able to vote in primary elections).

Quote:
Won't happen. Both are already corrupt and in the pockets of Big Business. The Ds just seem to be able to make people think otherwise.

There are also, generally speaking, different industries that own different parties. One idea that I really love is to require politicians to dress like race-car drivers whenever they make public appearances, wearing patches with icons depicting sources of major campaign contributors. It would make watching their speeches make so much more sense more rapidly if they had an oil derrick, an RIAA turntable, or a longhair hugging a tree on their clothes.

kanuslupus wrote:
military benefits do not recognize anything after the Korean War

That's outrageous, if true. Vietnam veterans really got shafted - are you saying they aren't eligible for VA benefits, after they brought the term post-traumatic stress disorder into the world?

kanuslupus wrote:
rac wrote:
Conservatives have a hard time admitting that such policies as discriminatory mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses and "three-strikes" legislation only perpetuate racial inequality and create a huge burden on the state to house so many prisoners.

At the risk of starting another thread, I personally thought this targeted criminals, regardless of their color. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

The post was getting long (and I was losing balance between the length of my liberal and conservative paragraphs), so I axed some clarification here. For the first point, I was referring to the wildly different mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for crack and powder cocaine, which are basically the same drug, but black people get caught with crack and white people get caught with powder. For the second point, I was referring to three-strikes laws' taking discretion out of the judges' hands and lumping nonviolent drug users together with rapists and murderers, giving them life sentences in prison. I think that's neither morally just nor fiscally responsible. It's abdicating responsibility to make case-by-case decisions in the name of sounding tough on crime.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
kanuslupus wrote:
military benefits do not recognize anything after the Korean War

That's outrageous, if true. Vietnam veterans really got shafted - are you saying they aren't eligible for VA benefits, after they brought the term post-traumatic stress disorder into the world?
I used too broad a brush. Having served, I occaisionally come across forms that ask certain questions. Recently (I forget what form), one asked about being a 'War Vetern'. They also provided a 'link' to explain the definition of 'War Veteran'. I'm 100% positive the Gulf War was not included. I'm fuzzy after that, but I thought Vietnam was excluded as well. I'll see if I can dig up the link. I've not looked into VA medical benefits, so I'm not sure what the policies are there.
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rac
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 6553
Location: Japanifornia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
Recently (I forget what form), one asked about being a 'War Vetern'. They also provided a 'link' to explain the definition of 'War Veteran'. I'm 100% positive the Gulf War was not included.

That's really offensive to me. Why should it matter which bullets you were dodging? Those who served as peacekeepers in Sarajevo and Somalia put their lives at risk to protect those of others as well, and are every bit as deserving.
_________________
For every higher wall, there is a taller ladder
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pjp
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 16 Apr 2002
Posts: 16090
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To alleviate some concerns:
Quote:
VA pays Disability Pension to veterans who are:

permanently and totally disabled but not as a result of military service, and served during:

* Mexican Border Period
* World War I
* World War II
* Korean Conflict
* Vietnam Era
* (Persian) Gulf War
Still looking for what I was reading.
_________________
lolgov. 'cause where we're going, you don't have civil liberties.

In Loving Memory
1787 - 2008
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Off the Wall All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum