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aaronminute
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="klieber"]
kanuslupus wrote:
klieber wrote:
witness Dubya getting elected, despite not garnering a majority of the votes.
I have seen no reliable data that suggests Gore won.

I think it's commonly accepted that Gore received the majority of the popular vote -- that's what I was referring to. In terms of the Florida debacle which determined the outcome of the electoral vote, that's an entirely different matter.

This is not necessarily true. Many votes were not counted in states where there was an overwhelming winner. Either way, I would like to remind everyone that reading the Constitution would reveal to you that we do not decide presidential elections based on the popular vote. There is a reason for this even.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronminute wrote:
Either way, I would like to remind everyone that reading the Constitution would reveal to you that we do not decide presidential elections based on the popular vote.
One reason I don't vote (cause they don't truly count).
Quote:
There is a reason for this even.
Care to elaborate?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 3:32 am    Post subject: Delegates Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
One reason I don't vote (cause they don't truly count).

I do not know how you come to that conclusion. If you mean because they did not get counted in states with an overwhelming majority, its because there is no way the other person could win. I would still recommend voting everytime, polls are not the most accurate yardstick of voters and it could be very close in your state unexpectadely. Every vote counts.

Quote:
There is a reason for this even.
Care to elaborate?


This allows, just as the separation of Congress into Senators and Representatives, small states to have a greater say per person than a larger state. This keeps for example California from imposing beliefs through the Presidential office on another much smaller state. Granted, the difference is very slight. However, as shown in the last election (I am still wondering why this continues to be talked about when there are much more important things going on), this difference can decide who wins. Finally, in California there are as many as one million illegal aliens voting according to some estimates. The delegate system allows this damage to be contained somewhat, even though it is unfortunate that a right supposed to be reserved only for citezens being hyjacked by criminals.
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rac
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 3:59 am    Post subject: Re: Delegates Reply with quote

aaronminute wrote:
Finally, in California there are as many as one million illegal aliens voting according to some estimates.

This is the first I have heard of this. What's your source here?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Delegates Reply with quote

aaronminute wrote:
This allows, just as the separation of Congress into Senators and Representatives, small states to have a greater say per person than a larger state. This keeps for example California from imposing beliefs through the Presidential office on another much smaller state.
Yes, I've heard this before, but I'm not convinced that it is accurate. Are not a states' electoral votes based on population?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:09 am    Post subject: Re: Delegates Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
Are not a states' electoral votes based on population?

Only partially. The number of electors is equal to the sum of the number of Senators and Representatives. Representatives are based on population; Senators are not. Therefore, the ratio of electoral votes to population is indeed higher in smaller states.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another major reason why the electoral college is a very good idea is that it contains election disputes to individual states rather than the whole country. Imagine if the election had been as close as it was in Florida in the entire country? There'd be no way to stop the fraud and inaccuracy that would result from trying to recount the whole country.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, 2 Senators per state. Sounds like 'fuzzy' math to me.

I think the EC was useful at one time, but not in the modern world. Prior to having technology that could inform 'the people' about what was going on, the EC was necessary.

*shrug* not like it'll change.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mnemia: I'm sure there are cases when this could happen, but in the Florida Fiasco, I think only that state would have needed a recount (assuming no EC was around). A bit off topic, but I think the entire state of FL should have been recounted... not just the 'select' counties where the idiots thought they'd gain the advantage.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread was split off from here.

Mnemia wrote:
Another major reason why the electoral college is a very good idea

"Another"? What was the first major reason?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mnemia wrote:
But I still stand by my conclusion that the dispute was proof of the EC working the way it was supposed to: the electors were supposed to be decided by the people of Florida, and the dispute never went beyond their borders.
Perhaps, though I'm not conviced that is value enough in having the EC. The EC could be to blame for the incident as well. Just because other states without 'close' votes weren't disputed, doesn't indicate they didn't have the same isssues.
Quote:
Plus I like the fact that my vote still counts in my state even though there is fraud going on elsewhere that is invalidating the votes of the people there.
I've mentioned this somewhere else, but your vote may or may not count. For example, MA votes Democratic and KS votes Republican. During the elections when I lived in those states, my vote did not count. Voters living in 'swing' states actually have a chance of their vote counting. I'm currently living in CO, and from what I've seen so far, I expect they've historically been a state going Republican. I could be wrong, so I'll have to do some research before the next election.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point about the EC is this:
First off, we aren't really losing any sense of representation by having the electoral college, because it's not like the electors are just making their own decision about who to vote for regardless of what the voters in their state want.

Second, though there is the occasional undesirable effect where the winner of the popular vote may not win the election, this effect is balanced by other factors. For instance, if you lived in an area with lesser population (like anywhere outside a major city), your political voice would be significantly diminished if the electoral college were to go away tomorrow. The electoral college forces presidential candidates to campaign across the entire country rather than only staying in the places that have the largest part of the popular vote. So in fact though the EC may seem on the surface to be a tool of oppression and disenfranchisement, it in fact gives a more viable political voice to population minorities and small states. If it did not exist those groups would become more marginalized.

The EC helps to spread political power across a broader segment of the population, counterintuitive as that seems. Disagree if you will, but I personally think that it's wise to not just allow the majority to rule all.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

:lol: OK.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
I've mentioned this somewhere else, but your vote may or may not count. For example, MA votes Democratic and KS votes Republican. During the elections when I lived in those states, my vote did not count. Voters living in 'swing' states actually have a chance of their vote counting. I'm currently living in CO, and from what I've seen so far, I expect they've historically been a state going Republican. I could be wrong, so I'll have to do some research before the next election.


It's true that that situation exists many places. I live in SC and there's no way that a Democrat will win my state. But if the election were based on a national popular vote, perhaps 45% of the entire country might feel that their vote doesn't count because they support the lesser political party at the time. I think that that type of system would serve to further entrench the major parties and give the smaller parties even less relevance than they already have.

Hehe, but don't mind me, I just like to argue. No hard feelings :wink:
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is fair that my vote (I am registered in California) is worth less than one-third of the vote of someone registered in Wyoming? California had 70 times the population of Wyoming in 2000, and yet only 18 times the number of electoral votes.

While in theory you might expect that the Electoral College would cause national candidates to campaign in small states, it doesn't. They ignore the small states, and they ignore the large states, because California, New York and Texas have strong historically established voting patterns, and the paltry number of EC votes of Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana are not worth the logistical effort of campaigning in such sparsely populated areas.

The real winners of the current national election system are the closely contested swing states. Why was so much campaigning in the 2000 presidential election centered on Florida and Pennsylvania? Because they were close, not because they were small or voters in those states were proportionally well-represented in the Electoral College.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, good point rac.

I do think that our system does tend to spread things out to some degree still, but yeah, that effect has probably been overstated.

The system we have is by no means perfect, but it's not terrible and I don't think we could safely replace it with anything else in today's climate of corruption.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mnemia wrote:
The system we have is by no means perfect, but it's not terrible and I don't think we could safely replace it with anything else in today's climate of corruption.

Thanks, Mnemia, you set me up to shill for one of my favorite causes: Approval Voting. While Instant Runoff has been getting more press attention and popularity, Approval avoids the problem whereby uncounted preferences can effect the outcome, and it has the additional virtue of extreme simplicity, and would require absolutely no new technology to implement.

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.

The spoiler effect vanishes instantly. In fact, third parties' ideas will actively get picked up by major candidates, trying to woo extra votes out of the third party supporters. The reward for negative campaigning is also lessened - a vote against your opponent is not necessarily a vote for you, like it is under Plurality. There's always a possibility that a voter might like candidate A best of all, but prefers B to C. If B savages A, they may lose that extra vote.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually think that that sounds like a really good idea. I'd LOVE to be able to vote for all the people I like like that, and I think it'd really encourage more diversity of political opinion. Where can I sign up? :D

Unfortunately, I don't see that happening on a national level anytime soon, since the Powers-That-Be (tm) are too entrenched in the current way of doing things. I bet that it could be made to happen in lower levels of government though, like city council elections or even state government. Maybe over time it'd start to percolate upwards...

To frame my earlier comments: I think that it's not so much that I particularly care for the electoral college system; it's just that I REALLY don't like the idea of just a straight majority, winner-takes-all national popular vote.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronminute wrote:
Many votes were not counted in states where there was an overwhelming winner.

Sorry, but huh? Do you have a reference to back this claim up?

aaronminute wrote:
Either way, I would like to remind everyone that reading the Constitution would reveal to you that we do not decide presidential elections based on the popular vote. There is a reason for this even.

There may be a reason, but whether or not it's a good reason is debatable.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mnemia wrote:
For instance, if you lived in an area with lesser population (like anywhere outside a major city), your political voice would be significantly diminished if the electoral college were to go away tomorrow.

OK, let's assume the Electoral College is gone and winners are decided on popular vote alone. If I live in Sticksville, Alabama and I vote one time in the presidential election, then how does my one vote count less than the NYC guy's one vote? How is my political voice diminished?

Mnemia wrote:
The EC helps to spread political power across a broader segment of the population, counterintuitive as that seems. Disagree if you will, but I personally think that it's wise to not just allow the majority to rule all.

Can you elaborate on that a bit? How is majority rule a bad thing? (not necessarily disagreeing with you -- just want to better understand your reasoning behind your opinion.)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Delegates Reply with quote

rac wrote:
aaronminute wrote:
Finally, in California there are as many as one million illegal aliens voting according to some estimates.

This is the first I have heard of this. What's your source here?


The New York Times had an article on this a little while ago. It has mostly been discussed outsite of the mainstream media. The problem is it is impossible to accuratly count something like that because in California you need next to no identification to vote.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="klieber"]
aaronminute wrote:
Many votes were not counted in states where there was an overwhelming winner.

Sorry, but huh? Do you have a reference to back this claim up?

You would have to look around, but I remember hearing this from multiple sources. You would want to look into the absentee ballots in California. Those are the only ones I am sure about. Personally, it doesn't matter, it would not change anything, thats why nobody bothered to count them.

aaronminute wrote:
Either way, I would like to remind everyone that reading the Constitution would reveal to you that we do not decide presidential elections based on the popular vote. There is a reason for this even.

There may be a reason, but whether or not it's a good reason is debatable.

Agreed.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mnemia wrote:
kanuslupus wrote:
I've mentioned this somewhere else, but your vote may or may not count. For example, MA votes Democratic and KS votes Republican. During the elections when I lived in those states, my vote did not count. Voters living in 'swing' states actually have a chance of their vote counting. I'm currently living in CO, and from what I've seen so far, I expect they've historically been a state going Republican. I could be wrong, so I'll have to do some research before the next election.


It's true that that situation exists many places. I live in SC and there's no way that a Democrat will win my state. But if the election were based on a national popular vote, perhaps 45% of the entire country might feel that their vote doesn't count because they support the lesser political party at the time. I think that that type of system would serve to further entrench the major parties and give the smaller parties even less relevance than they already have.

Hehe, but don't mind me, I just like to argue. No hard feelings :wink:


I operate under the mindset that every vote counts. But I'm also one of a few hundred people in WI that voted for Harry Browne. :lol:
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similar to what Mnemia has been saying, EC actually increases voting power. 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. There is a paper describing this. "Math Against Tyranny" by Will Hively, Discover, magazine, November 1996
One of the comparisons the author uses is to the world series. It doesn't matter if one team scores twice as many runs as the other, if the other team wins more games. You have to be able to consistently win games.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

Increases? Or disperses across a wider group of people?

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?)

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