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Author Topic:   Popular Vote vs Electoral College
Phat
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Posts: 17111
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 1 of 118 (903618)
12-14-2022 12:07 PM


Browsing the posts this morning, I saw somewhere a rabbit trail where someone mentioned Trump lost by 3 million popular votes yet was elected due to the electoral college.
Let's discuss the pros and cons of the current election process and what would or could be a better system.

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by AZPaul3, posted 12-14-2022 4:14 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
Taq
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Posts: 9323
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(3)
Message 2 of 118 (903622)
12-14-2022 1:51 PM


State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
First, the electoral college has its roots in slavery.
"There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections."
--James Madison
Read more here: The Electoral College’s Racist Origins | Brennan Center for Justice
In other words, the population in the North and South were about equal, but 1/3 of the population in the South were slaves who weren't allowed to vote. This meant the North could dominate presidential elections. The solution was the electoral college which gave the South more votes than they would otherwise have. There was also the 3/5ths compromise where blacks were counted as 3/5ths of a person when doling out congressional seats.
So right from the start, one of the main purposes of the electoral college is gone. The other reason that was given is that the electoral college served as a check on a wildly popular but corrupt candidate. Obviously, that hasn't worked.
The second reason is just plain fairness. Right now, the power of someone's vote in the presidential election depends on where they live. A vote cast in Wyoming carries more weight than a vote cast in California due to the 2 Senate seats given to each state regardless of population. That's just not fair. All of our votes should count the same for an office that applies equally to the whole nation.

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 3:05 PM Taq has replied
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 5:20 PM Taq has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 17111
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 3 of 118 (903626)
12-14-2022 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Taq
12-14-2022 1:51 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
Granted fairness is an issue. Critics say, however, that without the electoral college Democrats would win in perpetuity. And their candidates are not always the best choice.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 1:51 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 3:13 PM Phat has replied
 Message 6 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-14-2022 3:18 PM Phat has not replied

  
Taq
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Posts: 9323
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(6)
Message 4 of 118 (903627)
12-14-2022 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
12-14-2022 3:05 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
Phat writes:
Granted fairness is an issue. Critics say, however, that without the electoral college Democrats would ain in perpetuity. And their candidates are not always the best choice.
By critics, do you mean Republicans?
The whole point of an election is to determine who is the best choice. If Republicans want to win a popular vote then they should adopt policies that are attractive to a majority of people.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 3:05 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 3:16 PM Taq has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 17111
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 5 of 118 (903628)
12-14-2022 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Taq
12-14-2022 3:13 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
Perhaps, but often their constituency consists of businessmen and shop owners, which will never be a majority over the public at large.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 3:13 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 3:22 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
Tanypteryx
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Posts: 3773
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


(3)
Message 6 of 118 (903630)
12-14-2022 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
12-14-2022 3:05 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
Critics say, however, that without the electoral college Democrats would ain in perpetuity
That's because there are more of them. The side with the most actual voters should always win, unless the other side cheats.
How is that fucking fact not fucking obvious to you?
And their candidates are not always the best choice.
And Republican candidates are ALWAYS the wrong choice. Are you unaware of all those Republican assholes in Congress who openly tried to steal the 2020 presidential election?

Stop Tzar Vladimir the Condemned!

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 3:05 PM Phat has not replied

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 9323
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(4)
Message 7 of 118 (903631)
12-14-2022 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
12-14-2022 3:16 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
Phat writes:
Perhaps, but often their constituency consists of businessmen and shop owners, which will never be a majority over the public at large.
What???? Do you think Republican voters are only business owners?
Using the same logic, Democrats should lose every election because their constituency consists of black voters which will never be a majority.
If you want to argue that Republican policies only benefit a minority of citizens, then I might agree.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 3:16 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 9323
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(4)
Message 8 of 118 (903632)
12-14-2022 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Tanypteryx
12-14-2022 3:18 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
Tanypteryx writes:
Are you unaware of all those Republican assholes in Congress who openly tried to steal the 2020 presidential election?
It is disturbingly reflected in Phat's own proclamation that we should have voting procedures where only the Republican's preferred candidate wins.
It is rather sad to see a political party that only thinks in terms of power instead of democracy. Someone who supports democracy would see a loss as a reason to rethink their policies and rhetoric. Not Republicans. Their response is to double down on losing ideas and try to skirt the rules to stay in power. It's the same type of strategy that fascist parties used in the run up to WW II. Jan 6 was a page right out of the fascist playbook.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-14-2022 3:18 PM Tanypteryx has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Theodoric, posted 12-14-2022 4:58 PM Taq has not replied
 Message 11 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 5:08 PM Taq has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 7508
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 9 of 118 (903634)
12-14-2022 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
12-14-2022 12:07 PM


Proportional EC
Trump lost by 3 million popular votes yet was elected due to the electoral college.
That's not the first time that has happened. Other presidents were minority elected for the same reasons. The problem is not the Electoral College (EC) itself but the way the states implemented and continue to use it.
A feature of the electoral college is that, without it, the smaller states have no way to have their voices heard in the republic. The smaller less populated states would see their state and local interests lost to the larger populations and the interests of the larger states. Democracy is fine and all but being able to participate is even better.
I’m finding that race was an issue in counting populations but the structure of the EC was addressing a more major issue. The four most populous states in the proposed new union would dominate any election even with the 3/5 rule. The less populous states would, in effect, be disenfranchised. If you wanted a federal structure for the new union then at the negotiating table, where each state was equal in voice and vote, a compromise needed to be made. The EC was acceptable to both sides and a nation was born.
Today we have the same concerns. Without the EC and its effect on the political landscape (who actually wants to go to Iowa in mid-winter to listen to hog and corn farmers?), no concern need be paid to any issues outside the most populous regions along the east and west coasts. From Maine down a narrow strip of the coast to Washington and from Oregon down to San Diego would be the effective voting population of the nation. The major population centers in other regions (Chicago, Denver, Dallas/Houston) combined, would be a minor blip in the vote easily swamped by the populations on the two coasts. Rural areas, like all of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, the Dakotas, etc, need not exist at all.
Deciding by popular vote and its appeal to democracy sounds wonderful but, today, in this political setup, it would lead to a situation where 3/4 of the land mass of this nation, and its lesser population, is effectively disenfranchised from the vote. If you don’t live in one of the larger population coastal areas then your vote means considerably less, if anything at all.
I like the electoral college. I like the political dynamic it forces on the party structure and the wider scope of political interests that must be addressed by the national candidates.
The problem with the EC’s present structure is, in most states (48), the college is a winner-takes-all scheme. That is where the lopsidedness of the EC loses effectiveness. It does not represent the vote of the populous. It hides the actual political sentiment of the population across the nation and can lead to stupid outcomes like Bush II against the popular will.
The way to solve it is easy. Award electoral votes based on the popular vote. To mandate that at the federal level will take a constitutional amendment. That only leaves a voluntary effort on the parts of the various state legislatures.
I do like the Maine and Nebraska schemes. Much closer to the actual sentiment of the population. But, in this political climate, such schemes do not fall in the Republicans favor and will not be done.
We are stuck with this flavor of EC until (as usual with anything good for voting rights in this nation) until the republican’s constant efforts to restrict voting can be thwarted.

Stop Tzar Vladimir the Condemned!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 12:07 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 5:55 PM AZPaul3 has replied

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 8140
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 10 of 118 (903636)
12-14-2022 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Taq
12-14-2022 3:55 PM


Re: State Should Not Determine Power of Vote
He like a lot of GQP supporters are at their core white supremacist. That he thinks Dems will always win a popular election and he thinks that is wrong shows clearly.

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. -Christopher Hitchens

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 3:55 PM Taq has not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 17111
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 11 of 118 (903637)
12-14-2022 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Taq
12-14-2022 3:55 PM


A Rancher vs UCLA Berkley
Wow! Quite an emotional response!!
Taq writes:
It is disturbingly reflected in Phat's own proclamation that we should have voting procedures where only the Republican's preferred candidate wins.
Voting procedures should never favor only one party. If I am a rancher in Wyoming, for example, why must I bow to the demands of a bunch of elitist whiners in Berkley who think that selling steak is cruel to animals, furs should be banned on women, and I should be taxed higher just so a bunch of homeless people can get free food rather than buying the same food that was earlier protested over? (I'm being facetious and employing hyperbole if only to make a point)
AZ Paul sees the wisdom of the electoral college.
Taq writes:
It is rather sad to see a political party that only thinks in terms of power instead of democracy.
I would argue that both political parties think in terms of power.
Exhibit A:
Taq writes:
...instead of democracy.
Pledge Of Allegiance writes:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands...,
So does the electoral college have anything to do with the old debate regarding whether the US is a Republic or a Democracy? Or both? Or neither? (Ray Dalio implied that it was an "Empire")

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 3:55 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 5:28 PM Phat has replied
 Message 16 by AZPaul3, posted 12-14-2022 5:30 PM Phat has replied
 Message 43 by ringo, posted 12-15-2022 12:03 PM Phat has not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 17111
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 12 of 118 (903639)
12-14-2022 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Taq
12-14-2022 1:51 PM


Why do they call it Partisan Politics?
There is that 3rd reason. (Remember our Rancher in Wyoming? How about a small business owner?)
Taq writes:
All of our votes should count the same for an office that applies equally to the whole nation.
Except that one cannot divide the nation by population centers and then apply the vote equally to the whole nation.
Did anyone know that 80% of the population is east of Kansas, 20% is west of Kansas, and of that, 12% is California? Our Rancher is grossly underrepresented.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 1:51 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 5:23 PM Phat has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 9323
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 13 of 118 (903640)
12-14-2022 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
12-14-2022 5:20 PM


Re: Why do they call it Partisan Politics?
Phat writes:
Except that one cannot divide the nation by population centers and then apply the vote equally to the whole nation.
What are you talking about?
Did anyone know that 80% of the population is east of Kansa, 20% is west of Kansa, and of that 12% is California? Our Rancher is grossly underrepresented.
Why should your vote count differently based on your position relative to Kansas?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 5:20 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 5:30 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 9323
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.4


(2)
Message 14 of 118 (903641)
12-14-2022 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Phat
12-14-2022 5:08 PM


Re: A Rancher vs UCLA Berkley
Phat writes:
Voting procedures should never favor only one party. If I am a rancher in Wyoming, for example, why must I bow to the demands of a bunch of elitist whiners in Berkley who think that selling steak is cruel to animals, furs should be banned on women, and I should be taxed higher just so a bunch of homeless people can get free food rather than buying the same food that was earlier protested over?
Why would a popular vote favor Democrats over Republicans?
Now you are asking why we even have a democracy.
I would argue that both political parties think in terms of power.
We have just witnessed a political party that openly discussed throwing democracy away. The leader of the Republican Party suggested that we throw the constitution out so he could be named president. Nowhere do we see Democrats behaving like this. There is no comparison here.
So does the electoral college have anything to do with the old debate regarding whether the US is a Republic or a Democracy? Or both? Or neither?
It does. It has to do with our country starting out as a mixture of slave and non-slave states, and the compromises that had to be struck in order to have a republic of these types of states.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 5:08 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Phat, posted 12-14-2022 5:34 PM Taq has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 17111
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 15 of 118 (903642)
12-14-2022 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Taq
12-14-2022 5:23 PM


Re: Why do they call it Partisan Politics?
Taq writes:
Why should your vote count differently based on your position relative to Kansas?
Because population centers by nature have different interests than farms and ranches. voting should not be steamrolled based on emotional ideology. That is unfair. Unless you propose that the government take his ranch and divvy it up to a bunch of homeless people at taxpayer expense. Without his cattle, the price of meat may go up, though. A strong Democracy (or Republic, take your pick) is not run by the CCP nor should it ever be.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 5:23 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Taq, posted 12-14-2022 6:02 PM Phat has replied
 Message 44 by ringo, posted 12-15-2022 12:14 PM Phat has not replied

  
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