Author Topic: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?  (Read 3121 times)

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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2012, 02:25:44 PM »

Offline wdleehi

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The fixes needed is how to speed up the confirmation for the states. 


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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2012, 03:06:58 PM »

Offline Interceptor

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If that means all states going to the Maine / Nebraska system, I'm on board. 

I have no idea which party that would help / hurt more.  However, I think it's the fairest solution.
I don't know who would benefit either, but it would be nice for my POTUS vote to actually count for something in Massachusetts. The only reason I'm even going to the polls is for Brown/Warren.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 03:11:14 PM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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Electoral College is fine, but winner-take-all needs to go. Nothing wrong with distribution of EC votes being proportional.

If that means all states going to the Maine / Nebraska system, I'm on board. 

I have no idea which party that would help / hurt more.  However, I think it's the fairest solution.

Wouldn't this make gerrymandering an even bigger problem? 

If we can eliminate that issue I'd be ok with it.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2012, 03:12:55 PM »

Offline Fafnir

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Electoral College is fine, but winner-take-all needs to go. Nothing wrong with distribution of EC votes being proportional.

If that means all states going to the Maine / Nebraska system, I'm on board. 

I have no idea which party that would help / hurt more.  However, I think it's the fairest solution.
Republicans as they controlled more state legislatures during the last two census redistricting.

If the electoral college goes it should be to a true national popular vote. Gerrymandering effects our government enough, it shouldn't determine the presidental election too.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2012, 03:25:59 PM »

Offline BballTim

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Electoral College is fine, but winner-take-all needs to go. Nothing wrong with distribution of EC votes being proportional.

If that means all states going to the Maine / Nebraska system, I'm on board. 

I have no idea which party that would help / hurt more.  However, I think it's the fairest solution.

Wouldn't this make gerrymandering an even bigger problem? 

If we can eliminate that issue I'd be ok with it.

  I agree that gerrymandering is too much of a problem to implement this.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2012, 03:27:29 PM »

Offline Interceptor

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Wouldn't this make gerrymandering an even bigger problem? 

If we can eliminate that issue I'd be ok with it.
Not necessarily... there is no 1:1 mapping with congressional districts here, because each state will have +2 electoral votes over that because of the Senate allocation.

The way Maine does it, is divide into districts and then award the +2 to the winner of the popular vote. This seems alright to me, though susceptible to gerrymandering of course. I'd personally just run a straight popular vote -- IRV if necessary to get it down to two candidates -- and apportion the EC votes that way.

The districting thing is a valid concern, but I mean, let's be honest, it sucks to be a Republican in Massachusetts or a Democrat in Texas when it comes to the POTUS vote.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2012, 03:31:30 PM »

Offline action781

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Cons of popular vote:  ?

Marginalizes rural areas and states not named New York City, Chicago, Miami, LA, Philadelphia, Houston, etc..

Population density will dominate candidate's attentions.

That sounds like a better spread that we have now, with Ohio and FL accounting for just 10% of the US population.

That's how I feel...

When one says "marginalize rural areas", I feel like if only 5% of our population lives in rural areas (random % I'm throwing out there), then shouldn't candidates only spend 5% of their time campaigning there?  Otherwise, they are being overrepresented in my opinion.

Just because a group of 500,000 people in the rural areas are 50-50 split in politics doesn't make it seem right that they are paid more attention to than a group of 5,000,000 people who are 70-30 split.
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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2012, 03:45:48 PM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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The way Maine does it, is divide into districts and then award the +2 to the winner of the popular vote. This seems alright to me, though susceptible to gerrymandering of course. I'd personally just run a straight popular vote -- IRV if necessary to get it down to two candidates -- and apportion the EC votes that way.


Gerrymandering becomes a much bigger issue with more populous states - Maine has 2/4 EVs pegged to district, and Nebraska 3/5.  Texas would have 36/38; California 53/55.  Those extra 2 EVs aren't as meaningful when they're less than 10% of the state's total. 

I realize this isn't exactly what you're proposing but that's why I see the EV per district route as a bad one.

Quote
The districting thing is a valid concern, but I mean, let's be honest, it sucks to be a Republican in Massachusetts or a Democrat in Texas when it comes to the POTUS vote.

Agreed, but there are lots of people living in deep red/blue Congressional districts too.  It's a similar problem at a different level of granularity.

Plus, I think one of the best arguments for the current EC is that it provides an incentive for states to be more bipartisan.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2012, 03:47:49 PM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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BTW, here's a good argument against national popular vote - can you imagine a close election where instead of a recount in one or two swing states, we have to recount the ENTIRE COUNTRY?  Florida 2000 nation-wide, y'all!

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2012, 03:56:12 PM »

Offline Fafnir

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BTW, here's a good argument against national popular vote - can you imagine a close election where instead of a recount in one or two swing states, we have to recount the ENTIRE COUNTRY?  Florida 2000 nation-wide, y'all!
The odds of it are a lot lower than a single state.

The ideal way to approach it would be a national overhaul of election practices along with reforming the electoral college. If you're making the election truly national popular vote you make the system national too.

Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2012, 04:06:54 PM »

Offline action781

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Plus, I think one of the best arguments for the current EC is that it provides an incentive for states to be more bipartisan.
I don't like this.  If MA residents have well thought out their individual political beliefs and 70% of their beliefs align more closely with the D party, I don't see why they should have to feel incentive...ized to vote against their beliefs.  MA is just an example there, but this goes for any state that has a large majority of individuals who happen to have similar political beliefs.
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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2012, 04:43:47 PM »

Offline Moranis

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The way Maine does it, is divide into districts and then award the +2 to the winner of the popular vote. This seems alright to me, though susceptible to gerrymandering of course. I'd personally just run a straight popular vote -- IRV if necessary to get it down to two candidates -- and apportion the EC votes that way.


Gerrymandering becomes a much bigger issue with more populous states - Maine has 2/4 EVs pegged to district, and Nebraska 3/5.  Texas would have 36/38; California 53/55.  Those extra 2 EVs aren't as meaningful when they're less than 10% of the state's total. 

I realize this isn't exactly what you're proposing but that's why I see the EV per district route as a bad one.

Quote
The districting thing is a valid concern, but I mean, let's be honest, it sucks to be a Republican in Massachusetts or a Democrat in Texas when it comes to the POTUS vote.

Agreed, but there are lots of people living in deep red/blue Congressional districts too.  It's a similar problem at a different level of granularity.

Plus, I think one of the best arguments for the current EC is that it provides an incentive for states to be more bipartisan.
You are ruling out a much better system because of a minor easily fixable problem (gerrymandering).  There is no reason to eliminate what would be a much better system because politicians are stupid, you just fix the gerrymandering problem and your concerns are alleviated.

The best solution is absolutely the one in which the electoral votes are not a winner take all for the state.  I believe it should be based on the House Districts and then the winner of the popular vote gets the two extra Senate votes.  That would create a much better vote on the hole and could in theory create a system much closer to the one envisioned by the founders.  It would also allow 3rd party candidates to actually have a say in the election.  For example, a very popular local politician might actually be able to get some electoral votes, which in a race like this one that is really this close might actually be worth something (thus that politician might be able to get something for the people that voted for him/her). 

It would also mean that a Democrat might actually go to the state of Alabama and campaign because said candidate might actually be able to win some electoral votes in places like Montgomery or Birmingham.  Similarly, a Republican could get some votes in certain districts in California and thus said candidate would actually benefit from campaigning in the state.
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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2012, 04:45:21 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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I have no qualms with the current system.

No, it's fine as is.

  Agreed.

Yes.

There are lots of nuance to what the electoral college does, that are often missed. Google can be your friend if you are interested.
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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2012, 05:27:04 PM »

Offline LooseCannon

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One thing that would decrease the effect of gerrymandering would be to increase the number of seats in the House.
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Re: Is it time to scrap the Electoral College?
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2012, 05:28:56 PM »

Offline BballTim

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The way Maine does it, is divide into districts and then award the +2 to the winner of the popular vote. This seems alright to me, though susceptible to gerrymandering of course. I'd personally just run a straight popular vote -- IRV if necessary to get it down to two candidates -- and apportion the EC votes that way.


Gerrymandering becomes a much bigger issue with more populous states - Maine has 2/4 EVs pegged to district, and Nebraska 3/5.  Texas would have 36/38; California 53/55.  Those extra 2 EVs aren't as meaningful when they're less than 10% of the state's total. 

I realize this isn't exactly what you're proposing but that's why I see the EV per district route as a bad one.

Quote
The districting thing is a valid concern, but I mean, let's be honest, it sucks to be a Republican in Massachusetts or a Democrat in Texas when it comes to the POTUS vote.

Agreed, but there are lots of people living in deep red/blue Congressional districts too.  It's a similar problem at a different level of granularity.

Plus, I think one of the best arguments for the current EC is that it provides an incentive for states to be more bipartisan.
You are ruling out a much better system because of a minor easily fixable problem (gerrymandering).  There is no reason to eliminate what would be a much better system because politicians are stupid, you just fix the gerrymandering problem and your concerns are alleviated.

The best solution is absolutely the one in which the electoral votes are not a winner take all for the state.  I believe it should be based on the House Districts and then the winner of the popular vote gets the two extra Senate votes.

  So what happens when congressional districts are re-drawn? Nobody's going to complain when districts that will favor one presidential candidate are created?

 

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