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  • Delegates in Presidential Election

    This is more of a question than anything. I'm trying to get into politics and I've always wondered about this subject.

    As far as i know, delegates basically vote for us and make our vote "count" in smaller states. Some 10,000 (could be less) people think for the U.S. population. If this is true, it is complete nonsense. The way i see it, the U.S. population should vote for the U.S. population, not some hand selected group of people. Is there any purpose for this group of people other than that mentioned above? If not, it seems like a ploy to corrupt elections and win positions that haven't been earned. My point is, what is the purpose of this group of people? Try and be gentle =P


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  • #2
    Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

    You outlined the purpose of those people in your basic understanding. Delegates work the same way that the electoral college works during the actual election. The problem is that the drawn lines are fairly old and dont accurately represent the populous anymore, which is why we can have things like Gore winning the popular vote (which is the sum total of votes by american citizens) and Bush winning the electoral college (the people selected to represent areas of voting population). IMO, the system could be fixed by redrawing the lines in accordance with population and projected growth analysis. Unfortunately, thats a very expensive proposition as far as the government is concerned.

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    • #3
      Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

      Also, representative democracy is in theory simpler than most, though less democratic. But, I think the US style of choosing candidates is nuts. Why decide on who you're going to decide on later? Just let people vote for whomever they want, one person with one vote, add it up, whoever has the most votes wins.

      If anyone wants to clear up for me why they have such a muddled system, please do. :D
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      • #4
        Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

        Easy brain: because the system was devised in a time when the US didnt have 300 million possible votes to tally and communication was substantially more difficult across widespread areas. I seem to recall a certain chicago newspaper printing "Dewey Wins!" as a result of this communication difficulty.

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        • #5
          Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

          exactly. the delegates within the party convention came from the old days, just like the e-college mentioned above choose the president. An easier way to elect across a large country during horseback era.

          The conventions for the parties serve as a way of filtering out unlikely winners, think about the CA gov. race a few years back, i think upwards of 200 ppl were on the ballot??

          So narrowing down the playing field before main election isn't so bad, but I do believe in this day and age, all federal elections should simply be popular vote.
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          • #6
            Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

            It's not just because of technology, it's also a matter of states' rights. Our government was designed to be decentralized. Each state has their own government and is able, to a certain extent, to determine how they want to designate electors.
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            • #7
              Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

              Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
              It's not just because of technology, it's also a matter of states' rights. Our government was designed to be decentralized. Each state has their own government and is able, to a certain extent, to determine how they want to designate electors.
              was the fed's blackmailing states with highway funds to get them to "fall in line" (ie seatbelt laws) part of that? lol *had to ask lol*
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              • #8
                Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                Imagine the world 150-200 years ago. Going 20 miles could easily take a day. What they called roads we call cow paths.

                If you think voter ignorance is rampant today, just think how bad it was back then. Many people couldn't read. And they worked from sun up to sun down just to survive. Ordinary voters did not have the capacity to be informed about the party nominations. Plus there where many that couldn't vote. Women, certain white men, different races.

                A delegate (or a member of the electoral college) actually made much sense back then. This person could be a well known member of the community and he (had to be a man) could take into account all the non-voter wishes as well. There was a History Channel show I watched and it claimed that often those that voted for the delegate didn't even know the candidates name.

                And as Cing pointed out it gave the states some power in deciding who would be in the federal government. If they didn't like who their citizens where putting into office they could change the rules to control it.

                Today delegates and the electoral college don't make as much sense. But tradition has a way of hanging on like a bad smell. I think the parties and states really should start making some major changes.
                Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
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                • #9
                  Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                  Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                  The problem is that the drawn lines are fairly old and dont accurately represent the populous anymore, which is why we can have things like Gore winning the popular vote (which is the sum total of votes by american citizens) and Bush winning the electoral college (the people selected to represent areas of voting population).
                  You know those lines are redrawn every 10 years during the Census, right? The last Census was in 2000, and took effect for the next election (2002).

                  (In case you're wondering, if the census results had been applied before the 2000 election instead of after, Bush still would have won.)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                    Originally posted by brain21 View Post
                    Also, representative democracy is in theory simpler than most, though less democratic. But, I think the US style of choosing candidates is nuts. Why decide on who you're going to decide on later? Just let people vote for whomever they want, one person with one vote, add it up, whoever has the most votes wins.

                    If anyone wants to clear up for me why they have such a muddled system, please do. :D
                    You've misunderstood the function of the primary. People absolutely are allowed to vote for anyone in the general election. The "deciding who to decide on" isn't part of the election, it's just a private system set up by the individual parties to decide who they're going to throw their money behind in the general election. There'd be no point in even having the Democrats, Republicans, etc. if they couldn't also provide resources to help an individual candidate get elected...and how are they supposed to choose who to spend their donors' money on if they don't conduct a primary election of some sort?

                    This way, the major parties find "viable" candidates who can show that they're capable of mounting a competitive campaign in the general election. If they win, then they get the resources the party has built over the years.

                    Incidentally, this is also an example of why the electoral college was used. It's MUCH easier to prove yourself popular in your own back yard. But the college guarantees that a candidate has to try and gain the support of the majority of the states, so he can't just win by making big promises to one or two places and discounting the rest.

                    Federalist No. 68:

                    Originally posted by Hamilton
                    All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention; which is, that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors, equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government, who shall assemble within the State, and vote for some fit person as President. Their votes, thus given, are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government, and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President.

                    The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.
                    ---
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                    • #11
                      Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                      Agreed, system is old and outdated... Needs to be redone, would just take quite a bit of concentration and probably be best to do in a time of peace when the economy is good,

                      Could happen with any future president though, would just take a lot of time and probably money,
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                      • #12
                        Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                        Originally posted by brain21 View Post
                        Also, representative democracy is in theory simpler than most, though less democratic. But, I think the US style of choosing candidates is nuts. Why decide on who you're going to decide on later? Just let people vote for whomever they want, one person with one vote, add it up, whoever has the most votes wins.

                        If anyone wants to clear up for me why they have such a muddled system, please do. :D
                        Because more vote on American Idol than our actual elections. THAT'S WHY. Hopefully this election changes that. :D

                        Until America stops disappointing itself, it doesn't get direct democracy.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                          I think we need a supercomputer to randomly select some joe from the population every 8 years to serve as president. It'd be just like jury duty...but you'd get bodyguards too!
                          | | |

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                          • #14
                            Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                            I find it amusing that people claim the primary system is "old and outdated" when it was just retooled 25 years ago.

                            Go back thirty, forty years and the election portion of the primary didn't really count for much of anything.

                            The primary elections are simply the methodology with which the parties have decided to choose their candidates. The Democrats and Republicans could use a coin flip or chess tournament if they so desired.
                            Last edited by Nikolas; 06-08-2008, 12:08 PM.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Delegates in Presidential Election

                              Originally posted by Atomic Dog View Post
                              I think we need a supercomputer to randomly select some joe from the population every 8 years to serve as president. It'd be just like jury duty...but you'd get bodyguards too!
                              Agreed.
                              Originally posted by Dennis the peasant
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