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  • Why the electoral college sucks



    This graphic (from the Ney York Times) and posted with some commentary here shows you how much your vote counts in the presidential election tomorrow.

    If you live in Wyoming, you're vote is worth the most. Sorry Florida, there is a price for stupidity ;)
    ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
    No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

    <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.


  • #2
    Re: Why the electoral college sucks

    That's not an argument against having the Electoral College. That's an argument against apportioning the Electoral College based on Senate Representation (equal for every state) in addition to Congressional Representation (population based, minimum one).

    Personally I'm happy with both choices remaining the way they are, but just thought I'd clear up what you're complaining about.

    Edit: Incidentally, it just occurred to me the size disparities in the chart have been exaggerated for "improved" effect. The imbalance between biggest and smallest proportionality tops out at about 3.5 to 1, but you could fit the California graphic inside the Wyoming graphic probably 15 or so times. So while there IS a disparity, its not nearly as big as looking at the picture would lead you to believe.

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    • #3
      Re: Why the electoral college sucks

      The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people were merely spectators to the presidential election. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

      Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

      In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.


      The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

      Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

      The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

      The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

      See NationalPopularVote.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why the electoral college sucks

        Just abolish the fricken thing and do it by popular vote. I'd rather represent myself, than have someone who represents the "majority" who I may, or may not, be a part of.
        "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
        Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

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        • #5
          Re: Why the electoral college sucks

          The Electoral College increases the odds of legislative gridlock, thus increasing the checks both on executive and legislative power.

          That is a good thing for us all.
          A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

          "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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          • #6
            Re: Why the electoral college sucks

            Originally posted by mvymvy View Post
            Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.
            That would be...three. A margin of 0.5% in 2000, a margin of 0.8% in 1888, and the bizarre 3% margin in 1876 featuring no less than four states with constitutionally contested results and an electoral margin of one vote, and which was eventually resolved by a political compromise brokered by a bipartisan electoral comission.

            Incidentally, the 2000 elections had contested results in many other states besides Florida, but no one paid much attention to them or bothered to follow up on them extensively since the Florida electoral votes were the only ones which would actually swing the election. Considering how much trouble we had properly counting a few hundred votes in Florida, do you really trust our accuracy in tabulating all 100 million votes nationwide in an equally close election? Do you really want to see a Nation-wide recount after the next contested result? Accusations of fraud and stolen votes fly at both sides all the time, but fraud is MUCH easier to pull off in locations controlled by your own party. Do you want to give solidly one-color states the potential to impact the national popular vote by stealing votes en masse, with no significant enemy party presence in that state to keep an eye on them?

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            • #7
              Re: Why the electoral college sucks

              For those that think the Electoral College Sucks WhiskeySix posted a thread awhile back that talked about the brilliance of it.

              http://www.tacticalgamer.com/sandbox...l-college.html
              Big-eye101: "A true catman post a day keeps the bad mood away"

              Please do not take any posts made by Catman seriously. If you begin to take his posts seriously, please seek psychiatric attention.

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              • #8
                Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                So. Even though Gore had the popular vote, we got the Smirking Chimp instead. All thanks to the EC.

                So. Despite how it works, systematically, it still overrode the majority will of the People.

                Edit: I read the post, and though it does make sense, it still nags at me. We live in a modern society. This is 2008, almost 2009. In modern society, there aren't "regional barriers" anymore and there are less and less pockets of people who all vote the same. Information is out there and freely available (and thrown in our faces).
                "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
                Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                  Gore only won the popular vote because no one was trying to win it. Both campaigns put all of their resources into the EC, and Gore lost. If they were going for the popular vote, maybe Bush would have won the popular vote.

                  Moving the goalposts after the kick is a great way to make the loser look good.
                  A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                  "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                    Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                    Gore only won the popular vote because no one was trying to win it. Both campaigns put all of their resources into the EC, and Gore lost. If they were going for the popular vote, maybe Bush would have won the popular vote.

                    Moving the goalposts after the kick is a great way to make the loser look good.
                    Nevermind the lowest approval rating, down the road, of any president since. Well, ever.

                    I'm just going to hide under my bed tomorrow, after I cast my vote. Every four years is just an exercise in extreme stress for nearly the entire year.
                    "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
                    Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                      You know Bush has an approval rating three times higher than our Congress, right? >.>

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                        Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                        You know Bush has an approval rating three times higher than our Congress, right? >.>
                        Those that only follow the mainstream media would not know that, no. Those of us that diversify our information gathering realize that there's LOTS of things that most of the people voting don't realize is going on under our noses.
                        |TG-55| Infantry Division - Former Captain


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                          Read James Madison's Federalist No. 10 for reasons why the framers rejected a pure democracy. It's mentioned in the fantastic article in WiskeySix's post linked above in Catman's post.


                          PR Testing Team: Serious Business.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why the electoral college sucks

                            http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm
                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._10
                            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                            Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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