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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 10:09 PM

I think the ElectoralVote system is outdated

Disclaimer: even though Obama appears to be losing the popular vote but winning the Electoral Vote, this is NOT a "troll" thread. I believe that Republicans are trying to steal the votes with Voter Suppression Laws and DRE's, but these issued should be addressed separately. The first step would be addressing the "cash = free speech" fallacy which is the basis of the Citizen's United ruling.

When the Constitution was drafted, the concept of Electoral Votes made absolute sense and was actually a flash of genius! At that time, United States was a loose coalition of individual States (and later along with Territories) that were basically autonomous because of the distances between the various States that could only be traversed at the time by horse mostly over muddy roads.

There was a "discussion" (war) and evolution between the idea of a Strong Central Government and a looser coalition of individual States who had a lot of autonomous power. The idea of Electoral Votes goes back to the idea of a coalition of States. Frankly, when it could takes weeks for representatives to travel to the Central Government, this made perfect sense.

However Abraham Lincoln and that whole Civil War thing changed the basic idea of a coalition of loosely- based States switched to the idea of the coalition being the over-riding power. So, power switched from the individual States to the Central Government.

Perhaps it was a bit premature, because the South is still reeling from the carpetbaggers that migrated to the South to cheat demoralized Southerners. As a Southerner, although there were some mistaken ideas (largely justified by the Church, but as usual the Church only reflected established ideas). But that is basically off-topic except to argue against the whole "South shall rise again" thing.

As I said before, the whole Electoral Vote thing made sense back when information traveled by horseback. But, now information travels across the country at the speed of light. Interstate commerce no longer depends on horses or rivers, and when commerce used to take days, weeks, or months it now takes hours. I have seen several people complaining that they would have to go to bed and wait until the morning to see the Election Results - when it used to take weeks

Of course, this will mean drastic changes in Campaign strategy. Instead of saturating battleground areas with Campaign ads, every candidate will have to follow Howard Deans "50-State Strategy" and focus toward EVERY voter, and not just those in certain States.

But, is that really such a bad idea?

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply I think the ElectoralVote system is outdated (Original post)
NashvilleLefty Oct 2012 OP
Nye Bevan Oct 2012 #1
PoliticAverse Oct 2012 #2
doc03 Oct 2012 #3
qkvhj Oct 2012 #4
progressivebydesign Oct 2012 #5
ChoppinBroccoli Oct 2012 #6

Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 10:17 PM

1. A popular vote system is much more vulnerable to cheating.

With the Electoral College, we do not have to worry about the integrity of the voting machines or the vote count in red states such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Idaho. There is absolutely no way of cheating in these states under the current system to help the Republican candidate. With a popular vote election, however, there would be unlimited scope for electoral shenanigans in these states.

It is good to bear in mind that moving to a system which is more vulnerable to cheating will benefit those with the least integrity the most. And after watching how the Republicans manipulated the Florida vote count in 2000, I would not be thrilled about giving them similar opportunities in all of the rabidly red states.

Having said that, I would be entirely happy with reapportioning each state's electoral votes so that the number of electoral votes each state had was proportional to its population. This would remove the unfair advantage currently enjoyed by the small states.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 10:39 PM

2. There seems to be insufficient political will for the constitutional amendment necessary

to change the current system.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 11:13 PM

3. If Romney loses the election in a scenario like Al Gore in

2000 the Repugs will demand ending the EV.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 11:14 PM

4. still valid thought process

 

If you live in rural America this is still a very valid part of our constitution. It was put in place to prevent the masses in the larger cities from dictating to the country citizens and disqualifying the votes of the sparsely populated states. If you think the red states in fly-over land are going to allow this to change to our constitution you are smoking dope.... and good dope at that.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 11:23 PM

5. PS- the President isn't losing the popular vote. nt

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 11:24 PM

6. I Agree With Howard Dean On This Issue

He said back in 2004 that if you did away with the Electoral College, small States like his home State of Vermont would never get visits from the Presidential candidates. Presidential candidates would completely ignore States with small populations. So for that reason, I think the Electoral College serves a purpose. I would, however, propose that we make some changes that give some sort of advantage to whichever candidate wins the popular vote (I came up with this idea immediately after the 2000 election). I proposed that the winner of the overall popular vote be awarded something like 5 or 10 additional electoral votes (some amount that would give the winner of the popular vote an advantage, but wouldn't be the ultimate decider of the election).

I think a lot of the hand-wringing by the righties over the Electoral College this year (how convenient that they're all worried about it NOW, where they never were before) is pretty silly anyway. There have only been 2 times in HISTORY where the winner of the popular vote lost the Electoral College (and one of them was Al Gore). I think they ought to stick to their strategy of disenfranchising voters, hacking voting machines, and otherwise stealing elections rather than trying to manufacture outrage over a system that has generally worked pretty well over the last 220 years.

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