HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Only thing worse than The...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:30 PM

Only thing worse than The Electoral College are right-wing halfway measures to change it. [View all]

The Electoral College has multiple problems:

1) voters are not equally counted. the largest states, each voter has about 20% less power than the voter in a small state and in the smaller group of states, each voter has about 20% more power. for a national office in a system with a president, every voter should have equal influence.

2) the Electors themselves are in many states not bound to the state's voters. unfaithful electors can legally vote any way they want in about half our states. it's kind of ridiculous.

3) ties. the probability of a tie is fairly high, far higher than would be the case if it were based on the popular vote --the problem with a tie is how the tie is settled --a ridiculously unrepresentative 1 vote per state based on the composition of one's congressional delegation.

4) the popular vote winner doesn't necessarily win.

All that said, you'd think I'd appreciate any kind of proportional alteration of the Electoral College --but I don't.
I'm against the Electoral College because I don't think it's fair, democratic, doesn't have safeguards to prevent Presidential selections being completely out of left field and undemocratic.

But to fix it, you need to amend the constitution to rid ourselves of this and set up a new system.

Short of that, there are proposals that don't require changing the constitution, but these are risky.

1) Electoral votes based on congressional districts. This only eliminates the "winner take all" aspect of the Electoral College and doesn't eliminate the unfairness, the lack of binding of electors to State choices.

And there are NEW downsides, the main one being that it's likely to make the Electoral College EVEN MORE unrepresentative because if you base it on congressional districts which are gerrymandered in most states, carefully drawn districts could award a strong majority Democratic vote to Republicans simply because the districts have been drawn to elect Republicans.

2) Conditional State to state pledges (by some, not all states) to award Electoral votes one way or another. the primary problem here is that you still have an unfair system and based on some states agreeing to award their votes popularly, you end up overrepresenting the states that refuse to join these pacts and then underrepresenting states that do join these pacts by removing those states "winner take all". In addition. instead of addressing the fairness aspect, it sets up a confusing system where candidates and voters can't know for sure the outcome of a certain vote because with some states some rules of counting would apply and for others the current Electoral Counting and rules would apply.

This does almost no good and seems to add new problems to our current system.


Just repeal it by constitutional amendment, and though that's hard (but it's not impossible). Most proposals to tweak the current system end up keeping some of its distasteful aspects and often makes those worse.

Furthermore, to those that say it will never change because states with power won't give up power to other states? Not necessarily. For example, women's suffrage was passed and that weakened male hegemony in voting.

A final warning:

Some of the ideas to change the Electoral College to a hybrid system (instead of pure popular vote) are merely right wing attempts to make the system more favorable to Republicans. The Republicans are at a disadvantage in the current system and a popular vote scenario. Their only advantage is to tweak the current system's unfairnesses to make it even more unrepresentative so that their lack of voting power has a better chance of netting them a Presidential victory.

Don't be fooled. Be skeptical of any proposal to modify the Electoral College in some weird way. The only alternative you can safely consider is the popular vote option and that's mostly because it is fair to individual voters and individuals need not be geniuses or constitutional experts to understand how it works.

Stay tuned.

71 replies, 3684 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 71 replies Author Time Post
Reply Only thing worse than The Electoral College are right-wing halfway measures to change it. [View all]
CreekDog Nov 2012 OP
graham4anything Nov 2012 #1
SoutherDem Nov 2012 #3
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #7
graham4anything Nov 2012 #8
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #9
graham4anything Nov 2012 #10
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #11
graham4anything Nov 2012 #12
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #13
graham4anything Nov 2012 #14
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #18
kelliekat44 Nov 2012 #2
SoutherDem Nov 2012 #4
moondust Nov 2012 #5
CreekDog Nov 2012 #6
hughee99 Nov 2012 #23
moondust Nov 2012 #31
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #42
moondust Nov 2012 #43
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #44
moondust Nov 2012 #45
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #46
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #35
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #38
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #62
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #65
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #66
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #67
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #68
grantcart Nov 2012 #15
CreekDog Nov 2012 #16
grantcart Nov 2012 #19
CreekDog Nov 2012 #20
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #24
CreekDog Nov 2012 #28
JVS Nov 2012 #55
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #17
CreekDog Nov 2012 #21
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #25
CreekDog Nov 2012 #26
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #27
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #29
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #30
slackmaster Nov 2012 #22
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #32
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #33
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #36
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #37
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #50
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #54
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #56
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #58
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #59
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #60
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #61
KharmaTrain Nov 2012 #34
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #39
CreekDog Nov 2012 #40
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #41
CreekDog Nov 2012 #47
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #49
CreekDog Nov 2012 #71
cherokeeprogressive Nov 2012 #48
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #53
cherokeeprogressive Nov 2012 #63
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #64
JVS Nov 2012 #70
WCGreen Nov 2012 #51
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #57
HooptieWagon Nov 2012 #52
markpkessinger Nov 2012 #69