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Tue Dec 20, 2016, 03:44 PM

Bottom Line For The Electoral College

In the end if all the EC can do is ratify the popular vote, it's not needed.

If the EC can overturn the popular vote, it should not be tolerated by any self-respecting free people.

The EC violates what SHOULD be a core democratic principle: one person, one vote... AND ALL VOTES WEIGH THE SAME in terms of representation.

The EC can not be "fixed" by playing with the state allocation formula or even if all states move to a proportional system. In the end ANY system that still includes weighting the votes of citizens differently by the state they choose to live in can lead to a candidate REJECTED by the People being imposed on the nation.

The ONLY morally legitimate method of electing a president is how we conduct every other election in the nation: by the popular vote.


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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 03:46 PM

1. Fine. So get your congresscritters to sponsor an amendment...

Meanwhile. we're stuck with it until they get one through.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 03:57 PM

3. An amendment is not necessary to subsatnially change the way we elect the POYUS

The simplest solution I have seen is a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

It would not require a constitutional amendment. It would not require agreement of all the states but would require agreement of the states with the majority of electoral votes.

The effect of such a compact would make the electoral college largely symbolic and would result in the POTUS being elected through a direct democratic vote.

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 05:23 PM

9. will never happen because EC favors repubs and they know it. nt

 

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 04:07 PM

5. a possible, but drastic option

The EC won't be amended away given the absurd amendment ratification formula where states with less than 4% of the US population can block any reforms.

The only solution I can think of is more drastic

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=8380818

But it's not the topic here.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 04:46 PM

7. Increase the size of the House.

Increasing the size of the House reduces the weighting of the less populous states, and only requires a change to federal law. I didn't come up with the idea, but saw it here in another thread.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 03:55 PM

2. I would have no problem with the EC if it followed/ echoed the popular vote ...

... as a purely symbolic representation. Such as with a National Popular Vote Compact. Agree completely that we need a one person one (equal) vote system.

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 04:04 PM

4. some problems with the compact are

Art 1 says Congress has to approve any interstate compact... and it's unlikely a GOP Congress ever will... not as long as they know the EC has a GOP bias.

As soon as any compact state votes against the way its people did, there will be hell to pay.

The compact is a band-aid over a defective system... and it puts off any debate into making our entire national system more democratic.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 04:31 PM

6. I am not an attorney or a constitutional scholar; however, many legal scholars disagree with you

some agree, but many (perhaps more disagree)

Why the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Survives Constitutional Scrutiny Under the Compact Clause


http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1043&context=lpb

Relegating the EC to a ceremonial role does take care of the issues with the EC; however, it does not address the unequal representation in congress (the house)

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 04:50 PM

8. The only problem with your idea is:

We don't conduct a national election. We have 51 elections, all conducted on the same day.

So, each vote in each election is weighted exactly the same.

There is no difference in weighting if you live in Sacramento or San Diego, or Ventura, or (insert name of a small town in Ca. here.) Each vote in that election is weighted exactly the same.

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Response to Keefer (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 05:25 PM

10. well, the votes sure as heck aren't weighted equally nationwide; that's the problem. nt

 

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Response to TheFrenchRazor (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 06:25 PM

14. Because

we don't conduct a national election.

Elections are run by the states.

Results aren't weighted nationally because of that.

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Response to Keefer (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 10:45 AM

18. do you even know the origin of the EC?

For a while I'd considered Hamilton's arguments in Federalist 68 to be the official rationale for the EC. He talked about it being a safeguard to prevent someone like Trump from becoming president

But after much reflection I think 68 was designed to conceal the reason for creating an antidemocratic method of electing presidents. The real reason can be found in the minutes of the so-called Constitutional Convention. Here's Madison on July 19th 1787. He says the popular vote is best but there's a problem with it...

MADISON: The people at large was in his opinion the fittest in itself. It would be as likely as any that could be devised to produce an Executive Magistrate of distinguished Character. The people generally could only know & vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention & esteem. There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_719.asp

Perhaps you should stop talking about what is... and instead focus on what should be.

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Response to Keefer (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 11:02 AM

19. I don't know if people just don't understand this

 

or just choose to ignore it. The states elect the president and vp.

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Response to Keefer (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 10:27 AM

16. amusing take!

Gee... you're presenting our defective system and the civic inequality it creates as if it was handed down on a slab and needs no reform.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 05:26 PM

11. when you see all the nay-sayers right here on DU, you know why we are f-ed. nt

 

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Response to TheFrenchRazor (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 10:38 AM

17. sad but true

I've always hated the EC but I have to admit that even as a polisci undergrad back in the early 70's I was still somewhat mired in the official Civic Religion that offers a rationale for our system and never critiques it. It wasn't until about 20 years ago when I read a MoJo article called 75 Stars that I really started to look into the math of how our entire system is largely a series of vote weighting/dilution schemes and digging a little bit deeper seeing the absurdity of it all. Then came election 2000.

So what do we, as citizens, do when we have a antidemocratic and virtually reformproof system that has given rise to immense corporate power that threatens to consume that very government.... and this entire mess is further protected by a Civic Religion that even most liberal Dems buy into... that we mere mortals dare not touch what the Framers created?

As a nation, we're in deep shit.



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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 06:10 PM

12. A bit off tangent but on a related note

I believe CO looked into making their electoral votes proportional to the popular vote of the state, but abandoned the idea because it would've greatly diminished their significance under the current system...it would in effect have made only 3 electoral votes up for competition out of the 9 which is the case with winner-take-all.

Aside from the red/right-leaning states which would never go for this, states which are battlegrounds or potentially so would also never be agreeable. Esp a place like tiny NH with their 4 electoral votes, they relish having so much disproportionate importance.

Also, unless ALL states were to do this, if it's largely only blue states, under a proportional system which is probably the best that can be hoped for, it wouldn't be any benefit I can see. The gop presidential candidate would get all the electoral votes from the red states + swing states won, and also a portion from blue states which they lost if they had an allocated electoral vote, giving the gop a huge advantage over the democrat. So at least for proportional electoral state votes, as long as it's not every state--not seeing how this works, let alone how it would be better.

As for a national popular vote interstate compact (NPVIC), as has been pointed out, the major problem with that is it would be VERY politically untenable the moment you had a presidential election where the candidate of a party won the nationwide popular vote, but the states they lost would be up-in-arms, esp if it was by a sizable/huge margin, under such an agreement. I would expect the compact to face all sorts of challenges and fall apart.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 06:14 PM

13. It's not going to be fixed in my lifetime. (I'm 29)

Assuming America is even still around by then. Or has voting.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 09:49 PM

15. sign me up!

If this is something we can get into place by 2020, we have a chance.

Whats the next step?

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