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Tue Mar 29, 2016, 09:20 PM

Isn't the first step to election reform defining the purpose of elections?


Back in 1776 a document set forth a simple test of the moral legitimacy of government: that it based on the consent of the governed. If we subscribe to such a standard, then the purpose of elections is the yardstick to measure that consent.

But what of an electoral system that is incapable of accurately measuring that consent because doesn't offer all citizens choices to vote their conscience and get representation, doesn't encourage maximum turnout, weighs votes differently, or where up to half of the votes count for nothing? Can such a system ever produce morally legitimate government?

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Reply Isn't the first step to election reform defining the purpose of elections? (Original post)
eniwetok Mar 2016 OP
Wilms Mar 2016 #1
eniwetok Mar 2016 #2
eniwetok Mar 2016 #3
clarkkentvotes Sep 2016 #4

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 10:18 PM

1. That's a reasonable question.

 

I think there are Constitutional arguments made about the lack of transparency of the voting machinery.

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Response to Wilms (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 11:40 PM

2. Sure...

We live in a rather schizophrenic system where the voting rights of citizens differs depending on whether we're talking about state or federal elections. On the state level the Supreme Court has found that there must be one person, one vote... but all votes must weigh the same. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/377/533.html

But in our federal system this right disappears and the weight of any citizen's vote depends on their choice of state residence. So in our system we can have

100% voter turnout

100% vote count accuracy

100% public financing of elections and

the vote of any citizen in WY for Senator will still have 70x the weight as the vote of any citizen in CA resulting in states with a mere 18% of the US population getting 52% of the seats in the Senate... and...

the vote of any citizen in WY for president will still have 3.5x the weight as the vote of any citizen in CA... resulting in candidates rejected by the People being imposed on the nation as president... and...

states with a mere 4% of the US population can block any amendment... yet states with 40% can ratify one... I could go on.

All the above makes sense if we buy into the idea that states deserve representation. But we know no state can actually vote... it's merely the people who live there. This antidemocratic principle WITHIN states was outlawed in a key voting rights case Sims v Reynold http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/377/533.html

In the US we've never really defined democratic principles for either the electoral or political system so we can implement these simple concepts that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed and that each vote weighs the same. We know pushing for real democratic reforms in the electoral and political systems will never come from the GOP.

Where are the Dems?


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Response to eniwetok (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:23 AM

3. election 2000

Last edited Wed Mar 30, 2016, 01:07 PM - Edit history (1)

the vote of any citizen in WY for president will still have 3.5x the weight as the vote of any citizen in CA... resulting in candidates rejected by the People being imposed on the nation as president...


The fact that SCOTUS acted despicably during election 2000 diverts attention from another aspect of our electoral system.

SCOTUS let the EC do its dirty work and this highlights the absurdity of our system. So even if SCOTUS didn't get involved... in determining the outcome, the vote of any citizen in Bush's FL lead weighed 1000x that of any citizen in Gore's national lead.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 11:06 PM

4. heres some questions to think about

I dont know how old you are - but I am about 40 - if you asked me on a myriad of issues what I think now compared to 20 years ago some would be the same and some not the same -

If you asked most people how they would feel about attacking Iraq after right 9/11 compared to 10 years later - I was against from the get go but many acted on impulse

we have a senate who is elected every 6 years so not to have to be as political and the same with the supreme court - we should have direct elections for president

the House is the emergency break per se - it is important that it be elected every 2 years in case we realize we made a big mistake and need to fix it quickly

some things that would help moving forward : more sunset clauses to laws - and similarly - making laws need to be relected on in a year after the hype wears off

Now a days most states have initiative referendums - I think we also need score voting and public controlled debates that let everyone in who is on the ballot -

how you play the game is whether you win or lose - kind like the map is the destination, or the journey is -

people want a fair game otherwise what is the point in playing

sorry for grammer

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