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Old 03-22-2019, 06:37 PM
jessemoore97 jessemoore97 is offline
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Default Electoral College

I see it getting talked about a lot recently. Yea or nay? Why?
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:16 PM
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Keep the Electoral College because popular vote is not what is intended by our union. The states were willing to give up some rights to join the U.S., but giving up their proportional say as to who is president of the union is not one of them. The states joined on a limited basis and this is one of those limits. If a state wants to give up wholesale electors, that's fine, but I'll tell you that the conservative states aren't going to do that for a variety of reasons which means, you're just giving conservatives more votes if you're a liberal state.

In reality, this entire argument is just sour grapes from people who live in New York and California. They think they get to dictate what the entire country does based on the mobs that overcrowd their cities and have been indoctrinated into their bullsh*t socialist culture.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:50 PM
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Electoral college only gets talked about after the Democrats lose the White House

If you eliminate the electoral college, then LA, New York, Miami, and Chicago would determine the representation of the ENTIRE country. It doesn’t even pass the common sense test.

But Trump didn’t do anything to collude with Russia so now the demoncrats have to find a new angle
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:43 PM
BAgate BAgate is offline
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Default get rid of it

Historically, the point of the electoral college was to allow southern states to gain the representation of 3/5 of their slaves without having to let them vote. So what is the point now?

Supporting the electoral college is to say that you don't like democracy. The fact that in 2 of the last 5 elections the person who got the most votes lost is a travesty.

It also makes most of the country irrelevant. How much do candidates campaign in Alabama or California? If you don't live in a swing state then you really don't matter to the politicians. Is that a good thing?

And this isn't a conservative/liberal thing. Political winds move in cycles, and 50 or so years ago it was the republicans who were getting screwed by the electoral college.

As to the big cities controlling everything, if they have the population, shouldn't they? Isn't that sort of how democracy is supposed to work, with majority rules? If you don't like what they choose, make the argument and change their minds, don't hide behind a set of rules that simply diminishes the importance of their vote.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BAgate View Post
Historically, the point of the electoral college was to allow southern states to gain the representation of 3/5 of their slaves without having to let them vote. So what is the point now?

Supporting the electoral college is to say that you don't like democracy. The fact that in 2 of the last 5 elections the person who got the most votes lost is a travesty.

It also makes most of the country irrelevant. How much do candidates campaign in Alabama or California? If you don't live in a swing state then you really don't matter to the politicians. Is that a good thing?

And this isn't a conservative/liberal thing. Political winds move in cycles, and 50 or so years ago it was the republicans who were getting screwed by the electoral college.

As to the big cities controlling everything, if they have the population, shouldn't they? Isn't that sort of how democracy is supposed to work, with majority rules? If you don't like what they choose, make the argument and change their minds, don't hide behind a set of rules that simply diminishes the importance of their vote.
What is your thought about the Senate? Should New York, Texas, Florida, and California have more than two Senators?

Also, how have pure democracies done over time? The current structure of both Congress and the Electoral College creates a check and balance system in which opposing view points have a chance of being heard versus a simple majority rules situation.

Another item to consider is the question is whether or not gerrymandered districts be allowed if a majority of people in a state think that they should be OK? Should a majority of people be able to vote to disenfranchise a minority since "majority should rule"?

Last edited by jbrown_9999; 03-22-2019 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 03-23-2019, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BAgate View Post
Historically, the point of the electoral college was to allow southern states to gain the representation of 3/5 of their slaves without having to let them vote. So what is the point now?

Supporting the electoral college is to say that you don't like democracy. The fact that in 2 of the last 5 elections the person who got the most votes lost is a travesty.

It also makes most of the country irrelevant. How much do candidates campaign in Alabama or California? If you don't live in a swing state then you really don't matter to the politicians. Is that a good thing?

And this isn't a conservative/liberal thing. Political winds move in cycles, and 50 or so years ago it was the republicans who were getting screwed by the electoral college.

As to the big cities controlling everything, if they have the population, shouldn't they? Isn't that sort of how democracy is supposed to work, with majority rules? If you don't like what they choose, make the argument and change their minds, don't hide behind a set of rules that simply diminishes the importance of their vote.
We’re a Republic, not a Democracy. That’s middle school civics fundamentals... No the population of a couple echo chambers shouldn’t control. There is a lot more to consider in this country than the urban issues of a few cities on the coasts. You have rust belt, bible belt, rural, tourist, etc. You. REALLY weren’t listening in 7th or 8th grade huh? That or your teachers failed you.
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:06 PM
jessemoore97 jessemoore97 is offline
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Originally Posted by irishwavend View Post
Weíre a Republic, not a Democracy. Thatís middle school civics fundamentals... No the population of a couple echo chambers shouldnít control. There is a lot more to consider in this country than the urban issues of a few cities on the coasts. You have rust belt, bible belt, rural, tourist, etc. You. REALLY werenít listening in 7th or 8th grade huh? That or your teachers failed you.
Correct we are not a democracy, we are a republic. Mob rule is not an effctive way to govern a society. Large urban populations are pretty ignorant of matters rural communities face, and will assuredly place their(urban) wants and needs above all others when it comes to laws, spending, and influence.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BAgate View Post
Historically, the point of the electoral college was to allow southern states to gain the representation of 3/5 of their slaves without having to let them vote. So what is the point now?
wrong, it was made so states have equal representation. Ironically, California always benefited greatly from the EC, now they want it gone...

Quote:
Supporting the electoral college is to say that you don't like democracy.
We are a democratic republic, not a true democracy... we never were and never will be.

Quote:
It also makes most of the country irrelevant.
Its actually the exact opposite. A state like Idaho is equal to that of California.

Quote:
And this isn't a conservative/liberal thing.
Right now, only democrats are talking about removing the EC and not one single republican...

Quote:
As to the big cities controlling everything, if they have the population, shouldn't they? Isn't that sort of how democracy is supposed to work, with majority rules? If you don't like what they choose, make the argument and change their minds, don't hide behind a set of rules that simply diminishes the importance of their vote.
No, they shouldnt control everything, again, this is not a democracy. The people in the midwest and south are different than the big cities on the coast and they deserve equal representation.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:24 PM
BAgate BAgate is offline
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First, lets try to limit insults/personal attacks and have a civil discussion.

I am aware we are a republic, but what does that have to do with anything? Being a republic does not mean that certain people should be overrepresented and others underrepresented. It means that those who actually vote represent others, presumably an equal number of others.

Personally, I don't like the Senate's composition, but there's nothing we can do about it. That compromise can't be changed by amendment (one of only two things that can't) so it would require starting from scratch to change it. It made sense when states were considered the primary sovereigns (the EU model) but since the civil war americans have generally seen the country as the primary sovereign and so the compromise is outdated.

And I am aware there are other concerns beyond those of those who live in cities, but there is a difference in having those other concerns be heard and making them dominant. Areas with less population (rural, bible belt, midwest, wherever else you said) have representation in both the Senate and House. Why should they also get favoritism in terms of who holds the white house? And JessieMoore, so if those in urban areas can't understand rural needs how can rural people understand urban needs? At some point you either have to split the country or hope those in power consider the needs of everyone. Ask South Africa how letting a minority rule a majority worked out for them.

So far all of the arguments advanced in favor of the electoral college have been in terms of giving power to a minority at the expense of the majority. I understand that many here disagree with the policies favored by the majority, but think about if your argument is sustainable. Blacks are a minority who have different views and interests from whites. So should we change the electoral system to favor them? What about other minorities? And what is the point of voting when the person who gets fewer votes wins?

I guess I just think that smaller groups should be represented in congress but the President should represent the majority.

Last edited by BAgate; 03-23-2019 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:39 PM
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wrong, it was made so states have equal representation. Ironically, California always benefited greatly from the EC, now they want it gone...
Actually, california wasn't a state when it was created, so what are you talking about


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Originally Posted by NDhoosier View Post
We are a democratic republic, not a true democracy... we never were and never will be.
So what? Does that mean some people matter more than others? What happened to the idea of one person one vote? Having elected representatives instead of direct voting has nothing to do with how much power each vote is supposed to have.


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Originally Posted by NDhoosier View Post
Its actually the exact opposite. A state like Idaho is equal to that of California.
Really? How much time do presidential candidates spend campaigning in either? Everyone knows Idaho votes R and California votes D so why would anyone bother spending resources there?
And why should they be equal? If California has 10 times the population or whatever it does shouldn't it count more?


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Originally Posted by NDhoosier View Post
Right now, only democrats are talking about removing the EC and not one single republican...
Yes, republicans are in the minority so many want to hold on to power however they can. You only hear democrats talking about voter suppression issues too, does that mean that isn't an issue? It doesn't matter who is talking about it, it matters whether those who are have a good argument.


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No, they shouldnt control everything, again, this is not a democracy. The people in the midwest and south are different than the big cities on the coast and they deserve equal representation.
So you are advocating for representation by region instead of by population? Do you really think that will work long term? Remember, we are not talking about equal representation, we are talking about unequal representation. Why should a person who lives in the south have their vote matter more just because of where they live?
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:29 PM
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Correct we are not a democracy, we are a republic. Mob rule is not an effctive way to govern a society. Large urban populations are pretty ignorant of matters rural communities face, and will assuredly place their(urban) wants and needs above all others when it comes to laws, spending, and influence.
Why did you start this thread? It sounds like you already have a bias...
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:20 PM
Kelly Gruene Kelly Gruene is offline
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Here's a really interesting article about the how's and why's of the electoral college: https://www.americanheritage.com/ele...-were-stuck-it

The article includes discussion about some of the proposed alternatives. While it's a little lengthy, it is worth a read.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:28 AM
jessemoore97 jessemoore97 is offline
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Why did you start this thread? It sounds like you already have a bias...
Because it's newsworthy. However unlikely the EC is going away anytime soon, there is a movement going on. There are states trying to make it so their EC votes go to the winner of the popular election. It's dead around here during the off season and I enjoy discussing newsworthy items.

Yes I do have a bias, I'm for the EC and the framework our founders placed around our system of government and how our elected officials are decided.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:04 AM
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First, lets try to limit insults/personal attacks and have a civil discussion.

I am aware we are a republic, but what does that have to do with anything? Being a republic does not mean that certain people should be overrepresented and others underrepresented. It means that those who actually vote represent others, presumably an equal number of others.

Personally, I don't like the Senate's composition, but there's nothing we can do about it. That compromise can't be changed by amendment (one of only two things that can't) so it would require starting from scratch to change it. It made sense when states were considered the primary sovereigns (the EU model) but since the civil war americans have generally seen the country as the primary sovereign and so the compromise is outdated.

And I am aware there are other concerns beyond those of those who live in cities, but there is a difference in having those other concerns be heard and making them dominant. Areas with less population (rural, bible belt, midwest, wherever else you said) have representation in both the Senate and House. Why should they also get favoritism in terms of who holds the white house? And JessieMoore, so if those in urban areas can't understand rural needs how can rural people understand urban needs? At some point you either have to split the country or hope those in power consider the needs of everyone. Ask South Africa how letting a minority rule a majority worked out for them.

So far all of the arguments advanced in favor of the electoral college have been in terms of giving power to a minority at the expense of the majority. I understand that many here disagree with the policies favored by the majority, but think about if your argument is sustainable. Blacks are a minority who have different views and interests from whites. So should we change the electoral system to favor them? What about other minorities? And what is the point of voting when the person who gets fewer votes wins?

I guess I just think that smaller groups should be represented in congress but the President should represent the majority.
How is it favoritism? How can one way be that and not the other by the same measure? I don't see favoritism.

South Africa is a completely different discussion altogether as well as any other nation, this is US politics not theirs.

You are throwing around some pretty broad assumptions about views and interests of races. Whites are hardly united in their views and interests, in fact they have the widest range of political views and voting among all the racial classifications by a wide margin. White demographics are the group both parties are trying the most court to decide each election, since white voting patterns are the most likely to be influenced and change, as well as turn out for all elections.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:05 AM
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I guess I just think that smaller groups should be represented in congress but the President should represent the majority.
Dude, there is so much to rebut you on but I dont have the time or eneryg, plus I think Jesse and Hoosier did a great job, regardless how much went over your head. You may want to get a better understanding of one person one vote before you throw it out there, too. I mean if you really want to go there, letís statt with common sense coter id laws, then we can take it further and discuss why youíre missing pieces that go into the legal doctrine.

But, I agree with you - the President should represent the majority...the majority of electors. If the President was elected by direct vote, states would have completely ceded their power to the feds which is not the purpose of our union...again. Electors get to vote how they want, but itís the states who cede the authority to them to vote for the state and sayĒAy!Ē to the presidential nominee of the stateís choosing. Youíre completely missing that step. Every person in each state gets one vote to choose the electors who will represent the state. Try and take that away and there will be civil war because there is a purposeful tension that exists between stateís rights and federal power. Itís as much a check and balance as the three branches, even if the dodos in the Ninth Circuit are intent on legislating from the bench and completely misconstruing fundamental law. Glad Trump is putting in some competent folks finally.

In summary, the minority isnít ruling. The majority of state electors are ruling. You can warp it how you want, but your argument will just be further evidence that uou donít understand the fundamentals upon which this country was built. The states are part of this country by choice - not by mandate, and our system reflects that.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:56 PM
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Irishwave, nothing went over my head, I just disagree with it. And insulting my intelligence by saying it went over my head isn't very useful.

But to address your points, do you identify as a citizen of your state before being a citizen of the country? That is a rather antiquated way of thinking that I haven't seen in my lifetime. If you don't then your argument falls flat. For ex., Montana and California were both added after the Constitution was ratified and are really just lines on a map. So the question is, why does Montana's one million people get more electors per voter than California's 40 million people? What purpose does that serve?

You keep saying that is the way the founders set it up so that's how we should do it, but why? The founders also set it up so that black people only counted as 3/5 of a person, should we still do that too? Go and read the history, the EC was created for explicitly racist purposes, so why should we still use it. What purpose is served by giving smaller states disproportionately more electors?
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelly Gruene View Post
Here's a really interesting article about the how's and why's of the electoral college: https://www.americanheritage.com/ele...-were-stuck-it

The article includes discussion about some of the proposed alternatives. While it's a little lengthy, it is worth a read.
It is an interesting and looks at possible alternatives to the Electoral College and why they may not sense.

Regarding a simple popular vote election, it says:

Quote:
Direct popular election? First of all, there’s the question of what to do if no candidate receives a majority. Would there be a runoff, which would make the campaign season last even longer and might encourage third parties? Would the top vote-getter always be the winner—a system that could elect a candidate opposed by a majority of citizens? Would we mystify voters by asking for second and third choices?

Moreover, a nationwide election—something that has never taken place in America—would require a nationwide electoral board, with all the rules, forms, and inspectors that go along with it. Would states be allowed to set different times for opening and closing their polls? Would North Dakota be allowed to continue to have no form of voter registration, as it does now? Would a state seeking more influence be allowed to lower its voting age below 18? Then there is the potential discussed above for stolen or suppressed votes.
So not just as easy of a solution as saying whoever wins the popular vote gets elected
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:05 PM
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Historically, the point of the electoral college was to allow southern states to gain the representation of 3/5 of their slaves without having to let them vote. So what is the point now?
110% incorrect. The Virginia Plan called for proportional representation. The New Jersey Plan called for equal representation. The Connecticut Compromise created the hybrid system of equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:37 PM
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Actually, california wasn't a state when it was created, so what are you talking about
You do realize California eventually became a state and it was severely under-populated right? I never mentioned the year because I thought it was pretty obvious what I was referring to... I am thoroughly shocked that you believed that was valid response to my statement.

Quote:
So what? Does that mean some people matter more than others? What happened to the idea of one person one vote? Having elected representatives instead of direct voting has nothing to do with how much power each vote is supposed to have.
Having elected officials means that each area of the country is equally represented, not individual persons... no one said that

Quote:
Really? How much time do presidential candidates spend campaigning in either? Everyone knows Idaho votes R and California votes D so why would anyone bother spending resources there?
And why should they be equal? If California has 10 times the population or whatever it does shouldn't it count more?
That is why this is the United States, it is a union and one state should not have such power and authority over another state simply because of their population size.

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Yes, republicans are in the minority so many want to hold on to power however they can.
Republicans are a minority? How do you figure that? Democrats and Republicans are pretty even actually, it is the independents (like myself) that make the difference in the end when it comes to the popular vote.

Quote:
So you are advocating for representation by region instead of by population? Do you really think that will work long term? Remember, we are not talking about equal representation, we are talking about unequal representation.
It has worked for over 300 years and has resulted in the most successful and free nation/empire in the history of our human race.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:49 PM
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NDHoosier

1) You said "California always benefited greatly from the EC". I took exception to the word 'always' and conflated it with a prior post about states getting what they bargained for. My bad.

2) No, having elected officials is supposed to mean each person is equally represented. How many states have legislatures that apportion representatives by geographical region as opposed to population? And how is it regionally based when the size of states varies widely (new england vs the west)?

3) I think this is where the fundamental disagreement lies. I think of the US as a country with the states being constituent parts, you see the US as being a union made up of the states. I don't know how we bridge this divide.

4) Polls generally show independents are the most numerous but that democrats outnumber republicans. Combined with the fact that democrats generally have won nationwide popular votes (3 million in 2016 presidential, 8 million in aggregate 2018 congressional) and I think saying republicans are in the minority is an accurate statement.

5) Just because it has worked doesn't mean it is the best or that it can't be improved. Everything that was changed via amendment was part of the great success before it was changed. So that is a weak argument.

6) Blammm - you are referring to how congress was composed, not the electoral college. Do some research. While big/small state dynamics were at play, the greater impetus behind the electoral college was that northern states were more populous than southern ones if you just counted whites (about 60-40). Creating the EC and having blacks count 3/5 helped even that out.

Now, I do have to thank everyone for this discussion. I couldn't imagine how anyone could still support the EC, and while I strongly disagree with pretty much everything you guys have been saying, at least now I know where such opinions are coming from.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:33 AM
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BTW, BAgate when you say that majority rules, do you realize that Clinton had less than half the votes cast in the 2016 election at 48.2%?
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:33 AM
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One thing to think about regarding the popular vote that was mentioned in the article linked by Kelly Gruene is the fact that the popular vote of an election is impacted by the dynamics of the EC itself.

Trump might have lost the popular vote in 2016 but the 2016 popular vote was most likely skewed by the very existence of the Electoral College. Different election rules would have resulted in different behavior by both candidates and voters so one cannot use the 2016 popular vote as an accurate measure of how the election would have looked if the election was based on the popular vote.

Since it is winner takes all for all but two states, candidates typically only actively campaign and run ads in battleground states. I saw mention that 2/3 of all presidential campaign spending was in just six states in 2016.

Three states conceded to Clinton represented 21% of total US population (California, Illinois, and New York). Along with other safe "blue" states, there was a greater percent of population in democratic leaning states that was not actively campaigned to by either party.

In addition, voter turnout in non-battlefield states would likely be different in the case of a popular vote determined election.

So while one can make the statement that Clinton had more votes cast for her than Trump, it is disgenius to make an absolute statement that she should be president as a result since no one really knows how the votes would have looked in a true winner takes all popular vote election.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:45 AM
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I know that I have posted three different posts but each of the three had slightly different points I was hoping to make.

My main reason for wanting to retain the Electoral College and also why I like the 60% filibuster threshold and the 2/3 of votes needed for a constitutional amendment is that I think that government works best when it needs to cater to the middle ground.

All of these items help to prevent a simple majority from pushing the country to an extreme by helping to ensure that a wider set of viewpoints are considered especially since the two party system seems to here to stay.

I also think that it is good for the US to have the parties take turn being in power and having different parties control the White House and Congress is OK.
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:43 AM
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I believe all the rhetoric about ditching the electoral college will fade away once the primaries are over. Whoever the democratic candidate ends up being, I don't think the electoral college issue is going to be one that wins any votes from middle-ground voters. It is an issue that stimulates the base up through the primary season and will sound great on a debate stage full of like-minded candidates, but once it's one-on-one with Trump (or whoever the Republican nominee is if/when Trump steps down), I don't think this issue will win over more than a handful of truly independent voters. I don't see it being something the democratic candidate for president talks about much on the campaign trail. When it comes to debating the Republican candidate in front of a TV audience, the democratic candidate will be pretty neutral, saying something like "it's worth looking at...one person one vote..." but won't come out and definitively say "We have to change the electoral college system". (I wish this could be 'bookmarked' to re-visit once the Presidential debates actually begin.)

Also, I don't think when it comes down to it that small states will ever want to give up the importance they actually do have in the electoral college system. States that lean democratic now like Vermont and Delaware voted Republican as recently as 1992 (Vermont) and 1988 (Delaware). States with small populations are often taken for granted by the various parties, but times and mindsets and votes do change. If you ask a person from Vermont today if she thinks a person from New York should have more say in who should be president than she does, she would almost certainly say "No". Vermont has 3 electors while New York has 29. Vermont has 625,000 residents while New York has 19,500,000. Vermont has a disproportionately high representation in the electoral college based on population. New Yorkers probably don't like it, but when push comes to shove I don't think Vermonters will yield that power their southern neighbors.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by irishwavend View Post
Keep the Electoral College because popular vote is not what is intended by our union. The states were willing to give up some rights to join the U.S., but giving up their proportional say as to who is president of the union is not one of them. The states joined on a limited basis and this is one of those limits. If a state wants to give up wholesale electors, that's fine, but I'll tell you that the conservative states aren't going to do that for a variety of reasons which means, you're just giving conservatives more votes if you're a liberal state.

In reality, this entire argument is just sour grapes from people who live in New York and California. They think they get to dictate what the entire country does based on the mobs that overcrowd their cities and have been indoctrinated into their bullsh*t socialist culture.
You nailed it, my friend, Agree with you 110%!!
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