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Old 01-25-2013, 04:29 PM
Location: Riverside
4,088 posts, read 3,672,848 times
Reputation: 3076


Originally Posted by TigerLily24 View Post
Speed bump in Virginia:

""The governor does not support this legislation. He believes Virginia's existing system works just fine as it is. He does not believe there is any need for a change," said spokesman Tucker Martin.

This opposition by McDonnell essentially kills the chances that the Electoral College change would become law in the state."

Virginia governor opposes Electoral College change - First Read
Looks like cooler GOP heads are prevailing all around :

Key Republicans Back Away From Electoral Vote Scheme | TPMDC

I can see the Koch Bros/ALEC response: "Whadya mean we can't fix the next election? What kinda country IS this, anyways?"

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:34 PM
Location: Long Island
32,553 posts, read 13,724,753 times
Reputation: 6894
I don't think the impetus for this propsal is any more honorable than the new voting requirements, republicans are suddenly worried about rural america so they want to change the elctoral college. Looks like the present proposals are only in swing states, Ohio, PA, VA, why didn;t they put Idaho or Alabama at the forefront, thinly veiled. They care about winning, not about unpoplulated districts being represented.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:57 PM
36,286 posts, read 15,881,693 times
Reputation: 8235
I have never liked winner take all. It doesn't seem right that some states are winner take all and some states aren't.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:45 PM
Location: USA
4,784 posts, read 4,209,843 times
Reputation: 2830
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
Wrong, wrong and wrong.

One. The National Popular Vote is a lobbying movement that has already signed on several states. Those states have agreed to select their electors based on whoever wins the national popular vote. The laws doing that take effect when the movement has signed up enough states to control the electoral college. Therefore rendering the electoral college irrelevant. And the people who came up with the idea will tell you directly that they did so to subvert the Constitution, make the electoral college irrelevant without the necessity of an amendment.

Two. No, every vote does not matter. The only votes that matter are the votes cast for the winner. If you voted for Romney during the last election, or if you voted for the Green candidate, or the Libertarian candidate, or you wrote in Mr Magoo, none of those votes matter. The only votes that matter are the votes cast for the winner. Those are the ONLY votes that have any outcome.

Three. Democracies favor urban voters because urban centers have larger populations than rural areas. And democracies are numbers games. The only thing that counts is who has the highest number. And you are mistaken to think that the country was much more rural than urban in their time. The country was more rural in their time than it is now. But not more rural than urban. Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore were already burgeoning urban areas. The big states, which were the Southern states were more rural than urban, largely by virtue of their size. Size makes a difference.
One: I don't entirely agree with you, but it's not even relevant, because I don't believe that our Constitution is the 100% best method of government and thus I don't inherently see a problem in finding ways around some of its provisions.

Two: You're making a logical error here. AFTER the votes are counted, only the winning votes matter. But BEFORE election day, each vote matters because it has the ability to be a vote for any candidate.

Three: Great, and I agree that government should provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and if that means favoring a certain constituency because they have the greatest numbers, then no problem.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:49 PM
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,610 posts, read 10,513,725 times
Reputation: 19740
It's not like there aren't already states that have done this.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:07 PM
Location: NJ
18,677 posts, read 16,988,597 times
Reputation: 7282
Originally Posted by Gurbie View Post
Looks like cooler GOP heads are prevailing all around :

Key Republicans Back Away From Electoral Vote Scheme | TPMDC

I can see the Koch Bros/ALEC response: "Whadya mean we can't fix the next election? What kinda country IS this, anyways?"

They had no choice. They would actually lose the house even with gerrymandering with the backlash this would cause, as well as governorships..for generations.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:33 PM
Location: Southeast
4,296 posts, read 6,252,686 times
Reputation: 1445
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
Well, like I posted earlier, there is no good argument against the national popular vote.
So if you already accepted your ideas as the only "right" ones and refuse to consider any others, why even bother posting here?
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:34 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,829 posts, read 102,134,129 times
Reputation: 32924
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
I hate the winner-take-all system of awarding electors.

And I'm glad that states are discussing revamping how they apportion the electors.

I think that this particular proposal also provokes discussion of how congressional districts are drawn, and that's a worthwhile discussion as well.
I agree, and I seem to be the only other "liberal" on this thread who does.

Originally Posted by squarian View Post
Good point.

Rural people (or, as we political scientist prefer to call them, Real Americans) deserve to have vastly greater weight in our political system than city folk.

They deserve this special privilege just because. It's sort of like a hereditary aristocracy: maybe rural people - sorry, Real Americans - should be exempt from taxation too, or be subject to trial only by fellow Real Americans, or have their own chamber of the legislature.

Because rural people - sorry, Real Americans - are better than everyone else.
Originally Posted by TigerLily24 View Post
Still doesn't negate the fact that places with smaller populations will have greater influence than those places that have larger populations. Should people be penalized because they chose to live in areas with greater potential for employment, etc.?

I think we should just move to deciding based on the popular vote and have done with it.
Originally Posted by squarian View Post
Each citizen residing in a rural area deserves one vote.

The Electoral College is a device whereby votes in small-population, predominately-rural states are given more weight than others, and therefore confers a privilege on rural voters equivalent to the civic and legal privileges of the ancien regime aristocracy.

You know - the aristocrats whose heads were cut off by the guillotine's blade?
I don't get what you guys are saying. In 2008, Nebraska District 2 went for Obama and Nebraska gave 4 electoral votes to McCain and 1 to Obama. Where is district 2? Why it's Douglas County, home of Nebraska's largest CITY, Omaha, and part of Sarpy County (I think it was all of Sarpy Co. in 2008) a suburban Omaha county. Would it have been preferable for Nebraska to give all 5 EVs to McCain because the rest of rural Nebraska voted for McCain? Apparently the two senator's votes go to the statewide winner.

Originally Posted by Gurbie View Post
Alright, DC... For the sake of argument, I'll stipulate that "Something MUST be done to protect the rights of Wyomingites!"- evidently, you think those rights currently provided by the Constitution are inadequate.

So... What would be YOUR remedy? Surely, you don't support allocating electorates by representative districts, do you? I mean, if you are rending your tunic over the rights for people's votes to count, you CAN'T support this anti-democratic GOP initiative, right ()

So what do you propose to help the enfranchised-to-the-limit, yet, in your opinion, somehow deprived, citizens of Wyoming, to have "a voice" in presidential elections?
Wyoming is never going to dominate California, electoral vote wise. Wyoming has 3 EVs. It has ONE congressional district. Whatever the outcome in the entire state, that's who the 3 EVs will go to. California has 55 EVs.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:26 AM
910 posts, read 1,162,606 times
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Here's a pretty good op ed on why this is a dumb idea:

USATODAY.com - Plan would hurt small states

If Colorado split its electoral votes, leaving just one or two electoral votes in play, future presidential candidates — and presidents — would ignore Colorado and its interests in favor of states with more electoral clout. They would skip over us and move on to more fertile ground.

Colorado would lose influence on such vital federal issues as military base closings, highways and water — the very issues that have the greatest impact on our economy and way of life. In other words, Amendment 36 would disenfranchise Colorado voters in presidential elections.
Oh wait, this was written 9 years ago by a Republican and Romney campaign co-chair.

Plus Áa change, plus c'est la mÍme chose.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:29 AM
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 88,893,964 times
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Originally Posted by Gurbie View Post
The GOP plot to push through legislation to change the way electoral votes are awarded is getting the attention of the mainstream press. Here is an article in the WAPO:

Republicans in Virginia, other states seeking electoral college changes - The Washington Post

Even if you think the "winner take all" system could use some tweaking, there is a FAIR way to do it- divide EC delegates proportionate to the popular vote. For example, President Obama won Virginia in 2012, 51-49. You could pass reform that would allow Virginia to split its EC votes. Instead of winning all nine electorates, the tally would have been 5-4 for Obama. If that system were adopted in every state, that would be fair (I think).

But "fairness" is NOT what the GOP has in mind. They are targeting only swing states for "reform", specifically those which have been Red state govs, but have been voting Blue in presidential elections.

And the proposed GOP "reform" DOES NOT aim to allocate EC votes proportionally- its goal is to award ECs by congressional districts. Thus, a rural, under-populated distrct would have the same weight as a heavily populated urban one. In other words, the POPULAR VOTE would be rendered meaningless () Under this system, Romney would have won Virginia, 5 ECs to 4, despite having lost the popular vote. Had this system been in place in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Romney would have won the election, while losing the popular vote by 5 million!

This is not about election fairness. This is just another attempt by the anti-democratic GOP to solve their "demographic problem", not by appealing to more voters, but by nullifying their votes.

They must be STOPPED!
For starters, the popular vote is already rendered meaningless by the Electoral College system. Second, there is no such thing as an "underpopulated district" since each state's districts are apportioned to have roughly equal population per district. That's why big cities have a bunch of tiny little Congressional districts while rural districts stretch across the landscape. Third, the GOP proposal does not quite apportion electoral votes the way you claim it does. How it would actually work is the candidate who carries the popular vote in the state would carry 2 electoral votes to represent the Senate-delegation portion of the electoral vote. Romney would still have "lost" VA 6 EV's to 7 (VA has 13 electoral votes, not 9); Fourth, even if he'd "won" VA he wouldn't have "won" VA because you don't really "win" whole states when it's no longer a "winner take all" system.

What's more, using the same proposed method, he would have carried 12 of OH's 18 EVs; 9 of MI's 16 EVs, and probably 10 of PA's 20 EVs (my source does not have complete district-by-district results for PA so I extrapolated based on 2008 presidential results and whether a D or an R won the district in 2012). That's a total EV swing of 37 -- still not enough to carry the electoral vote. Even if Romney were awarded the remaining 2 EVs each from PA, OH and MI as a prize for picking up the most Congressional districts, that makes an EV swing of 43 -- again, still not enough to carry the electoral vote. So contrary to your claim, Obama still would have won if this system were in place in VA/MI/PA/OH.

And finally, I don't want to hear any whining about Republican gerrymandering as if Democrats don't do the same damn thing every chance they get. (Not directed at you specifically Gurbie but at those waxing outrage at recent GOP gerrymandering in the states where it controls the legislatures.) While this proposed electoral system may provide short-term benefits to the GOP, what goes around comes around -- and you can damn well bet the Democrat party would be more than happy to benefit from it when political fortunes tip the scales in their favor. All of which does point to the biggest flaw of them all in this proposal -- not that it stacks the deck in favor of one party versus the other, but that Presidential election outcomes could be greatly skewed by the political wranglings in state legislatures and it takes even more power out of the hands of the people than the current Electoral College system does.

Last edited by Drover; 01-26-2013 at 02:40 AM..
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