Electoral College: Discuss!

  • Thread starter wfooshee
  • 101 comments
  • 2,894 views
5,749
Simcoeace
I'd have to say as a Brit, we fail to see the glaring problems with the way our OWN system operates in practice, I'm not sure we pay the American system any attention - and just assume, that like we assume of our own system, it represents democracy in its best form.

I'm not sure that's true. When I was living in the UK I remember lots of discussion about introducing some form of proportional representation. In Canada it's a constant topic. No party in power has (yet) moved seriously to make changes because ... well, because they're in power.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. In practice, I believe that what most people want isn't democracy, it's to live under a dictator with whom they agree.

I think that's really overstating it. Personally, I am supportive of a periodic change of government - it is necessary to change the government to minimize ingrained corruption, but also to find a balance between competing ideologies & ideas. It's clearly a problem in places like Russia ... & Belarus.

The problem with the US is the rigidity of the two party system, which has aspects of an Establishment dictatorship. Under Trump "the checks & balances" have diminished as the GOP has largely given up any ideological or practical questioning of Trumpism. I believe that will change with the coming election & Republicans will be forced to do some soul searching.
 

Groundfish

(Banned)
4,363
United States
United States
Thing is, you can’t have it that way. It’s a well designed setup, it’s just that leftists lost in 2016 so they wanna tear it down, since they are well funded the propoganda goes out to sway public opinion against it.
There’s a huge trend of people falling victim to the woke brainwashing, but just because poor thinking is widespread on the Internet is no reason to eliminate well designed aspects of a govt imo.
 

DesertPenguin

(Banned)
10,691
United States
Long Island, New York
DesertPenguin_
Thing is, you can’t have it that way. It’s a well designed setup, it’s just that leftists lost in 2016 so they wanna tear it down, since they are well funded the propoganda goes out to sway public opinion against it.
There’s a huge trend of people falling victim to the woke brainwashing, but just because poor thinking is widespread on the Internet is no reason to eliminate well designed aspects of a govt imo.
Nothing to see here. Please don't stare. Move along.
 

Joey D

Swedespeed
Premium
44,117
United States
Holladay, UT
GTP_Joey
GTP Joey
Thing is, you can’t have it that way. It’s a well designed setup, it’s just that leftists lost in 2016 so they wanna tear it down, since they are well funded the propoganda goes out to sway public opinion against it.
There’s a huge trend of people falling victim to the woke brainwashing, but just because poor thinking is widespread on the Internet is no reason to eliminate well designed aspects of a govt imo.

It was a well-designed system in the 1700s. It's not a well-designed system now. It's not just the left calling for electoral college reform either, there are people across all parties and affiliations that see that it's not a good system.

As I said, the way electoral votes should be distributed is based on the percentage each candidate gets in each state. And before you go pulling "it's the left!" card here, think about California, it gets 55 electoral votes. In 2016, Clinton got 62% of the vote and Trump got 31%. So under a distribution system, Clinton would get 34 electoral votes, Trump would've got 17, Johnson would've got 2, Stein would've got 1, and the last one would be split among a handful of candidates. So that would've been 21 fewer votes for Clinton and 17 more for Trump. It'd also make third parties more relevant as well.
 

Jump_Ace

Compare Yourself To The Best Of Your Own Abilities
Staff Emeritus
8,554
United States
Portland, OR
Jump_Ace
JUMPxACE
Anyone else want to just throw it out the window?


Jerome
 

UKMikey

This is where the casuals hang out, right?
Premium
9,421
United Kingdom
West Drayton
UKMikeyA
UKMikeyA

Barra333

Premium
5,957
Canada
London, ON
barra333
For the electrical college to work better, states should split their electoral votes by the state's popular vote. So if X states has 10 electoral votes and Candidate A gets 60%, Candidate B gets 10%, and Candidate C gets 30% the electoral votes should be split up a C-A gets 6, C-B gets 1, and C-C gets 3.

It doesn't make sense for C-A to get 51% of the state's vote and get all 10 electoral votes. That's ignoring what nearly half the state wants. I know Nebraska already does this and @huskeR32 can probably chime in with how it works and if it's beneficial for the state or not. I think Maine is the same way.
This is pretty much where I sit on the EC.
There being no functional difference between winning 51% of a state and 91% of the same state is terrible. In the current two party setup, I think proportional EC votes, rounded up to the winner is fairest. For example, in a state with 10 EC votes, a 51-49 result goes 6-4.
 

Groundfish

(Banned)
4,363
United States
United States
. In 2016, Clinton got 62% of the vote and Trump got 31%


F3DB6F56-7E34-468D-A877-4F2CF1B24EBB.jpeg


The electoral college exists for good reason, it prevents a single large population center from politically controlling everyone else.
The example of Congressional representation was given before, same thing but no one cries about that.
It’s not nor has it ever been a democracy.
R e p u b l i c.
A lotta thought by a lot smarter people than exist today chose to set things up like this for good reason.
 

Joey D

Swedespeed
Premium
44,117
United States
Holladay, UT
GTP_Joey
GTP Joey
View attachment 958563

The electoral college exists for good reason, it prevents a single large population center from politically controlling everyone else.
The example of Congressional representation was given before, same thing but no one cries about that.
It’s not nor has it ever been a democracy.
R e p u b l i c.
A lotta thought by a lot smarter people than exist today chose to set things up like this for good reason.

You missed the part about my example being California then, huh?

I'm also fully aware the US is a Republic, not a direct democracy. That's why a distribution system of electoral votes makes more sense, it's a better representation from a state's population. If 51% of a state voters want X candidate, then that means 49% of the state's voters don't want that candidate. Essentially to get the electoral votes it becomes a majority rule direct democracy in a given state, that's everything the US isn't.
 

MatskiMonk

Inebriated member
Premium
13,562
United Kingdom
Not so Great Britain
I'm not sure that's true. When I was living in the UK I remember lots of discussion about introducing some form of proportional representation.

There is some talk on it, but not enough, we had a referendum on it 2011. Though the system being voted on was only alternative vote, which itself isn't that popular amongst people keen on reform, turnout was only 42% and the vote went in favour of FPTP. People who wanted PR didn't want AV, and the largest slice of the voting electorate at the time (Conservatives) didn't want PR at all since it served/serves to strengthen their position. We only got a referendum on it since the Tories needed the Liberal Democrats on side... so yes, there is talk about it... and even today, the leader of the opposition has highlighted it as an issue... but it seems as with Canada, the talk is never from the people in power because it doesn't suit them.

I think that's really overstating it. Personally, I am supportive of a periodic change of government - it is necessary to change the government to minimize ingrained corruption, but also to find a balance between competing ideologies & ideas. It's clearly a problem in places like Russia ... & Belarus.

Maybe I just drink with too many Tory voters! I personally think it's fair to say that there's a great many people that are less interested in a fair system, than one that keeps their chosen party in power.
 
5,749
Simcoeace
I personally think it's fair to say that there's a great many people that are less interested in a fair system, than one that keeps their chosen party in power.

Yes, exactly! Of course, minority parties, & the people who support them, have an interest in apportioning political power in a way that recognizes their beliefs.

The electoral college exists for good reason, it prevents a single large population center from politically controlling everyone else.
The example of Congressional representation was given before, same thing but no one cries about that.
It’s not nor has it ever been a democracy.
R e p u b l i c.
A lotta thought by a lot smarter people than exist today chose to set things up like this for good reason.

Why should a large land mass with a small population have disproportionately more ability to politically control everyone else?

There's no inherent contradiction with having democracy in a R e p u b l i c. Even direct democracy as in Switzerland.

The "smarter people" also considered African Americans to be sub-human. There are a lot of things they weren't very smart about.
 

Groundfish

(Banned)
4,363
United States
United States
Why should a large land mass with a small population have disproportionately more ability to politically control everyone else

Each STATE has electors. That’s what’s confusing you.
Amount of acreage has nothing to do with it.
 

McLaren

Premium
41,465
United States
Texas
Partyboy78
Thing is, you can’t have it that way. It’s a well designed setup, it’s just that leftists lost in 2016 so they wanna tear it down, since they are well funded the propoganda goes out to sway public opinion against it.
There’s a huge trend of people falling victim to the woke brainwashing, but just because poor thinking is widespread on the Internet is no reason to eliminate well designed aspects of a govt imo.
Do you even history, bruh? It's been attempted well before today & a Republican President endorsed it.
The closest the United States has come to abolishing the Electoral College occurred during the 91st Congress (1969–1971).[1] The presidential election of 1968 resulted in Richard Nixon receiving 301 electoral votes (56% of electors), Hubert Humphrey 191 (35.5%), and George Wallace 46 (8.5%) with 13.5% of the popular vote. However, Nixon had received only 511,944 more popular votes than Humphrey, 43.5% to 42.9%, less than 1% of the national total.[2]

Representative Emanuel Celler (D–New York), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, responded to public concerns over the disparity between the popular vote and electoral vote by introducing House Joint Resolution 681, a proposed Constitutional amendment that would have replaced the Electoral College with a simpler two-round system based on the national popular vote, similar to that used in French presidential elections. With this system, the pair of candidates who had received the highest number of votes would win the presidency and vice presidency provided they won at least 40% of the national popular vote. If no pair received 40% of the popular vote, a runoff election would be held in which the choice of president and vice president would be made from the two pairs of persons who had received the highest number of votes in the first election. The word "pair" was defined as "two persons who shall have consented to the joining of their names as candidates for the offices of President and Vice President."[3]

On April 29, 1969, the House Judiciary Committee voted 28 to 6 to approve the proposal.[4] Debate on the proposal before the full House of Representatives ended on September 11, 1969[5] and was eventually passed with bipartisan support on September 18, 1969, by a vote of 339 to 70.[6]

On September 30, 1969, President Richard Nixon gave his endorsement for adoption of the proposal, encouraging the Senate to pass its version of the proposal, which had been sponsored as Senate Joint Resolution 1 by Senator Birch Bayh (D–Indiana).[7]

On October 8, 1969, the New York Times reported that 30 state legislatures were "either certain or likely to approve a constitutional amendment embodying the direct election plan if it passes its final Congressional test in the Senate." Ratification of 38 state legislatures would have been needed for adoption. The paper also reported that six other states had yet to state a preference, six were leaning toward opposition and eight were solidly opposed.[8]

On August 14, 1970, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent its report advocating passage of the proposal to the full Senate. The Judiciary Committee had approved the proposal by a vote of 11 to 6. The six members who opposed the plan, Democratic Senators James Eastland of Mississippi, John Little McClellan of Arkansas, and Sam Ervin of North Carolina, along with Republican Senators Roman Hruska of Nebraska, Hiram Fong of Hawaii, and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, all argued that although the present system had potential loopholes, it had worked well throughout the years. Senator Bayh indicated that supporters of the measure were about a dozen votes shy from the 67 needed for the proposal to pass the full Senate.[9] He called upon President Nixon to attempt to persuade undecided Republican senators to support the proposal.[10] However, Nixon, while not reneging on his previous endorsement, chose not to make any further personal appeals to back the proposal.[11]

On September 8, 1970, the Senate commenced openly debating the proposal[12] and the proposal was quickly filibustered. The lead objectors to the proposal were mostly Southern senators and conservatives from small states, both Democrats and Republicans, who argued abolishing the Electoral College would reduce their states' political influence.[11] On September 17, 1970, a motion for cloture, which would have ended the filibuster, received 54 votes to 36 for cloture,[11] failing to receive the required two-thirds majority of senators voting.[13] A second motion for cloture on September 29, 1970, also failed, by 53 to 34. Thereafter, the Senate majority leader, Mike Mansfield of Montana, moved to lay the proposal aside so the Senate could attend to other business.[14] However, the proposal was never considered again and died when the 91st Congress ended on January 3, 1971.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_abolition_amendment
 
Last edited:
5,749
Simcoeace
A lotta thought by a lot smarter people than exist today chose to set things up like this for good reason.

This is what brainwashing does to you - Grade 5 history with no critical thinking. It's highly unlikely that "a lot smarter people" existed in the 1700s than today. The solutions arrived at to create a new nation were significantly dictated by political expediency rather than rational thought. And the creators of the United States could have had no conception that one day a massive state with a massive population would arise dwarfing some of the founding states like Rhode Island & Delaware.

In 1776 people's lives & politics would have been largely local or at state level. In 1776 the US was mostly a local agricultural society - the US was not the world's super power with huge business, military, political & cultural interests through the globe. Protecting local & state interests would have been guaranteed by each state's autonomous powers, compared to which federal concerns would have played a comparatively minor part (except in the matter of war with Britain).
 
7,196
Exorcet
OE Exorcet
The electoral college exists for good reason, it prevents a single large population center from politically controlling everyone else.
Wouldn't that be better achieved with fair laws? One place shouldn't be able to control another. Let the people in that large population center set their own rules and that's it.

Ironically with the EC we end up with swing states that tend to get more attention than everyone else, arguably doing exactly what the EC is supposed to prevent.
 

Danoff

Who is John Galt?
Premium
30,261
United States
Mile High City
Why should a large land mass with a small population have disproportionately more ability to politically control everyone else?

...and of course, even if we did away with the EC and went to a popular vote for the presidency, the US would still do this. We have the Senate, and it is insanely powerful. Arguably too powerful. States get a straight weighted vote in the Senate. Montana with two people and a tumbleweed gets the same amount of voting power as California, which is absolutely overflowing with people. And the Senate, as we saw so clearly evidenced so recently, is super powerful.

The President doesn't represent states proportionately, the President can't represent anything proportionately, they're just a person. The idea that wyoming needs to be over represented in the presidency is absolutely absurd.

The EC was basically to smooth over non-landowners, women, and slaves not being allowed to vote.
 

Groundfish

(Banned)
4,363
United States
United States
This is what brainwashing does to you - Grade 5 history with no critical thinking. It's highly unlikely that "a lot smarter people" existed in the 1700s than today

You should check out “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix.
But a strong argument can be made that many people during those times were in many ways smarter than people today.
Today people Google. Today there’s online calculators and engineering even happens a lot via software over slide rule.
Captain Cook navigated open oceans and mapped vast areas using a sextant and chronometer.
There’s something to be said for an abundance of information. Today we have tons of information, but Id argue it weakens us.
Now with social media etc the hive mind effect is very very large, people’s minds are very much in a Matrix of feeds onto their device.
In earlier times failure to think rationally could cause you to starve, there was no internet when something broke, you’d have to fix it.
I mean take environmental activists-a lot of left leaning folks were hugely supportive of offshoring industry. Regulations in the USA like in California for example are quite restrictive...
Now, those SAME people consume hoe much junk from China, purchased through places like Amazon and what’s the TRUE environmental impact they have as they self righteously congratulate themselves on shutting down an area to all vehicular traffic here making a park, or “protecting” an inbred population of isolated mountain lions that are now becoming deformed and dying?
The impact of their own life is substantial huge even. They put all the packaging from the plastic junk they have purchased from China into a recycling bin where a lot of it gets shipped to remote third world locations where it’s burned in large piles.
I guess out of sight is out of mind.
Do you think people in the 1700s would buy disposable goods or goods built with Quality to last a lifetime?
I know we have a lot of INFORMATION today, but we really don’t need to use our minds to survive anymore the way people hundreds of years ago did, and I’d argue that having to do that aligns ones ideology more with the natural order of things.
Maybe we are smarter today with our smartphones and social media, from a certain point of view...In other ways we are dumb.
It’s a strange time to be alive.
Can you navigate your way across an ocean?
Can you use an astrolabe to cross a desert?
Can you be left alone in the wilderness and survive?
Using a sextant and chronometer together requires quite a bit of manual calculation.
Cook did that way before 1776...(I think...)

The electoral college is a good system imo and I understand why it’s there, I also understand the ongoing narrative those who want to undermine America are spreading.
 

UKMikey

This is where the casuals hang out, right?
Premium
9,421
United Kingdom
West Drayton
UKMikeyA
UKMikeyA
Today we have instantaneous communication and access to the collected, collective knowledge of the past. Knowing less doesn't make you smarter, just more ignorant. Even Newton said he stood on the shoulders of giants.
 

Liquid

Fission Mailed
Premium
24,931
Slovakia
Bratvegas
GTP_Liquid
So today's myth is that abolition and criticism of the electoral collage only kicked off in 2016? Laughable.

The electoral collage was not only established to give slave states greater representation but, and it is not really known if this was intentional or not, also to steer elections so that there was no outright winner; the intention was that Presidential elections would be settled in the House of Representatives. See the 1824 election. How partisan would that be now, looking at it?

And
it was originally conceived where no two-candidate tickets would run, giving voters a greater field of candidates but also leading to complications because there was no distinction between Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate; although running mates were nominated, each individual were assigned their own electoral votes, e.g. Trump and Pence are given separate votes and separate electoral collage votes. See the 1800 election where Jefferson-Burr was the ticket but the House deliberately tried to get Burr in as President instead of Vice President.

To cut through the junk, quite simply, the electoral collage's weaknesses were exposed as soon as organised political parties emerged, particularly when you think about the ability of the House of Representatives to settle elections; whoever controls the house pretty much chooses the President. The very existence of political parties has been an exposing handicap on the electoral collage long before the urban vs rural debate.

The EC has been changed and modified a lot over the years so these efforts at "preservation" of some treasured past time sort of fall flat when it has already been changed from what it was supposed to be. I don't see why that doesn't extend to outright abolition if there is a better method.

Important Edit: the 1824 election is quite remarkable because Andrew Jackson won a plurality of the Electoral College (and popular vote) but still lost because he did not win an outright majority and the House elected Quincy Adams instead.
 
Last edited:

huskeR32

Calvinball MVP
Premium
2,597
United States
Lincoln, NE
huskeR_32
It’s not nor has it ever been a democracy.
R e p u b l i c.

:lol:

The favorite line of every cocky freshman poli-sci student who thinks it sounds smart and will get them laid at their first kegger.

How about addressing any of the actual arguments against the EC that have been laid out in this thread? And I mean actually addressing them. Directly. With reasoning.
 
5,749
Simcoeace
You should check out “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix.
But a strong argument can be made that many people during those times were in many ways smarter than people today.
Today people Google. Today there’s online calculators and engineering even happens a lot via software over slide rule.
Captain Cook navigated open oceans and mapped vast areas using a sextant and chronometer.
There’s something to be said for an abundance of information. Today we have tons of information, but Id argue it weakens us.
Now with social media etc the hive mind effect is very very large, people’s minds are very much in a Matrix of feeds onto their device.
In earlier times failure to think rationally could cause you to starve, there was no internet when something broke, you’d have to fix it.
I mean take environmental activists-a lot of left leaning folks were hugely supportive of offshoring industry. Regulations in the USA like in California for example are quite restrictive...
Now, those SAME people consume hoe much junk from China, purchased through places like Amazon and what’s the TRUE environmental impact they have as they self righteously congratulate themselves on shutting down an area to all vehicular traffic here making a park, or “protecting” an inbred population of isolated mountain lions that are now becoming deformed and dying?
The impact of their own life is substantial huge even. They put all the packaging from the plastic junk they have purchased from China into a recycling bin where a lot of it gets shipped to remote third world locations where it’s burned in large piles.
I guess out of sight is out of mind.
Do you think people in the 1700s would buy disposable goods or goods built with Quality to last a lifetime?
I know we have a lot of INFORMATION today, but we really don’t need to use our minds to survive anymore the way people hundreds of years ago did, and I’d argue that having to do that aligns ones ideology more with the natural order of things.
Maybe we are smarter today with our smartphones and social media, from a certain point of view...In other ways we are dumb.
It’s a strange time to be alive.
Can you navigate your way across an ocean?
Can you use an astrolabe to cross a desert?
Can you be left alone in the wilderness and survive?
Using a sextant and chronometer together requires quite a bit of manual calculation.
Cook did that way before 1776...(I think...)

The electoral college is a good system imo and I understand why it’s there, I also understand the ongoing narrative those who want to undermine America are spreading.

Good lord. :rolleyes:

No - I won't argue that people in 1776 were either more or less stupid than in the present day. They had a different knowledge set. And just to make the obvious clear - very few people in the 1700's were capable of navigating their way across an ocean, or using an astrolabe to cross a desert, or even be left alone in the wilderness and survive.

Most of your post is entirely irrelevant to the topic at hand & just represents steam of consciousness partisan moaning. To put it (again) simply: there is no way on earth that the present arrangement of the EC, or the Senate with relation to the States would be agreed to in the present day, not because people are smarter or less smart ... but because it's patently obvious that it is not an equitable system. It exists, like a lot of other things in society, due to the accidents of history.
 

Groundfish

(Banned)
4,363
United States
United States
Shoot, given how people are so easily manipulated by the net and given the leftists willingness to riot and investigate and spend years throwing a tantrum when they lose, it’s a good thing the electoral college is there because there won’t be endless recounts and lawsuits.
With the college you hold election and it’s outcome happens, no matter how many illegals or dead people voted. :)