View Poll Results: How should presidents be elected

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Thread: The electoral college

  1. #91
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.
    Obviously. Its not really a feasible system to expect all 50 states to agree to that simultaneously, but if enacted I believe it would be the best system.

    If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.
    Yes one state at a time enacting it would be unfeasible.
    If states were to ever start adopting the whole-number proportional approach on a piecemeal basis, each additional state adopting the approach would increase the influence of the remaining states and thereby would decrease the incentive of the remaining states to adopt it. Thus, a state-by-state process of adopting the whole-number proportional approach would quickly bring itself to a halt, leaving the states that adopted it with only minimal influence in presidential elections.
    Again yes. It would have to be done in a similar method to the way the popular vote compact is being done.

    The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.
    True. Not necessarily a bad thing.

    If the whole-number proportional approach, the only proportional option available to an individual state on its own, had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.
    So. 500,000 votes is a statistical tie. I'd say that in an election that close who wins by a sliver of a popular vote, is less important than who accurately represents the different parts of America, which the electoral college does better.
    A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.
    Good. If I wanted it to accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote, I would be arguing for what you are.

    It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).
    That isn't even true. Montana has 1 million people. Wyoming has 575,000.

    Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach, which would require a constitutional amendment, does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.
    No it doesn't. It could be done in the same way the national vote compact is done.
    A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.
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    I don't think that's the best way to elect the president.
    There should be Instant Runoff Voting

  2. #92
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    Re: The electoral college

    My problem with the EC is that the Electoral Voter need not vote the way that the Electorate wants... Literally, our votes potentially do not count.
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  3. #93
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    The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Also interesting - The presidency is a national office, not a state one.

    States already have representatives and senators to represent them.
    You can't be seriously making that argument. The president's administration puts out a budget in which programs affecting individual states and the nation as a whole would be promoted. The office itself is a strength to promote policy changes, in addition to any agency changes that can be mare which would in turn affect the states. The President also has veto power. Now, are you saying that states merely have an interest in putting forward congressional members which represent their state, but feel no need to carefully consider the impact of a president upon their state?

    Furthermore, your next post completely sidesteps what the main argument was between small and large states. The former wanted to ensure that their interests are strongly considered against the constant derision of the majority. So yes, they were given disproportionate voting power.
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Xsnake1 View Post
    The idea of the electoral college is the perfect example of "democracy" gone wrong. Presidents should be elected based on the popular vote, not the electoral vote. I want the president that more people voted for, not the one that was supported by bigger states. I live in a blue state and I'm Republican which means when I vote, my vote just gets thrown away and I'm forced to support the democrat because that's who more people in the state vote for. Even if one person wins the popular vote which would mean the majority wants that person, the person that less people want can still win the electoral vote and then we're stuck with him/her. The electoral college is just pure stupidity and it should be abolished.
    I voted "Popular" for the same reasons stated in the OP. I am tired of having my vote ignored because I lived in a state where the majority outnumbered my political position.

  5. #95
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    You can't be seriously making that argument. The president's administration puts out a budget in which programs affecting individual states and the nation as a whole would be promoted. The office itself is a strength to promote policy changes, in addition to any agency changes that can be mare which would in turn affect the states. The President also has veto power. Now, are you saying that states merely have an interest in putting forward congressional members which represent their state, but feel no need to carefully consider the impact of a president upon their state?

    Furthermore, your next post completely sidesteps what the main argument was between small and large states. The former wanted to ensure that their interests are strongly considered against the constant derision of the majority. So yes, they were given disproportionate voting power.
    I am seriously making that argument.

    Your claim that the president can affect the states is true, and I've said nothing to the contrary. However, the president makes decisions on the basis of how it affects the nation, and should not be considering it's effect on one individual state, or giving those effects an undue influence on his policies because the state has disproportionate political power.

    And I never said that a state should not consider the impact a president can have upon their state. They can consider it all they want. I'm just saying that the president should not be coerced into giving that state undue influence due to its' having electoral power disproportionate to its' size and population

    And yes, I know what the small states wanted. However, the reason why their wants were addressed was in order to persuade them to join the union. Now that they've ratified the constitution, and have enjoyed the benefits of their advantage for two centuries, I see no reason why we should not consider the matter settled, and revoke that advantage.
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Obviously. Its not really a feasible system to expect all 50 states to agree to that simultaneously, but if enacted I believe it would be the best system.

    Yes one state at a time enacting it would be unfeasible.

    Again yes. It would have to be done in a similar method to the way the popular vote compact is being done.

    True. Not necessarily a bad thing.

    So. 500,000 votes is a statistical tie. I'd say that in an election that close who wins by a sliver of a popular vote, is less important than who accurately represents the different parts of America, which the electoral college does better.

    . . .

    I don't think that's the best way to elect the president.
    For states seeking to exercise their responsibility under the U.S. Constitution to choose a method of allocating electoral votes that best serves their state’s interest and that of the national interest, the proportional method falls far short of the National Popular Vote plan. The proportional method fails to promote majority rule, greater competitiveness, or voter equality.

    The whole number proportional system sharply increases the odds of no candidate getting the majority of electoral votes needed, leading to the selection of the president by the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state.

    With National Popular Vote, the Electoral College still would vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates.

    National Popular Vote guarantees the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country.

    Voters want that guarantee, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it's a bad thing for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.

    Even if all 50 states and DC used a proportional method, the presidency would not be guaranteed to the candidate with the most votes. Voters do not want any possibility of an electoral vote tie leaving Congress (with less than 10% approval rating now) to decide a presidential election, with each state having one vote, (with equally divided states being unable to cast a vote).

    A constitutional amendment to change all states to a proportional method could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    A compact, such as you're suggesting, to have ANY chance of succeeding, would need a trigger of all 50 states and DC enacting it before it would go into effect.

    National Popular Vote is what Americans want. It only requires states with 270 electoral votes to enact it, before going into effect, and it guarantees what most Americans want -- the candidate with the most votes will win, as in virtually every other election in the country.

  7. #97
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by JayGatsby View Post
    The president serves the whole country, and they should be elected by the whole country, if a candidate is voted for by the majority of Americans they should win, bottom line.
    The less populated states have more voting power in the senate too, a senator from Wyoming has the same amount of power than one from California, even though they serve a disproportionate amount of people, not saying this is a bad thing, just pointing out that voters is small states do have a say already.
    US Senators are not supposed to represent the people directly but rather the state governments, which are in theory equals regardless of differing populations.
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    My problem with the EC is that the Electoral Voter need not vote the way that the Electorate wants... Literally, our votes potentially do not count.
    The potus in practical terms represents the people and they campaign to the people. However the people are not treated equally in presidential elections. Some voters votes weigh more and millions of Americans are not even allowed to vote based on where they live.
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  9. #99
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    The potus in practical terms represents the people and they campaign to the people. However the people are not treated equally in presidential elections. Some voters votes weigh more and millions of Americans are not even allowed to vote based on where they live.
    Agreed...
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  10. #100
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    Re: The electoral college

    I think we need to stop worrying about how votes are sectioned and rounded, and instead start worrying about what "voting" is in democracy. Our current system of voting is the most basic "winner takes all" system, or first to the post voting. This almost always leads to a 2 party system and lots of compromising and/or tactical voting.

    Instead, we could use a ranking system. Everybody gets one vote, but they don't vote for one candidate to win, they vote for as many as they want and rank them based on preference. There are several systems that use that kind of ballot; single transferable voting, instant runoff voting, Kemeny-Young method (probably the "fairest", but hard to implement), etc. They all have problems, but they tend to create outcomes that best match the real choices of the voters.

    Most of these methods just do multiple rounds of regular voting, essentially to allow you to vote for everyone you like, but still have the least liked candidates fail. It reduces tactical voting by allowing you to vote on the candidate you like, even if you think they'll lose; your vote won't be wasted (although there are some mathematical flaws, where it could still be a "wasted" vote). Kemeny-Young is the best I've seen; it really seems to provide for the best outcomes. Explaining it is really hard, but it essentially pits each candidate against each candidate in virtual "traditional" votes, and uses lots of weird statistical mathe-magic. It's still hard for them to implement that method, so it's not going to be an option anytime soon. But, IRV or STV are already in use in several countries, including those that do it all by hand.

    Whichever we decide to use, it all comes down to using a method that implements the will of the people, which is almost never 100% democrat or 100% republican. We'd probably see alot more sects of traditional parties and more weight in independent parties. Essentially, right now, more than 50% of the population is always unhappy with the vote, and a ranked system would make it less than 50%. That's better democracy, if you ask me.

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