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#277 Nov 24 2016 at 1:47 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
So what exactly about me pointing out that her 2 million vote lead can be seen as almost exclusively from a 3.5 million vote lead in a single State, is inconsistent with my previous positions against single, large, populous States being able to run the election based on popular vote alone?

I mean, you may disagree with me, fine, but I don't see this statement as being inconsistent.

Because no one can win with California alone in a pure popular vote based on current population allocation, so you're wrong.

You're also wrong because again the states don't matter at all. only the electors do. The entire U.S. population can vote for Trump while Clinton could still be the legitimate PotUS, and you would have to support that outcome.


Again, whether or not you agree with me means nothing. What I said about the 3.5 million votes up in California vs the 2 million votes in Clinton's nation wide popular results is not inconsistent with my previous statements.

And... I'm not "wrong". Because all I said is she was up 3.5 million votes in California vs her 2 million votes nation wide.
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#278 Nov 24 2016 at 9:16 PM Rating: Good
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You said a single, large, populous state could run the election with a popular vote. That is incorrect. This is not an opinion to be agreed with, but a simple fact that no state has >50% of the U.S. population.

It is also still incorrect because in the EC states don't matter, only electors do.
#279 Nov 25 2016 at 1:04 AM Rating: Good
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I did a quick mock-up to see just how low it could go. 23% of the popular vote is what it takes to win the presidency. Note I believe 2 states award delegate proportionally and I didn't bother with DC, but it's in the ballpark.

Less than a quarter of the country is capable of deciding the president of the other three fourths. Why would anyone want this?
#280 Nov 25 2016 at 1:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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You're at 279 electoral votes if I'm reading that right. Shouldn't you bump out a 9 EV state?
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#281 Nov 25 2016 at 6:46 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
You said a single, large, populous state could run the election with a popular vote. That is incorrect. This is not an opinion to be agreed with, but a simple fact that no state has >50% of the U.S. population.


But it could. And nothing would stop it. I think right now it would take only what, 9 States to override the other 41, with a pure 100 to 0 hypothetical?

Allegory wrote:
It is also still incorrect because in the EC states don't matter, only electors do.


But my comment was not about whether or not Electors could change their vote. It was only about how Hillary had a 3.5 million vote lead in a single State, which would more than account for a 2 million vote lead nation wide, but somehow that was inconsistent with my previous held positions and I needed to be more consistent.

Jophiel wrote:
You're at 279 electoral votes if I'm reading that right. Shouldn't you bump out a 9 EV state?


Well, shouldn't it really be 0% of the popular vote with a big middle finger in the EC column as they all switch over to the Darkside.
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#282 Nov 25 2016 at 8:02 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
But it could. And nothing would stop it.

There is no possible situation based on the current state population distribution. If everyone decided a single state was hot stuff and moved there, yes, and in most of those situations the EC would also not stop it.
TirithRR wrote:
I think right now it would take only what, 9 States to override the other 41, with a pure 100 to 0 hypothetical?

And 23% of the population can override the other 77%.
TirithRR wrote:
But my comment was not about whether or not Electors could change their vote.

I know, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away.

The EC is not decided by states, but electors. Any argument about population percent or presumed EVs is ultimately irrelevant. If you believe it should be about states, then you too should be advocating for change.
Jophiel wrote:
You're at 279 electoral votes if I'm reading that right. Shouldn't you bump out a 9 EV state?

Maybe? I spent 1 minute to put it together just to ballpark how small a minority could win without faithless electors.
#283 Nov 25 2016 at 8:32 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
But it could. And nothing would stop it.

There is no possible situation based on the current state population distribution. If everyone decided a single state was hot stuff and moved there, yes, and in most of those situations the EC would also not stop it.


Wouldn't it though? If 51% of the US population lived in California, that would give them what... 212 or so House seats? (Just a rough estimate, I didn't bother looking up exact house equations, but it's something like 700k per, right?) Then 2 Senate Seats. And that alone would be 214 of the required 270. So assuming an all and none situation like the popular assumption, they wouldn't get control of the 270 required.

If 90% of the population moved to the single State, and each other State was only allotted their 3 EC, then it wouldn't matter, sure, but that's shifting toward the other far end where individual States no longer matter due to the huge differences in population. But I'm also not advocating for a 100 EC, 2 per State vote, that would end up with a equalized per State option.

Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
But my comment was not about whether or not Electors could change their vote.

I know, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away.

The EC is not decided by states, but electors. Any argument about population percent or presumed EVs is ultimately irrelevant. If you believe it should be about states, then you too should be advocating for change.


Maybe, but it wouldn't have to be to a popular vote system. I treat the faithless electors as a different issue than the popular vs this weighted representation system issue.
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#284 Nov 25 2016 at 1:46 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
I treat the faithless electors as a different issue than the popular vs this weighted representation system issue.

Well, I guess I'm unclear on your position then. Yes, faithless electors are a separate issue, but they are one that usurps any argument about vote allocation. It seemed, feel free to tell me I'm wrong here, that you either accepted or tolerated the existence of faithless electors. If I'm wrong in my understanding, and we both agree that faithless electors should not be a possibility, then we can continue digging into the issue of vote allocation. But if my understanding was correct, then the argument really needs to start here, because all else is contingent on this.
#285 Nov 28 2016 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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Trump says that all those millions that didn't vote for him all voted illegally so he actually won the popular vote, too.
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#286 Nov 28 2016 at 11:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Man all these illegals everywhere! Someone should build a wall to keep them out! Smiley: motz
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#287 Nov 28 2016 at 11:46 AM Rating: Good
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A brief, curated history of the EC.

I realize now that I was ignorant about the everything to which the modern EC is as good and deviates both from original intent and best practices. It really is a mess that needs to be done away with.
#288 Nov 28 2016 at 12:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Don't know if it would really make that much of a difference. The primary system is where the real problem is more-so than the electoral college. Both systems reduce voter participation and limit the consequential decision making to a small portion of the electorate. But there's a much higher variety of choice in the primaries than in the general election, so you'd get more mileage out of making the initial round of voting more inclusive somehow. Force open primaries, make every state have their primary on the same day, or some similar flavor to that.
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#289 Nov 28 2016 at 6:12 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
I treat the faithless electors as a different issue than the popular vs this weighted representation system issue.

Well, I guess I'm unclear on your position then. Yes, faithless electors are a separate issue, but they are one that usurps any argument about vote allocation. It seemed, feel free to tell me I'm wrong here, that you either accepted or tolerated the existence of faithless electors. If I'm wrong in my understanding, and we both agree that faithless electors should not be a possibility, then we can continue digging into the issue of vote allocation. But if my understanding was correct, then the argument really needs to start here, because all else is contingent on this.


I keep the issues of gerrymandering, faithless electors, and the weighted to low population States, separate. I don't take it an an all or nothing system.

As I mentioned earlier, I feel that the faithless electors issue, while potentially an issue, is nothing more than a smoke screen brought up by people who want nothing more than a pure popular vote (like yourself just now). Attempting to negate any benefit that may exist (whether you agree with it or not) by crying "Faithless Elector". Thinking that these examples mean much of anything. (Hey, those 63 in 1872 should have voted for the dead guy.)

Could it be an issue? Maybe. But currently not high on my list of concerns in politics, and definitely not where it needs to start. And whether or not it alone is an issue doesn't change my view of the option of a purely popular vote.
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#290 Nov 28 2016 at 6:21 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Force open primaries

I disagree. I don't see need for the government to regulate this aspect of a private organization. The primaries are shape to a significant extent by how the ballot is played out.
#291 Nov 28 2016 at 8:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Took the whole week off for the holiday, so just catching up to this thread. Gonna kinda pop out posts as I read through, so forgive me if stuff gets repeated (or made irrelevant based on later posts).

Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
While it is true that it doesn't change what is happening to them in their locales, it does change the awareness of people of those same happenings inside of and outside of those locales. People outside of those locales are much better informed about what is happening inside those locales then they used to be. It doesn't take information weeks to travel from point A to point B, potentially not informing voters BEFORE they vote, now the information is available nigh instantaneously.


Except there's a problem there. While you're correct that someone in Montana is much more aware of what's going on in California and New York today than he may have been in ages past, the folks in California and New York are no more likely to have a clue about what's going on in Montana. The same parts of our country that are the most densely populated are also the same parts that tend to be the most media focused as well (as in, sources of media). There's a very real potential for population density echo chambers to be created (and I'd actually argue already exist, if the current crop of shock and protests are any indication). Folks in small towns have a ton of insight into the goings on in big cities, but the same simply does not exist in reverse.

I'd argue that systems like the EC are not less needed today, but may actually be more needed because of this effect. Our higher population centers have become increasingly the cultural and informational centers of our nation. So much so that those living there have almost no clue at all how the rest of the population in their country lives. And increasingly, it appears as though they don't care, either. They simply deride those who live in small towns, call them hicks, knuckle draggers, etc. Of course, the problem with this is somewhat illustrated with the pizza example mentioned above (ok, only somewhat, but I like pizza!). Assuming we had a reason for having all 5 groups of people come to dinner, then we accept that each group has something we need. Otherwise, group 4 could just go out to dinner by themselves and order their own pizza, right? And in the real world, there actually is a reason for this.

The problem with the population centric model is that it favors those population/culture centered areas, but those areas are pretty darn dependent on the other areas for their survival. They need the other areas, if for no other reason than that's where they get their food, right? So in our pizza analogy, group 4 is the most populous, but they're just bringing the entertainment for the nights meal (and a ton of hungry people), while groups 1, 2, 3, and 5 are bringing the actual food that's going to be turned into pizza and consumed by everyone. In that scenario, you might want to make sure that you take all four of those other group's preferences into account, because if groups 1, 2, 3, and 5 eat separately from group 4, group 4 will go hungry (but be very well entertained, have wonderful weighty conversations about politics and science and whatnot), while the other groups will have full belly's (but less culture. OMG!).

You need both "sides" of the equation for the whole to work properly. And yes, I'm grossly simplifying things here, but the basic concept does work. What's happened is that those in the high population areas have forgotten that they do actually need those low population density parts of the country to remain parts of the country and thus have to give them a greater voice. Farmland is going to tend to be sparsely populated relative to the cities. But it's quite arguable that the farmland communities will do far far better without the cities than the other way around. Something that many people living in those cities have lost sight of.

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I am not saying people today are any better at making those hard choices then they were in the days of the founding fathers, I believe that people for the most part are myopic, ego-centric pricks, but they are now better informed myopic, ego-centric pricks.


More information does not necessarily mean "better" information, and certainly doesn't always mean "complete" information. Making decisions based on the half of the puzzle you can see isn't always a good idea. In fact, it's almost always a bad idea.
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#292 Nov 28 2016 at 8:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
I am able to separate being a citizen of the State of California, and being a citizen of the United States.

Do I think that California should be allowed to decide what goes on within it's borders, with it's budget, what state laws to pass/enforce? Sure. I am a citizen of the state of California, in those instances.

When I vote for the President of the United States of America, I am a citizen of the United State first and foremost. I am taking into account how I want the whole country to be led and governed, not just my part of it.


Except that policies enacted at the federal level can affect the borders, budget, and laws in your state. So if you live in a state where say 60% of the population want law A, your state passes law A. Law A is now the law in your state. Thus, your state has an interest in policies at the federal level that align with law A, or at the very least don't contradict it or make it difficult to implement locally. Thus, your state will want to present it's interest as a single block to the federal government.

Which is more or less what the EC does. It's also, as I pointed out in the other thread, how the same sort of process affects the results of the House and Senate as well. None of our federal systems are the result of direct popular voting. They are all the results of state interests, in turn chosen by a vote in each individual state. Because each state is a separate legal entity, with separate geographies, laws, and cultures. The states (or districts within each state in the case of the House) have representation at the federal level.

Simply saying "but it should be this way!" over and over doesn't actually make that way "better" in any way. I think someone mentioned upthread something about how a minority winning isn't how things should work in a Democracy. I'll point out again that we don't live in a Democracy. We live in a Republic. We have always lived in a republic. And in a Republic, people vote locally to elect representatives, who then represent that whole geographic or legal region. That is the system of government we have. It's the system we have always had. There are a host of very good reasons to use a Republic as your form of government rather than a direct Democracy. And I have yet to hear any argument that sufficiently justifies why it should be changed (yeah, subjective, whatever).

Edited, Nov 28th 2016 6:54pm by gbaji
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#293 Nov 28 2016 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
Well, no... because then the States wouldn't matter.

In terms of deciding a single federal Chief Executive? Maybe not but I don't see where that matters. Out of all the facets of states' rights, the EC ranks somewhere down near the bottom in terms of importance. And since the system we have now is to the detriment of other states, I don't see "states wouldn't matter" being a valid argument.


Except it only disenfranchises states which have a skewed population politically. Voters in states with a nearly equal number of people on different sides of our major political issues (well, as well as that can be in our two party system), carry a lot of weight. Voters in states with a large majority on one "side", do not. I would think we would want our issues to be most decided by people living in close proximity with a roughly equal percentage of people who disagree with them than by those living in echo chambers. Because when you live in an echo chamber, you're less likely to even be aware of the opposing side's reasoning, and thus more likely to simply blindly follow along because that's what everyone else around you is doing.

If we had a large ball with one half painted green and one half painted purple, and placed 60% of the people on the purple side and 40% on the green side, then decided which color the ball was based on people voting which color they saw, we'd conclude that the entire ball was purple, right? That does not make it true through.

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Disenfranchising people with the excuse of "states rights" strikes me as remarkably wrong. Not that it would be the first or last time in our nation's history that we've used that excuse for the same ends.


Ominous references to past uses of "state's rights" does not represent a valid argument for why, in this case, it's not valid to place weight based on state boundaries rather than just ignoring them in favor of a pure nationwide popular vote. No system is perfect. But IMO, eliminating the EC would create far more problems than it would solve. The goal here isn't "reject something because it's not perfect", but "find the least imperfect solution". And I happen to think that the EC is less imperfect than a pure popular vote would be.
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#294 Nov 28 2016 at 9:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Except it only disenfranchises states which have a skewed population politically.

I'm... stunned that you think that's in any way an excuse or reasonable proposition. "Teach you people to live in THAT state! Haha, your votes don't matter!"

Hey, if that's your definition of "less imperfect", I dunno what to tell ya.
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Ominous references to past uses of "state's rights" does not represent a valid argument for why, in this case, it's not valid to place weight based on state boundaries rather than just ignoring them in favor of a pure nationwide popular vote.

No, the disenfranchisement of millions of voters does a more than adequate job of that.
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#295 Nov 28 2016 at 9:37 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
As I mentioned earlier, I feel that the faithless electors issue, while potentially an issue, is nothing more than a smoke screen brought up by people who want nothing more than a pure popular vote (like yourself just now).

That seems like a silly position. You refuse to advocate for making a change we both seem to agree on because of something you consider unrelated that we disagree on?
#296 Nov 28 2016 at 9:40 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
As I mentioned earlier, I feel that the faithless electors issue, while potentially an issue, is nothing more than a smoke screen brought up by people who want nothing more than a pure popular vote (like yourself just now).

That seems like a silly position. You refuse to advocate for making a change we both seem to agree on because of something you consider unrelated that we disagree on?


Welcome to Politics, buddy.
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#297 Nov 29 2016 at 12:49 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Except there's a problem there. While you're correct that someone in Montana is much more aware of what's going on in California and New York today than he may have been in ages past, the folks in California and New York are no more likely to have a clue about what's going on in Montana.

I disagree, I happen to read the news quite a bit, and I see stories about the goings on all over the world. In addition, it is now possible to have friends in very remote places that you can now talk too, INSTANTLY, at any time of the day or night!

gbaji wrote:
The same parts of our country that are the most densely populated are also the same parts that tend to be the most media focused as well (as in, sources of media). There's a very real potential for population density echo chambers to be created (and I'd actually argue already exist, if the current crop of shock and protests are any indication). Folks in small towns have a ton of insight into the goings on in big cities, but the same simply does not exist in reverse.
This is your opinion, and you are entitled to it.
But please see my above response regarding, oh, the telephone, the internet, twitter, Facebook, etc ad nauseam.

gbaji wrote:
I'd argue that systems like the EC are not less needed today, but may actually be more needed because of this effect
You'd argue lots of things, and it doesn't make them true. Again, you are entitled to your opinion, just as I am to mine.

gbaji wrote:
Our higher population centers have become increasingly the cultural and informational centers of our nation. So much so that those living there have almost no clue at all how the rest of the population in their country lives. And increasingly, it appears as though they don't care, either. They simply deride those who live in small towns, call them hicks, knuckle draggers, etc.

Anecdotal and prejudicial. Move to strike from the record. If we keep this on the record, I move we add the reverse, as well. "People living in their country lives call us city folk faggot jews, who worship the devil."

gbaji wrote:
More information does not necessarily mean "better" information, and certainly doesn't always mean "complete" information.

Well thank god that's not what I said, strawman. I said "Better Informed" and better informed is better then less informed, by DEFINITION.
A person now knows a lot about a subject or a situation, where as before they would have known next to nothing.
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#298 Nov 29 2016 at 12:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
And in a Republic, people vote locally to elect representatives, who then represent that whole geographic or legal region.

Hmm, I don't remember seeing the representatives name on the ballot. Pretty sure I voted for the candidate, not the representative.
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#299 Nov 29 2016 at 12:53 AM Rating: Decent
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#300 Nov 29 2016 at 2:47 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
As I mentioned earlier, I feel that the faithless electors issue, while potentially an issue, is nothing more than a smoke screen brought up by people who want nothing more than a pure popular vote (like yourself just now).

That seems like a silly position. You refuse to advocate for making a change we both seem to agree on because of something you consider unrelated that we disagree on?

The overall discussion was why a voter from Wyoming was worth four times that of a voter from California. Not whether or not an elector could or should be able to change their pledged vote. When left at two disagreeing opinions with pros and cons for each, it devolved into an "Well, you have to agree with me because electors can change their vote!".
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#301 Nov 29 2016 at 7:51 AM Rating: Good
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My overall point is that the EC is flawed and should be changed. Within in that, there are many specific parts I feel should be changed, including arbitrary and disproportionate vote allocation, but it's not the only issue I care about.

I'm not forcing you to throw the baby out with the bath water. Agreeing with me on faithless electors doesn't mean ceding any other point or ground. But if you won't even agree that that electors should be forced to vote the way you want them to, then it sounds to me like you don't even believe in your own system.
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