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#152 Nov 13 2016 at 5:45 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
Maybe if there were 54 times as many men in the US as there were women, women would feel a bit let down by a purely popular vote? Wouldn't they want to attempt to equalize the interests of both men and women? While the men would want their majority to still hold some power.

But we as a nation have agreed this is ok. Within an individual state, men's and women's votes do count the same, even if one group is in the majority.


http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf Would appear that for the most part, populations of man vs woman are near equal.

But, stepping aside for a second. The system is a compromise of "majority rule" vs "majority of groups (like States, or in this case, Men or Women) rule". So it's never going to be exactly one way or exactly the other.

Allegory wrote:
States to me are largely artificial governing constructs. Wyoming has 3 electoral votes. Montana has 3 electoral. If the two states decided to merge into a single state, then they would not have 6 electoral votes, they would still have 3. They would still have the same constituents with the same interests, but now their amount of representation has changed based on where the boundaries have been drawn.


Yes, because they'd now be one State. They'd also now get fewer members in Congress. All your criticisms seem to fall on "This apple doesn't look like this orange." Individually, their values as a State in the Union raise up their relatively low populations worth when it comes to electing the President and to getting representation in the Senate and House.

Allegory wrote:
I see the ultimate goal of voting systems as to achieve as accurate a translation of people's interest to government as possible. Simplistically, the amount of people who want something multiplied by the degree to which they want it should be reflected in the government to exactly that degree. Any more or less is a failure in the translation process.


But ultimately, our country is a Union of individual States. And Wyoming's value as a State raises it up a bit (but not 100% equal, since there has been a compromise with the value of larger Populations).

Allegory wrote:
It has happened 157 times. It has yet to effect a presidential election, but were it to do so it would be a legitimate result. Even if you like everything else the EC does, do you also agree that they can Constitutionally ignore any input from the entirety of U.S. voters? What purpose does this serve or benefit does it achieve?

What if it was built into the rules of baseball that the umpire could change the score at any point in the game on a whim? Even if in the history of MLB no umpire has used it to effect the outcome of the game (although they have messed with scores before), why have this rule?


157 times which appears to be an extremely small amount relatively speaking. Also appears that something like half the States plus DC have rules regarding the way an elector can vote, and penalties for not voting the way they pledged. So time to get on your State level governments to fix anything you may see as wrong with the way they choose electors and enforce pledges. Maybe pressure them to look at those gerrymandered district lines a bit too.
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#153 Nov 13 2016 at 10:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:
Even if you like everything else the EC does, do you also agree that they can Constitutionally ignore any input from the entirety of U.S. voters? What purpose does this serve or benefit does it achieve?

The Founding Fathers assumed that the average person was a moron who can't actually be trusted with democracy. Same reason why senators used to be selected by the state legislatures rather than popular vote.
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#154 Nov 13 2016 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf Would appear that for the most part, populations of man vs woman are near equal.

But, stepping aside for a second. The system is a compromise of "majority rule" vs "majority of groups (like States, or in this case, Men or Women) rule". So it's never going to be exactly one way or exactly the other.

We could substitute race for gender if you prefer. The system isn't a compromise between majority rule for any demographic except geographic. A difference isn't being drawn for men versus women or white versus blacks, but it is being drawn for Texans versus Wyomingites. And the compromise that it does take there is arbitrary.
TirithRR wrote:
Yes, because they'd now be one State. They'd also now get fewer members in Congress. All your criticisms seem to fall on "This apple doesn't look like this orange." Individually, their values as a State in the Union raise up their relatively low populations worth when it comes to electing the President and to getting representation in the Senate and House.

But ultimately, our country is a Union of individual States. And Wyoming's value as a State raises it up a bit (but not 100% equal, since there has been a compromise with the value of larger Populations).

I guess my criticism is that an apple should be an apple any way you slice it, and not suddenly be called an orange.

Let me ask you then, do you find no problem with gerrymandering? If you don't see any issue with the same group of people with the same values producing a different result based on how the state boundaries are drawn, then you shouldn't see any issue with the same group of people with the same values producing a different result based on how district lines are drawn. It is fundamentally the same concept.
TirithRR wrote:
157 times which appears to be an extremely small amount relatively speaking. Also appears that something like half the States plus DC have rules regarding the way an elector can vote, and penalties for not voting the way they pledged. So time to get on your State level governments to fix anything you may see as wrong with the way they choose electors and enforce pledges.

Those punishments may not be Constitutional, and even if they were I'm not sure they would override the vote.

I don't understand your perspective, and you'll have to give me a more generalized view. It seems that by saying 157 is a small number that you agree this is a problem, but you don't want it to be fixed. Do you like every aspect of the way the EC works. Do you see no change that should be made and believe the system is perfect as is, and that no voting system in all of human past or all of humanity's future will ever surpass it?

Edited, Nov 13th 2016 1:34pm by Allegory
#155 Nov 13 2016 at 1:25 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
The Founding Fathers assumed that the average person was a moron who can't actually be trusted with democracy. Same reason why senators used to be selected by the state legislatures rather than popular vote.

What dead men think isn't of much concern to me. Do you think electors can consistently do a better job of selecting the president than a popular vote (or another any other preferred methodology)?

Edited, Nov 13th 2016 1:34pm by Allegory
#156 Nov 13 2016 at 1:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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I wasn't giving my opinion of it. You asked what purpose it served. It was designed around the purpose that the FF thought we're idiots. The benefit is that the common voter doesn't have the final word in deciding the presidency. That's the answer.
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#157 Nov 13 2016 at 2:06 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf Would appear that for the most part, populations of man vs woman are near equal.

But, stepping aside for a second. The system is a compromise of "majority rule" vs "majority of groups (like States, or in this case, Men or Women) rule". So it's never going to be exactly one way or exactly the other.

We could substitute race for gender if you prefer. The system isn't a compromise between majority rule for any demographic except geographic. A difference isn't being drawn for men versus women or white versus blacks, but it is being drawn for Texans versus Wyomingites. And the compromise that it does take there is arbitrary.


Let's be clear here. I don't believe in giving any particular individual more or less based on ***/religion/race, etc. I merely used your Man/Woman example. But this is not just a "geographic demographic". This is a State. The States are governing bodies that agreed to enter a Union. So that is why the compromise exists based on that. It's not arbitrary.

Now, if Men really were from Mars, and Women really from Venus, and Mars and Venus came together and decided to form a United Federation of Planets, I would agree that something like the EC would need to be implemented so that the (fictional) massive population of Mars did not constantly outweigh Venus because of a 1 person 1 vote rule. (Wasn't there some Mecha-Fanservice-Anime that did something like that?)


Allegory wrote:
I guess my criticism is that an apple should be an apple any way you slice it, and not suddenly be called an orange.

Let me ask you then, do you find no problem with gerrymandering? If you don't see any issue with the same group of people with the same values producing a different result based on how the state boundaries are drawn, then you shouldn't see any issue with the same group of people with the same values producing a different result based on how district lines are drawn. It is fundamentally the same concept.

[...]

Do you like every aspect of the way the EC works. Do you see no change that should be made and believe the system is perfect as is, and that no voting system in all of human past or all of humanity's future will ever surpass it?


I think you are connecting a couple (or even a few) issues here that don't have to be connected. I can be against gerrymandering, and against Electors being able to switch their vote, while still being for the idea that lower population States get a heavier weighted vote per person at the Federal level than a straight 1 person 1 vote would be.

I merely point out that the times electors have switched there votes are so small, and so insignificant, that bringing it up and tying it to the concept of the EC as a whole, irremovable from it, just seems like a fear mongering attempt when large, consolidated populations don't get their way.

And I don't think punishments (like elector votes being thrown out, fines, criminal prosecution) are a violation of the constitution. But I guess that'd be up for the courts to decide, if someone decided to challenge half the States.

Edit:
According to this site (Government Source) a few States do have restrictions that would cancel the vote if the Elector went against the pledged choice. So it seems that they can restrict it and nullify the vote.

Edited, Nov 14th 2016 7:36pm by TirithRR
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#158 Nov 13 2016 at 2:11 PM Rating: Good
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Well, I wanted a present tense answer to a present tense question. I was also wanting an answer specifically from TirithRR as I'm trying to better grasp what his perspective is.

I'm looking for a justification for the EC that exists now as it exists now for reasons other than practicality, because the sense that I've gained form TirithRR and Gbaji is that they both believe the current system is the best for representing the people.
#159 Nov 14 2016 at 8:10 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
In the end, how I voted didn't really matter
That answers that question.
Jophiel wrote:
It was designed around the purpose that the FF thought we're idiots.
Certainly no denying it now.
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#160 Nov 14 2016 at 8:47 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
It was designed around the purpose that the FF thought we're idiots.

Well, compared to Reed Richards, yes, we are all idiots, but I'm pretty sure I could beat Ben in a math off!
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#161 Nov 14 2016 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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Don't know, might be close. Ben was a NASA pilot and had a bunch of engineering degrees even before being turned into a statue.

Also insert obvious Jewish joke here.

Edited, Nov 14th 2016 11:07am by lolgaxe
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#162 Nov 14 2016 at 6:06 PM Rating: Good
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Speaking of the Electoral College, Slate gonna Slate.
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#163 Nov 14 2016 at 7:15 PM Rating: Good
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Eh? My local paper runs opposing editorials the majority of days.
#164 Nov 14 2016 at 7:33 PM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
Speaking of the Electoral College, Slate gonna Slate.


Seems like that right article is missing a few adjectives. Aren't they supposed to try to fit "male", "cisgender", "heterosexual", umm... damn, I forgot the rest.

Edited, Nov 14th 2016 8:34pm by TirithRR
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#165 Nov 14 2016 at 7:57 PM Rating: Good
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Privileged Shitlord. Smiley: nod

Edited, Nov 14th 2016 7:58pm by Demea
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#166 Nov 14 2016 at 8:27 PM Rating: Default
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Allegory wrote:
gbaji wrote:
not by total popular vote of the country as a whole.

That is exactly what the most populous states wanted.


No, it's not. For two reasons:

1. You're confusing a raw popular vote, which means every single person votes independent of where they live, and the totals are just added up, versus "each state gets a delegation based on that state's total population, and each states delegation is in turn determined via a vote of the people in that state". Those are *not* the same thing, and will not always cause the same outcome. And again, that assumes that each state determines the makeup of their delegations via the same methods (ie: popular vote), which is *also* not a requirement. Remember, we live in the "United States of America", not "Americaland".

2. While it's what would have benefited their states the most, that does not mean that's what the folks coming up with the system fought for tooth and nail. You're assuming a straight up adversarial process here, with the small states each wanting every state to have the same number, and the big states wanting each state to have a number of representatives based on population, and then they compromised in the middle. The reality is much more like how we actually do things in the real world. Both sides realize that either one of those extremes would be unfair for various reasons and collectively seek out a solution that provides the best mix of the two.

Your argument is like saying that combining a sweet flavor (like say grated carrot) into your high acid tomato sauce, was a compromise between those who wanted "sweet" marinara and those who wanted "acid" marinara with both being steadfastly committed to their "side" of the flavor issue, when the reality is that most sane people realize that by putting both in there, it simply makes for a better tasting sauce. Most people recognize immediately that delegations based on pure population is unfair, and that those awarded to states regardless of size is *also* unfair. Most people then seek out a solution that works better. Um... Which is what happened in this case.

Quote:
It's the only relevant point besides the faithless electors debacle. If the exact number of delegates from each state was exactly equal to their proportion of the population then there would be no discussion to be had.


Incorrect. It's not even a very complicated math problem and easily demonstrated. Let's say there are 5 states in our hypothetical country. Let's also say that there are exactly 5 million voters in the total national election. Let's also assume there is one big state with 3 million voters (state A), and 4 smaller states, with .5 million voters each (states B through E). Let's also assume that each state gets a representative in the EC for every 100k voters. So the first state has 30 EC votes, and each of the remaining 4 states have 5.

First obvious outcome is that it doesn't matter how anyone votes in the other four smaller states, right? You win a simple majority of the voters in the one big state and you automatically win 3/5ths of the electoral college and win. So... um... Way to totally disenfranchise 40% of your population, right? So if 51% of the voters in state A vote for candidate A, and 100% of the voters in states B, C, D, and E vote for candidate B,, then candidate A wins, despite the popular vote going to candidate A (just under 3.5 million votes to just over 1.5 million).

That's an extreme example to illustrate the point, but you don't really need that much extreme for this to happen. The point I'm making here is the fact that we weight the EC in favor of small states a bit by granting each delegation 2 extra votes regardless of size, the same issue of the EC providing a different outcome than the majority opinion by raw popular vote still occurs.

We could change the numbers just a bit and say that state A contains 2 million voters, states B and C each have 1 million voters, and D and E each have half a million voters, and come up with a scenario where say 51% of the voters in states A and B vote for candidate A, while 100% of voters in C, D, and E vote for candidate B. This would result in 30 EC votes for candidate A, but only just over 1.5 million votes. And just in case you think this means that the EC always favors big states, we could also have a scenario where 100% of voters in state A vote candidate A, and 49% of voters in states B, C, D, and E for for candidate A. That would result in candidate A winning only 20 EC votes out of 50, but having won just under 4 million popular votes out of the total 5 million.

Point being that in a diverse enough set of states and populations, there are a nearly infinite number of possible scenarios where the EC results will differ from the popular vote, even without the extra weight our system puts in to help out small states. So arguing that the scenario where that happens is somehow the "fault" of a disagreement over that weighting factor is just plain flawed. It does not matter (well, not much). What really matters is that we determine the election by delegations and not by popular vote. Now, if you disagree with that methodology, then you're free to do so. But the issue of delegation size by pure population versus weighted value isn't relevant to that. You either think that each state sending its own delegation to vote is wrong, or you think it's right. Pick one, and then defend it.

There's no "compromise" here that resulted in this possibility. The folks who came up with the method we use for electing presidents were pretty much all on board with the idea of using state delegations from day one, and I'm not aware that anyone seriously considered trying to use a straight popular vote for this. So your talk about it not being an intent, but a compromise is meaningless. You're free to argue that the EC delegation process should change, but that does not address the issue of whether we should use the EC or populate vote in the first place.

You're mixing up two completely different issues IMO.


Quote:
Yes, and that's a flaw.


No. It's not. It's how representation works. The same exact "flaw" exists when you elect a member of your political party to congress. He could choose to vote in a way you don't like on a given issue, right? It's possible. Heck. It even happens from time to time. Um... But it's less likely to happen here because this would be like if the people voted in members of congress, not to vote on a wide variety of different bills that may come up over the course of their term, but to literally make one and only one vote on one and only one thing. Each person is being selected specifically because he has promised to vote for A, or for B. You elect that person to that position based on his promise to vote A or B. Period.

That's not a flaw. That's how representative government works. I'm not sure how you can't grasp this. How else would you do it?

Quote:
Ultimately the popular vote is irrelevant, and the presumed electoral vote is irrelevant. The electors can and have voted against their assigned vote. I guarantee you most people would be upset if multiple electors were to break from their assign votes and elect someone other than the president elect, and yet this is a legitimate, Constitutional result. Why continue to support a system that is designed to fail?


Because it's better than every other system we've tried?
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#167 Nov 14 2016 at 8:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf Would appear that for the most part, populations of man vs woman are near equal.

But, stepping aside for a second. The system is a compromise of "majority rule" vs "majority of groups (like States, or in this case, Men or Women) rule". So it's never going to be exactly one way or exactly the other.

We could substitute race for gender if you prefer. The system isn't a compromise between majority rule for any demographic except geographic. A difference isn't being drawn for men versus women or white versus blacks, but it is being drawn for Texans versus Wyomingites. And the compromise that it does take there is arbitrary.


It's not. Each state is its own sovereign territory, with its own economy, its own legislative body, its own executive body, its judicial body, its own police forces, education departments, etc, etc, etc. There are a ton of reasons why we might treat the state of Texas differently than the state of Wyoming from a legal and representation perspective, but not "white people", "black people", "men", and "women". The former represents divisions along actual legal and geographic boundaries, while the other only exists as divisions to the degree to which we decide to treat or act differently based on those things. There's no innate reason why a black person would want a different set of rules than a white person. There are a number of reasons why someone living in one state might want different federal rules and whatnot than someone living in another.

Those are just not remotely the same thing.

Quote:
I guess my criticism is that an apple should be an apple any way you slice it, and not suddenly be called an orange.


Except in this case, one thing is very very different than the other. I would hope you're not advocating that we segregate people by race or *** or whatever, and apply different rules to them based on those categories. Right? Cause that would be a really bad idea. While having different rules in one state versus another is absolutely not a problem. Surely you can see this. I hope?

Quote:
Let me ask you then, do you find no problem with gerrymandering? If you don't see any issue with the same group of people with the same values producing a different result based on how the state boundaries are drawn, then you shouldn't see any issue with the same group of people with the same values producing a different result based on how district lines are drawn. It is fundamentally the same concept.


That's a whole different topic really. Again though, the primary difference her is that when the divisions are geographical (or legal), people can affect change by moving their location. You can't change the color of your skin. So totally not the same thing.

I do happen to agree with you that gerrymandering is a problem. But it's a problem that can and does got both ways, and frankly, there's no much we can do to prevent it.

Quote:
I don't understand your perspective, and you'll have to give me a more generalized view. It seems that by saying 157 is a small number that you agree this is a problem, but you don't want it to be fixed.


157 times is counting the total number of EC delegates who voted against how they were supposed to. Not 157 times that decision actually had any effect on the outcome of the election. That number is zero.

Quote:
Do you like every aspect of the way the EC works. Do you see no change that should be made and believe the system is perfect as is, and that no voting system in all of human past or all of humanity's future will ever surpass it?


I think the bigger problem is when people only bring this issue up when the results aren't in their favor. If you only care about fixing the EC when the popular vote was for your candidate, but the EC vote gave the win to the opposing candidate, then this isn't really about you caring about the flaws of the system, but you not liking that your candidate didn't win. It's like complaining about the push out rule for receptions in football right after your team's receiver got pushed out of bounds while making what would otherwise have been a game winning catch. If you don't complain about it every single time it's used, regardless of who benefits, then your complaint can rightly be ignored as whining about your own team losing.

Which is basically what this EC thing is as well.
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#168 Nov 14 2016 at 8:57 PM Rating: Good
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I am curious if Allegory is against the idea of the Senate? Same voting power regardless of population. Even the House would be weighted to the bottom because of the guaranteed one representative. (The combination of which would be why the EC is weighted such). The whole system gives more weight (but not equal weight) to States with smaller populations. As if by design.

One would assume that as the country becomes less rural, more evenly polarized (with the right-vote being spread out in the more sparsely populated rural areas), and more liberal (in bigger urban cities) that you will probably see these EC / Popular mismatches happen more often.
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#169 Nov 14 2016 at 9:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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Speaking of the Electoral College, Slate gonna Slate.

I'll be the first to agree that Slate is usually nonsense but they have different writers and contributors. That Richard Posner (judge for the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals) in 2012 said one thing and Mark Joseph Stern (writer for law and LGBTQ issues) in 2016 said something else isn't exactly earth-shattering.

Edited, Nov 14th 2016 9:32pm by Jophiel
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#170 Nov 14 2016 at 10:14 PM Rating: Good
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#171 Nov 14 2016 at 11:39 PM Rating: Good
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If I'm reading gbaji right he is advocating for proportional EC?


ALSO: Wyoming is just Texas writ small. Maybe make a different comparison? Like Texas vs, oh I dunno, South Dakota? (since we are not an "energy" state?
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#172 Nov 15 2016 at 12:16 AM Rating: Good
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Doing the quick and easy responses first before responding to Gbaji.
Friar Bijou wrote:
If I'm reading gbaji right he is advocating for proportional EC?

I'm opining that the EC is a fundamentally flawed system for translating political desires into results, though it may have practical benefits such as being cheaper and faster than more accurate elections. I'm not partial to any specific alternative, but I assert a purely popular vote would more accurately translate political desires into results.
TirithRR wrote:
I am curious if Allegory is against the idea of the Senate?

One would assume that as the country becomes less rural, more evenly polarized (with the right-vote being spread out in the more sparsely populated rural areas), and more liberal (in bigger urban cities) that you will probably see these EC / Popular mismatches happen more often.

I am against the Senate, and have fairly radical ideas on how representatives should be elected, but realize there is absolutely no political interest in seeking any change in that area.

Your point about stratification may be correct, but--and not wanting to branch the conversation off in another direction again-- I believe tying people to geographical location will become less and less relevant as time goes on, which will further distort any system based on geographical governance.

I don't work in the same district I live in, like many citizens I commute. I spend half of my waking hours in a location I do not have representation in. The business I work for has a national client base and must satisfy the various requirements of other states in which it and most of its employees do not have representation. More so in the past, you would be born, live, and die in the same town, and it you pulled up states it was a fairly permanent transition. As time goes on, geographic location is going to become less and less relevant. systems built around the convenience of grouping people geographically are going to continually lose their ability to accurately represent that group.

I believe there are present problems with the EC, but over time those problems will grow worse due to decreased importance on geographic location.
#173 Nov 15 2016 at 1:03 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
The reality is much more like how we actually do things in the real world. Both sides realize that either one of those extremes would be unfair for various reasons and collectively seek out a solution that provides the best mix of the two.

Well, you're right in that they were being realists, but their solution was a diplomatic one, not a scientific, mathematical, or philosophical one. They said "Fudge it, we'll go halfsies." A voting system shouldn't be designed based on negotiations anymore than you can negotiate the equations of gravity.
gbaji wrote:
The same exact "flaw" exists when you elect a member of your political party to congress. He could choose to vote in a way you don't like on a given issue, right?

Yes, but at least I elected him. I don't have the same control over an elector.

Moreover, when I'm electing a representative I'm electing not to simply be my helper monkey and push the voting button in Congress because I'm too lazy to do so. I'm electing a representative to make decisions on my behalf. Their votes are not my votes, they themselves are my vote.

With a faithless elector, and this may merely be opinion but I think it's a rather valid one most people would agree with, I'm not selecting them to make decisions on my behalf. If I vote Joe Plumber for president, then I want my elector to vote Joe Plumber for president. I don't want my elector to take that as a suggestion and ultimately do what they feels best.
gbaji wrote:
Because it's better than every other system we've tried?

How trite. We haven't tried much at all. We're beginning to though. Maine just recently passed a measure to allow ranked voting, which I believe is an improvement.

Life is a race. You start to lose not because you began to head backwards, but also because you stand still. If the U.S. never tries to improve then we will fall behind other nations that do.
#174 Nov 15 2016 at 6:11 AM Rating: Good
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The issue is you appear to hold no value (or almost no value at all) to the State. So you see no value in the States having an sort of equalized power.

I'm honestly curious if you'd be on that side if the current Rural vs Urban voting styles of the American populace were switched. If these big, growing, cities were bastions of Conservative voting. I haven't paid attention to enough of your posts to remember if you lean left or right (assuming left, since the number of right leaners on this forum are minimal). And not an "of course I would be" easy answer which everyone gives when approached by such a question. The whole "it's only broken if it doesn't work for the people I agree with".

I see an issue with a purely popular vote when some ~40% of the US population lives in 20 huge cities across the US (And I think those numbers are growing, but haven't looked up exact numbers or trends). I have no idea where you live, and don't really care to pry, but I would think there are realistic differences in important issues across a country as big and populous as the US. Beyond the "who gets to use what bathroom" things.

Allegory wrote:
Well, [toward gbaji] you're right in that they were being realists, but their solution was a diplomatic one, not a scientific, mathematical, or philosophical one. They said "Fudge it, we'll go halfsies." A voting system shouldn't be designed based on negotiations anymore than you can negotiate the equations of gravity.


And I disagree. A voting system should be designed based on diplomacy and negotiation. Not just mathematics. In this case multiple groups came together and formed a Union, and those smaller parts of the Union were worried their voices would be lost to the larger parts. Interactions between wide varieties of people shouldn't be treated like the laws of gravity... that's just silly.

Edited, Nov 15th 2016 6:45pm by TirithRR
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#175 Nov 15 2016 at 8:24 AM Rating: Good
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I do happen to agree with you that gerrymandering is a problem. But it's a problem that can and does got both ways, and frankly, there's no much we can do to prevent it.


Yes. There is no way we can design a system without gerrymandering. It's just a natural law.

Having arbitrary regional boundaries matter in a national election is fairly asinine. It's one of many structural hedges to disenfranchise the public.
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I'll be the first to agree that Slate is usually nonsense but they have different writers and contributors.
Sure, but it's more about Slate having a general tone. It'd be like Fox News suddenly doing nothing but praising Obama.
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#177 Nov 15 2016 at 8:42 PM Rating: Default
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Allegory wrote:
Well, you're right in that they were being realists, but their solution was a diplomatic one, not a scientific, mathematical, or philosophical one. They said "Fudge it, we'll go halfsies." A voting system shouldn't be designed based on negotiations anymore than you can negotiate the equations of gravity.


I think we're just going to have to completely disagree here. There is no "right" or "scientific" way to do this. There is only the way to do this that the folks deciding how to do it agree on. I guess I'm just baffled by your statement. It's like saying that when a group of people get together to decide where to go out to dinner, they shouldn't make this decision by having a discussion and figuring out which restaurant meets the approval (or at least acceptance) of the collective members of the group, but should be instead determined by some apparently completely undefined but utterly "correct" scientific process that, I guess, magically tell us the one and only best choice for dinner.

That's... strange. People don't make decisions that way. Ever. They do exactly what which you say they shouldn't. They negotiate and come to an agreement. There's nothing at all wrong about that.

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gbaji wrote:
The same exact "flaw" exists when you elect a member of your political party to congress. He could choose to vote in a way you don't like on a given issue, right?

Yes, but at least I elected him. I don't have the same control over an elector.


Huh? Of course you do. You have *exactly* the same amount of control over an elector that you have over an elected representative. Which is to say, none at all, except to the degree that said representative or elector wants to continue to have the future support of the party he is a member of in the future. You do understand that if a representative decided he didn't care at all about re-election, he's free to vote anyway he wants on anything he wants, right? You have no actual way to force him to vote in any specific way at all. You have to trust that if he's a member of party A, and party A has a platform that includes things you agree with, and he's personally stated while running that he'll support those specific positions if elected, that by voting for him, he's going to vote in congress in accordance with those platform positions as he promised.

But he's certainly free to not do that if he wants. Just as an elector is free to do this. I'm not sure why you think this is different at all.

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Moreover, when I'm electing a representative I'm electing not to simply be my helper monkey and push the voting button in Congress because I'm too lazy to do so. I'm electing a representative to make decisions on my behalf. Their votes are not my votes, they themselves are my vote.


Right. Which is exactly the same thing you do with an elector. You vote for him. In this case, he's got just one vote to do, so if anything you have a much greater expectation that he's going to do that one thing exactly as he promised. Again, I'm not really sure what the heck you're trying to argue here.

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With a faithless elector, and this may merely be opinion but I think it's a rather valid one most people would agree with, I'm not selecting them to make decisions on my behalf. If I vote Joe Plumber for president, then I want my elector to vote Joe Plumber for president. I don't want my elector to take that as a suggestion and ultimately do what they feels best.


I've already explained how the risk of this happening is a necessary requirement to providing sufficient flexibility in our election process to ensure that it can handle a handful of rare but possible events. I get that you don't like it, but you failed to actually address the arguments I've already made, and chose instead to just repeat the fact that you don't like it. I get that, but it's not terribly helpful to the discussion at hand.

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gbaji wrote:
Because it's better than every other system we've tried?

How trite. We haven't tried much at all. We're beginning to though. Maine just recently passed a measure to allow ranked voting, which I believe is an improvement.


What does that have to do with the EC though? Ranked voting is just a different method of deciding who got the "most votes" in the election. If you apply it to the presidential election, it's just another way to determine the state's electoral college delegation makeup. So, not really relevant to this discussion at all.

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Life is a race. You start to lose not because you began to head backwards, but also because you stand still. If the U.S. never tries to improve then we will fall behind other nations that do.


Sure. But one should actually make some kind of argument for an alternative actually being an improvement. You seem to want to just point at the flaws of the EC system and conclude that's enough to change it. Kinda missing the step in between where you come up with an alternative methodology and show that it solves the problems of the EC, while not introducing others that may be worse.

Argue for an alternative, not just against the existing method.
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#178 Nov 15 2016 at 8:56 PM Rating: Decent
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I do happen to agree with you that gerrymandering is a problem. But it's a problem that can and does got both ways, and frankly, there's no much we can do to prevent it.


Yes. There is no way we can design a system without gerrymandering. It's just a natural law.


Assuming that's sarcasm, by all means, provide an alternative method for electing representatives to the House that does not allow for the possibility of gerrymandering.

Quote:
Having arbitrary regional boundaries matter in a national election is fairly asinine. It's one of many structural hedges to disenfranchise the public.


As long as you have a number of house representatives based on population in a state, and each representative is elected by a defined set of that population by the geographical area they live, then you will have gerrymandering. Every time there's a census and the number of districts change (or population shifts where they live), you must redraw district lines. How do you decide how to do this? Any method you use opens up the quite obvious potential of whatever group does the divvying up doing so in a way that benefits their own party's interest.

The only way I can think of off the top of my head to "solve" this problem is to not have defined districts. You could, for example, just assign a number of representatives based on how many votes their respective party's got in the election. That would eliminate the problem with gerrymandering, but would create a whole bunch of other problems. The first of which would be that you as a voter would no longer actually have a representative. Your state would just have a set of folks sent by the party, but you would not get to choose who they were (which people kinda tend to want to do). It would also make issues of some geographic areas being ignored far far worse than they already are today.

It would also effectively destroy things that liberals don't like at all, like say the congressional black caucus. Cause without districts with high black populations in them that can send a black representative to congress based solely on having a black majority voting block in that one district, and not caring about the makeup of the rest of the state, it's likely far fewer black representatives would be in the house (count how many black Senators there are if you want a hint about how this would shake out).

It would have a whole number of far reaching effects that frankly none of us are likely to even think of. It's almost certainly a really bad idea(tm). But hey! If you can think of a way to do this, by all means propose it. I'll wait.
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#179 Nov 15 2016 at 11:47 PM Rating: Good
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Assuming that's sarcasm, by all means, provide an alternative method for electing representatives to the House that does not allow for the possibility of gerrymandering.


Country votes. Reps get apportioned out to each party based on votes. (actual rep count doesn't expressly matter, goal is to balance vote truncation and minimize excess reps; eg, you could assign one per half million votes or w/e)

You can still have a senate that gives 2 votes per state, elected from top 2 parties per state if you wanted a stabilizing branch of congress.

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#180 Nov 15 2016 at 11:49 PM Rating: Good
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The only way I can think of off the top of my head to "solve" this problem is to not have defined districts. You could, for example, just assign a number of representatives based on how many votes their respective party's got in the election. That would eliminate the problem with gerrymandering, but would create a whole bunch of other problems. The first of which would be that you as a voter would no longer actually have a representative. Your state would just have a set of folks sent by the party, but you would not get to choose who they were (which people kinda tend to want to do). It would also make issues of some geographic areas being ignored far far worse than they already are today.


States can have their own legislatures created in any way they want to give local representation. This is about Federal elections.
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#181 Nov 16 2016 at 5:26 AM Rating: Good
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Timelordwho wrote:
Country votes. Reps get apportioned out to each party based on votes. (actual rep count doesn't expressly matter, goal is to balance vote truncation and minimize excess reps; eg, you could assign one per half million votes or w/e)

You can still have a senate that gives 2 votes per state, elected from top 2 parties per state if you wanted a stabilizing branch of congress.

[...]

States can have their own legislatures created in any way they want to give local representation. This is about Federal elections.


That doesn't solve the problem of how to divide the people up into groups of your half million votes and get federal level representation of the people though. That just throws it out the window and creates federal representation of the party of the country as a whole.
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#182 Nov 16 2016 at 6:49 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Timelordwho wrote:
Country votes. Reps get apportioned out to each party based on votes. (actual rep count doesn't expressly matter, goal is to balance vote truncation and minimize excess reps; eg, you could assign one per half million votes or w/e)

You can still have a senate that gives 2 votes per state, elected from top 2 parties per state if you wanted a stabilizing branch of congress.

[...]

States can have their own legislatures created in any way they want to give local representation. This is about Federal elections.


That doesn't solve the problem of how to divide the people up into groups of your half million votes and get federal level representation of the people though. That just throws it out the window and creates federal representation of the party of the country as a whole.


That is correct. That is a feature, not a bug by the way, as it means party reps are accountable to their entire base (not just the majority of a carefully selected district), and makes wrangling for pet local project spending less effective (meaning you should expect to see less local gain, net loss decisions) especially because benefitting a small subset of your constituency could lose you votes from others to another party.

Again, this system can exist in tandem with a regional system.
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But all that does is put the interests of these growing, dense, population centers ahead of everything else. And I don't think that's a good idea. It's almost as if when the two of us would come together to create a government we would compromise and find a way to even things out a bit.
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#184 Nov 16 2016 at 8:06 AM Rating: Good
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Why would it necessarily do that? If anything it would allow disconnected rural/suburban areas to have representatives that specifically targeted them, rather than allowing city based gov'ts to balkanize and marginalize their votes.
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Because you'd have places like Detroit influencing or even straight up deciding who is going to represent the interests of northern Michigan at the federal level. Or Chicago for southern Illinois. And I don't think that is a good thing. Northern and western Michigan are very red areas. As a moderate to left voter my voice isn't as strong here. But all my friends and neighbors don't think like me or agree with me. And I wouldn't think it right to force them to just because Detroit may.

I don't think throwing out the idea of representation at the federal level is the answer to fixing gerrymandering.
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#186 Nov 16 2016 at 9:21 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
Because you'd have places like Detroit influencing or even straight up deciding who is going to represent the interests of northern Michigan at the federal level. Or Chicago for southern Illinois. And I don't think that is a good thing. Northern and western Michigan are very red areas. As a moderate to left voter my voice isn't as strong here. But all my friends and neighbors don't think like me or agree with me. And I wouldn't think it right to force them to just because Detroit may.


Exactly. It would be a disaster because many people would simply not have any representation at all. No one is representing them. Party bosses would be deciding who represents the party's reps from each state (or all states, in the previous suggestion), which would mean that the most wealthy interests would always "win", since those would be the people who could buy influence with the party. You'd have rampant corruption. You'd have disenfranchised voters with no real choices left to them. When all of your representative are selected from the elbow rubbing money grubbing set in the big cities, what do you think is going to happen when some wealthy developer comes up with a plan to build giant landfills in your small town? No one's going to fight for the people living there, and the folks in the cities are fine with your crappy town getting a bit crappier. And they're the ones with the access and the ears of the representatives.

Ensuring that each and every geographical region of the country has a voice in the House is a very very very good thing. It is, in fact, why we call it the House of Representatives, and not the House of Party Appointees. Each member represents the citizens of a single geographical area and no one but the citizens of that geographical area. It's designed that way specifically to ensure that every citizen has representation.

And yes, as long as that is the case (and it should be), there will be gerrymandering, because there's always a political advantage to be gained based on how those geographical areas are divided up. Again though, the negatives of gerrymandering are massively outweighed by the positives of ensuring everyone has representation. I may not like the fact that my district (California 52) was redrawn in the last census to include some of the more southern hippy dippy beach areas (yeah, I'm looking at you Ocean Beach), and thus shifted my representative from GOP to Dem. But I would never consider eliminating the system in favor of one where I don't actually have a representative at all. I can still write to or even visit the office of Mr. Peters and vent whatever random frustration I have about unfixed potholes, poor school funding, bad smell coming from the nearby wetlands (plus apparently, West Nile virus), or whatever. And he may ignore me, but at least I have a person to go to, and that person has a voice in congress.

The alternative is worse. Much much worse.
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#187 Nov 17 2016 at 6:04 AM Rating: Good
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Except of course, you could freely vote for a different party that would fight for your interests, even a regional party if that was your preference (eg. a SNP style party). For local issues you'd still have a representative that handled your specific area.
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Timelordwho wrote:
Except of course, you could freely vote for a different party that would fight for your interests, even a regional party if that was your preference (eg. a SNP style party). For local issues you'd still have a representative that handled your specific area.


But the Federal level does tend to trump Local/State. And of course the diverting of Federal funds to State/Local issues.

Edit: Your city council is not a valid replacement for regional representation at the Federal level.

Edited, Nov 17th 2016 7:20am by TirithRR
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#189 Nov 17 2016 at 8:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It is, in fact, why we call it the House of Representatives
Says the guy who insists that Amendments should never be changed.
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#191 Nov 17 2016 at 10:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Timelordwho wrote:
Except of course, you could freely vote for a different party that would fight for your interests, even a regional party if that was your preference (eg. a SNP style party). For local issues you'd still have a representative that handled your specific area.


Which is far more likely to happen if each geographical region's voters elect their one representative than if all the voters in a state did (perhaps through some ranked system I suppose?). You could get a plurality of voters in your one district to vote for a popular local third party candidate and send him to Washington to represent you. The odds of doing that if the votes of everyone in your local geographical area is just mixed in with all the other voters in the state (or even the country, as per one earlier suggestion) is incredibly small.

Sounds live you favor district voting. Which, as I mentioned earlier, means you get gerrymandering. It's a more than fair trade off IMO.
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#192 Nov 17 2016 at 11:52 PM Rating: Good
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You should get the representation that you vote for, not a weird winner take all for very specific areas. WTA (winner take all) districting punishes you for having widespread non-majority support.

quick example

Green party has 19 votes
Red Party has 16 votes
Blue Party has 15 votes

Blue party wins election

Example 2

Red Party has 32 votes
Blue Party has 18 votes

Blue wins easily.

Example 3


Blue 23
Red 27

Holy **** it's the Nixon Landslide.

These effects are even more pronounced when you fiddle with state size/EV counts

Example 4

Blue Wins, 34 to 28 EV, with 30% of the popular vote.

A President getting 30% of the popular vote seems ridiculous though, no way that has ever happened before. I mean, John Quincy Adams had a solid 30.92% of the popular vote in 1824.

The aggressive redistricting though, that's the problem, and a modern one too. If politicians in Washington were just not so corrupt, we'd be better off. Plus my examples are wildly unrepresentative of real results. Which is why Woodrow Wilson got 80% of the electoral votes with 40% of the popular vote

Less dramatic is Abraham Lincoln's 60% EV win with 40% of the popular vote. This caused zero problems of course. Other notables include the fact that 1.4 million votes gets you 12 EV, and 590k gets you 39 EV.

The founding fathers were really dedicated to the Electoral College being the end all be all, though.I mean in 1801 the House of Reps had to vote multiple times to decide that the president should be the guy who got 60% of the vote in the 1800 election. Electors for this were basically chosen by magic, with some states using electoral districts, other states using popular votes, and others just sending whoever the legislature wanted, with one elector just riding off somewhere instead of voting between the first and third ballot. and other people just voting nothing at all.

I guess the real takeaway here is that the voters really just cannot be trusted.
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#193 Nov 18 2016 at 12:24 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
The former represents divisions along actual legal and geographic boundaries, while the other only exists as divisions to the degree to which we decide to treat or act differently based on those things.

*** and race are legal dimensions as well, they are regulated. Currently we assign a great deal of importance to arbitrary geographical boundaries, but we also used to assign great deal of importance to both race and gender. The importance and legal distinction can, and I believe should, be shifted.
gbaji wrote:
There's no innate reason why a black person would want a different set of rules than a white person. There are a number of reasons why someone living in one state might want different federal rules and whatnot than someone living in another.

They wanted to be treated the same, but due to the way some people naturally react to them, special protections are afforded to them. IF that sounds to you like an argument for why we should have the EC, you'd be correct, but it's also an argument that states are given special legal distinctions for the same reasons races and genders are, and I push for not arbitrarily grouping people into States for the saem reason we should arbitrarily group people by race or gender. A point was made earlier about those being immutable characteristics, which is valid, but then I just have to hop other to religion and the argument still stands.
gbaji wrote:
Except in this case, one thing is very very different than the other. I would hope you're not advocating that we segregate people by race or *** or whatever, and apply different rules to them based on those categories. Right? Cause that would be a really bad idea. While having different rules in one state versus another is absolutely not a problem. Surely you can see this. I hope?

I am not. I was making a very specific analogy in response to another. If we treat Wyoming and Montana as two different states, they have 3 electoral votes each for a total of 6. If we treat them as a single state, they would have a total of 3 electoral votes. These are the same people with the same wants, and yet how we choose to group them creates a different result with a different level of voice. I think such a system is absurd.
gbaji wrote:
That's a whole different topic really. Again though, the primary difference her is that when the divisions are geographical (or legal), people can affect change by moving their location. You can't change the color of your skin. So totally not the same thing.

We can use religion. Also as race is a fashionable construct it can be change merely by how people perceive it (Are Argentinians white for example?). Also, treaty of Hildalgo creating the legal distinction of hispanic whites versus nonwhite hispanics.
gbaji wrote:
I do happen to agree with you that gerrymandering is a problem. But it's a problem that can and does got both ways, and frankly, there's no much we can do to prevent it.

It's a completely solveable problem save the lack of political willpower.
gbaji wrote:
I think the bigger problem is when people only bring this issue up when the results aren't in their favor.

TirithRR wrote:
I'm honestly curious if you'd be on that side if the current Rural vs Urban voting styles of the American populace were switched. If these big, growing, cities were bastions of Conservative voting. I haven't paid attention to enough of your posts to remember if you lean left or right (assuming left, since the number of right leaners on this forum are minimal). And not an "of course I would be" easy answer which everyone gives when approached by such a question. The whole "it's only broken if it doesn't work for the people I agree with".

I group both of these because the are basically getting at the same issue.

I think I have good reason to believe I'm not being partisan in this. The next paragraph isn't directly related to the main idea here, but does list some of the reasons why I think I'm jsutified in saying that I'm being completely impartial in my rant against the EC.

1) I fully accept the results of the EC. I'm not bring it up because my team didn't win; I'm bring it up because normally no one cares and dismisses it as matching up with the popular vote anyway.
2) You are not giving me credit enough for how autistic I am. I believe in systems and standardization. I follow ISO 8601, meaning I gives dates as YYYY-MM-DD and time in 24 hours format. I go out of my way to chagne default setting to be this way. My car shows distance information in Kilometers, because I believe it makes more sense to have everyone on SI units and I want to be a part of that change. I do that even though I don't fully support SI because I don't fully support base 10 counting, I find base 16 to be much more practical (practical in terms of human psychology while still being easily convertible to binary). When I was teaching myself to play piano the first thing I did was rewrite the music in my own format, because modern Western format is a clusterfudge of anachronisms. It grew out of 7-TET, which is 7 notes per octave, but was later modified to 12-TET, which is 12 notes per octave (and why we have sharps and flats, and why some of them are redundant). I would have remade the keys on my keyboard had I the materiel to do so. I ultimately gave up learning because I couldn't resolve the problem of equal temperament versus just intonation, although now I think I strongly favor equal temperament. I would be putting more effort into learning lojban (an almsot compeltely unambigious and comptuer parseable language) if I thought I'd ever meet anyone else who would speak it. I say all of this so that yo hopefully believe me when I say I care a great deal about systems and processes, and am not merely making suggestions to manipulate the results of a particular outcome.
#194 Nov 18 2016 at 12:53 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR seems to place a great deal of emphasis on the idea that without disproportionately giving small population states more EC votes, they would in some way be subjugated by the densely populated cities. I think this is a very flawed idea and wholly incorrect.

There are many ways to tackle this, but I think the most effective way is to look at what democracy is. It is rule by the majority. You do the thing that the most people want in each case, because over time you--specifically you--are likely to get more of the things you want. If 60% of people want pepperoni pizza and 40% want veggie, we aren't "protecting" the 40% by ordering veggie. They're not being protected, they're being favored. A veggie lover is no more disenfranchised when pepperoni is ordered than the pepperoni lover is disenfranchised when veggie is ordered, but more people are disenfranchised when veggie is ordered.

Giving states with lower populations more votes per person isn't protecting; it's favoring. You are creating a rule by minority possibility.

There is one caveat to this, and while it's an important one, it would be false to say that it is always the case with small pop states. The caveat is that the majority should not win when they as a net benefit less than the minority loses. These is because society isn't just a function of how many people want a thing, but how much each of them wants it. In truth we should represent votes both in number and in quality (but quality is often forgotten or not understood).

I want to crate a high contrived scenario to illustrate what I mean. Imagine everyone has a finite amount of apples in their possession, and because apples are delicious and food is needed to live, everyone wants to have as many apples as possible, apple ARE happiness in this society. There is a magic box that 3 people can put their apples into and vote on the result.

In situation (1) each of the three people put 1 apple into the magic box, and then vote on who gets to be the sucker. Whoever is the sucker gets nothing while the other two people each get 2 apples as a reward.

In situation (2) each of the three people puts 3 apples into the magic box, and then vote on who gets to be the sucker. Whoever is the sucker gets nothing while the other two people each get 4 apples as a reward.

Both systems have a majority rule, but system 1 is good for society while system 2 is bad for society. System 1 produces a net gain of 1 apple (3 apples were lost, but 4 were gained). It is never nice to be the sucker, but if every person in that society that's a turn at being the sucker, then there will be more apples for everyone and they all benefit. System 2 produces a net loss of 1 apple (9 were lost and 8 were gained). In that system it still isn't fun to be the sucker, but it also isn't good for society to perpetuate this system because eventually all the apples will be gone.


So yes, majority rule alone isn't always perfect, but it tends to work out most of the time. Giving lower population states more votes per person goes against majority rule and creates a situation where it's possible that in the long run everyone loses more than they gain.

Edited, Nov 18th 2016 1:00am by Allegory
#195 Nov 18 2016 at 1:41 AM Rating: Good
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ISO 8601, meaning I gives dates as YYYY-MM-DD and time in 24 hours


Holy war time, ISO 8601 is flawed as if the standard is not know the M/D column can be a source of error. All dates shall follow format DD MON YYYY format to prevent discrepancies.
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#196 Nov 18 2016 at 1:49 AM Rating: Good
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Why not YYYY-MON-DD?
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gbaji wrote:
It is, in fact, why we call it the House of Representatives
Says the guy who insists that Amendments should never be changed.


I have *never* said that amendments should not be changed. I have said, repeatedly, that there is a specific process to follow for changing them, and if you don't like what an amendment currently says, you should actually go through the process to change it, rather than attempting to circumvent it, or re-interpret it, so as to make a change without... you know... actually going through the bother of legally changing the law. I usually say this in the context of a gun control discussion where a number of people are basically arguing that we make changes to our laws that violate the 2nd amendment, but without actually changing said amendment. Just kinda ignoring what it says. Which is problematic IMO.
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ISO 8601, meaning I gives dates as YYYY-MM-DD and time in 24 hours


Holy war time, ISO 8601 is flawed as if the standard is not know the M/D column can be a source of error. All dates shall follow format DD MON YYYY format to prevent discrepancies.


The YYYYMMDDhhmmss format is really really useful when sorting timestamps, by... you know... time. Of course, if you want really be part of the cool kinds table, you just convert your timestamp into epoc time and then be done with it. I do that all the time in code where say I want to alert my techs when their 90 day NIST calibration is due. No need to deal with months and days. Just convert to epoc, subtract now from the timestamp of the last cal, then divide by 86400, then see if that result is greater than 90. Done.

Yeah, yeah, perl module to do that. blah blah blah. /shakes cane
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#200 Nov 18 2016 at 7:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
gbaji wrote:
There's no innate reason why a black person would want a different set of rules than a white person. There are a number of reasons why someone living in one state might want different federal rules and whatnot than someone living in another.

They wanted to be treated the same, but due to the way some people naturally react to them, special protections are afforded to them.


Except I don't believe that's a correct comparison. People want to be treated the same regardless of race, or gender, or whatever. States, and the people who live in them, actively want to be treated differently based on what state they live in. Folks in California very much may wish to have a different set of rules and laws than people in Montana, who in turn might choose to have different rules than people in New York. That's kind of the point of moving to a different state. The state boundaries specifically denote regions where differences in law, culture, etc, will exist.

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IF that sounds to you like an argument for why we should have the EC, you'd be correct, but it's also an argument that states are given special legal distinctions for the same reasons races and genders are, and I push for not arbitrarily grouping people into States for the saem reason we should arbitrarily group people by race or gender.


And again, I completely and utterly disagree with that comparison. Those are two very different things. It's wrong to apply different rules to two different people based on their race or ***. It's not just wrong but desired that two different states have different rules and be thought of as different entities. It's why we have different states in the first place. So that people can choose to live in a state that has rules they like. Making them all identical is the opposite of that. Thus, lumping all voters in all states in the same big popular vote bucket is also wrong.

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I am not. I was making a very specific analogy in response to another. If we treat Wyoming and Montana as two different states, they have 3 electoral votes each for a total of 6. If we treat them as a single state, they would have a total of 3 electoral votes. These are the same people with the same wants, and yet how we choose to group them creates a different result with a different level of voice. I think such a system is absurd.


I'm reasonably certain that the people of Wyoming and the people of Montana don't think of themselves as interchangeable and identical. And if you asked them, you'd find that they think of themselves as two different groups of people, with two very different sets of ideas about the rules to live under, how to manage their local economies, their culture, wants, desires etc. They are not just a homogenous set of voters. There are reasons why different states exist and have boundaries, different legislatures and executives, and different rules beyond just divvying up electoral college votes. Wyoming and Montana didn't develop as separate states just so the people living there could pad their EC vote count.

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gbaji wrote:
I do happen to agree with you that gerrymandering is a problem. But it's a problem that can and does got both ways, and frankly, there's no much we can do to prevent it.

It's a completely solveable problem save the lack of political willpower.


It's easy to say that. It's a lot harder to write down an alternative methodology that does not introduce even worse problems.

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I think I have good reason to believe I'm not being partisan in this. The next paragraph isn't directly related to the main idea here, but does list some of the reasons why I think I'm jsutified in saying that I'm being completely impartial in my rant against the EC.

1) I fully accept the results of the EC. I'm not bring it up because my team didn't win; I'm bring it up because normally no one cares and dismisses it as matching up with the popular vote anyway.
2) You are not giving me credit enough for how autistic I am. I believe in systems and standardization. I follow ISO 8601, meaning I gives dates as YYYY-MM-DD and time in 24 hours format. I go out of my way to chagne default setting to be this way. My car shows distance information in Kilometers, because I believe it makes more sense to have everyone on SI units and I want to be a part of that change. I do that even though I don't fully support SI because I don't fully support base 10 counting, I find base 16 to be much more practical (practical in terms of human psychology while still being easily convertible to binary). When I was teaching myself to play piano the first thing I did was rewrite the music in my own format, because modern Western format is a clusterfudge of anachronisms. It grew out of 7-TET, which is 7 notes per octave, but was later modified to 12-TET, which is 12 notes per octave (and why we have sharps and flats, and why some of them are redundant). I would have remade the keys on my keyboard had I the materiel to do so. I ultimately gave up learning because I couldn't resolve the problem of equal temperament versus just intonation, although now I think I strongly favor equal temperament. I would be putting more effort into learning lojban (an almsot compeltely unambigious and comptuer parseable language) if I thought I'd ever meet anyone else who would speak it. I say all of this so that yo hopefully believe me when I say I care a great deal about systems and processes, and am not merely making suggestions to manipulate the results of a particular outcome.


I'm not seeing any justification of your unbiased opposition to the EC at all in there. Did I miss it?
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#201 Nov 19 2016 at 3:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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