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#302 Nov 29 2016 at 8:38 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
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.
Lower population groups have higher rates of under/unemployment so in this scenario they'd be less likely to bring something to the overall group, not more. It'd be most accurate to say Group 4 brought 51% of the total cost of the food while the rest each brought in 12%. Trying to paint the more populous group as leeches is nothing but irrelevant emotional rhetoric that adds nothing to the conversation.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 10:46am by lolgaxe
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#303 Nov 29 2016 at 9:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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It also suggests that some people are of lesser value than others so their votes should be considered less important.

Which is a pretty conservative viewpoint and explains why Gbaji is fine with disenfranchising people, I suppose.
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#304 Nov 29 2016 at 10:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:
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.
The reason for government intervention on this level is the same as for basically any other situation where you have a monopoly or similarly non-competitive environment. This would be less of a concern if there was a greater variety of competitive political parties in the country, but with the current de-facto 2-party system the vast majority of the meaningful decisions are made prior to the general election.

To point is to give a greater number of voters a larger say in who represents them. Just look at the major 2 candidates from this previous election cycle. For example there was no anti-abortion candidate, there was no fiscally conservative candidate, there was no religiously inclined candidate, etc. The only place these kinds of candidates showed up was in the early primary voting. The only ones with a chance to cast a meaningful vote for these candidates were a small minority of the population in a handful of states. For everyone else the candidate had either withdrawn from the race, or had been all but eliminated from contention. So how do you make sure people who would have supported those candidates have a reason to participate in the election? There was some degree of bucking the trend of course, Utah had an additional major candidate, of course, but for the most part there were simply disenfranchised voters.

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's fine to have a run-off election between 2 candidates where not every view is represented, that's basically what we have now in the general election. Other countries do that, and there's nothing wrong with it. It's only a problem when people don't get a chance to say who's in that run-off, which is the vast majority of the country at this point. It's not like this is choosing the board of directors for a private corporation, this is choosing who's supposed to be representing all of country, or all of a district. The idea that only a subset of the country gets a say in who represents them is wholly undemocratic.
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#305 Nov 29 2016 at 12:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Government intervention in monopolies is about limiting their ability to stifle competition. The government doesn't get involved to say how a privately held business selects its CEO however. That's the issue here: the two major parties are private organizations and have no onus to provide for a primary election process at all. They could select their candidate by drawing lots and then just go about the business of obtaining ballot access and running commercials and it would all be on the up and up. There's no requirement that a general election candidate was picked via some (quasi-)democratic means aside from having the implicit support of enough signatures.

States streamline the process by allowing major parties ('major' being above whatever threshold) to skip some of the more onerous ballot access requirements but eliminating that wouldn't help. The RNC/DNC would still easily have the resources to still get their preferred candidate on the ballot and smaller parties would never get the boost from hitting the threshold.

I can't imagine a fix to that which doesn't involve tearing the whole system down. It's not as though the RNC/DNC are going to be favorably inclined to legislation putting them under the control of the government and, from what I hear, they know a lot of guys in Congress.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 12:24pm by Jophiel
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#306 Nov 29 2016 at 2:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I can't imagine a fix to that which doesn't involve tearing the whole system down.
Me either, TBH. But that's what I'd advocate for nonetheless. I don't disagree with anything you wrote, as those are generally the reasons the system needs a shake up. We generally have low voter turnout in this country and a government many Americans don't approve of.

I mean, obviously as long as the general population is represented there's not a huge problem in using an imperfect method, in the end you're getting reasonable results and that's what matters. One could argue however, that those voting in the political primaries/etc as a whole are much less representative of general populace than in previous years, and it leads to more extreme candidates. More extreme candidates make it harder for them to turn towards the middle come general-election time; which means instead of moderating a message you end up making it more worthwhile to discourage turnout outside your party instead, a.k.a. "both these candidates look like **** why should I even bother voting?" The system become more insular and less representative at this point, which is arguably the position we find ourselves in.

In the end you end up with the argument for change being similar to the anti-electoral college one, the goal is to get more accurate representation, but I'd argue the primaries are a much more important place to direct change because of the already limited number of choice present in the general election. No doubt any political system can be manipulated by the parties in power of course, but anything that brings more accurate representation is a step in the right direction.
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#307 Nov 29 2016 at 3:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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So, hi everybody. Haven't been around much, was off rigging elections and what not.

Any takers on when the Second Amendment becomes the First?
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#308 Nov 29 2016 at 3:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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The more things change....


Edited, Nov 29th 2016 1:03pm by Samira
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#309 Nov 29 2016 at 3:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
I disagree, I happen to read the news quite a bit, and I see stories about the goings on all over the world.


Uh huh. The parts of the world almost entirely representing the major population centers of those areas though. There's only so much time in a day to read news. You're going to hear about the one or two major stories going on in country A or country B. You are *never* going to read about Ms O'Malley's cat getting stuck in a tree, or Farmer Joe's prize winning rutabaga at the local produce fair. Your idea of international news (or even just national news) consists entirely of "big stories", which almost always revolve around major events occurring in major population centers and having to do with effects on the whole nation. And that's the problem. You only see the tip of the iceberg.

My point is that people living in small towns also see this same national and international news. And they see every day what goes on in their small town communities. They actually see a much more balanced view of the world as a result.

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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!


Yup. And I'm sure you're sitting on the edge of your seat to hear all about the local corn harvest and festival, right? You get that they're also mostly going to talk about the current national events, what celebrity is doing what, their favorite films, musicians, artists, games, etc? You're communicating, but only about the same topics. Because that's what people all over the nation actually have in common to talk about. The mistake is in thinking those topics are all that matter to everyone.

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But please see my above response regarding, oh, the telephone, the internet, twitter, Facebook, etc ad nauseam.


And see my response to your response. Such communication tends toward a common denominator style. And that tends towards pop culture and major current events. Which, um... tends to be very much about what's going on in the big cities, and not much at all about what the folks in the small towns and farming communities are doing or thinking.

Quote:
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.


Anecdotal, but backed up by posts on this forum. So there!

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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."


And you know that by actually hearing people in rural communities say these sort of things, or people in urban communities telling you that's what they say and think? I'm betting the latter. Again: echo chamber.

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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.


Yes. I get that. My response was to challenge your assumption that because you have access to a lot of information via the internet that this actually makes you "better informed". You can't respond by just repeating the starting assumption. Well, you can, but it's a terrible response that doesn't actually accomplish anything. What the internet is very very good at is spreading the same relatively narrow set of information to an even broader audience than ever before. Just look at all the garbage that gets bounced around in circles on social media sometime. It's like the 24 hour news cycle, but without any sort of fact verification at all.

When our information comes to us in the form of memes, it's not actually making us better informed. It's just increasing our exposure to the most popular (or even just "loudest") opinions. Which tend to just act to drown out everything else.

We just went through an election cycle where a large portion of the population was completely surprised to discover just how many people in diverse areas of the country don't agree with them. Maybe the correct response to that is to figure out what you're missing in your information intake that caused this. Doubling down by insisting that you're really seeing the whole picture, and it's really all those other people who are un or misinformed, is maybe not a good way to go here.

Just saying.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 2:44pm by gbaji
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#310 Nov 29 2016 at 4:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
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.


I think I commented in an earlier post (maybe in this thread, maybe in the other), how they used to actually write "Elector for <candidate name>" on the ballot. Sometime in the last 15-20 years, they changed the ballots to just put the candidate's name in there. Probably just because people who don't understand the EC process would get confused every year. But that does not change the fact that you are actually voting for the makeup of your state's electoral college delegation, not directly for the candidate.

The parallel I was trying to make is that you don't vote directly for *any* decision or office at the federal level. You elect a set of representatives from your state, who then go to Washington and vote on various things. Those things could be legislative bills, or executive appointments, or for who sits in the oval office. The Electoral College follows the same pattern. Since the President, just like executive appointees, is not a representative of a single state, you don't get to vote directly for that position. You vote for your states delegation, which in turn votes for president. Just like every other thing done at the federal level of our government.
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#311 Nov 29 2016 at 4:05 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
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.
Lower population groups have higher rates of under/unemployment so in this scenario they'd be less likely to bring something to the overall group, not more. It'd be most accurate to say Group 4 brought 51% of the total cost of the food while the rest each brought in 12%. Trying to paint the more populous group as leeches is nothing but irrelevant emotional rhetoric that adds nothing to the conversation.


I was playing on the comparison to high population versus low population density areas in the country. Admittedly a stretch to the analogy of people going out to dinner, but there you have it. The country folks may be poorer, but if we're following the analogy to what is actually produced in the different areas, they are more likely to bring food to the table, while the city folks will be providing the table, and the entertainment, etc. But not actually bringing food, since they don't produce enough to feed their population.

You know, if we're bringing this back somewhat to the actual differences at hand.
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#312 Nov 29 2016 at 4:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
It also suggests that some people are of lesser value than others so their votes should be considered less important.


Only because you can't wrap your head around the fact that people don't vote for president. State delegations do. There's no devaluation of your vote, because you don't individually or directly vote for that office. The entire flaw you're complaining about is based on your own misunderstanding of the process. Once you fix that, you'll find that there is no flaw here.

Quote:
Which is a pretty conservative viewpoint and explains why Gbaji is fine with disenfranchising people, I suppose.


The people have never been franchised with directly voting for President though. Thus, there is no disenfranchisement by still not having them directly vote for President. You have to have something before it can be taken away.
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#313 Nov 29 2016 at 4:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Only because you can't wrap your head around the fact that people don't vote for president. State delegations do. There's no devaluation of your vote, because you don't individually or directly vote for that office. The entire flaw you're complaining about is based on your own misunderstanding of the process. Once you fix that, you'll find that there is no flaw here.
This is disingenuous. The entire campaign messaging is that you are voting for a president directly, pretty much everyone considers they are doing that and so the outcome is that you are functionally voting for the president, just with this weird layer that weighs some people votes much more highly than others. Why don't you actually address the issue instead of playing BS word games to score some kind of point. I'm sure you understand what it is.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 4:16pm by Xsarus
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#314 Nov 29 2016 at 4:21 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
... We generally have low voter turnout in this country and a government many Americans don't approve of. ...

... One could argue however, that those voting in the political primaries/etc as a whole are much less representative of general populace than in previous years, and it leads to more extreme candidates. More extreme candidates make it harder for them to turn towards the middle come general-election time; which means instead of moderating a message you end up making it more worthwhile to discourage turnout outside your party instead, a.k.a. "both these candidates look like **** why should I even bother voting?"


Then those "many Americans" need to start showing up for the primaries and voting in more moderate candidates. It's really that simple. Well, simple to say, not so much to actually get people to get out of their couches and vote though. Elections are won by those who show up. If you didn't participate in the primary process you kinda can't complain that the only two major party candidates don't sufficiently represent you.

Quote:
The system become more insular and less representative at this point, which is arguably the position we find ourselves in.


I'm not sure that there's any solution that really fixes this problem though. As long as we have a two party system, there's simply no way that those two candidates will ever adequately represent a perfect match to more than a small percentage of the total voting public. There's just too many different issues, and too many variations in positions on those issues for two people to encapsulate them all (or even, arguably, like 10 people). And going to a multi party system (like a Parliament) introduces other problems, and also tends to not result in more than a small percentage of voters getting exactly what they want.

What do you propose we do instead?

Quote:
In the end you end up with the argument for change being similar to the anti-electoral college one, the goal is to get more accurate representation, but I'd argue the primaries are a much more important place to direct change because of the already limited number of choice present in the general election. No doubt any political system can be manipulated by the parties in power of course, but anything that brings more accurate representation is a step in the right direction.


I'll ask again. What changes would you make to the primary process, and how would that improve representation?
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#315 Nov 29 2016 at 4:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
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Only because you can't wrap your head around the fact that people don't vote for president. State delegations do. There's no devaluation of your vote, because you don't individually or directly vote for that office. The entire flaw you're complaining about is based on your own misunderstanding of the process. Once you fix that, you'll find that there is no flaw here.
This is disingenuous. The entire campaign messaging is that you are voting for a president directly, pretty much everyone considers they are doing that and so the outcome is that you are functionally voting for the president, just with this weird layer that weighs some people votes much more highly than others.


Ignorance of the election process isn't a valid argument IMO. And frankly, I suspect a lot of that is "after the fact" invention by those who lost. There's plenty of talk of electoral college votes and "winning battleground states" in the period leading up to the election. It's not like this EC thing swoops in from out of no where and takes over. Campaigns consistently speak about winning various states to get them to 270 EC votes as their path to victory. They don't talk about winning the popular vote as the path to victory. To claim otherwise is what's disingenuous.

Quote:
Why don't you actually address the issue instead of playing BS word games to score some kind of point. I'm sure you understand what it is.


I am addressing the issue. The issue is a whole lot of people pretending that they never knew about the EC before the election snatched their popular vote victory away from them. It's just that: pretending. Those arguing right now new a year ago how the EC worked. They knew through the entire election process that the winner needed to get a majority of EC votes to win the election. They knew that each state had a set number of EC votes that contributed to that total. They knew that each states EC votes were based on the popular vote in just that state.

And those who are complaining all assumed that Clinton would win by that EC vote methodology and are only now complaining because she didn't. But instead of looking at why she lost several key battleground states, they're instead complaining that the very process that they knew and accepted right up to election day was magically "unfair" and should be tossed out.

I have made a number of arguments as to the reason why the EC vote is the best way to elect a president. I'm still waiting for someone to provide any counter argument that isn't purely circular (ie: my candidate lost despite winning the popular vote, so let's change it). Can you give me an objective argument as to why we should elect presidents by pure nationwide popular vote rather than by majority of state EC votes? In your response analyze the effect of using one versus the other on both how this affects national representation and how candidates would change their campaigning methodologies if said change were made.


Don't just complain. Give me a good counter argument.
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#316 Nov 29 2016 at 4:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Well, simple to say, not so much to actually get people to get out of their couches and vote though.
Why would people need to leave their couches to vote? Smiley: dubious

gbaji wrote:
Elections are won by those who show up. If you didn't participate in the primary process you kinda can't complain that the only two major party candidates don't sufficiently represent you.
You can if other people got to vote first, and the outcome was all but inevitable by the time you get your turn to vote. I mean, that critique might work on someone in New Hampshire, but not so much if you're in a state with a late primary.

gbaji wrote:
What do you propose we do instead?
Most importantly: have all states primary voting happen on the same day. There are other things we could do, but that alone would go a long way.
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#317 Nov 29 2016 at 4:58 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Well, simple to say, not so much to actually get people to get out of their couches and vote though.
Why would people need to leave their couches to vote? Smiley: dubious


Hah! Ok. Fair enough. Smiley: lol

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
Elections are won by those who show up. If you didn't participate in the primary process you kinda can't complain that the only two major party candidates don't sufficiently represent you.
You can if other people got to vote first, and the outcome was all but inevitable by the time you get your turn to vote. I mean, that critique might work on someone in New Hampshire, but not so much if you're in a state with a late primary.


Your vote counts exactly as much if it's on the same day or a month later. Yes. I get the whole momentum thing, and you may have some small point there. But is the alternative better?

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
What do you propose we do instead?
Most importantly: have all states primary voting happen on the same day. There are other things we could do, but that alone would go a long way.


That would eliminate the whole momentum thing, but is that actually better? There's something to be said about seeing how a candidate reacts to the up and down process of a primary season. Having a single vote on a single day may just result in a lot more buyer's remorse.

I'm actually not totally opposed to that suggestion. Again though, as Joph mentioned, this is up to the party's themselves. They chose to have these long rolling primary processes instead of a single nationwide single day decision. One would assume that they do it that way because they believe that it increases the odds of producing a nominee with the best chance of winning in the general election. Now maybe they're wrong, but they've had a lot of time to tweak their systems, and this is what they've come up with. It may be possible that they know a bit better than we do which is a "better" method.

Remember that the party more or less has two objectives in a primary:

1. Produce a candidate with the best chance to win the presidency.

2. Produce a candidate who will use that office to effectively push the party's platform.


Note that "produce a candidate who best represents the individual political ideals of the largest number of people" isn't one of them. We could argue that if they fail too badly at that then objective number 1 is less likely to be reached, but there is an old saying: "You can please some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time". You're never going to find a perfect match in there. It's always going to be a balance between the hardest held party positions and the issues that resonate with the general voting population.

And yeah. Occasionally, you get a candidate like Trump who more or less tosses out the rules, ignores the party, and appeals directly to the people. Which is why right now the GOP is falling over themselves to more or less genuflect at Trump's feet to try to get him to meet the criteria of objective 2 above. It'll be interesting how well that works though.
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#318 Nov 29 2016 at 5:28 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Well, simple to say, not so much to actually get people to get out of their couches and vote though.
Why would people need to leave their couches to vote? Smiley: dubious
Well, my couch is kind of heavy and it would be awkward to try and fit through the town hall doors.

Allegory wrote:
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.
I say I don't really care because I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. I haven't seen or read enough instances of it happening to make me think it is good or bad. Because there are so few of them. If it were changed so they had to vote their pledged way, I would have no problem with it.

As for the disenfranchisement issue... I don't have any problem with Electors being split up. Rather than by congressional district (subject to gerrymandering), just off the top of my head I imagine a system where the 2 EC votes from Senate allocated spots go to popular winner of the State. Remaining EC votes from House would be divided between candidates by popular vote, rounded to whole numbers favoring the winner of the State's popular vote. States with only 1 Rep would be all or nothing. (Sorry minority vote Wyoming voters, maybe if the vote is withing "X" percentage points 1 Rep EC goes to the minority vote winner? 2 Senate EC votes would still go to popular vote winner). States with 2 or more reps may need something to allow 1 Rep to go to minority voter choice under circumstances. Have I done the math to see if that would change the outcome of this election? No. Have I done any math to see how much of a popular vote swing from densely populated states this could offset, if at all? No. But off the top of my head it would still provide some incentive to the smaller population areas, while allowing more minority votes in more States to actually matter.

But really I can't see anything changing, at least not in my lifetime (or, the life time of the US maybe). I don't see congress or the States getting any agreement made, not to the level any change of this type would require. Don't see things changing at the State level. Cause why would Democrats want to split up big blue States to the red? Why would Republicans want to split up big red States to the blue, or possibly give up any portion of the small States?

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#319 Nov 29 2016 at 6:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ignorance of the election process isn't a valid argument IMO. And frankly, I suspect a lot of that is "after the fact" invention by those who lost. There's plenty of talk of electoral college votes and "winning battleground states" in the period leading up to the election. It's not like this EC thing swoops in from out of no where and takes over. Campaigns consistently speak about winning various states to get them to 270 EC votes as their path to victory. They don't talk about winning the popular vote as the path to victory. To claim otherwise is what's disingenuous
the fact that people understand the EC and build strategies about it doesn't in any way address my point. It's not that people are ignorant about the system or think that a president is elected via popular vote, it's that all the messaging from everyone is about you voting for the president and that's how people approach it. And given how elections play out you are essentially voting for a president, it's just that some peoples votes matter more than others, which is a problem. Again, you're ignoring the argument because you have no response.

Quote:
I am addressing the issue. The issue is a whole lot of people pretending that they never knew about the EC before the election snatched their popular vote victory away from them.
No one is doing this, people are just upset about the system. That's the point that you're not addressing. You're hand waving aside criticisms based on the way they describe their issue because you don't have a response.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 6:02pm by Xsarus
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#320 Nov 29 2016 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
You're wrong and I'm right, so NYAH NYAH, here's zero facts to back it up

Well, shit, since you can read my mind, and know everything that I have ever read, thought or seen, no sense in arguing with you, you win! So glad you are here to tell us all how wrong we are about anything and everything.

But now I remember why I don't usually respond to your posts. If I said "Oh, I have a friend who was just in a car accident" you would reply "That may be, but he wasn't in the RIGHT kind of car accident, so you don't really know what you're talking about." It's get's stupid on your part super fast.

I mean, really? You know what my friends and I discuss? What did I talk about with my friends on thanksgiving?

You get that you're an idiot, right?

Just saying.
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#321 Nov 29 2016 at 7:05 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Yes. I get that. My response was to challenge your assumption that because you have access to a lot of information via the internet that this actually makes you "better informed".


I actually concede this point to you, since you are such a shining example of your argument. You wield lot's of information, and you are definitely not better informed than anyone.
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#322 Nov 29 2016 at 8:40 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
As for the disenfranchisement issue... I don't have any problem with Electors being split up. Rather than by congressional district (subject to gerrymandering),...


Electors are not voted by district, and are thus not subject to gerrymandering. The candidate who receives the most total votes in a state wins the entire states electoral delegation. That's our "winner takes all" system, which is in effect in all but two states (Maine and Nebraska). Unless you're speaking of state lines themselves being subject to gerrymandering? Given that we don't change state lines every 10 years that's really not an issue IMO.

Quote:
... just off the top of my head I imagine a system where the 2 EC votes from Senate allocated spots go to popular winner of the State. Remaining EC votes from House would be divided between candidates by popular vote, rounded to whole numbers favoring the winner of the State's popular vote. States with only 1 Rep would be all or nothing. (Sorry minority vote Wyoming voters, maybe if the vote is withing "X" percentage points 1 Rep EC goes to the minority vote winner? 2 Senate EC votes would still go to popular vote winner). States with 2 or more reps may need something to allow 1 Rep to go to minority voter choice under circumstances.


Which is how Maine and Nebraska do it. They use a proportional allocation system. Every state gets to decide how to determine its own EC delegation. Because, as I've been trying to point out all along, the people don't actually elect a President, the states do (well, the electors from that state do). The people may vote to determine how a state's delegation is made up, but they don't directly vote for the President. They never have.

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Have I done the math to see if that would change the outcome of this election? No. Have I done any math to see how much of a popular vote swing from densely populated states this could offset, if at all? No. But off the top of my head it would still provide some incentive to the smaller population areas, while allowing more minority votes in more States to actually matter.


Yeah. I haven't done the math either. I suspect it would still usually result in a benefit for the candidate who won pluralities in more states (cause of those two bonus electors) over the candidate who got the highest total popular vote. Don't underestimate that in "normal" election cycles, this may very well make it so that the Democrats never win the Presidency, like ever again. California alone is an issue. You're handing over a pretty large minority vote to the GOP that they normally lose out on entirely in the existing electoral college process.

And again, this is more about changing how the electoral college delegations are determined. The arguments for using popular vote instead of the electoral college should be completely different. And frankly, I think a lot of people are missing another major point. If you change the way we determine who won the election, it will change the way the candidates campaign. You can't just look at the fact that if we used a different methodology to make that determination the result would have been different to argue that had we actually used that methodology, the result would actually have been different.

You have a valid point in that it would give more people incentive to get out and vote, especially among states where there's a clear majority for one party. But that's kind of the point. It would change the ratio of voters and almost certainly reduce significantly the margins currently present in those states with clear majorities. We can't possibly predict how that would change things in terms of which party may or may not benefit, despite what many protesters today may think.

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But really I can't see anything changing, at least not in my lifetime (or, the life time of the US maybe). I don't see congress or the States getting any agreement made, not to the level any change of this type would require. Don't see things changing at the State level. Cause why would Democrats want to split up big blue States to the red? Why would Republicans want to split up big red States to the blue, or possibly give up any portion of the small States?


Yup. Honestly though, that's not really the whole issue. I've mentioned several times that it's really the states that are electing the President, and it's really the states that have the most direct interest in that selection. The question is not just about what effect such changes would cause (whether going to more proportional EC allocation, or full on direct popular vote) in terms of the outcomes of the elections themselves (which is what it seems like most people care about most right now), but also how this changes the basic concept of representation of a president.

All other elected offices at the federal government represent specific geographical regions within specific states. Whether it's a state as a whole in the case of Senators, or whether it's a district within a sate in the case of the House. The President is the one elected office that is supposed to represent *all* of us. Not just people, but also the regions we live in. And especially the individually sovereign states. I know that some will reject this as some kind of quaint states rights argument, but there really are valid reasons for maintaining the concept that the states put delegations into the federal government and not just the population as a whole.

States are distinct legal entities. They have their own laws and boundaries. Thus, there are specific policy positions that directly affect states differently based on the mere fact that state A may have different rules than sate B. The federal government has as one of it's primary powers the power to regulate interaction between the states themselves, and between the states and other nations. This can have a *massive* effect on any given state's economy. An easy example is a trade tariff on any given good that may be predominantly produced or consumed by a given state. Changes to federal law, or even just classifications in federal administrations can either conflict with or align with existing states laws.

Treating the entire US population as a single homogenous set is simply wrong. People are affected differently by federal decisions based entirely on which state they may live in. It is for the exact reason that we place weight on each state as a state, both in our Senate and in the Electoral College. Because our systems recognize that states themselves have a strong vested interest in the rules and regulations they are bound by. Remember that the federal government was not originally intended to directly interact with individual citizens at all. It's a relatively recent thing to have federal funding for education, healthcare, social security, welfare, etc, etc, etc. And yes, to some degree a good portion of this was specifically because the founders didn't like the idea of a federal government that might place onerous regulations or taxes on the citizens of one set of states, in order to benefit the citizens of another. And they realized that if you had a system where the federal government directly engaged in that sort of selective benefit handing system and you coupled it with direct voting for offices like president, you could run the risk of popular self interest in some regions of the country pushing for policies that benefit them, while harming those in the less populated regions.

Unfortunately, over time we have expanded the power and role of the federal government as it pertains directly to citizens. I happen to think that's a very bad thing, btw. But it's happened. IMO, moving even further to direct popular voting for president would only make such things worse. I don't believe that the federal government should be involved at all in what is essentially charity. It should stick to regulating between the states and between the US and other countries and that's it. I would love for us to simply eliminate social security, and medicare, and welfare, and the department of education, and pretty much all social spending programs. Except perhaps as standard setting bodies, the federal government simply should not be involved in such things. Directly funding them is just plain a bad idea. It fosters the idea that it's desirable to take from one group to give to another. Which is never a good idea for a government to get involved in. And yes, it further fosters the idea that "the people" should be voting directly on such things (which is just a small step from "mob rule" IMO).

All of those things can be done at the state level, if the citizens of a given state desire. It's bad enough already that if a majority of representatives in congress decides to impose some new rule on the citizens of the states that don't agree with them, they get to do it anyway. It would be infinitely worse if that majority didn't even require a majority of state representatives in said legislative and executive bodies, but a mere majority of the population as a whole. Again, the purpose of using a Republic rather than a Democracy is specifically to divide voters into regions in which each region has an equal say in things. It's designed to favor broad geographical appeal over narrow but deep popular appeal. And IMO, that's a very very good thing. It's likely why there are no nations I'm aware of that actually practice direct Democracy as their national political system. Which is what makes it all the more baffling when people make a huge deal about how the popular vote didn't match the EC vote. Um... That's not something that is broken. That's a system that's working exactly as it's intended to work.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 6:42pm by gbaji
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#323 Nov 29 2016 at 8:59 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I would love for us to simply eliminate social security, and medicare, and welfare, 1*and the department of education, and pretty much 2*all social spending programs.


1* So if a given state decides that it's citizens will have to figure out how to educate their kids because the state defunded all public schools, you're OK with that?

2*. So you advocate crippling the US military by removing (among other things) school lunch programs, you're OK with that?

Do you advocate for anything that doesn't further your own personal self-interest?
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#324 Nov 29 2016 at 9:20 PM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
It's not that people are ignorant about the system or think that a president is elected via popular vote, it's that all the messaging from everyone is about you voting for the president and that's how people approach it.


Eh? Does that messaging make them think that the president should be determined by popular vote, or not? Just seems like you more or less contradicted yourself there.

You can think of it as voting for the president if you want. But your votes only determines the allocation of your states electoral college delegation. If you are not ignorant of how this works, then all the messaging about "voting for candidate A over candidate B" should not in any way confuse you, or make you think that a popular vote that doesn't match the EC vote is somehow "wrong". You either understand that you are voting for your states EC delegation, or you are not. Pick one.

Quote:
And given how elections play out you are essentially voting for a president, it's just that some peoples votes matter more than others, which is a problem. Again, you're ignoring the argument because you have no response.


I have a response. I've stated my response multiple times. Maybe you missed it the first handful of times? People's votes don't matter any more or less than other people's votes any more than they do in anything else you vote for at the federal level. Whether your congressional district vote 100% for the pro-choice candidate or only 51% for that candidate, your representative only has one vote in the House on any issue related to abortion, right? And whether your state voted 100% for a given Senator, or 51% for that Senator, similarly does not change that said Senator only gets one vote, even if that Senator if from a state with 10 million people in it or only 100k.

This is how Republics work. Your vote is always going to matter more in either a small population state (where the whole "two Senators per state" and "two bonus electors per state" benefit you, or in a state or district where the vote on any given thing is "close". Again, that's the nature of a Republic. But that trade off is more than worth it for the benefits of ensuring that one portion or geographical region of a country can't just control everything because they happen to have the bulk of the population. When these kinds of results occur, it's not a failure of the system, but the reason it exists.

I'll also point out, just for the record, that we use a similar methodology of evening out extreme results in lots of things. Imagine a World Series in which one team scored 2 points in all 7 games (14 total points), while the other team scored 1 point in 4 games and 10 in the other 3 (34 total points). The first team wins the series because they won the most games. But the second team significantly outscored the first in terms of total points. Again though, the reason for using these methods is to avoid giving an advantage to the team who runs up the score in a game they already won. Just as we don't give an advantage to the candidate who runs up the vote count in a state they already won. Same concept applies. We reward consistency across multiple games in sports, just as we reward consistent majorities across multiple states/regions in elections.

This is really not some alien concept. It's embedded in most of our competitions we engage in. And yes, that includes elections.

Quote:
Quote:
I am addressing the issue. The issue is a whole lot of people pretending that they never knew about the EC before the election snatched their popular vote victory away from them.
No one is doing this, people are just upset about the system.


Ok. But when someone says that the people are upset because the "messaging" made them think they were voting for a president but the popular vote winner didn't win the election, it sorta sounds like they're saying those people didn't understand that we elect votes by electoral college votes and not popular votes. You can't rationally argue that since the ballot lists the candidates names that this makes people think they're voting directly for that candidate and then also claim that these people knew how the electoral college system works. Those are completely incompatible statements.


Quote:
That's the point that you're not addressing. You're hand waving aside criticisms based on the way they describe their issue because you don't have a response.


Response to what? The way they describe the issue? WTF does that even mean? Look. If someone understands the EC, then they can argue about why they think it should be changed, or eliminated, or whatever. But then make that freaking argument. I'm not sure what response you think I should have to an argument that basically says "My candidate didn't win despite something happening that is unrelated to whether she wins or not". Um... Ok. it rained yesterday, so that means that Clinton won the election, right? I'm going to be ****** off because I think that it raining means that Clinton should have onw. Boo hoo!

Unless you can actually make an objective rational argument as to why a direct popular vote would be a better method for electing presidents, not just in this one case and this one election because you wanted a different result, but in all election cycles, every 4 years, and are able to include at least some analysis of how this would affect campaigning and nationwide representation in our executive branch, then all you're doing is whining about a single election results you didn't like. I'm still waiting for someone to make that actual objective argument.

Until that happens, I can only respond with broad points. Heck. I'm the only one who's made any kind of actual argument on this issue at all so far. I've presented at least 3 or 4 different reasons why using the EC instead of direct popular voting is a good method to use. Not one person has made a counter argument in favor of popular voting that extends beyond simply declaring it to be "better" or "more fair" or whatever. Surely, someone out of all the super smart and well educated people on this board could at least take a crack at this? Maybe?
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#325 Nov 29 2016 at 9:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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The thing that always worries me about scrapping social programs, not to mention schools, is that we've been there before and it didn't work out for most people. There was hunger, there was ignorance, there were seemingly intractable social problems that public education and welfare programs demonstrably helped.

Do publicly funded programs need to be curated? Of course. Should they be scrapped? That depends on how far you want the poorest citizens among us to regress, and how fast.

Secondarily, putting money into the hands of poor and working class people is good for the economy. Giving it to CEOs is not.


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#326 Nov 29 2016 at 9:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I would love for us to simply eliminate social security, and medicare, and welfare, 1*and the department of education, and pretty much 2*all social spending programs.


1* So if a given state decides that it's citizens will have to figure out how to educate their kids because the state defunded all public schools, you're OK with that?


Sure. You know, since that would require the citizens of that one individual state voting to decide not to spend tax dollars on education, right? Was that supposed to be a trick question? Cause it's not. My solution gives the citizens of each state the power to decide how much to spend on their education system, and what form it will take. The current system puts their kids education in the hands of a set of federal education programs that were voted on by people elected by 49 other states in addition to theirs. Heaven forbid we give the power back to the people!

Quote:
2*. So you advocate crippling the US military by removing (among other things) school lunch programs, you're OK with that?


How does eliminating school lunch programs cripple the US military? Or are you under the impression that the military is a social spending program? Or that it does not fall squarely in the federal government's purview of "interactions between the collected United States and foreign nations"?

Quote:
Do you advocate for anything that doesn't further your own personal self-interest?


That's strange, since my position is that the federal government should not be involved in furthering anyone's self interest. You get that funding things like medicare, social security, education, etc, is all about providing for individual citizen's self interests, right? Vote for me and I'll pay for your health care. Vote for me and I'll send your kids to college. Vote for me and I'll provide for your retirement. Surely you can see the pattern here. All of those are about self interest. They just happen to be self interests that you are ok with fulfilling.

I'm for getting the federal government out of that business entirely. Not because I'm some cruel evil guy who wants people to suffer, but because I believe that a government that has the power to provide those things also has the power to hold those things over its citizens and use them as a means of control in other areas. So it's not even just "vote for me and I'll provide you with X", but "support me in voting for Y, because my opponent wants to stop providing you with X". When you become dependent on government funded services, you become controlled by that government. Obviously, we can't eliminate all government influence on us, but we can do what we can to make that influence as small as possible and as local as possible. The federal government's social programs are neither of those.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 8:51pm by gbaji
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#327 Nov 29 2016 at 9:46 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
As for the disenfranchisement issue... I don't have any problem with Electors being split up. Rather than by congressional district (subject to gerrymandering),...


Electors are not voted by district, and are thus not subject to gerrymandering. The candidate who receives the most total votes in a state wins the entire states electoral delegation. That's our "winner takes all" system, which is in effect in all but two states (Maine and Nebraska). Unless you're speaking of state lines themselves being subject to gerrymandering? Given that we don't change state lines every 10 years that's really not an issue IMO.


That is what I mean. Currently almost every State is all or nothing, splitting the House EC by congressional district would have been the "obvious" chioce, but the comment was that instead of dividing up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts (which would make the EC subject to gerrymandering) instead, doing the division by popular vote explained after.

Edit:
Should be noted I don't care _who_ actually wins. My suggestions were not based on making sure one party or the other wins or loses. My suggestions were merely made to keep an EC system where smaller, less populated States would still have weighted heavier per person (but still smaller overall) value, while not ignoring the popular vote in those states that end up being 49.9 - 50.1 (I'm ignoring third parties at the moment).

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 11:04pm by TirithRR
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#328 Nov 29 2016 at 10:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Samira wrote:
The thing that always worries me about scrapping social programs, not to mention schools, is that we've been there before and it didn't work out for most people. There was hunger, there was ignorance, there were seemingly intractable social problems that public education and welfare programs demonstrably helped.


Let me clarify that I'm speaking only of federally funded programs, which serve less to provide tons of needed funding, but more to be used as as carrot to control and influence existing state funded programs. These things are decidedly outside the control of most voters, but affects them quite a bit. Via pure executive action, the department of education can decide the requirements for grants for state and locally funded schools. Now, they don't have to take the money, but that last 10% of funding does come in handy, and if it means inserting X into the curriculum, or following Y standards for testing, that's not so great a price, right? You nor I, nor pretty much anyone ever gets to vote on that stuff. It's done behind the scenes, but has a pretty large effect.

Similar deal with things like transportation. It would be one thing if our legislature simply passed laws establishing some standards for things and moved on. But no. What often happens is that interstate funding is dangled in front of the states and used to influence all sorts of things from light rail construction, to HOV lane requirements, to bike paths. The voters in the states get more or less zero say in these sorts of decisions. Which is arguably the greatest disenfranchisement of all.

Quote:
Do publicly funded programs need to be curated? Of course. Should they be scrapped? That depends on how far you want the poorest citizens among us to regress, and how fast.


Again. I'm talking about federal funding. I'm not even against regulation. But be honest and above board about it and actually pass legislation that regulates things. The process of funding a government agency, and basically just handing it the power to create rules for how states and cities can qualify for the funding dollars is pure extortion. The "rule be exception" we've seen over and over in the ACA is a classic example of this. Doubly so since in that case, it became increasingly obvious that the executive decisions had little to do with making health care "better", and everything to do with trying to gloss over the glaring flaws in the original legislation so as to limit the amount of voter outrage.

Quote:
Secondarily, putting money into the hands of poor and working class people is good for the economy. Giving it to CEOs is not.


Except that if the government is putting money into the hands of the poor and working class in return for zero productive labor output, while the CEO is handing that money out via employment (which means greater productive labor output than the cost), the result over time is decreased productive labor output. Which in turn means lower GDP growth rates. Which means fewer job opportunities, and fewer advancement opportunities in your job, and general economic sluggishness. You know, kinda like what we've seen under Obama. It is demonstrably bad for the economy for the government to do this. It may be good for the poor and working class people in the short term, but it's not good for the economy at all.

You mention trying things before and having them not work out well. Wealth transfer as an alternative to productive employment falls into that category as well. And it pretty much always fails miserably. If the government hands you $30k in benefits, it cost our economy $30k to do that (those dollars had to come from somewhere, right?). If you receive $30k in salary for your work, it not only doesn't cost the economy anything, but it actually grows the economy. You provided more in labor value than you "cost". Which means more profits, more growth, and more future opportunity for the next crop of people looking for a job.

The idea that money in the hands of the rich is somehow at odds with economic prosperity for the regular folks is just plain wrong. Assuming that most people don't want to live their entire lives as working poor, relying on the government to make up the difference, then how do they accomplish that? No amount of government benefits will ever make you not be poor. Only employment can do that (either self employment or working for someone else). And for that to happen, you kinda have to have "rich" people to hire you (or have enough yourself to self invest). And successful (and even "big") businesses, with sufficient profits to expand their employee base is one of the greatest sources of that. Just as convincing people that he didn't exist was the greatest trick of the Devil, convincing working class and poor people that big business, corporations, and "the rich" are their economic enemies has been the greatest trick of the political Left.

Nothing could be more wrong.
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#329 Nov 29 2016 at 10:39 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Electors are not voted by district, and are thus not subject to gerrymandering. The candidate who receives the most total votes in a state wins the entire states electoral delegation. That's our "winner takes all" system, which is in effect in all but two states (Maine and Nebraska). Unless you're speaking of state lines themselves being subject to gerrymandering? Given that we don't change state lines every 10 years that's really not an issue IMO.


That is what I mean. Currently almost every State is all or nothing, splitting the House EC by congressional district would have been the "obvious" chioce, but the comment was that instead of dividing up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts (which would make the EC subject to gerrymandering) instead, doing the division by popular vote explained after.


We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this. They are all apportioned by popular vote count. Either in a "winner takes all" method (whichever candidate gets the most votes in the state wins all of the EC votes for the state), or a proportional system, where based on the total statewide popular vote count, the EC votes are divided among the candidates (usually with the bonus two going to whomever won the most total votes).

Assuming I'm reading you correctly, you were thinking about recommending assigning them based on district counts, but then rejected that for gerrymandering reasons, and decided that proportional popular statewide vote is better? Just making sure I understand you. If so, then yes, this is how two states do it, but everyone else does winner takes all.

Quote:
Should be noted I don't care _who_ actually wins. My suggestions were not based on making sure one party or the other wins or loses. My suggestions were merely made to keep an EC system where smaller, less populated States would still have weighted heavier per person (but still smaller overall) value, while not ignoring the popular vote in those states that end up being 49.9 - 50.1 (I'm ignoring third parties at the moment).


Yeah. The problem though is that issue of states themselves being sovereign and having a direct vested interest in the rules and regulations that the federal government imposes on them. Most states use a winner takes all method because it (in theory at least) requires that candidates have to spend time trying to win the state, which in turn means making campaign promises that maybe resonate with the citizens of that state. Under a proportional EC system, a state where the voter affiliations are close (51-49), there's little reason for candidates to spend much time in those states, much less make much in the way of promises. Think about it. In a state like Ohio, with 18 EC votes, you might gain just 3 votes for a ton of effort. Under a winner takes all system, both parties have 18 electoral votes on the line, and both will go to the state, canvas it, and make tons of promises to the people living there (which presumably in some way appeals specifically to voters in Ohio in this example).

It's in a state's best interest to adopt a winner takes all system, since that will garner the most attention from candidates. This would actually hurt most states. Even in states where there's already a baked in party advantage, it's not necessarily a benefit. A GOP candidate isn't going to win California no matter how much time he spends there. In a proportional system, he's going to win a percentage (like 30-35% I suppose). But how much will he move that number by spending a ton of time there, versus just a little? That's hard to say. A million votes there might gain him a few EC votes. But a million votes in other states, might gain him many more. You're still in a scenario where states that are battleground states will get the most attention because of the bonus votes.

It would make things "different", but I'm not sure it would make anything "better". It would only be likely to change the outcome in cases where there's a large discrepancy in the popular vote versus EC vote (such as in this election). But honestly, the conditions where that happens are ones we really want to discourage as a country. They represent a case where one party focuses its message on a small number of densely populated geographical regions of the country. I know that this is an unpopular notion right at this moment, but I really do believe that our system should most reward the candidate who won in a broad swath of the country (even if narrowly) over one that won a small portion of it by very large margins. We want our president to be looking at and representing the interests of the entire country, not just the densely populated coastal regions. Because what's good for those areas may not be good at all for the rest of the country. And that's a pretty freaking large amount of territory.

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 8:46pm by gbaji
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#330 Nov 29 2016 at 11:10 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this. They are all apportioned by popular vote count. Either in a "winner takes all" method (whichever candidate gets the most votes in the state wins all of the EC votes for the state), or a proportional system, where based on the total statewide popular vote count, the EC votes are divided among the candidates (usually with the bonus two going to whomever won the most total votes).

Assuming I'm reading you correctly, you were thinking about recommending assigning them based on district counts, but then rejected that for gerrymandering reasons, and decided that proportional popular statewide vote is better? Just making sure I understand you. If so, then yes, this is how two states do it, but everyone else does winner takes all.


No... you don't get it at all. I wasn't explaining how anything currently works. I was merely saying that instead of doing a winner takes all, they could split it up. But splitting it up by the "obvious" choice (districts) would make gerrymandering affect the results. So instead divide by popular result of the state (as explained after).

Whether or not it makes a difference to the overall results, isn't really the point. It was to merely make those "disenfranchised" voters have something to show for their vote.

Edited, Nov 30th 2016 12:15am by TirithRR
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#331 Nov 29 2016 at 11:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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You have to have something before it can be taken away.

As I said, pretty standard conservative mindset Smiley: laugh
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#332 Nov 29 2016 at 11:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this.

Maine and Nebraska both do this. Winning a Congressional district within the state gets you that district's elector. If, by some quirk of fate, only six people voted in NE-3 and four of them vote for the Democrat and every single person in the rest of the state voted Republican, the Democrat would still get one EV despite the state's popular vote being 99.995% in favor of the Republican.

Also, HI SAMIRA!

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 11:31pm by Jophiel
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this.

Maine and Nebraska both do this. Winning a Congressional district within the state gets you that district's elector. If, by some quirk of fate, only six people voted in NE-3 and four of them vote for the Democrat and every single person in the rest of the state voted Republican, the Democrat would still get one EV despite the state's popular vote being 99.995% in favor of the Republican.


Damned gerrymandering.
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#334 Nov 30 2016 at 12:11 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I would love for us to simply eliminate social security, and medicare, and welfare, 1*and the department of education, and pretty much 2*all social spending programs.


1* So if a given state decides that it's citizens will have to figure out how to educate their kids because the state defunded all public schools, you're OK with that?
Sure. You know, since that would require the citizens of that one individual state voting to decide not to spend tax dollars on education, right?
Uh, wrong. Are you retarded? Or, as I've cunjectured before brain damaged?

The citizens don't vote on the state's budget. The legislature does.
gbaji wrote:
bijou wrote:
2*. So you advocate crippling the US military by removing (among other things) school lunch programs, you're OK with that?


How does eliminating school lunch programs cripple the US military?
School lunches were started because a huge amount of draftees during WWII were 4F (unfit for duty) because they were malnourished,,,like *rickets* malnourished. As I've mentioned before.


Idiot.
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#335 Nov 30 2016 at 12:39 AM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Assuming I'm reading you correctly, you were thinking about recommending assigning them based on district counts, but then rejected that for gerrymandering reasons, and decided that proportional popular statewide vote is better? Just making sure I understand you. If so, then yes, this is how two states do it, but everyone else does winner takes all.


No... you don't get it at all. I wasn't explaining how anything currently works. I was merely saying that instead of doing a winner takes all, they could split it up. But splitting it up by the "obvious" choice (districts) would make gerrymandering affect the results. So instead divide by popular result of the state (as explained after).


Ok. I think I got it in the second pass here.

Quote:
Whether or not it makes a difference to the overall results, isn't really the point. It was to merely make those "disenfranchised" voters have something to show for their vote.


Yeah. I get that. Not saying I disagree, just that the states tends to prefer to have winner take all systems, because it makes the candidates have to fight harder for the wins. Obviously, that leaves the skewed states out in the cold a bit, but they are still out in the cold pretty much either way. How much effort is a candidate going to put in to affect the vote to maybe flip one EC vote his way? I mean, who knows? Maybe under this system, candidates would put tons of effort in all over the place, and we'd get a lot of potential swing in popular vote totals in each state as a result. Or maybe they're realize after a few cycles that they couldn't really flip much in either direction and go elsewhere.

Hard to say.
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#336 Nov 30 2016 at 12:42 AM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
You have to have something before it can be taken away.

As I said, pretty standard conservative mindset Smiley: laugh


And pretty standard liberal mindset to argue that the absence of something you never had is the equivalent of having it taken away from you. Which I happen to think is just plain bizarre since it more or less has zero bounds. OMG! You didn't let us vote based on the number of pets we own! You're disenfranchising pet lovers! You didn't give me a free pony! You've taken my pony away, you darn pony thief!
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#337 Nov 30 2016 at 12:45 AM Rating: Good
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I really don't want to argue semantics, but I do want to point out that to disenfranchise someone means to deprive them of something, deprive meaning to deny access or use of. So yes, you can disenfranchise someone of something they have never had.
#338 Nov 30 2016 at 12:45 AM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this.

Maine and Nebraska both do this. Winning a Congressional district within the state gets you that district's elector. If, by some quirk of fate, only six people voted in NE-3 and four of them vote for the Democrat and every single person in the rest of the state voted Republican, the Democrat would still get one EV despite the state's popular vote being 99.995% in favor of the Republican.


Oh. Um... Brain **** there. I was thinking of the rest, then added in the exceptions of Maine and Nebraska after writing that. Yeah. Their systems are really dorked up IMO. It's like the worst of both worlds.
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#339 Nov 30 2016 at 12:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Sure. You know, since that would require the citizens of that one individual state voting to decide not to spend tax dollars on education, right?
Uh, wrong. Are you retarded? Or, as I've cunjectured before brain damaged?

The citizens don't vote on the state's budget. The legislature does.


Um... Ok. The citizens have to elect a state legislatures which in turn decides to not fund any public education. I'm reasonably certain that, unlike a host of federal issues that get lost in the shuffle of election year campaigning, the voters aren't going to miss the whole "not funding education anymore" movement among their legislative body.

You do understand that 90% of all public education funding already comes from state and local sources, right? Eliminating the federal department of education (or at least trimming it to a mere standards setting body), would not really affect education much at all, except to allow tax dollars to remain in the hands of the states and/or the people, who could then chose to spend it how they wished instead of having it laundered through a federal system with 49 other "bosses".


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gbaji wrote:
bijou wrote:
2*. So you advocate crippling the US military by removing (among other things) school lunch programs, you're OK with that?


How does eliminating school lunch programs cripple the US military?
School lunches were started because a huge amount of draftees during WWII were 4F (unfit for duty) because they were malnourished,,,like *rickets* malnourished. As I've mentioned before.


Um... You seem to have a problem with tenses. I'm talking about eliminating (future tense) school lunch programs, not hopping in a time machine and preventing it from ever having been created in the first place. I'm reasonably certain that in today's US, no one's going to suffer the kinds of malnutrition that existed during the freaking Great Depression if we fail to provide them with a free lunch at school.

And let me mention (again) that 'm only talking about federal programs. If a state want to provide free meals to students, they're free to do so. And they might just do a much better job of it, for less money too.
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#340 Nov 30 2016 at 1:00 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
If the government hands you $30k in benefits, it cost our economy $30k to do that (those dollars had to come from somewhere, right?).
If the government hands you back $5000 for having a mortgage every year it costs our economy $5000 to do that (those dollars had to come from somewhere, right?)
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#341 Nov 30 2016 at 1:07 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I'm talking about eliminating (future tense) school lunch programs, not hopping in a time machine and preventing it from ever having been created in the first place. I'm reasonably certain that in today's US, no one's going to suffer the kinds of malnutrition that existed during the freaking Great Depression if we fail to provide them with a free lunch at school.
You are "reasonably certain" about a lot of things you are demonstrably wrong about. Even in this very thread.

"Brain fart"? Really? YOU WERE WRONG.

ALSO: The "States" don't command a federal military, you idiot.
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#342 Nov 30 2016 at 1:22 AM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
I really don't want to argue semantics, but I do want to point out that to disenfranchise someone means to deprive them of something, deprive meaning to deny access or use of. So yes, you can disenfranchise someone of something they have never had.


You're really stretching the meaning and usage of the term there though. The prefix "dis" generally means "apart", or "sundered" (as in, to remove something). Yeah, it can also be used to refer to general opposition (or lack), but I don't think that applies in this case. You're talking about people who do have a right to vote, but they vote for X, which in turn votes for Y. To say that the voters are disenfranchised because they don't vote directly on Y is, as I said, quite a stretch.

This isn't about absence of a vote at all, but how their vote affects an outcome. And again, this revolves around the difference in how a democracy works versus a republic. One could also argue that because the voters are not allowed to vote on bills in congress, that they are "disenfranchised", but you'd have to be really pedantic to try to make that argument. They don't not vote on bills in congress because their right to vote has been stripped from them (or even because they never had a right to vote), but because our system uses representation at the federal level. You vote for a member of congress, who in turn votes on the bills. In the same way, you vote for an electoral delegation, who in turn vote for the president. That's a difference in process, not disenfranchisement.


Now, you could argue (and I think a couple people have) that in states where the party vote tallies are largely skewed, the EC disenfranchises them relative to a popular vote since votes past the point of majority in a state don't count, and ones that have no chance of changing that majority are largely wasted. Again though, I wouldn't argue that's disenfranchisement, but merely the effect of having a skewed vote. One could equally argue that once a majority is reached in any vote for anything, that additional votes are not needed, and thus wasted, as were the votes cast on a failed cause (could have had zero votes, and the same outcome would result, right?). Since you are voting to determine the EC delegation, your vote "counts" just as much as it does in any other thing you've ever voted for in your life. One side just won that vote by a large margin is all.

It would only be disenfranchisement if we actually used a popular vote in this case, and for some reason chose to deny voting to a group of people. That's not the case.
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#343 Nov 30 2016 at 1:34 AM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'm talking about eliminating (future tense) school lunch programs, not hopping in a time machine and preventing it from ever having been created in the first place. I'm reasonably certain that in today's US, no one's going to suffer the kinds of malnutrition that existed during the freaking Great Depression if we fail to provide them with a free lunch at school.
You are "reasonably certain" about a lot of things you are demonstrably wrong about. Even in this very thread.


I'm not demonstrably wrong here. Are you seriously arguing that if we eliminated the free lunch programs in our K-12 schools that this would have such an impact on nutrition that we'd have a hard time finding enough healthy people to serve in the military? Really? Cause that's pretty darn insane.

Quote:
ALSO: The "States" don't command a federal military, you idiot.


I never said they did. I said, quite clearly, that maintaining a military is one of the few proper duties of the federal government. Note that nowhere in that list is "provide K-12 education for all citizens", or "ensure everyone has good health", or "provide for the elderly in retirement", or "make sure kids get a balanced diet", or a whole list of things that our federal government is currently engaged in.

There are, however 6 different elements in that list dealing specifically with various forms of military:

US Constitution wrote:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;



But what do I know, I'm just an idiot, right?
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#344 Nov 30 2016 at 1:51 AM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
And pretty standard liberal mindset to argue that the absence of something you never had is the equivalent of having it taken away from you.


Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
If the government hands you $30k in benefits, it cost our economy $30k to do that (those dollars had to come from somewhere, right?).
If the government hands you back $5000 for having a mortgage every year it costs our economy $5000 to do that (those dollars had to come from somewhere, right?)


Hehe. There you go. The government doesn't hand that money to the taxpayer, it takes less money from them. Once again, you prove that liberals don't grasp the difference between not having something taken away, and being given something you never had (the corollary to the difference between having something taken away and the absence of something you never had in the first place, just in case you're going there. Both rely on the same inability to grasp the concept of property). The homeowner earned that $5000. It's his. The tax laws determine how much of the money he has earned he is required to pay to the government, and have determined that he can deduct an amount equal to the interest on a mortgage for a primary dwelling. We can debate the issue of the mortgage interest deduction, but it is not remotely the same as the government giving someone money that they never earned in the first place.

Again, taking less money from me is not the same as giving me money. It's amazing to me how hard it is for liberals to grasp this incredibly simple concept.

Nice try though.

Edited, Nov 30th 2016 12:03am by gbaji
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#345 Nov 30 2016 at 6:23 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this.

Maine and Nebraska both do this. Winning a Congressional district within the state gets you that district's elector. If, by some quirk of fate, only six people voted in NE-3 and four of them vote for the Democrat and every single person in the rest of the state voted Republican, the Democrat would still get one EV despite the state's popular vote being 99.995% in favor of the Republican.


Oh. Um... Brain **** there. I was thinking of the rest, then added in the exceptions of Maine and Nebraska after writing that. Yeah. Their systems are really dorked up IMO. It's like the worst of both worlds.


...

...

Their system is literally just the electoral college using districts in the same way the country uses states...
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gbaji wrote:
And pretty standard liberal mindset to argue that the absence of something you never had is the equivalent of having it taken away from you. Which I happen to think is just plain bizarre since it more or less has zero bounds. OMG! You didn't let us vote based on the number of pets we own! You're disenfranchising pet lovers! You didn't give me a free pony! You've taken my pony away, you darn pony thief!

Yes, I know. When you're a conservative, civil rights is always something silly like wanting a pony or ice cream or whatever. Once again, typical conservative mindset.
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#347 Nov 30 2016 at 9:08 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I was playing on the comparison to high population versus low population density areas in the country.
You were arbitrarily assigning higher value to the lower population's contribution and devaluing the contributions of the higher population using an emotional and ultimately irrelevant factor to the already shaky analogy.
gbaji wrote:
Elections are won by those who show up.
Elections are won by strategically placed invisible lines that let people pretend they're unique snowflakes.
Jophiel wrote:
When you're a conservative, civil rights is always something silly like wanting a pony or ice cream or whatever.
We will have equal rights for all. Except Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, Gays, women, Muslims. Uhmm... Everybody who's not a white man. And I mean white-white, so no Italians, no Polish, just people from Ireland, England, and Scotland. But only certain parts of Scotland and Ireland. Just full blooded whites. No, you know what? Not even whites. Nobody gets any rights. Ahhh... America!
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#348 Nov 30 2016 at 10:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Your vote counts exactly as much if it's on the same day or a month later. Yes. I get the whole momentum thing, and you may have some small point there.
The perception is important for increasing turnout. It's one of the reasons Hawaii now has their polls close earlier in the day. They were having a problem with people not bothering to vote, because the election results were being announced at like 2pm local time, and people were seeing them and not bothering to visit the polling place because the "election was already over." This trickled down into local issues, as certain measures needed a specific voter turnout along with a certain % of the vote to pass. So while every vote counting the same still may be true in a technical sense, the reality is that it isn't perceived that way.

Same thing happens with voting in a primary. If people know a certain candidate already has the votes needed to secure the nomination they're less likely to turn out to vote, not only for the primary race itself, but also for other issues that may be on the ballot. Beyond feeling disenfranchised (I mean, no one likes having an important decision made before they get to have their input) it hurts local ballot measures and the like.

gbaji wrote:
Having a single vote on a single day may just result in a lot more buyer's remorse.
I'd imagine there may be a bit, but overall I'm not worried about this. Why? Because our country generally doesn't have limits on political campaigns. By the time primary voting itself gets started people have already been campaigning for months. If 6 months of propaganda, debates, whatever isn't enough time to make a decision I'm not sure to say there. That's a lot of exposure, and in the end you can pick up 90% of the information you'd need from the voters guide in the booth anyway.

gbaji wrote:
Remember that the party more or less has two objectives in a primary:

1. Produce a candidate with the best chance to win the presidency.

2. Produce a candidate who will use that office to effectively push the party's platform.
Which is to be expected of course. I'm not arguing that parties shouldn't act in their own self-interest, only how can we get those self-interests to align better with the those of the American people as a whole. Hence the goal of increasing participation in the primary elections.
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#349 Nov 30 2016 at 11:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
We don't divide up the EC votes by who won the congressional districts. No state does this.

Maine and Nebraska both do this. Winning a Congressional district within the state gets you that district's elector. If, by some quirk of fate, only six people voted in NE-3 and four of them vote for the Democrat and every single person in the rest of the state voted Republican, the Democrat would still get one EV despite the state's popular vote being 99.995% in favor of the Republican.

Also, HI SAMIRA!

Edited, Nov 29th 2016 11:31pm by Jophiel



HI! I said "peep, I'm back" at some point but it got subsumed by a tsubaji wave of posts.

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#351 Nov 30 2016 at 12:05 PM Rating: Excellent
I tried to give you free premium as a present, but that button doesn't work anymore apparently, which let me tell you is a shock.

Welcome back!
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