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Old October 26 2012, 06:02 PM   #16
Pavonis
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote. Calling it a popular vote won't make it more "fair". There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
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Old October 26 2012, 06:16 PM   #17
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote. Calling it a popular vote won't make it more "fair". There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
A South Dakotan's vote would matter more under a popular vote than it would now - which is not at all.

Under the popular vote, state lines wouldn't matter.
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Old October 26 2012, 06:21 PM   #18
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Screamy wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote. Calling it a popular vote won't make it more "fair". There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
A South Dakotan's vote would matter more under a popular vote than it would now - which is not at all.

Under the popular vote, state lines wouldn't matter.
This is why I'd prefer a popular vote. As a citizen in Illinois, I find my vote is wasted. Illinois always votes Democrat. My personal preference doesn't really make a difference either way.
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Old October 26 2012, 06:26 PM   #19
gturner
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Screamy wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote. Calling it a popular vote won't make it more "fair". There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
A South Dakotan's vote would matter more under a popular vote than it would now - which is not at all.

Under the popular vote, state lines wouldn't matter.
That's a bug, not a feature, because we have fifty different state governments with populations whose needs and opinions vary.

Instead of searching for a way to appeal to the majority of people in South Dakota, a campaign under the popular vote could just up voter turnout in the Bronx and LA on the platform of merging South and North Dakota before selling them to Canada.
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Old October 26 2012, 06:31 PM   #20
Pavonis
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Erasing state lines won't make state issues disappear. South Dakota has different priorities than New York or California. Candidates should acknowledge that in their campaigns. The Electoral College makes them recognize that now, where a popular vote wouldn't.

I like your point, gturner.

The big empty Midwest doesn't exist merely to keep New York and California out of each other's backyards.
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Old October 26 2012, 06:53 PM   #21
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Considering that we're currently electing the President of Ohio and not the President of the United States I think it's time we found a different way to do things. Popular vote would be the best bet, I think.
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Old October 26 2012, 06:58 PM   #22
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote.
Sure there is: one person, one vote.



Pavonis wrote: View Post
There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
... Because you'd have the vote counted in equal manner?

I'm truly baffled as to why you think you deserve more votes than that of a New Yorker does. If someone were to murder a South Dakotan rather than a New Yorker, should they serve a bigger sentence? If you and a New Yorker were getting Congressional Medals of Honor for exactly the same effort, should your medal be larger or shinier?
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Old October 26 2012, 06:59 PM   #23
gturner
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Well, the electoral college system also reduces the temptation to exploit and aggravate regional tensions, suspicions, stereotypes, and bigotry. In each region, once a candidate is up by 10 points or so, winning a slight majority of the local population, he can stop pushing their buttons and move on because he's already won all their electoral votes.

If instead we went to a popular vote, and the candidate was trailing by ten in South Dakota, instead of finding positions that would appeal slightly to both New Yorkers and middle America, he could just go back to New York and give speeches about the simple-minded racist bumpkins in flyover country and how they're soooo much less sophisticated than people in Manhattan, trying to push himself to 80% in New York to swamp the votes he's losing in the Midwest. Meanwhile his opponent would be campaigning on how New York is run by evil Jews, Muslims, and Mafiosos and how the New York Yankees needs to be disbanded and the players jailed, trying to get to 90% in the Dakotas, Montana, and Idaho to make up for losses in the lower east side, the Bronx, and Queens.

Under the electoral system, the path to victory is to win a slight majority in the majority of states instead of pitting geographic regions against one another, and then coming up with ever more efficient ways to bus voters in core cities to the polls in a turnout contest between New York and the deep South.

The electoral system does make certain votes less important, but that's also a feature because it limits how low a politician will go to get that vote. For those in non-swing states who complain that they're not getting enough attention, remember that the lack of attention is because people in your state are already comfortable enough with one of the candidates positions to give him the nod, so he doesn't need to drive you into a frenzy with a bunch of divisive rhetoric about how other states are freeloading, lazy, nefarious schemers, etc.
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Old October 26 2012, 07:25 PM   #24
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
As you may or may not be aware, some states themselves used to apportion legislators based on where people lived, rather than the number of people to be represented; the Supreme Court overturned that practive in 1964's Reynolds v. Sims. Wiki:
The eight justices who struck down state senate inequality based their decision on the principle of "one person, one vote". In his majority decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren said "Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests."




gturner wrote: View Post
Instead of searching for a way to appeal to the majority of people in South Dakota, a campaign under the popular vote could just up voter turnout in the Bronx and LA on the platform of merging South and North Dakota before selling them to Canada.
I assume you were being farcical, but the Constitution mandates that Congress ensure states have a "republican form of government", so that scenario is an impossible one.

In any case, gturner, in regards to your post #23, thanks to the US Senate, it's the small-population states who boss the large-population ones around, a circumstance that would barely if at all change if the Electoral College were abolished, so it's pretty outlandish for those opposed to a popular vote for president to bemoan the potential victimazation of small-population states.
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Old October 26 2012, 07:29 PM   #25
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Gaith wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote.
Sure there is: one person, one vote.
Which is what we have now. Except that we vote as states and not as US citizens at large. And apparently some people don't like that...


Pavonis wrote: View Post
There are more people in NYC than in all of South Dakota. Candidates would never bother campaigning here, then, and so how would I be able to consider my vote equal to a New Yorker's?
... Because you'd have the vote counted in equal manner?

I'm truly baffled as to why you think you deserve more votes than that of a New Yorker does. If someone were to murder a South Dakotan rather than a New Yorker, should they serve a bigger sentence? If you and a New Yorker were getting Congressional Medals of Honor for exactly the same effort, should your medal be larger or shinier?
New Yorkers and South Dakotans have different priorities, and seek different qualities in their candidates. Ignoring state lines will ignore the differences between states. You can't just homogenize the country and call it "fair".
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Old October 26 2012, 08:20 PM   #26
Gaith
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Gaith wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no way to give each citizen an "equal" vote.
Sure there is: one person, one vote.
Which is what we have now. Except that we vote as states and not as US citizens at large.
Que? States don't have equal votes, or even proportionally equal votes, because each state gets one elector for each Senator, or +2, which affects some states more than others, based on their population again. It isn't a "one person, one vote" system in any sense.

Not to mention: state's aren't people.

Completely wrong statement is completely wrong.
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Old October 26 2012, 08:27 PM   #27
gturner
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

^ So you'd also argue that we should abolish the US Senate and have the UN vote by population, so India and China will make all the decisions for the rest of the world?
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Old October 26 2012, 08:43 PM   #28
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Erasing state lines won't make state issues disappear. South Dakota has different priorities than New York or California. Candidates should acknowledge that in their campaigns. The Electoral College makes them recognize that now, where a popular vote wouldn't.
And just how in the holy hell are South Dakota's issues being addressed in the electoral college now?

Much time has either campaign spent in your state?
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Old October 26 2012, 09:18 PM   #29
Pavonis
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

OK, maybe I'm not organizing and expressing my thoughts well.

Let's say the Electoral College is abolished, and the US Presidency is elected by popular vote. Where do the candidates go for votes? Wouldn't they end up in the largest population centers - LA, NYC, Chicago, etc. The voters in those cities are paid the most attention, and their issues are the ones that get addressed. South Dakota is fly-over country, not worth stopping in because any one suburb of those largest cities will be larger than any of the villages of South Dakota.

Whereas now, while South Dakota has only three electoral votes, those are three votes that can be meaningful. I admit that even now South Dakota isn't paid much attention, and is strongly Republican anyway, so neither candidate has much incentive to campaign here. Still, without the Electoral College representing us, what kind of attention would we get?

See, the problem is that the larger, more populous states resent the smaller states for having as much say as they do. Why? Are the issues and concerns of the South Dakota populace not worthy of attention? The smaller states are afraid of being ignored entirely, which they would be in a popular vote, instead of being only mostly ignored, as they are now.

Swing states are the ones that have both population to make the electoral votes worth earning, and the demographics to make either party capable of winning there, so they get all the attention. South Dakota is neither, but we're still in a better position than we would be without the Electoral College.
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Old October 26 2012, 09:54 PM   #30
RoJoHen
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Re: Electoral College; Yes or No?

If we are in fact voting "by state," would it be better or worse to change the Electoral College to make each state only have a single vote?

Are the issues of a more populated state more important than the issues of a less populated state?
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