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No, it was a system designed to prevent corruption. Moreover, the electors are randomly chosen. They don't simply get together and decide who will be president regardless of what the vote was.
Kevin Marois wrote:
It's a system designed in the beginning because the government thought you
Not true. Read the federalist papers and about Madison and the founding fathers. "the government" didn't think anything; the people created the government and did so understanding the very real flaws of direct democracy.
Then candidates would concentrate even more heavily on densely populated regions, safely ignoring huge swaths of the country. It would make election corruption even more enticing in those areas.
Ummm... since the number of electoral college votes each state gets depends entirely on population I don't see how it changes anything. It's the all or nothing BS that most states practice that is just plain wrong. I live in central Illinois and due to Chicago's sickening corruption and devotion to the Democratic party I am completely disenfranchised when it comes to my vote for POTUS.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. ~ George Washington
Because if the state doesn't matter and only population does, candidates would simply concentrate on density. Your point about Illinois is valid, but if the presidential vote were entirely popular, a comparable thing would happen with the entire country. Thus my proposal that some electoral votes be winner take all and some be proportionate to the state. How the proportionate votes would be done is the question (though doing it by congressional district would be better than nothing. On the other hand, I can see Illinois redrawing it's districts so they always have a portion in Chicago. Such a scheme was proposed in Utah, but failed to get traction. Make redistricting fair and I'm on board.)
It's important to understand that this would change campaigning, so simply retroactively applying new rules to past elections for analysis is kind of bogus.
(I grew up in upstate New York so I know the feeling of having one or two metropolitan areas dominate state politics. We often had serious discussions about the viability of kicking New York City out of the state. [New York City has threatened to leave the state. Every time, the rest of the state says "would you please?", but it never happens since NYC needs that tax revenue.])
The problem there is some districts, like one in my state, would become an even more insane battleground. It would actually make most states and districts matter even less, not more. (This is the problem with going with just the popular vote; it would effectively disenfranchise small and low relatively populated regions.)
I like the electoral college because it reinforces the concepts of federalism. One compromise would be to mesh the two; each state would receive two plus the number of districts electoral votes. Two votes would be winner takes all, the remainder would be proportioned state-wide (not by district to avoid the above problem.)
Then again, as a federalist, I think a lot of these problems would become non-issues if the federal government had less power--why corrupt a congress person if he or she has no real expansive power?
Actually, it would do the opposite of disenfranchising small districts. If you look at a State with a major metropolitan split, Georgia is a good example. Currently Atlanta basically decides the State. (9,815,210 residents of Ga, 5,268,860 Atlanta Metro) If Ga has 16 electoral votes, in the current system, and a Candidate takes Atlanta by a wide margin but loses the rest of the State the candidate would still expect 16 electoral votes, effectively disenfranchising the rest of Ga. If, however, it were split based on districts the same candidate could get 9 leaving 7 for the other candidate. That is a much better representation in my book.
Don't forget, that while your premise could hold true, district lines are usually drawn in such a way that this kind of disenfranchisement is very difficult to achieve. And other than in the South were the Federal overlords still cause gerrymandering, the usual requirement for district lines is normal city/governmental boundaries.
In Utah the effect would be opposite. Most districts lean heavily toward one side or the other. Presidential candidates would continue to safely ignore those districts (as they do mine.)
I do like the idea of having some votes be given to the state as a whole and some votes be proportioned; I just haven't found a proportioning scheme I like and which is reasonably immune to gaming. Given how gerrymandering affects every state, sometimes to absurd degrees, I don't see how this wouldn't be gamed as well. The best solution I've heard of is to greatly increase the number of congressional districts, which would diminish the advantage of gerrymandering and make this more viable.
(Then again, incumbents of all stripes will do nothing to diminish their power in any way, so I expect nothing to happen.)
Ennis Ray Lynch, Jr. wrote:
the usual requirement for district lines is normal city/governmental boundaries.
You really believe this? There is no requirement for drawing lines; it's almost always up to the state legislature to do whatever they want. And they do in every state.
I already did, yesterday (mail ballots are so much more convenient). I do live in a swing state, but I mostly voted in an attempt to cause some trouble - marijuana legalization is on the ballot and I want it to pass to see what the federal government will do in reaction (it's basically legal here anyways, getting a medical exemption is just a matter of asking for it).
Plus it's money for schools, and the political ads against it annoy me ("usage by children ages 12-25 will double!").
21-25: It would be legal for them, so who cares (also: not children)
18-20: I don't really care if they do, they're old enough to make a decision and take the legal risks (also: still not children)
12-17: I'm guessing the above two groups will more than double, making a very small growth here (finally made it into the children range!), plus they get the benefits of the tax.
I'm a new American (ex-pat Brit) and I studied heavily for my citizenship exam (which turned out to be rather simple) so of course I voted. I have to believe (1) my vote could make a difference, and (2) having learnt about American politics, I should join in.
I came over on a vacation visa in 1988. I got a work visa the next year, married an American girl (why I'd come over in the first place), went to Holland on a business trip and was not allowed back into USA (because technically I was an intended immigrant on a non-immigrant visa). Stayed outside the USA for some time while it got sorted out, came back in on a Humanitarian parole, got my Green Card and settled down. Then in 2002, decided to become a citizen before they threw me out (my job had changed, so the reason for the work permit was no longer valid, and I'd got divorced, so that was no longer a valid excuse). I more-or-less did the whole thing on my own. Researched what was needed, filled out the appropriate forms, paid the fees, got my fingerprints taken, had a background check run, studied the Federalist Papers and other references about America's history and political system, took the test, changed my name (from Ian Armstrong-Dennis back to its original form), took the pledge of allegiance (on the first National Citizenship day - 9/17/2002) and am now an American - as much so as the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers.
Well, the exile thing was a complication that needn't have happened. I'd gone overseas with the vacation visa stamped in my passport, and the work visa just as a piece of paper. Because I was now married, I asked my immigration attorney if going overseas would cause a problem and he advised me to go to the US Embassy in Amsterdam and they would stamp the work visa in my passport. Trouble is the American Embassies overseas work from a different rule book than the customs guys at airports. They did not recognize mixed-immigration (i.e., an immigrant on a non-immigrant passport). If I'd just turned up at the airport with my British passport and my work visa, the customs guys would have let me back in. As it was, I flew back to UK and stayed with my mother for several weeks while my wife petitioned for my return. Lesson learned is don't go out of the country while your immigration status is tenuous.
Oh, and when I finally got back into the USA, I almost went to jail over the weekend because a b**ch working for the Justice department lied to her boss about my status and I was going to be held until I could be seen by a Judge. Fortunately my (new) immigration attorney was wonderful and I left the Justice Building a free man.
Glad to see another foreigner uninformed as sh*t about American political initiatives aside from Obama. Without looking up, would you be able to name a current Governor of any state? Caring about just the Presidency is idiotic. You are aware that many laws (not even elected offices) are put up to the public to vote on? I guess I'm glad you wouldn't be voting, if given the chance, because you are uninformed. [^]
Even in my state, one of the bluest in the country, there are initiatives on the ballots: [^]
I believe that Pompey's thread, as indeed his earlier on the subject, were satires on both the ridiculous levels and lack of worthwhile content of the coverage the British media gives to the US elections.
Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.
I typed a long and informative, as well as witty, reply but then the computer ate it.
Basically the British media is spending a massive amount of time, money, and energy covering the thing with every news outlet having reporters all over the states, with live broadcasts coming from there, but none of it covers anything other than Romney v Obama and trying to find where the key vote will be cast.
No-one over here has much interest, the result will effect us - the US is that important, but it's not something we can do anything about, just let us know what is going on, and tell us the result.
If they are putting that much time and effort into reporting, they could at least try some worthwhile and in depth reporting.
Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.
A local bar posted a warning on facebook: "Hey guys we will be watching the election coverage tmrrw and a French TV Crew and a maybe this Tokyo-based team will be filming people. So if you enter you, you might be filmed. We will be ordering pizzas and $3 craft beers will be in effect. See u then. Keep Your Fingers Crossed!"
So yeah, foreign media is everywhere, without any real focus.
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