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View Full Version : Electoral College (How Do You Reform, Should We Reform?)


SilentScope001
09-06-2007, 09:13 PM
Oh...dear.

You see, I was paying attention to how the Republicans are passing a bill in Calforina in 2008 that would divide electoral vote based on district rather than based on Winner-Take-All. Democrats were screaming that it was an unfair attempt to steal electoral votes...(Don't worry, it is likely to be defeated overwheamlingly.)

http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=32338

A proposed California ballot initiative could dramatically alter the way American presidents are elected, improving chances for Republican candidates to capture the White House.

Called the Electoral Reform Act, the measure would change the way California awards its coveted 55 electoral college votes. The initiative would eliminate the current winner-takes-all method, replacing it with a system that would award electoral votes based on votes cast in California congressional districts.

If the system had been in place for the 2004 presidential contest, President Bush would have received 22 electoral votes in California. Instead, John Kerry won all 55 California electoral votes by winning the majority of the stateís popular vote.

The Electoral Reform Act is being pushed by Sacramento Republican attorney Thomas Hiltachk. Backers are working to collect signatures to place the measure on the June 2008 ballot, so it could be in place in time for the November 2008 presidential race.

California Democrats consider the measure a power grab and plan to fight the initiative if it reaches the ballot.

They should know. The Democrats in 2004 tried to get a referednum in Colordo that would divide electroal vote based on district rather than based on Winner-Take-All. Republicans were screaming that it was an unfair attempt to steal electoral votes...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/elections/chi-0410290310oct29,0,7903255.story?coll=bal-election-storyutil

Many of the biggest supporters of Amendment 36 have been Democrats, who began working to get the proposal on the ballot back when it looked as though their traditionally Republican state would again vote decisively for President Bush. Although the Colorado Democratic Party is officially neutral on the ballot proposition, political analysts believe the idea was to find a way to deprive Bush of all nine of Colorado's electoral votes and shift a few to Kerry.

The opposition, meanwhile, has been led by state Republicans, who dislike the amendment for precisely the same reason.

Don't worry. It was defeated overwheamingly.

Gotta love politicans. :D
****
Real reason I started this thread is because I like the electoral college. It allows for candinates to focus on smaller states and not huge population centers, and it allows for us to know who wins the election rather quickly than to wait for recount after recount of the popular vote. But, er, my view isn't exactly that popular. So, I guess I want to know what you think. And more importantly, how would you get your ideas adopted.

According to a political science study I saw a while back, Electoral College Reform only works when one party can benieft from it, like above. In 2004, Democrats backed Electoral College Reform, Republicans were against. Today, Republicans back Electoral College Reform, Democrats are against. Altough there may be overall high support for electoral college reform, when it is done on a state level, people have to vote on ways that will help them out in the long term. Something to do about "winners" in the electoral college not wanting reform and "losers" in the electoral college clamoring for reform. I want to dig that link up, as it is an interesting study, and useful for anyone wanting to reform the Electoral College.

Some obscere links that show my position:
http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_47/b3708005.htm

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005582

MdKnightR
09-07-2007, 02:25 AM
It should be eliminated. I understand the concept behind it, but it is outdated. Today, it only serves to allow the democrats and republicans to keep their "monopoly" in politics.

Weiser_Cain
09-07-2007, 02:50 AM
One vote should equal one vote everywhere.

mimartin
09-07-2007, 12:10 PM
As you may have gathered from some of my less than flattering comments towards the Electoral College that I am against it and believe it should be abolished. I remember before the 2000 election the media reporting that the Republicans already had a team of lawyers waiting to challenge the election. The Republican strategist felt that George W. Bush would win the Popular Vote, but lose the Electoral Vote. When the exact opposite happened, even though they planned to do the exact same thing before the election, they were appalled when Gore did not concede the election and sought legal recourse. In the case of the 2000 election two people did make a difference in deciding the election, and it wasnít any of the 337,183 more people that voted for Gore over Bush. It was Katherine Harris, the Republican Secretary of State and Jeb Bush, the Republican Governor of Florida that made the difference. So in my opinion with the antiquated Electoral College the election can be manipulated by state governments. Not just sour grapes on my side, because to my shame Iím one of the 49,819,600 that voted for Bush (I was being selfish and wanted Bush out of Texas).

It allows for candinates to focus on smaller states and not huge population centersNever really considered this and it is a good point. As much as I dislike the Electoral College this is something to consider before it could be completely abolished. On the selfish side, if the candidates did not have to worry about the smaller states they would pour more of their resources into the larger markets. That would mean I would have to deal with more political commercials, so to me this may be the most important reason to keep the Electoral College, I can not deal with anymore paid lies and half truths.

it allows for us to know who wins the election rather quickly than to wait for recount after recount of the popular vote. I donít really see the importance here. Why does it matter if we know the election results on the day of the election or two weeks later? We didnít know the results of the 2000 election, with the Electoral College for over a month and it didnít seem to destroy this nation.

My plan would just to get rid of the Electoral College and go with the popular vote, however I do find your argument about candidates not paying attention to smaller states valid and believe it should be taken into consideration before abolishing our current system.

SilentScope001
09-07-2007, 02:12 PM
I am more interested in how does one form a movement to get rid of the Electroal College.

PoiuyWired
09-07-2007, 02:31 PM
I am more interested in how does one form a movement to get rid of the Electroal College.

I second that.

SilentScope001
09-07-2007, 02:43 PM
POSSIBLE IDEA:

Two states, one Republican State and one Democrat State decides to give up 2 Electoral Votes to the Popular Vote Winner (2 votes are the 2 free votes that are given based on the 2 Senate seats each state has).

The End. Those 4 Votes are out of play, and whomever wins the Popular Votes win those 4 Votes. If the election becomes close (like it has before), then these 4 Electoral Votes become very, VERY important in determing who wins the election. There we go, good jury-rigging fix without need of the amendment. Now, we just need a movement in each state to devote 2 Electoral Votes to the Popular Vote...enough propasls in each state and we could score a victory, by getting some of the states to agree. Enough electoral votes devoted to the Popular Vote...and we can pat our backs.

Not that I am in support of it. I'm just in support of people actually doing something to affect the government.

mimartin
09-20-2007, 06:36 PM
I am more interested in how does one form a movement to get rid of the Electroal College.
Rig the election to benefit your party only (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/332164_herbert19.html)
You could always set it up to only help your side.

SilentScope001
09-20-2007, 06:54 PM
Uh. That what prompted the topic to begin with. The first post did deal with the proposed Amedment to divide electoral vote based on congressional discrict, with a quote from that article, altough in a netural manner.

Democrats are currently trying to do this reform in South Carliona as well. And the Democrats did try to divide electoral votes to ensure they win the election back in 2004.

As I am a member of both the Republicans and the Democrats, I am not too eager to condemn either side.

Jae Onasi
09-21-2007, 12:30 AM
Both parties are always going to try to divide districts and in their favor--no one's innocent in that. If they don't dump the electoral college, the best way to make it more fair is to divide the percentage of electoral votes in the closest way to the percentage of popular vote in that state. I. e., if candidate A wins 60% of the vote and candidate B gets 40% in the popular vote, they should get the equivalent percentage in electoral votes in that state.

mimartin
09-21-2007, 12:57 AM
Uh. That what prompted the topic to begin with.
Sorry.
As I am a member of both the Republicans and the Democrats, I am not too eager to condemn either side.
I am sorry you misinterpreted my comments. I was not condemning the Republicans. They are supposed to keep their party in office. I am condemning everyone Republican, Democrat or Independent that what to manipulate the election process and take the power away from the people.
If they don't dump the electoral college, the best way to make it more fair is to divide the percentage of electoral votes in the closest way to the percentage of popular vote in that state. I. e., if candidate A wins 60% of the vote and candidate B gets 40% in the popular vote, they should get the equivalent percentage in electoral votes in that state.
It is only fair if you do it with both Blue and Red states. I would actually agree to this if you did it with every state. The problem is as SilentScope001 wrote; both parties only want to do certain states that usually go for the other party.

If the democrats divide South Carolinaís 8 electoral votes and the Republican divides Californiaís 55 electoral votes, to me it looks like an unfair advantage for the Republicans. I guess they enjoy the government choosing the president over the people.

The more I look at this SilentScope001 the better the Electoral College looks. With the division between the two parties, I cannot see any way a compressive change is possible that would guarantee a fair and free election. So you have converted me into a believer at least until the political hatred felt in this country ends.

Web Rider
09-21-2007, 01:12 AM
If it wasn't for the fact that the technology was questionable and it's not fully deployed everywhere in the country, I would quickly run up and abolish the Electoral College. Of course, I still think we should, however, we need to more fully develop our replacement for it before doing so.

I think that we should abolish the Electoral College, I'm just not so certian we have a new system, that is, a new, fully functional system that could easily step in to take it's place. I'm more concerned with election rigging through electronic voting machines than I am worried about the Electoral college.

Most states already have laws requiring those who place the electoral votes to do so based on either the winning candidate of their state, or between the biggest majorities, under threat of losing their jobs and being replaced by somebody who will.

While of course, the answer to a replacement system is the "popular vote", I refer to an actual system for counting and ensuring that those votes were accurate.

The big catch about Colorado vs California, is that Colorado is about 50/50 democrats and republicans. California on the other hand is like 75/25 with democrats holding the majority.

John Galt
09-21-2007, 01:12 AM
One purpose of the electoral college is to keep small states relevent in national decision-making. I am a huge advocate of individual rights as well as a Libertarian, but I also think that removing the Electoral College might turn the election into a contest to win the coasts, rendering less populous states largely irrelevent in the larger scheme of things. More than anyone, that would hurt Midwest farmers, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

I think the college was put in place by our Founding Fathers for a reason, and any attempts to remove or amend it should be done in a fashion that encorporates the broad spectrum of opinions in the American political sphere.

HIGH ON PIE 14
09-22-2007, 02:32 PM
Well yes it does keep small states relevent in decision making
...but look at it this way: If a candidate wins by 80% in CA than s/he gets 54 (I think thats the right number) electoral points. However if that candidate only won CA by 1% they still get 54 pionts even though fewer people voted for him/her.

Actually the electoral college makes the political minorities in states rather worthless. I mean if you are a republican and live in CA your vote basically counts for nothing as the democrats almost always win that state.

Or if a state is won by a republican all the democrats' votes in that state really count for nothing. Now can anybody say that that is fair?