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spartan max2

Should the electoral college be abolished?

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acute

@RoofGardener

Italy and Greece have other problems.

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Doug1029
11 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

No other state would need to vote.

As it stands right now, I get no vote in Presidential elections.  Oklahoma is a winner-take-all state.  The minority party's votes are simply thrown out.  It doesn't matter whether nobody at all voted for the candidate, or whether that candidate lost by only one vote - the result is the same.  The minority is disenfranchised.  And Oklahoma isn't the only state with this problem - in some states it is Republicans who are disenfranchised.

Doug

 

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Doug1029
11 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

Correct.  We nearly lost our Republic when the Progressives learned how to manipulate the EC.  They found out that if they could win 15 of the 25 most populated counties, they would win.  The only way to beat that was to use the EC to reach broader support (there are over 3000 counties in this nation).  Trump used that like a charm.  Hilary (any Prog today) won’t be able to keep up with Trump in his campaign schedule.  Trump knows how to reach more people.  The Progs are one dimensional and narrow appeal.

That shoe fits equally well on the other foot.  The problem is gerrimandering.  We need to keep voting districts as equally balanced by party within each state as it is possible to be.  An independent commission could do this better than any other entity.  A few rules would help, too, such as a maximum ratio of perimeter to area (3.14 is the minimum value possible, but flagpole districts may have many times this number.).

11 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

It wasn’t designed to give slaveholding states an advantage.  But it was through compromise that it happened.  You’re really stretching what the EC is.  As far as slavery goes, you need to consider the times then, not now.  Before our Founding Documents existed, slavery was a long established and excepted institution.  It was not evil.  Only when Jefferson penned those immortal words at that moment did slavery become evil for the first time in history and opened a Pandora’s Box that no one realized the consequences.  It was clear that you just couldn’t eradicate slavery because the economy was based on it.  The Founders intended a slow weaning process.  The northern states were able to abolish slavery with the onset of the Industrial Revolution.  But the southern states were an entirely different animal.  One of the main reasons for slavery was that African races were already infested with malaria and the cotton fields bread the mosquitos that carried it.  The South was moving toward abolishing slavery but then the Cotton Gin made slavery more economical and allowed the South to compete with the North.  It was a breakdown of leadership and that lead to the Civil War.

Had the US attempted to abolish slavery in the Constitution, the slave-holding states would not have ratified it.  We would have become a bunch of banana-republics.  Some compromise was needed to get past this first hurdle.  That's part of the reason for the Electoral College.

As for slavery being evil - that was the case since the days of John Woolman 1755 (?) who refused on the basis of conscience to fill out a bill of sale for a slave.  At the time of the Revolution there was already a strong abolitionist movement in New England.

In England, just prior to the Civil War, Karl Marx wrote a rant about the hypocrisy of the Duchess of Southerland opposing American slavery, yet selling her own clansmen into slavery a generation earlier.  In Russia, the Czar beat us to it and abolished serfdom in 1862.

Yes.  Economics would probably have ended slavery eventually, but in 1789 that was well over the horizon.

Doug

P.S.:  slavery still exists.  Right here in America, among other places.  Here it's illegal, but that doesn't keep people from doing it.

Doug

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Tatetopa
5 hours ago, Buzz_Light_Year said:

Seems the EC did it's job as far more counties were represented by the election of Trump then they would have if Hillary were elected. I would think that having a larger cross section of the country fairly represented by an election more advantages then having a few large population centers continuously choose who will be president.

I agree that it gives a broader representation which is desirable.  I am not convinced of its  "fairness"

Consider an electrician living in Dallas, Texas.  He gets a vote  It counts for one vote.

If he moves to a smaller less populated place, Sioux City, Iowa the same electrician's vote now counts for 1.5 or 2 times as much.   How is it fair that your vote changes value if you move around the country?

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Desertrat56
6 hours ago, Buzz_Light_Year said:

Seems the EC did it's job as far more counties were represented by the election of Trump then they would have if Hillary were elected. I would think that having a larger cross section of the country fairly represented by an election more advantages then having a few large population centers continuously choose who will be president.

 

2016_Nationwide_US_presidential_county_map_shaded_by_vote_share.svg.jpg

I remember many elections that the winner was declared before all the votes were counted in the western states.  I don't know what Raven Hawk was talking about when he said California would rule the country, California is in the west and has had elections where the winner is declared before their polls have closed.  The electoral college would work correctly if the democrats and republicans didn't control the primaries and didn't make back room deals that influenced the electoral college.

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Doug1029
10 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I remember many elections that the winner was declared before all the votes were counted in the western states.  I don't know what Raven Hawk was talking about when he said California would rule the country, California is in the west and has had elections where the winner is declared before their polls have closed.  The electoral college would work correctly if the democrats and republicans didn't control the primaries and didn't make back room deals that influenced the electoral college.

In America I am free to vote for a candidate approved by the powers that be.

But that is exactly what is done in Russia.

Doug

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spartan max2
4 minutes ago, Doug1029 said:

In America I am free to vote for a candidate approved by the powers that be.

But that is exactly what is done in Russia.

Doug

Not accurate. 

You just have to vote in the primaries. So many people complain about the two choices but then never bother voting in the primaries. 

The primaries decide the two choices.

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Desertrat56
1 minute ago, spartan max2 said:

Not accurate. 

You just have to vote in the primaries. So many people complain about the two choices but then never bother voting in the primaries. 

The primaries decide the two choices.

The primaries are only for democrats and republicans, which leaves 47% of the voters not allowed to vote unless they are willing to change their affiliation.    Doug makes a valid point and you are confused about the reality of politics in the U.S. 

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Doug1029
12 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

The primaries are only for democrats and republicans, which leaves 47% of the voters not allowed to vote unless they are willing to change their affiliation.    Doug makes a valid point and you are confused about the reality of politics in the U.S. 

In Oklahoma primaries one must declare party affiliation, then one can vote for a party-approved candidate.  So, once again, the decision about who runs for office is made in back rooms.  Maybe not in secret, but with very few people invited.

Doug

P.S.:  The Democratic Party's super-delegate rules are not at all democratic.  We need to abolish them - along with Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Doug

Edited by Doug1029
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spartan max2
16 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

The primaries are only for democrats and republicans, which leaves 47% of the voters not allowed to vote unless they are willing to change their affiliation.    Doug makes a valid point and you are confused about the reality of politics in the U.S. 

Libertarians and Green party have their own primaries too.

Third parties simply do not have enough supporters. 

Adding ranked choice voting would be nice though.

Edited by spartan max2

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Doug1029
18 minutes ago, spartan max2 said:

Libertarians and Green party have their own primaries too.

Third parties simply do not have enough supporters. 

Adding ranked choice voting would be nice though.

In Oklahoma, Democrat and Republican candidates are automatically on the ballot.  All others have to amass a sufficient number of signatures on nominating petitions to be placed on the ballot.  In most cases, this probably wouldn't make much difference, but if one party has to face a hurdle, then they all should.

Doug

 

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Setton
8 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Indeed. And instead of that, we have paralysis ? :) 

Instead of that, we have dialogue and compromise. Instead of 50+% of the electorate being ignored for 5 years. 

Edited by Setton

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and then
11 hours ago, Doug1029 said:

As it stands right now, I get no vote in Presidential elections.  Oklahoma is a winner-take-all state.  The minority party's votes are simply thrown out.  It doesn't matter whether nobody at all voted for the candidate, or whether that candidate lost by only one vote - the result is the same.  The minority is disenfranchised.  And Oklahoma isn't the only state with this problem - in some states it is Republicans who are disenfranchised.

Doug

 

Majority rules.  This is the way it has always been done and I suspect Republicans in California feel your pain.

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RoofGardener
13 hours ago, Doug1029 said:

.... the result is the same.  The minority is disenfranchised. .

Isn't that the whole POINT of a democracy ? :P

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Doug1029
11 hours ago, and then said:

Majority rules.  This is the way it has always been done and I suspect Republicans in California feel your pain.

Doesn't California require that EC delegates be apportioned as closely as possible to the popular vote?  Some states already do this, but I don't remember if California is one of them.

Doug

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Doug1029
9 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Isn't that the whole POINT of a democracy ? :P

We have courts for the purpose of ensuring that the majority do not trample on the rights of the minority.  That is why a lot of conservative-sponsored laws get thrown out before becoming law.

Doug

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RoofGardener
23 minutes ago, Doug1029 said:

We have courts for the purpose of ensuring that the majority do not trample on the rights of the minority.  That is why a lot of conservative-sponsored laws get thrown out before becoming law.

Doug

Actually, that is NOT the function of the courts. 

Parliament makes the Laws. The courts interpret the law in terms of "day-to-day" sentencing. 

The defendant - or the prosecution - can challenge the ruling of the court. It then goes to a higher court. 

Ultimately, after various procedural steps, this challenge can go to the supreme court. At which point parliament can - in effect - be asked to refine the law, and define the sentencing guidelines back down to the courts. 

Either way, you are incorrect to say that ".. the purpose of the courts is to ensure that the majority do not trample on the rights of the minorty". 

Well, that's how it works in the UK, anyway. 

It might be different in the USA, whereby the State courts are backed up my their own armies and air forces ? 

 

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Doug1029
10 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

Actually, that is NOT the function of the courts. 

Parliament makes the Laws. The courts interpret the law in terms of "day-to-day" sentencing. 

The defendant - or the prosecution - can challenge the ruling of the court. It then goes to a higher court. 

Ultimately, after various procedural steps, this challenge can go to the supreme court. At which point parliament can - in effect - be asked to refine the law, and define the sentencing guidelines back down to the courts. 

Either way, you are incorrect to say that ".. the purpose of the courts is to ensure that the majority do not trample on the rights of the minorty". 

Well, that's how it works in the UK, anyway. 

It might be different in the USA, whereby the State courts are backed up my their own armies and air forces ? 

 

In the US, a court - any court - can declare all or part of a law unconstitutional.  Until that is overturned on appeal, that is the way things are in that particular judicial district.  Thus, we actually different laws in effect in different districts.  Only the Supreme Court can speak for the country as a whole.

Doug

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RoofGardener
13 hours ago, Doug1029 said:

We have courts for the purpose of ensuring that the majority do not trample on the rights of the minority.  That is why a lot of conservative-sponsored laws get thrown out before becoming law.

Doug

Yeah.. and in "Liberal" districts, they successfully ensure that the majority (law abiding citizens) don't trample on the "rights" of the minority ...  of criminals :P 

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Desertrat56
On 12/21/2019 at 2:00 PM, spartan max2 said:

Libertarians and Green party have their own primaries too.

Third parties simply do not have enough supporters. 

Adding ranked choice voting would be nice though.

Yes, so an independent who wants to vote in a primary has 3 choices.  The green party is useless because it is not recognized as a viable party in all 50 states.  So you don't like dem or rep you only have libertarian to choose from.  In the past the libertarian party was for republicans who couldn't get backig from the republican party and the green party was for democrats who couldn't get backing for the democratic party.  Now days it has changed and the libertarian candidats are for the most part real libertarians.  I think the green party is still a crap shoot.  It if weren't they would have done the work to get recognized in all 50 states.

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Doug1029
10 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Yeah.. and in "Liberal" districts, they successfully ensure that the majority (law abiding citizens) don't trample on the "rights" of the minority ...  of criminals :P 

Republican legislatures often pass "laws" they know in advance will be declared unconstitutional.  This is a political device intended to rile up their base and get them re-elected.

If you can't convict a "criminal" legally and fairly, then you have incompetent police and prosecutors.  Once a person is convicted under the existing legal framework, there is little chance that the conviction will be overturned.

And the minority are not criminals until they have been properly convicted.

Doug

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RoofGardener
26 minutes ago, Doug1029 said:

Republican legislatures often pass "laws" they know in advance will be declared unconstitutional.  This is a political device intended to rile up their base and get them re-elected.

If you can't convict a "criminal" legally and fairly, then you have incompetent police and prosecutors.  Once a person is convicted under the existing legal framework, there is little chance that the conviction will be overturned.

And the minority are not criminals until they have been properly convicted.

Doug

Can you give me an example of Republicans passing laws that they "know" will be struck down by the courts ? :) 

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Doug1029
12 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

Can you give me an example of Republicans passing laws that they "know" will be struck down by the courts ? :) 

Oklahoma's recent abortion law.

A lot of states are passing anti-abortion laws, knowing that most will be struck down, but hoping that one or two might stick.

We also had one about making Sharia law illegal in Oklahoma.  Sharia law could be applied to a civil suit if both parties agreed; it would be treated as a common-law case.  What chance is there of that happening?  Otherwise, all cases brought in Oklahoma are brought under state or Federal law already.  No need for a redundant law outlawing something that has never been and is never likely to be done.

Doug

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RoofGardener
53 minutes ago, Doug1029 said:

Oklahoma's recent abortion law.

A lot of states are passing anti-abortion laws, knowing that most will be struck down, but hoping that one or two might stick.

We also had one about making Sharia law illegal in Oklahoma.  Sharia law could be applied to a civil suit if both parties agreed; it would be treated as a common-law case.  What chance is there of that happening?  Otherwise, all cases brought in Oklahoma are brought under state or Federal law already.  No need for a redundant law outlawing something that has never been and is never likely to be done.

Doug

Wait.. what.. ? 

Oklahoma has made MANY attempts to pass laws relating to abortion. It was always rejected by the Oklahoma voters, or by the State Senate, or by the governer ?  

As I understand it, it never went to the Supreme Court. Or any court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Oklahoma#Judicial_history

So that is NOT an example of "Republicans knowingly passing a bill that would be rejected by the courts". 

Any other examples ? 

 

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Doug1029
1 minute ago, RoofGardener said:

Wait.. what.. ? 

Oklahoma has made MANY attempts to pass laws relating to abortion. It was always rejected by the Oklahoma voters, or by the State Senate, or by the governer ?  

As I understand it, it never went to the Supreme Court. Or any court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Oklahoma#Judicial_history

So that is NOT an example of "Republicans knowingly passing a bill that would be rejected by the courts". 

Any other examples ? 

 

By rejecting the appeal, the Supreme Court effectively overturned the law.

In Oklahoma we have a couple laws that have been passed by the voters and effectively nullified by the state legislature - the marijuana law being one.  It succeeded at the ballot box, but the legislature/govt has refused to implement it.  Judges have started dismissing marijuana charges and releasing people whose only crime was possession.  So we are at sort of an impasse with marijuana being neither legal nor illegal.

Doug

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