Saturday, October 27, 2012

Should Americans eliminate the Electoral College and elect their presidents through simple majority vote?

Given that some presidents have won without persuading the majority of Americans, and the huge deal of money spent only on swing states I ask myself that question

I have always thought that it is unfair that republicans in California or Democrats in Texas are not taken into account just because people around them think differently.

Time for change?    

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    3 days ago: No
  • 3 days ago: I actually debated this topic a while ago at a debate tournament, so I know a little about the subject.

    The system was originally put in place to prevent the more populated states from taking advantage of the small ones. That electoral college did a wonderful job at it. It seems like the aspect of the electoral college that bothers you is the winner-take-all system that the states use to distribute its electoral votes. I see the reasoning though. It is based on the hope that people will collaborate and pick a candidate that appeals to a lot of people. If they divided up the electoral votes based on percentages in a state, it could easily be split in multiple ways. (There could be 4 people who all get about 25% of the states electoral votes.) This could lead to a much worse situation where the president can have more electoral votes than the other candidates but still have relatively little of the popular vote. I see the logic and think that it is pretty solid. A good example of the vote getting split is when Teddy Roosevelt ran under the Bull-Moose party and split the conservative vote. Woodrow Wilson won the election with about 40% of the popular vote. The winner take all system discourages people from trying to run if they dont have a shot of winning. If we didnt have the winner take all system, this splitting of the vote would probably happen more often. So, I guess it is a "lesser of two evils" situation where the founding fathers though this system was better.

    One thing that is very outdated about the EC is the fact that we stopped adding representatives. This means people in smaller states have votes that "count more" towards the general election. If I remember correctly, a person in a less populated state has about 4 times the influence as a Californian on electoral votes because we stopped adding representatives.
    • 2 days ago: "The system was originally put in place to prevent the more populated states from taking advantage of the small ones."

      Why people ever thought that was a good idea is mind-boggling...

      It can't even be explained by partisan politics since US presidential elections are usually close races so it's not like one party benefits more from the EC than the other.
      • 1 day ago: I am not sure what you are saying about the partisan politics. Yes, the presidential elections are normally close elections. That is due a lot to the system that we have for electing the president. The electoral college pushes for the two party system by making all of a state's electoral vote go to only one candidate. This encourages only two competitive parties and two broad platforms. These broad platforms try to get many diverse people to work together. If they had electoral votes split up on percentage, it would be easier to have many parties split the vote. In summary, you are right in saying that no politcal party benefits more than the others through the electoral college, but the electoral college fosters an environment that only has two parties.
        • 1 day ago: You're right that the EC provides a huge incentive for a two-party system. I think US presidential elections usually being close races is more or less coincidence though and it's still possible for one party to gain a disproportionate amount of followers in the smaller states, without gaining a large majority nationwide, meaning that even in a close, two-party election one party could benefit disproportionally from the EC in the future.
      • 1 day ago: Ok now I see what you are saying! That might be true, but then I guess the bigger question is "is chance of one party greatly benefiting for the electoral college worth removing the system?" Removing the system seems to lend itself to multiple parties entirely too much for me to support it. I would much rather a political party win the electoral vote with only 47% of the popular vote than have a candidate who wins a popular vote election with only 40% of the popular vote because the rest is split between 4 candidates. I find the risk of harm to be greater for a system without electoral vote.

        The single transferable vote system described above seems like a viable option. I'm still weary of a popular vote system though.
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      1 day ago: RE: "Mr. Long, I have to ask. . . "
      A pure democracy is ruled by a simple majority. The United States is not a pure democracy, it is a Representative Republic. There is a potential for a majority to be tyrannical, a sort of Council of Dictators.
      If, I said IF, the 11 most populous states settled into an alliance the other 39 states would be without a voice. The tyranny of the majority is a real threat to individual freedom. To be without representation is not in keeping with the Constitution of the United States. Of course, no matter which system is used, eventually a choice must be made. The question of who is to be the next POTUS must be answered. Is the EC as it now exists the best way to reach an answer? I don't think so. I think some changes are needed.
      • 1 day ago: With a popular vote states couldn't make alliances and no one would be left without a voice (because the votes of minorities in one state would pile on top of the votes of likeminded people in other states). It is because of the electoral college that the problems you describe exist at all. In France they don't have those problems: people in Marseille don't feel like they're drowned out by people in Paris because even if the whole town votes for someone else your vote still gets added to likeminded people on the other side of the country.
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          1 day ago: I agree sir. And that solution immediately brings us face-to-face with the problem of too many candidates. With too many wannabes to choose from it becomes possible for a candidate with a minor number of popular votes to become POTUS simply because s(he) got more votes than the others. Then we have a leader that 88 people out of a hundred did not vote for. That sucks!
    • 22 hours ago: and it discourages people from voting. If I lived in Texas I just wouldnt mind to vote as I would ultimately be voting for the other candidate.
  • 3 days ago: yes
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    2 days ago: The EC system allows a person to become POTUS by winning just 11 out of the 50 states + Wash. D.C.! That's just wrong.
    That means that even if 80% of the states unanimously elect a candidate that candidate might not win, depending on which 20% the other candidate wins! That's just wrong.
    The votes cast by citizens are irrelevant and unnecessary because the Electors are under no constitutional regulation to carry-out the will of the voters! That's just wrong.
    The U.S.A. is the only nation to use such a system to elect a chief executive.
    About 150 million people are expected to vote in a couple of weeks, but who cares? What matters is how those 538 electors vote. That amounts to one Elector for every 279,000 voters. That's just wrong. Granted there are difficulties in avoiding corruption and error in counting 150 million votes, but there is very possibly a better way that the EC.
    • 2 days ago: "The votes cast by citizens are irrelevant and unnecessary because the Electors are under no constitutional regulation to carry-out the will of the voters! That's just wrong."

      Precisely, this seems very disturbing.

      "The EC system allows a person to become POTUS by winning just 11 out of the 50 states + Wash. D.C.! That's just wrong."

      It wouldn't be wrong if those 11 states were the most popolous (the 11 most popolous US states contain more than half the US population), but they're not, they're just randomly picked states, some of whom have very small populations.
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        1 day ago: Correction- They are the top 11 most populous states: CA; TX; NY; FL; IL; PA; OH; MI; GA; NC; and NJ. They are the top 11 states in both population and number of electors. They represent 56.1% of the population (220 million) and 50.2% (270) of the Electors.
        • 1 day ago: Mr Long, I have to ask. If they represent 56% of the people in this country, shouldn't these states be able to elect the president? They are a majority of the country. If we do base it on popular vote, it seems like those 11 states would still be able to elect the president. I dont understand what point you are making.

          I see what you are saying about faithless electors, but I have not heard of a time when a faithless elector ever changed an election. I may be mistaken, but I have never heard one. It seems like it would be easy to fix this problem too. We could get states to pass a law that electors must vote for their state's representative. It seems like this part of the electoral college is easily remediable. It would be much easier to fix that one aspect than the entire system.
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    2 days ago: It's a horrible system. It devalues you and me. It makes our votes meaningless if we are a minority in our state. It leaves a handful of people choosing a candidate that I voted against, and their vote is more powerful than mine.
  • 2 days ago: "Should Americans eliminate the Electoral College and elect their presidents through simple majority vote?"

    Yes, absolutely. Because most of the electoral college works with some sort of winner-takes-all system it could, in theory, get a lot worse than (as Bush did in 2000) "winning" with 0.5 percentage points less than your opponent (in a complete winner-takes-all system with two candidates a candidate who has 25.1% of the votes can "win" against a candidate who has 74.9% of the votes), it's merely a stroke of luck that this has not happened yet in the US, while it has in the UK in parliamentary elections. The point about sparsely populated "swing states" having too much influence vs. more populated states is spot on. As Edward pointed out the electors can even decide to vote against the official result in their district/state.
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    2 days ago: The following is an excerpt on the argument for a Electorial College.

    "There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections."

    Since those arguments have fallen it would again appear to depart from a divided winner take all practice might be in order. The candidates would concentrate on the large populus areas ... no real change there. However if it is truely a election of the people then make it so. Problems would exist in corruption ... again no difference from today. I am against mail in ballots. Only those performing official duties in service to the country should be allowed to vote in absence. Perhaps polls should be Friday and Saturday. No excuses ... 48 total hours .... covers all shifts, etc ... This would allow for all voters to present proper ID and validate their right to vote as citizens. To easy to beat the system the way it is. A guy showed up at our precenct and was not on the roles and had no ID but was allowed a provisional vote. These are seldom challenged and are allowed in many states.

    Question ... do we elect a vice president? Is the VP on the ballot? Then could there be a president for one side and a VP from the other?
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    2 days ago: The reason that the electoral college should remain as is is that U.S. is a Republic that uses representatives to prevent the tyranny of the majority. Voters are pretty ignorant about politics and economics, once you have a tipping point of more people on the dole than not you have a situation where the majority will always vote itself more free stuff.

    Another factor on this is that the U.S. is founded on Federalism which means that the Federal and State governments run the country in unison. This is why what Lincoln did was so egregious. It used to be before Wilson the U.S. Senators were appointed by the States.

    So no it was never intended that the public elect the president or the senator only congress and state officials. As you know the state gives all of its electoral votes to one candidate and this is decided by the State as it was intended.

    And this boys and girls is why this country is circling the drain because too much power has been given to a centralized government which willy nilly results in socialism. The individual prospers in small government not with what we have now.

    The better solution would be to get rid of the 17th amendment.
    • 2 days ago: "The reason that the electoral college should remain as is is that U.S. is a Republic that uses representatives to prevent the tyranny of the majority."

      You don't solve "tyranny of the majority" issues by granting small states more votes because people in small states aren't more enlightened than people in big states. Besides, ask any gay (or elderly black) American how well that "Republic that protects the rights of minorities" idea works out in practice.
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        1 day ago: My standard answer to you John is what the hell are you talking about?

        The myth is that black people and women are underpaid and there for the government should step in and fix this. The fact is black people made more money when the government did not "help" them with things like Davis Bacon, or minimum wage laws. Women make as much money as men, the whole thing about them being underpaid is crap.

        The Republic has served both very well, women can vote as can blacks. Blacks, Gays , and Women (no glass ceiling witness Meg Whitman, Oprah Winfrey, Carly Fiorina) are accepted socially and legally.

        I probably won't answer your next post as you are a Troll
        • 1 day ago: As usually you are living in the bubble. Anyone else would immediately have understood that I was talking about civil rights issues: it took the republic almost 200 years to grant blacks and women all civil rights and it still hasn't done so for gay people. Several countries with a popular vote beat the US to it by decades or more, in these departments. FYI: tyranny of the majority refers to the suppression of civil rights of minorities by the majority, not to the "little people" directly electing their head of state. The electoral college doesn't do anything to address real tyranny of the majority issues since there are plenty of bigots in the small states and electors are chosen by political parties.
        • 22 hours ago: I was sitting in class when i wrote my last bout...came back to strike a point or rather just defend myself. Then i realized that everyone keeps getting a little off topic with their comments and/or keeps insulting each other in a way that does not represent the TED community.

          1.Tyranny of the majority from what i understand is just absolute rule of the minority group, in ancient Greece minorities were the poor, not minorities how we see it today being classified by ethnicity or what have you. Tyrants have absolute rule over everyone else, meaning those are the minorities, i haven't read anywhere where its used in a civil rights manner, but i could be mistaken.

          2. The lack of educated people on the topic of politics, which i referred to earlier, was vaguely put. We have a lot of people who do not know the government and/or governmental issues, outside of what's effecting their lives. Yes you can argue and say everything is effecting them, but what i mean is the average person does not take in consideration on how policies effect minorities in Chicago, or the middle class in North Carolina. It's all circumstantial, call me selfish but the average person does not consider people out side of their immediate group. I do believe that we need a better system where we can be represented not by how populated our states are, but then draw up a plan....don't sit their and argue about petty terms and opinions.

          3. Civil rights. We all have rights as citizens and we do abuse them at times...but granted we are deprive of certain rights(choices), such as gay rights and legalization of marijuana rights...but those do not always need to be shoved into debates. Let the people, that meaning US, fight for what we believe should be rights. Women's, minority rights, integration...those are things that people felt the need to bring attention and fight want gay rights...fight for it. No one is stopping you.

          4. It is time for a change, but where is the effort to change it?
      • 1 day ago: I think what Pat is getting at is that the "people" do not have the best interest for each other. We really can't help each other while keeping our own interests at hand. We're talking about electoral college and voting rights for people, yet some guy decides to step in and talk about civil rights? Look, what the government does reflects the feelings of the majority, sounds blunt but it hold some validity. The difference between the civil rights of the past and of today is that many more people cared and did something to end the discrimination. If one method doesn't work, then try something else. People are giving up before the fight starts...matter of fact, could someone point to where the fight is at? If enough people cared today and went about it radically then their would be more rights for gays.
        Personally i don't think civil issues need to be addressed first hand here seeing that there are a lot bigger problems in our government right now, such as a failing economy, military, lack of jobs, etc. People have more rights in this country than a lot of countries and the resources to make a lot of themselves, but too often it becomes easier to complain and blame before actually attempting to move forward. Woman's rights and minority rights impacted the whole country, gay rights impacts a certain small percentage of this country. So can we drop that for argument sake?
        We can argue rights in a different conversation, but for now the question is whether we should eliminate the electoral college or not and I'd have to say we should not. There just aren't enough educated people, about politics, to trust that they would make the right decision and for the best interest for all. The majority would probably lean more democratic, which isn't an awful thing, but these people might be hurting themselves more than they realize.

        Could we just structure this debate a little better?
        • 1 day ago: "I think what Pat is getting at is that the "people" do not have the best interest for each other."

          As opposed to corrupt politicians and Wall Street execs? In any case it's not what "tyranny of the majority" means. "Fad of the day" may be the phrase he was looking for.

          "yet some guy decides to step in and talk about civil rights?"

          That "guy" correctly interpreted the meaning of "tyranny of the majority", unlike Pat.

          "Personally i don't think civil issues need to be addressed first hand here seeing that there are a lot bigger problems in our government right now,"

          Maybe if congress spend one afternoon not trying to deny women contraception they could grant gays full civil rights (which would grow the economy). I know, congress actually doing something that America is sometimes said to be all about, instead of money and war, sounds like fiction, doesn't it?

          "There just aren't enough educated people, about politics, to trust that they would make the right decision and for the best interest for all."

          Then appoint a king, or only elect a lower house, the EC doesn't do one thing to help people make better choices, all it does is give people from smaller states (who are more likely to be bigoted, uneducated rednecks) a bigger voice as well as keeping third parties off the scene. Oh and it enables a candidate with 25% of the popular vote to win the election.
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          1 day ago: "There just aren't enough educated people, about politics, to trust that they would make the right decision and for the best interest for all. The majority would probably lean more democratic, which isn't an awful thing, but these people might be hurting themselves more than they realize "

          I dont even know where to begin, this statement is filled with so much absurdity, arrogance, and just ruthless selfishness that it scares me. Should we just let landowners vote, or maybe just whites, woman eventually can get their shot. Who are these people, the uneducated you speak of. Hurting themselves or hurting you? The founding fathers did not give a rats ass about the people hurting themselves they were scared of the people making changes to economic inequality. My guess, you are too. And if thats the case just say it, you don't want people to have a say in their society if that means they will ensure a reasonable standard of living for them and their family. Maybe i am wrong. Please don't give me a black and white oversimplified response about taking responsibility the world is far more complicated than that.

          This idea that the people must be guided by there leaders into what is best for them has got to go. Either we live in a society that recognizes all of its citizens as worthy members, who not only should shape their society but must, or we don't. Also keep in mind that under the same justification you offer our government has led to many illegal wars resulting in mass death and rampant barbarism. This sentiment is a very old one if not the oldest and has surely resulted in feudalism, communism, fascism, and every form of oppressive system known to man.
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          1 day ago: The evidence indicates the framers did care, evidence being the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence. No your contention is crap.

          Complexity is typically an indicator of someone's lack of understanding. You are economically and politically illiterate. Of course it appears complex.

          I agree we have been involved excessively in war imo cronyism to the military complex but at the same time we had 3000 people killed on our land in 2001.
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      1 day ago: Pat, the country is circling the drain because the people have to much power? Is that what your saying? Power should be centralized to those who know how best guide the masses? Maybe I have misinterpreted.
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        1 day ago: It is called the tyranny of the majority which is the basic problem with a democracy
        • 1 day ago: No, it's not, tyranny of the majority is about the civil rights of minorities. It has nothing to do with making the country even less democratic than it already is. You might as well hand the key to Washington D.C. to Wall Street on a silver platter.
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      1 day ago: check out these videos how it works whats wrong with the college
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        1 day ago: Cute videos that don't address the need for a Republic.
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          1 day ago: are you talking republic or democracy? because getting rid of the electoral college would not get rid of democracy. And that have a national vote where ever vote counts. Its a better representation of a "republic"
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        1 day ago: You do not understand the definition of the United States Republic.
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    1 day ago: A look at what the Constitution actually says:

    Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution states:
    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature there of may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
    Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 of the Constitution states:
    The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
    Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution provided for the original fashion by which the President and Vice President were to be chosen by the electors. In the original system, the candidate who received both the most votes and more than half of all votes cast would become President, the candidate receiving the second most votes would become Vice President.
    The design of the Electoral College was based upon several assumptions and anticipations of the Framers of the Constitution:[11]
    Each state would employ the district system of allocating electors.
    Each presidential elector would exercise independent judgment when voting.
    Candidates would not pair together on the same ticket with assumed placements toward each office of President and Vice President.
    The system as designed would rarely produce a winner, thus sending the election to Congress.
    On these facts, some scholars have described the Electoral College as being intended to nominate candidates from which the Congress would then select a President and Vice President.[12]
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    1 day ago: Here is the part of this that often gets over looked: "Each state government is free to have its own plan for selecting its electors."
    This means that states have the right to decide if it is a winner-take-all, or some other method.
    "Forty eight states, and Washington, D.C., employ the winner-takes-all method, each awarding its electors as a single bloc. Maine and Nebraska use the "Congressional District Method", selecting one elector within each congressional district by popular vote and selecting the remaining two electors by the statewide popular vote. This method has been used in Maine since 1972 and in Nebraska since 1996".

    Always helps to know what is under discussion.
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      1 day ago: but the delegates can change there vote if they want
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        1 day ago: They can change their votes in Maine and Nebraska? You're making a mute point if its never actually done to the extent that it created an public outcry.

        (This video full of skewed percentages and statistics, to the point that, in my opinion, it misrepresents the debate of the EC.)
  • 1 day ago: No. The reason being that people for the most part are ignorant. The decision ultimately is made by someone the people did vote into office in the first place.
  • 1 day ago: I would say in short, yes. To be more specific, I feel like the entirety of our system of representation should be overhauled. The current system, even through a direct popular vote, wouldn't fix the issue of an election won by majority, simply because the addition of another candidate (let alone multiple) makes a majority vote much harder and in some cases nearly impossible to achieve. For a history on this, look at the election of John Quincy Adams. In modern terms, if Ron Paul were put up for election alongside the two candidates already running, it wouldn't be all too surprising if none of the three candidates got more than 50% of the vote.
    So I would prefer to see a system like IRV (Instant Runoff Voting), wherein the people can vote for multiple candidates in order of preference. With such a system multiple candidates could run for office, and if no majority is held, the votes that counted towards the candidate with the least votes are recounted to the next highest preference until a majority is seen. This allows for a breakdown of the two party system, presenting the people with more freedom of choice, and would still allow the majority to win, without having to rely on archaic tie-breaker style rules written into our laws. It would likely take several cycles before the two major parties really suffer any losses, but as voters catch on we could break out of this system into a much more open and direct one. So with that, not only would Democrats in Texas be heard, but so would Green Party members, as well as any Libertarians in California and so on.
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      1 day ago: Niles

      How would that system guard against the tyranny of the majority?
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        1 day ago: that majority would be a better representation of the populous, then our current system which is a tyranny of senior citizens. Which is not a true representation of the populous, most younger citizens don't feel there vote counts. So they don't vote. And sadly the are not 100% false for thinking this
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          1 day ago: The last election had a record turn out apparently because of the novelty and ACORN.

          This poll does not show your contention of a senior tyranny in the last POTUS election?

          In general we have tried every idea under the sun since the 1700's. How about trying what the constitutions says? The framers and their work imo opinion was an anomaly in history and when their directions were followed the U.S. flourished which includes everyone in the whole world. Prospering and flourishing is the point is it not?
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        1 day ago: Personally I am tired of the older class deciding how I live my life once there gone because all current politics does today is put a band aid on the situation and the kick the can down the road for the next group to band aid. Personally you shouldn't be in politics after 60 -65 and there should be term limits 4 to 8 years in each level max(local, state,federal). When your that old you don't have as much investment in the future as a 30 year old would.
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          1 day ago: Term limits sound great but don't work, we have them here in Calf and you can see the results.
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        1 day ago: Ok well how often have we had a african american man running for president? And a women running for VP? I am not sure that the last election is the best pick for your statistical analysis of poll stats.
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        1 day ago: here is some facts on youth turn out

        as well as how many people actual vote that can vote, which barely goes over 50% of that actual people who can vote.

        So our current number of people coming out to vote represent less then half the voting population on average. Once again because they feel there vote does not count.
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          1 day ago: What does this have to do with the tyranny of the seniors?
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        1 day ago: How don't term limits work? I am sorry I don't live in Cali
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          1 day ago: No I'm sorry I do live in Cali.

          Because the legacy of the former politician is continued through his assistants. The proof is Calif is as F'ed up ever.
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        1 day ago: So the problem is more that when there are term limits the politicians them self change, but the staff of the former...former politicians remain the same? I can definitely see how that is a major problem. And would look less like a republic... although I have not watched that video is very long and I dont have the time to watch it right now. So you are correct we might not have the same definition of what a republic is. I am going with general terms that are along the lines of for/representation of the people

        And yes Cali is pretty much messed up but you guys are also very progressive which is a good thing. Personally it seems more like and ego thing as an outsider. Everyone's got an opinion and they think there opinion is better then the others. Which is ultimately the fundamental flaw or all politics not matter what country or state you look at
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          1 day ago: Yes to the first paragraph. Look to my first post on this thread it might help with the definition of a U.S. Republic.

          Do you see a connection between "messed up" and "very progressive"

          Not sure what you mean by the ego thing? If you mean me I prefer the Joe Friday philosophy except for the Willfully ignorant which try my patience.
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    1 day ago: yes as well as delegates and super delegates. Make ever vote count our current system is barbaric at best
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    1 day ago: @ Pat Gilbert, "In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be jsut, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." -James Madison

    Originally land owners were only allowed to vote, a lot of the founding fathers owned slaves and George Washington was far from a grass roots guy, he was worth roughly 500 million today. The founders cared about themselves and their friends, the did not care about anyone who was not white, woman, or the poor at least in regards to allowing them to take part in shaping their society.

    "Complexity is typically an indicator of someone's lack of understanding. You are economically and politically illiterate. Of course it appears complex."

    Pat, anyone who does't passionately love free markets is illiterate according to you, anyone who doesn't believe in libertarian ideology is illiterate to you. I used to espouse the ideas you do, i voted for Ron Paul in 08 I've later come to see absurdity in that ideology. Its a clear call for corporate tyranny. Would you call the human brain complex? I would and so does everyone who studies it. You would never here a neuroscientist say the human brain is not complex just because they understand the current literature and findings, sorry your point makes zero sense. The entire history of humanity as well as our current political problems with the economy is complex. If you think it isn't my guess is that you have settled for a feel good ideology that only benefits you.

    yes we had 3,000 people killed on our land but Iraq was not even close to the beginning of war for profit.
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      1 day ago: Having skin in the game is a valid way to keep the vote to the people who do want what is best for the country.

      I would not want someone to operate on my brain who thought it was complex. There are parts of the brain that Science does not understand. I imagine for you to say I don't know would be a very complex problem.

      Ron Paul and the Libertarian philosophy is very viable (not to be confused with nut cases like Noam Chomsky) I have been a registered Libertarian since the mid 70s.

      All you have to say is I don't know about this stuff. Which would be impossible for you.

      I don't disagree regarding war.

      I might add that the infinitely more effective and important disposition is this:
      • 1 day ago: "Ron Paul and the Libertarian philosophy is very viable"

        Lol, I have yet to meet the first libertarian who was willing to start from scratch in a libertarian society. They're always rich people or people who are financially secure and have a Napoleon complex that makes them think they would've been millionaires if there were no taxes (because they don't make mistakes, everything that's not perfect in their lives is the fault of "gubment" and "moochers"). All libertarians expect to become top dog, I say let them, dumpe them on an island and let them battle it out, Lord of the Flies style...
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        1 day ago: Pat what is best for the country is to be decided by everyone who lives in the country. The idea that only those who hold economic power should vote is ridiculous. I cannot think of a quicker route to oppression. I know how you feel about a federal government guiding you, how would you feel if the federal government blocked your right to vote on social issues because you were not a sociologist or because you didn't work in the field. This is just an attempt to highjack power from those you disagree with. Everyone has stake in the outcome in the United States you just think the ones you happen to disagree with should be silenced.

        Pat, continuously hinting that I don't know what I'm talking about and then rebutting me with meaningless responses doesn't bode well for your argument. Ill gladly watch the links I think being able to admit when your wrong shows maturity as well as rationality.

        What I really do not get is you telling me I should just admit I don't know what I'm talking about, sorry Pat your not the authority on this subject as bad as you may want to be. What is it that I don't understand? Let me guess, your train of thought goes "if he disagrees with me then he just does not get it" I think I get it, the scary thing is I know you do too yet you still hold steadfastly to your beliefs.
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          23 hours ago: Oppression does not work that way.

          No I'm just trying to hijack power from those who want a free ride those who do not care about the American Dream or America.

          I'm sorry did I infer that I was inferring, my mistake, You don't have a clue what you are talking about I mean that in an in your face, black and white, sort of way.

          Am I the authority NOPE, but I do know which way is up. The thing is you and other people think that we are playing patty cakes, which is not the case we are talking about the future of the world. You can say I'm being dramatic but the fact is I'm not.

          When I recommend those videos I'm not trying to be right I'm trying to learn you something. I would not waste my time on someone like John Smith, but I think you might smell the coffee... A lot of people would say I'm being provocative but I assure that is not the case. What I 'm saying is to LOOK
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        23 hours ago: " Having skin in the game is a valid way to keep the vote to the people who do want what is best for the country."
        In general I agree with this statement but there must be allowance made in some cases. If the GFC caused me to lose my job which in turn caused me to default on my mortgage should I lose my right to vote as I am now unemployed with no material assets?
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          23 hours ago: The GFC was a consequence of government meddling that should not have occurred in the first place.

          Having skin in the game goes way back and is not relevant to today.
  • 1 day ago: The very core of the voting system is flawed in the US and for that matter in the rest of the world.

    Two of the largest issues I see are:

    1) People are voting for a single person or party to translate their opinions (often very poorly over a very wide selection of subjects. I don't know of a single person that agree's with every single statement their preferred party has made.

    2) No one is educated in every aspect politics make decisions over yet we expect them to vote for it. People should vote for the subjects in their field of expertise or are directly to their person.

    I'm confident that the people of a country are more then capable of ruling themselves without the need of politicians we just need to make this technically possible.
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    1 day ago: Maybe instead of worrying about the Electoral College it would be better to try to do something about limiting campaign budgets, you might actually get a President that is independant.
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      1 day ago: They tried that with McCain Feigngold which did little to reform the campaign contribution but as usual added complication.
  • 1 day ago: I have been a Special Education Teacher for 30 years. I never tell my students that they have made a mistake.
    I say it's a Miss Take. You can try again! We must empower our students.
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    23 hours ago: We don't need to eliminate the electoral college. We just need to realize our government has more positions than President. We need to consider our state elections and fill our congress with progressive thinkers...not biased individuals elected by lobbyists.
    • 17 hours ago: i.e., it isn't the systems, it is the voters don't use their right side of the brain when selecting their representatives.
      • 9 hours ago: No, it really is in the system. If 74.9% of the public voted for Ghandi and 25.1% for Hitler, then Hitler could win the presidency if he won in all the right districts.

        The electoral college gave America George Bush and look at this British parliamentary election result that uses a similar regional winner-takes-all system:

        Conservatives: 10.7 million votes --> 306 seats
        Labour: 8.6 million votes --> 258 seats
        Liberal Democrats: 6.8 million --> 57 seats

        In fact the liberal democrats gained a greater percentage of the votes than in the previous election, yet they actually lost 5 seats! The British conservatives have traditionally been the biggest beneficiaries of the system, while the liberal democrats have made the popular vote one of their key platform issues.

        Like the British system the electoral college kills off third parties and makes people win elections with a minority of the votes.
      • 7 hours ago: It is about the system. Electoral colleges should be dropped and alternative vote should be enacted, it ensures an election that most people will truly be happy about, instead of an election based on important zones.
  • 22 hours ago: If the electoral college system was not used to select our President, every election we have from now on would be determined completely by the Atlantic coast and California. Every state between New York and California would have absolutely no voice in the selection and their votes would be futile.
    • 22 hours ago: I think its not about states having a voice, its about individuals having a voice.
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        22 hours ago: Nope it is about the states.
        • 7 hours ago: It is currently about the states. But it shouldn't be is what everyone is trying to say.
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        7 hours ago: And I'm trying to say is should be the way it is along with the repeal of the 17th amendment, of course as usual I'm talking to myself...
  • 22 hours ago: Someone please explain to me the logic on "states" having more influence than others. Who do you think should elect the president, states or people? Plus, when I vote for president I am not voting as a Californian or as a New Yorker, I am voting as an individual, an American with personal convictions regardless of where I live.

    Plus, in a democracy every vote should weigh the same, right?
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      21 hours ago: The United States is not a democracy. The states. Are you an American or a Colombian?
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    14 hours ago: A chart of interest in this subject would look like a healthy person's EKG. Every 4-years interest peaks and we all agree that the EC should be looked at and probably abandoned. Then, BOOM!, we have a new or a returning president and nobody cares for the next 3-1/2 years. Besides, Christmas is coming, we can talk about this later. Politically speaking America is 50 states, not 365 +/- million individuals. If everyone moved to one state guess which state would have the most say in electing a new Prez?
  • 11 hours ago: To end the "confusion" about "tyranny of the majority" once and for all: that phrase is about a majority oppressing minorities through democratic means (such as Jim Crow and DOMA). It is about people, not states. People have votes, not states. The electoral college has nothing to do with tyranny of the majority, the bill of rights, having two parliamentary houses, having a supreme court and the requirement of a supermajority for a constitutional amendment do. The electoral college is a freak accident, a means to let southerners have their cake and eat it to (they could prohibit slaves from voting and still not lose influence in elections). Several founding fathers opposed the idea and several others saw it as an acceptable temporary compromise.
  • 4 hours ago: By all means! This is an outdated situation. We've been a UNITED STATES for a long time.

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