Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 50

Thread: The Electoral College Makes Perfect Sense

  1. #21
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Long Island & Section 337
    Posts
    4,859
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=jayjay;2846450]the flaw in your example is that the states that those cities are in reward the most electoral votes so the candidates spend all their time there any way.
    california, illinois, florida, new york. you can't get elected without em.[/QUOTE]

    GWB never won California, Illinois, or New York and was elected twice. So you can get elected without all of them. A better argument would be that if you don't win one of those four, you have no chance. Add Texas to the mix and you can say at least 2 of the 5 would be needed to win. Texas, Illinois, California and New York were decided one way or the other, the only one in doubt was Florida. Thus the only one of the five where active campaigning took place was in Florida.

  2. #22
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Not bababooey and I resent the implication
    Posts
    21,029
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=parafly;2846430]It would be similar, but things would still be weighed correctly on a national scale because of the electoral votes.

    If we went to a popular vote, candidates would spend all of their time pandering to and campaigning in the cities of NYC, Miami, LA, Chicago, etc. Don't you see a problem with that? Voting power would be restricted to a specialized and centralized group of people.[/QUOTE]
    Exactly.

  3. #23
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Murray Hill
    Posts
    7,448
    Post Thanks / Like
    Electoral college is very necessary. We have the best system in the world and the college is an important part of that.

  4. #24
    Board Moderator
    Jets Insider VIP
    Charter JI Member

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    11,553
    Post Thanks / Like
    [quote=Crease29;2846432]The electoral college was originally put in place by the Founding Fathers at a time when they saw the President as someone whose role was solely to serve a spokesman for the Executive Branch when working with the legislators. There was no intention for the President to directly serve the people because local legislators would do the job more efficiently. Since the legislators were directly serving the people, they were chosen by popular vote. The President, thus, would be chosen by those who he served -- the electorate.

    It wasn't until FDR and the New Deal did the Presidency become so powerful that it would be better decided by popular vote.[/quote]what you say is true, but i think the electoral college was more a result of the 'big world' we lived in then - there were no national campaigns, national news, if you could call it that, lagged at best. the covered wagon wasn't quite the 'Straight Talk Express' or 'O-force One'...

    I like Maine and Nebraska's system, or some form that doesn't give all of the electoral votes to one candidate when the state is split somewhat evenly.
    Last edited by isired; 11-07-2008 at 02:18 PM.

  5. #25
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    453
    Post Thanks / Like
    I saw this the other day. It makes a good point about the EC.
    [URL="http://cafehayek.typepad.com/hayek/2008/11/pondering-the-e.html"]http://cafehayek.typepad.com/hayek/2008/11/pondering-the-e.html[/URL]
    [QUOTE]Pondering the Electoral College
    Don Boudreaux

    [URL="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9407E0D81E3EF93AA1575BC0A9629C8B63&scp=1&sq=%22electoral%20college%22&st=cse"]There's much talk of how the Electoral College is undemocratic [/URL]and, by implication, an obnoxious burden on 'the People's' right to choose their U.S. President.

    Lots of sound counterarguments in defense of the Electoral College are possible. Here I offer just one - namely: if we don't think it undemocratic to elect representatives to Congress to carry out our political desires on tax policy, environmental regulation, national defense, why is it undemocratic to do largely the same when it comes to choosing a President?

    In effect, a vote for presidential-candidate X is a vote for someone to meet in an assembly called the Electoral College -- someone whose platform is that he or she supports candidate X for President. The members of that assembly then vote on who will become the next President of the United States.

    It's true that there are differences between electing representatives to the likes of Congress and the state house, and electing electors to gather every four years in the Electoral College to vote on a single issue. One obvious difference is that, in Presidential campaigns, the competing agenda items (that is, candidate X and candidate Y) do the actual campaigning. But I don't see this (or any other) difference as so fundamental as to make the Electoral College an assault on democracy if electing representatives to legislatures is not regarded as an assault of similar magnitude.

    A related, but potentially more serious, objection to the Electoral College -- indeed, the objection that, I'm sure, motivates most people who object to it -- is that it can result in a minority of popular voters getting the candidate of their choice over the candidate receiving the greatest number of popular votes. As the New York Times editorial (linked to above) said:

    [I]The main problem with the Electoral College is that it builds into every election the possibility, which has been a reality three times since the Civil War, that the president will be a candidate who lost the popular vote.[/I]

    This objection, too, is weakened when one considers that such outcomes can occur in legislatures based upon geographical representation where there is uneven distribution of the voting population across the electoral districts.

    The 25 most-populated U.S. states have a total population of about 235 million people. The population of the 25 least-populated states totals just about 70 million people.

    With each state sending two Senators to Capitol Hill, it's clearly possible that a majority of U.S. Senators will vote for a bill even though, if citizens themselves directly voted on the bill, the vote would go in the other direction.
    For example - to pick the simplest case - if all 50 senators from the least-populated states were joined by a single senator from one of the most-populated states in voting for bill Z, bill Z would pass the Senate. Assuming that senators vote according to the preferences of those persons who elected them to office, it's quite possible that were bill Z put to a popular vote, it would fail. The much greater population of the states whose senators voted against Z could well significantly swamp the pro-Z votes of citizens of those states whose senators voted in favor of Z.

    A similar outcome is possible in the U.S. House of Representatives, although not as likely as in the senate. Those who are interested in how this outcome might play out in the House of Representatives can read the following italicized paragraphs:

    [U][I](Omitted for length - see the link above)[/I][/U]

    I understand that other complexities can be introduced (e.g., a state's or a congressional-districtís population is not the same thing as its number of registered voters). I also have no idea how likely is the kind of outcome that I describe above.

    But I do know that such an outcome in the U.S. Congress is possible. I would also guess that such outcomes have indeed occurred. And yet, despite this possibility, no mainstream pundit calls for a ditching of geographic-based electoral representation for the Congress.

    [/QUOTE]

  6. #26
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    31,171
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=Guido Monzino;2846585]Ok, you're crazy.

    I can't even believe this is being discussed.[/QUOTE]

    LOL, I just don't think the candidate with less votes should win the election, ever...

  7. #27
    All League
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3,377
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=Tyler Durden;2846415]Why don't they just go by the popular vote? What is the flaw in that? Has to be some reason they don't use it. It seems like the most logical way. Most votes.. you win. Shouldn't it be that simple? Like everything else? Jets score more points they win.. Yankees score more runs they win... Obama receives more votes he wins..[/QUOTE]

    Because we are a democratic "Republic". Our founding fathers formed a Nation of States with limited Federal Powers. Expansion of federal power was initially championed by Alexander Hamilton, creator of the Federal Reserve Bank, and opposed by Jefferson, Madison and their accolytes. However, when Jefferson acsended to the Presidency (oddly, thanks to his political rival, Hamilton), he realized Federal power was to his liking and he oversaw the greatest expansion of federal power until FDR and the New Deal.

    Anyway, I digress. The point is, this highly federalized system we have now is not what was initially created. In some way its better, in other ways its not.

    This is why the name is the United "States" of America. The States were seen as the more important governing body as to the day to day activities of its citizens. The electoral system was developed to keep the most populous states from effectively exercising exclusive control over selecting a president and controlling the executinve branch. It was seen as a method of leveling the playing field since the "States" were to be considered equal partners in the formation of the Republic.

    In some ways this system seems outdated, but as a pratical matter, I believe the electoral vote winner was not the popular vote winner on only 2 occassions. So, it works pretty darn good. Without it, candidates would, even more so then they do now, ignore the smaller sates and campaign in only the largest most populated areas.

  8. #28
    Board Moderator
    Jets Insider VIP
    Charter JI Member

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    11,553
    Post Thanks / Like
    [quote=SONNY WERBLIN;2847202]Because we are a democratic "Republic". Our founding fathers formed a Nation of States with limited Federal Powers. Expansion of federal power was initially championed by Alexander Hamilton, creator of the Federal Reserve Bank, and opposed by Jefferson, Madison and their accolytes. However, when Jefferson acsended to the Presidency (oddly, thanks to his political rival, Hamilton), he realized Federal power was to his liking and he oversaw the greatest expansion of federal power until FDR and the New Deal.

    Anyway, I digress. The point is, this highly federalized system we have now is not what was initially created. In some way its better, in other ways its not.

    This is why the name is the United "States" of America. The States were seen as the more important governing body as to the day to day activities of its citizens. The electoral system was developed to keep the most populous states from effectively exercising exclusive control over selecting a president and controlling the executinve branch. It was seen as a method of leveling the playing field since the "States" were to be considered equal partners in the formation of the Republic.

    In some ways this system seems outdated, but as a pratical matter, I believe the electoral vote winner was not the popular vote winner on only 2 occassions. So, it works pretty darn good. Without it, candidates would, even more so then they do now, ignore the smaller sates and campaign in only the largest most populated areas.[/quote]nice post - are you a history teacher? anyway, i think the 'covered wagon' issue has legs here too - i doubt the founding fathers conceived of a country where citizens would regularly cross state borders to work, shop, vacation, etc., especially from north to south (let alone, eventually, east coast to west coat and beyond), where interstate commerce was the norm, where it was rare that a product was conceived, produced and sold in the same country, let alone state. i think, and the setup seems to support, that they conceived of a country somewhere between the EU and what the US is today.

  9. #29
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    astoria
    Posts
    5,280
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=parafly;2846420]The electoral college is necessary because with a popular vote system too much weight is carried in big cities and not enough in rural areas. It's designed to give every state and each individual vote a more equal influence.[/QUOTE]don't know if i'm on board with you thinking there.electoral votes ARE based on population.and even you you buy the arguement that big cities would carry more favor with the candidates,they do already.

  10. #30
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    31,171
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=SONNY WERBLIN;2847202]Because we are a democratic "Republic". Our founding fathers formed a Nation of States with limited Federal Powers. Expansion of federal power was initially championed by Alexander Hamilton, creator of the Federal Reserve Bank, and opposed by Jefferson, Madison and their accolytes. However, when Jefferson acsended to the Presidency (oddly, thanks to his political rival, Hamilton), he realized Federal power was to his liking and he oversaw the greatest expansion of federal power until FDR and the New Deal.

    Anyway, I digress. The point is, this highly federalized system we have now is not what was initially created. In some way its better, in other ways its not.

    This is why the name is the United "States" of America. The States were seen as the more important governing body as to the day to day activities of its citizens. The electoral system was developed to keep the most populous states from effectively exercising exclusive control over selecting a president and controlling the executinve branch. It was seen as a method of leveling the playing field since the "States" were to be considered equal partners in the formation of the Republic.

    In some ways this system seems outdated, but as a pratical matter, I believe the electoral vote winner was not the popular vote winner on only 2 occassions. So, it works pretty darn good. Without it, candidates would, even more so then they do now, ignore the smaller sates and campaign in only the largest most populated areas.[/QUOTE]

    Good stuff, there is some valuable information here, thanks..

  11. #31
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    greenwich village, NYC
    Posts
    8,118
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=BrooklynBound;2846424]Wouldn't a pro-rate votes for states be similar to a popular vote? Also, I fail to see why small states should be over-represented simply because they are small. Why should big states be under-represented just because they are big?[/QUOTE]

    That debate occurred in the Constitutional Convention and resulted in the compromise we have today. Small states would not have ratified the Constitution if they did not receive some form of parity. They were very concerned that they would simply be swallowed by bigger states if they did not have what you term "over-representation." Same reason we have two senators from every state, regardless of population.

  12. #32
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    astoria
    Posts
    5,280
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=parafly;2846413]The electoral college is a joke. The winner take all policy for most states ruins the whole thing. If every state was like Maine and Nebraska and divided up its electoral votes, it would be a much fairer system.[/QUOTE]sorry,thats on me last post.electoral college is not solely based on popualtion,just mostly.so you arguement gains a little traction.

  13. #33
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    greenwich village, NYC
    Posts
    8,118
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=SONNY WERBLIN;2847202]Because we are a democratic "Republic". Our founding fathers formed a Nation of States with limited Federal Powers. Expansion of federal power was initially championed by Alexander Hamilton, creator of the Federal Reserve Bank, and opposed by Jefferson, Madison and their accolytes. However, when Jefferson acsended to the Presidency (oddly, thanks to his political rival, Hamilton), he realized Federal power was to his liking and he oversaw the greatest expansion of federal power until FDR and the New Deal.

    Anyway, I digress. The point is, this highly federalized system we have now is not what was initially created. In some way its better, in other ways its not.

    This is why the name is the United "States" of America. The States were seen as the more important governing body as to the day to day activities of its citizens. The electoral system was developed to keep the most populous states from effectively exercising exclusive control over selecting a president and controlling the executinve branch. It was seen as a method of leveling the playing field since the "States" were to be considered equal partners in the formation of the Republic.

    In some ways this system seems outdated, but as a pratical matter, I believe the electoral vote winner was not the popular vote winner on only 2 occassions. So, it works pretty darn good. Without it, candidates would, even more so then they do now, ignore the smaller sates and campaign in only the largest most populated areas.[/QUOTE]

    Sonny, you make some good points, but you actually incorrect about Jefferson "presiding" over expansion of federal power. Federalism was championed by his hated nemesis, John Marshall via his expansive (and, I believe, essential) interpretation of the Constitution. Marshall pretty well single-handedly gave powerful grounding to the idea of federal supremacy, judicial review, and the impetus for the creation of the modern corporation as well as modern commercial transactions. Jefferson fought him every step of the way, even trying to impeach one of the justices, Chase, to replace him with a states righter. Marshall's secret "letters of a friend of the Constitution" were an answer to Jefferson's states-rights champion, Roane (Hampden letters).

    Also, Hamilton did not propose a federal reserve bank, but a national banking system. The Federal Reserve, as we know it, didn't come into existence until 1913.

  14. #34
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    greenwich village, NYC
    Posts
    8,118
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=isired;2847422]nice post - are you a history teacher? anyway, i think the 'covered wagon' issue has legs here too - [B]i doubt the founding fathers conceived of a country where citizens would regularly cross state borders to work, shop, vacation, etc., especially from north to south (let alone, eventually, east coast to west coat and beyond), where interstate commerce was the norm,[/B] where it was rare that a product was conceived, produced and sold in the same country, let alone state. i think, and the setup seems to support, that they conceived of a country somewhere between the EU and what the US is today.[/QUOTE]

    That's actually quite false too. The Articles of Confederation failed largely because of these precise issues. States operating in a "league" with excessive sovereignty waged commercial wars with each other and created economic chaos and a legal nightmare. It was like herding cats. That's a big reason why the Consitutional Convention occurred... to correct the problems of excessive state sovereignty and provide some centralized authority.

  15. #35
    Jets Insider VIP
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6,877
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=Tyler Durden;2846425]Call me crazy, but I don't see what's wrong with that. Everyone gets 1 vote, everyone gets to make there choice. It just seems like they set this system up knowing big cities lean one way.. and they surely do, but it should be the job of the other side to change some minds. It would be nice to see Republicans campaigning in NY and NJ for once.. It's not our problem there is 10 people in each town in North Dakota.[/QUOTE]

    I'm a Republican & I agree with you. There is something wrong with a system when campaign after campaign the presidential candidates only appear in the same 7 or 8 "swing" states & ignore all the others.

    Without the Electoral Collage both candidates would be campaigning all over the place. Think about it, although McCain could never have won the majority of votes in NY State, had he campaigned here his numbers might have improved from 35% to maybe 40-43%. That would have translated into millions of votes because of the amount of people living here. Same goes for California. The republican strategy would be to make some inroads in the Northeast & West coast while still trying to hold majorities in the heartland.

    It makes whole country relevant again.

  16. #36
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    9,673
    Post Thanks / Like
    I go back and forth on this issue all of the time. Part of the reason I feel this way is because most of the time I feel my vote means nothing in a Presidential election. NJ almost becomes a completely irrelevant state come election time. We see very few ads, very few comments, very little care about the state in general because 1 party knows it has the state locked up. When we were down in South Jersey the other week where you pick up the Philly stations the amount of election coverage and effort was much stronger since both guys sunk alot of money into PA.

    Even though we say the EC makes the small state unimportant, or less important those small states still have a huge say in matters of the Senate where the size is not taken into account to determine your representation. That should be the check on the fact that the large states are given much more weight than the small ones in a general election.

    Politicians would completely ignore certain parts of the US if we eliminated the EC. It makes the more populated states too important in the general election and almost makes the little guy completely ignored. I think the bottom line is that it becomes the parties responsibility to make themselves important in states like NJ and CA so that it is not "all in the bag" for one party in the general election. In the last 6 years or so the Democrats have done a tremendous job with that in some of the smaller states and Republicans need to begin doing that in the large states.

  17. #37
    All League
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3,377
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2847437]Sonny, you make some good points, but you actually incorrect about Jefferson "presiding" over expansion of federal power. Federalism was championed by his hated nemesis, John Marshall via his expansive (and, I believe, essential) interpretation of the Constitution. Marshall pretty well single-handedly gave powerful grounding to the idea of federal supremacy, judicial review, and the impetus for the creation of the modern corporation as well as modern commercial transactions. Jefferson fought him every step of the way, even trying to impeach one of the justices, Chase, to replace him with a states righter. Marshall's secret "letters of a friend of the Constitution" were an answer to Jefferson's states-rights champion, Roane (Hampden letters).

    Also, Hamilton did not propose a federal reserve bank, but a national banking system. The Federal Reserve, as we know it, didn't come into existence until 1913.[/QUOTE]

    Jefferson: Lousiana Purchase doubled the size of the nation; The Louisiana Governement Bill which mandated taxation without representation (ironic) in the Louisiana territory which was essentially under the control of the Executive branch; Barbary War; creation of US Military Academy, establishemnt of Army Corp of Engineers, First Indian Relocation. Sounds like an expansion of federal power to me.

  18. #38
    All League
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3,377
    Post Thanks / Like
    While we are on the subject of the electoral college, does anyone know if there is away to figure out what the electoral count would have been if every state switched to the systems used by Nebraska and Maine where you get 1 electoral vote for each congressional district where you win the popular vote and get the 2 senatorial electoral votes if you win the state.

  19. #39
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    greenwich village, NYC
    Posts
    8,118
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=SONNY WERBLIN;2847794]Jefferson: Lousiana Purchase doubled the size of the nation; The Louisiana Governement Bill which mandated taxation without representation (ironic) in the Louisiana territory which was essentially under the control of the Executive branch; Barbary War; creation of US Military Academy, establishemnt of Army Corp of Engineers, First Indian Relocation. Sounds like an expansion of federal power to me.[/QUOTE]

    The Louisiana Purchase was essentially a gift handed to the US by a cash-strapped Napoleon. Expanded the size of the nation geographically has absolutely nothing to do with federalism. It did have to do with seeing an opportunity to gain strength via increased resources, create enormous agricultural and commerical potential, and allow us to reach a natural boundary. There was no precedent in the Constitution for the purchase of foreign territory. Jefferson became quite pragmatic, as was to be his pattern, when it came to what he perceived as a crisis or an opportunity. He laid aside his republican ideology to act as a strong executive. That is also not the same as expanding federalism, but it is about the Jefferson's testing of the executive office.

    The US Academy is also an odd point to make. Why did Jefferson do that? To foil Adams' and federalists use of partisan appointments to military leadership by creating a "republican-oriented" academy (Jefferson insisted that academy members vowed to represent republican ideals as a criterion for admission) from which Jefferson could draw his commanders. The initiative for an academy had actually commenced with Washington, who had obvious interest and understanding of the need to train our military and not rely on foreigners.

    The Barbary Coast War? The only possible point you could even slightly make here is that Jefferson did not seek a declaration of war from congress, despite the fact that the Pasha HAD declared war on the US. He did get authorization from congress to act in all manner necessary to carry out hostilities. Jefferson had been involved with negotiating with the pirate since the 1780's and was adamant in not paying bribes. He carried that out as president. What was specifically federalist about this?

    Indian relocation is also an odd point. What specific rights did natives have in our nation?

    Jefferson shrank the size of federal government, attacked the supreme court's federalists with a vengeance, gave preference to agriculture over commerce, was opposed to any form of national bank, and championed increased states-rights whenever possible. To make claim that he presided over federalist expansion is simply wrong.

  20. #40
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    11,692
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=SONNY WERBLIN;2847797]While we are on the subject of the electoral college, does anyone know if there is away to figure out what the electoral count would have been if every state switched to the systems used by Nebraska and Maine where you get 1 electoral vote for each congressional district where you win the popular vote and get the 2 senatorial electoral votes if you win the state.[/QUOTE]

    This may be of academic interest, but comparisons like this are wholly irrelevant to any analysis pro or con of the EC. You cannot have one set of rules that produce results and then examine those results under a completely different set of hypothetical rules and act as if the incentives created by those different rules wouldn't have affected those results.

    McCain didn't spend two seconds in CA or NY precisely because the popular vote is not the goal. Obama didn't spend two seconds in Texas or as much time as he would have in large cities in GA or SC. If each candidate knew the popular vote was the prize, they would have structured their campaigns and allocated their resources accordingly and completely differently than they did. McCain would have visted CA and NY, Obama would have visited TX. You get all 55 EVs from CA if one person in CA shows up to vote or if 25m show up; same for Texas. The popular vote isn't irrelevant, but there is "noise" in that comparison data since no one seeks a popular vote win and no one allocates their resources solely to win the most aggregate votes, without regards to the states. It often works out that the EV winner also gets the most overall votes, but having inconsistent results isn't as scandelous as people make it out to be since the most overall votes is not what candidates seek nor allocate their resources to achieve.

    We are a federated republic of 50 (largely) sovreign states, with a group of founders that was very wary of a powerful federal government that can use blunt force against these 50 states. The EV is evidence of this. If you get rid of the EV, why not get rid of the part of the consitution having two senators for each state? In fact, the entire reason the Senate even exists is to provide states with a counter-weight to the "rabble" of the house, which is just crude, blunt-force mob rule, essentially. They last for six years a term, have more power and are evenly distributed amongst each state. The House is an acknowledgment that larger states have more people and contribute more in taxes, but the Senate is the counter-weight. Personally, I think the system is fine as it is. We are a federated republic of 50 states and should remain so. Why even have states at all, each with their own constitutions and courts and laws....why not just make it one big country, then? Isn't anyone even remotely skeptical of centralized power anymore?
    Last edited by jets5ever; 11-08-2008 at 02:12 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Follow Us