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Thread: The Electoral College Makes Perfect Sense

  1. #41
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2848006]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?[/QUOTE]

    So great to see you back posting here. My how I missed your writing and intelligent posts.

    Let me ask this question about the Senate. Can't it be argued since the Senate is not fairly distributed by population, and by nature of it's quirky rules that you need 60 votes to end debate and have a vote that this is a perscription for gridlock and for small but powerful groups being catered to at the detriment to the population.

    For example lets look at corn ethanol, oddly a postion that I agreed with McCain and not Obama. A bunch of farm belt Senators and the fact that Iowa is first in the nominating process has made our country beholden to a process of dubious merit when we could be importing sugar cane ethonol from Brazil? This redistribution of land and corn from the food production chain to the energy chain has made food prices skyrocket also. I would argue if Iowa was not the first primary and if we didn't have a Senate with reps allocated like they are we would be in a lot better shape in this area.

  2. #42
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2848006] Isn't anyone even remotely skeptical of centralized power anymore?[/QUOTE]

    Yep -- this is what it comes down to.

  3. #43
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    [QUOTE=Queens Jet Fan;2848021]So great to see you back posting here. My how I missed your writing and intelligent posts.

    Let me ask this question about the Senate. Can't it be argued since the Senate is not fairly distributed by population, and by nature of it's quirky rules that you need 60 votes to end debate and have a vote that this is a perscription for gridlock and for small but powerful groups being catered to at the detriment to the population.

    For example lets look at corn ethanol, oddly a postion that I agreed with McCain and not Obama. A bunch of farm belt Senators and the fact that Iowa is first in the nominating process has made our country beholden to a process of dubious merit when we could be importing sugar cane ethonol from Brazil? This redistribution of land and corn from the food production chain to the energy chain has made food prices skyrocket also. I would argue if Iowa was not the first primary and if we didn't have a Senate with reps allocated like they are we would be in a lot better shape in this area.[/QUOTE]


    Thanks Queens, glad to be back! You make great points. That is certainly a risk. I agree on Iowa, though I think Iowa's quirky place as the bellweather primary/causcus state has as much to do with it as the Structure of the Senate does. Mostly, Senators run for POTUS, you know? Imagine that Iowa wasn't a hugely important caucus state -- and it only is because the two parties chose to make it so and Iowa manuevered that way --do you think even two Ioaw senators (or maybe even 4 or 6 if you count neghbor states) would be enough on their own to sway the Senate and POTUS? I doubt itm, but maybe. Also, these farm subsidies generally go to huge agribusinesses, senators never want to be seen as p*ssing off Iowa because (1) they may want to run for POTUS one day and Iowa doesn't forget - look what happened to McCain -- and (2) these businesses pay a ton in contributions.

    Our system s*cks, big time. The only think you can say in its defense is that is probably the best one around....

  4. #44
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    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2848006]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?[/QUOTE]

    I agree that the EC is probably the best alternative to maintain balance. But your last points could be countered by arguing that when it comes, specifically, to the presidential election, the people, not the states, not the EC, not the congress (as it once was) should elect the office. THat would be at least one argument for a popular vote. Unfortunately, that would also tip power to urban areas. I think we should leave it alone. As to last, no I'm not sceptical at all of centralized power as it exists in our system. It is limited in many ways, by practicality, if not by the states. I'm a strong believer in the power of nationhood, which states rights tends to undermine at our peril.

  5. #45
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2848032]Thanks Queens, glad to be back! You make great points. That is certainly a risk. I agree on Iowa, though I think Iowa's quirky place as the bellweather primary/causcus state has as much to do with it as the Structure of the Senate does. Mostly, Senators run for POTUS, you know? Imagine that Iowa wasn't a hugely important caucus state -- and it only is because the two parties chose to make it so and Iowa manuevered that way --do you think even two Ioaw senators (or maybe even 4 or 6 if you count neghbor states) would be enough on their own to sway the Senate and POTUS? I doubt itm, but maybe. Also, these farm subsidies generally go to huge agribusinesses, senators never want to be seen as p*ssing off Iowa because (1) they may want to run for POTUS one day and Iowa doesn't forget - look what happened to McCain -- and (2) these businesses pay a ton in contributions.

    Our system s*cks, big time. The only think you can say in its defense is that is probably the best one around....[/QUOTE]
    Valid points indeed. However with the rules of the Senate being you need 60 votes to cut off debate, you don't need many Senators to stifle the work of the Senate.

    Southern Senators used these rules big time to halt civil rights legislation a while back. I do think the rules of the Senate need to be modified, and not just because the Dems now have control. I said the same thing when the Dems wanted to fillibuster judicial nominations.

    I guess it's really hard to find a system with a middle ground where rights of minorities are protected, but those minorities cannot overide the common good.

  6. #46
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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2848038]I agree that the EC is probably the best alternative to maintain balance. But your last points could be countered by arguing that when it comes, specifically, to the presidential election, the people, not the states, not the EC, not the congress (as it once was) should elect the office. THat would be at least one argument for a popular vote. Unfortunately, that would also tip power to urban areas. I think we should leave it alone. As to last, no I'm not sceptical at all of centralized power as it exists in our system. It is limited in many ways, by practicality, if not by the states. I'm a strong believer in the power of nationhood, which states rights tends to undermine at our peril.[/QUOTE]

    I hear you, and I think that's why you and I tend to disagree so much. I am VERY skeptical of centralized power and a strong supporter of states' rights. Oh well, different strokes....

  7. #47
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    [QUOTE=Queens Jet Fan;2848041]Valid points indeed. However with the rules of the Senate being you need 60 votes to cut off debate, you don't need many Senators to stifle the work of the Senate.

    Southern Senators used these rules big time to halt civil rights legislation a while back. I do think the rules of the Senate need to be modified, and not just because the Dems now have control. I said the same thing when the Dems wanted to fillibuster judicial nominations.

    I guess it's really hard to find a system with a middle ground where rights of minorities are protected, but those minorities cannot overide the common good.[/QUOTE]

    I hear you. I lament just having two parties. If there were more parties, 60 would be a "larger" number. But, we have one party always in power, one party always trying to get in power and around and around we go. A few years ago, it seemd like the GOP would dominate for a long time; op-eds wrote about Dems being in the wilderness; heck, I talked about it. Before that, Dems controlled Congress for a generation. Now, it's the Dems' turn again and op-eds are alreadyetting written saying the GOP is dead, etc. Then, in a few years, it will turn again...then again. Isn't it fun?
    Last edited by jets5ever; 11-08-2008 at 02:52 PM.

  8. #48
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    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2848046]I hear you, and I think that's why you and I tend to disagree so much. I am VERY skeptical of centralized power and a strong supporter of states' rights. Oh well, different strokes....[/QUOTE]

    Somehow I knew that ;)

    But I always enjoy discussing/debating these issues with you. You're one of the good guys on here... even when you disagree you tend to be pretty substantial and respectful. Good to have you back.

  9. #49
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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;2848055]Somehow I knew that ;)

    But I always enjoy discussing/debating these issues with you. You're one of the good guys on here... even when you disagree you tend to be pretty substantial and respectful. Good to have you back.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks LIL. Right back at'cha. We're both cocky bastards, which makes it entertaining. Take a gander (if you haven't already) at my reply to you in the price gouging thread. I hope it is substantive...it's long as hell, unfortunately. There's a little hot sauce on some parts, but by and large (I hope) it is respectful...plus, it's never any fun unless there is a little hot saucse...am I wrong?:D

  10. #50
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2848047]I hear you. I lament just having two parties. If there were more parties, 60 would be a "larger" number. But, we have one party always in power, one party always trying to get in power and around and around we go. A few years ago, it seemd like the GOP would dominate for a long time; op-eds wrote about Dems being in the wilderness; heck, I talked about it. Before that, Dems controlled Congress for a generation. Now, it's the Dems' turn again and op-eds are alreadyetting written saying the GOP is dead, etc. Then, in a few years, it will turn again...then again. Isn't it fun?[/QUOTE]
    It's like football. It's more fun when your team is winning.:D

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