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Old 2004-11-06, 00:16   #45
PrimeCruncher
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philmoore
What a shame that didn't happen and finally push us to abolish this insane electoral college!
Indeed. The debate about doing that has been going on for years. Since we've already gone most of the way and are doing elections by popular vote to determine how voting goes in the electoral college, why not finish the job and go straight to popular vote?
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Old 2004-11-06, 03:50   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philmoore
One further point - if Kerry had won Ohio or Florida, he would have won the electoral vote while losing the popular vote by probably a larger margin than Bush did in 2000. What a shame that didn't happen and finally push us to abolish this insane electoral college!
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeCruncher
Indeed. The debate about doing that has been going on for years. Since we've already gone most of the way and are doing elections by popular vote to determine how voting goes in the electoral college, why not finish the job and go straight to popular vote?
As I understand it, the electoral college prevents selected campaigning. For example, candidates may ignore small population states in favor of focusing on large concentrations of population such as NY, Chicago, LA, etc. I'm concerned that voter disenfranchisement and apathy on a large geographical scale is possible. On the otherhand, maybe it is a non-issue . . . I really don't know.
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Old 2004-11-06, 05:23   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadicus
As I understand it, the electoral college prevents selected campaigning.
Cokie Roberts made this point more forcefully on ABC during election night. She talked about the electoral college being part of the system that helped protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Personally, I've always liked the way it keeps the infamous voter fraud of Chicago isolated and unable to cancel votes in other states.
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Old 2004-11-06, 09:54   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wblipp
Cokie Roberts made this point more forcefully on ABC during election night. She talked about the electoral college being part of the system that helped protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Personally, I've always liked the way it keeps the infamous voter fraud of Chicago isolated and unable to cancel votes in other states.
Strangely enough, the British system works in much the same way in practice, even though we don't have elections to a separate electoral college and the constitutional position is very different

In our case, the "electoral college" is the MPs (Members of Parliament) of the political parties. They elect their leader, and the largest party in the House of Commons forms the government, their leader being Prime Minister. The current incumbent, Tony Bliar, is by far the most presidential one we've ever had.

In effect, the popular vote is very strongly influenced by the choice of party leaders (which is a major reason, IMO, why the Tory party has done so badly in recent years). A popular leader is likely to garner more votes for his/her party and so more likely to become PM. As in the US, it's possible to gain office on a minority of the popular vote.

Forget about the Queen being head of state. She is but although she has influence, she has very little real power.

Paul
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Old 2004-11-08, 00:57   #49
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I honestly don't like the electoral college. I really don't think small states will get ignored. It was also something that was created back when slave states wanted their votes to have more power.
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Old 2004-11-08, 12:11   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicanpapi82
It was also something that was created back when slave states wanted their votes to have more power.
That's not exactly false, but it's seriously misleading. The parts of the Connecticut Compromise that remain in effect had nothing to do with slavery. They were an answer to the issue of whether the newly created United States was to be a union of people or a union of states. The Electoral College is a side effect of the creation of the House one way and the Senate the other way. Counting slaves as 60% was a separate clause of the compromise; it's been irrelevant since the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery.

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h371.html
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Old 2004-11-08, 20:25   #51
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I really don't buy in to the theory that the electoral college is an important part of the system of checks and balances in the U.S. government. Certainly, it does give smaller states a proportionally larger voice in the choice of president, and you can argue whether this is good or bad either way. However, my biggest argument is that it contributes to the feeling of disenfranchisement of typical members of the American electorate. Voters in New York, Texas, California, Wyoming, Vermont, Idaho, Alabama, etc., etc., etc. had absolutely no incentive to go to the polls this year to cast a vote for president because the electoral college outcome in those states was a foregone conclusion. (And note that the list includes many small states as well as large.) I think that the electoral college is one of the reasons for the long-term trend of declining voter participation in this country, and getting rid of it will be an important step toward revitalizing democracy here.
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