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Election reform anyone? pt. 1

Discussion in 'Politics' started by everlearning, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. As yet another election year is upon us in the United States, I'd like to address an issue that has been bothering me for sometime now. In short, we are undoubtedly under-represented in both the Legislature and the White House, thanks largely to outdated political mechanisms in our electoral process. Or to put it more simply: our government is not chosen by the people it is supposed to represent. Instead has become a shill for extremists while it kowtows to corporate interests in exchange for limitless funding.

    Is there any way to realign our government with the will of its people? Can we have a system that forces representatives to listen to ALL of its constituents instead of just a small handful? I'd like to think there is, and while no system is going to be perfect 100% of the time, it is clear that democracy in the United States is being eroded by our current electoral system. Specifically, we need to change or abolish three mechanisms that exist today: the electoral college, redistricting, and first past the post. As this is an extensive topic covering three distinctly different political mechanisms, it will be broken up into three parts. This one covers the problems with the electoral college.

    While the electoral college did have a vital role in past elections, technology has rendered it at best a relic; but in reality, it exists today as a barrier of free elections in America. Because the electoral college awards states, not individual votes, to a particular candidate, candidates are forced to pander to a very small demographic within a few key states while ignoring the majority of the population. Not only that, but because the Constitution promises at least 2 electors per state, people in states with smaller populations are actually over-represented while people in states with larger populations are consequently punished.

    In other words, minority rule is the order of the day; in fact, along with first past the post, a presidential candidate can win an election with less the 25% of the population. How is this possible? Simple: ignore states with large populations, and instead focus on states with smaller populations. Assuming that the elections are won by the slim margin of 51%-49%, the 14 states with the smallest population (link at the bottom) will net the presidential candidate 285 electoral votes (270 is required to win), an absolute victory in the electoral college. However, if you look at population distribution, 78% didn't vote for that presidential candidate! And yet, according to electoral college, that person would still be president.

    If you have a system that rewards losers, than we shouldn't be shocked when it losers wind up being elected. In fact, it has happened three times in our nation's history, and will likely happen again in another contested election. If we do the math, we've had roughly 60 elections with 3 elections going to the "loser." That implies a failure rate of 5%; would you play a game if you had a 5% of losing simply by default? Probably not, but considering the weight of the presidency is much heftier than any game, a 5% failure rate is alarming. Clearly, the electoral college has failed.

    As stated earlier, the electoral college might have been vital earlier in our nation's history, but technology has rendered it irrelevant. When the only way to get a message from A to B was to literally send a letter on horseback and hope the messenger didn't die, the electoral college was a way to track and maintain important election results for each individual state. But this thread is proof we no longer need electorates to choose who we want for president, voting is done mostly electronically nowadays anyway; there is no need to maintain the barrier that is the electoral college. It needs to be abolished and a system (be it virtual or tangible) that allows each individual to cast his or her vote for president and have it counted against every other individual vote.

    In conclusion, the electoral college is a flawed, archaic system that has no place in 21st century America. Abolishing it in favor of a electoral system that allows individuals, not states, to elect the president would grant more power to people, make elections more competitive, and force presidential candidates to focus on the entire nation, and not just a few states whose political agenda doesn't necessarily reflect the will of the majority.

    Electoral College (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    List of U.S. states and territories by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. The problem is that the corrupt now use it to their favor.
    That is why it won't change anytime soon.

    BIG bucks keep lobbyist talking good about this system.
     
  3. first we need to reform government
     


  4. True, election reform needs to be multifaceted, abolishing the electoral college is only part of the solution. Repealing the Citizen's United decision by the Supreme Court would be a step in the right direction as far as reeling in the influence lobbyists have in our legislative process (although that has little to do with election reform). I was going to do a section on ways to fix Congressional lobbying, but I quickly realized it would be necessary to break it up into several parts in order to keep people from quickly getting bored, although I will try to tackle the subject after I finish election reform.

    Oddly enough, I've found the most vocal opponents to abolishing the electoral college are libertarians. Conservatives are clearly the most well-funded opponents to reform, but I was surprised that so many libertarians were so vehemently opposed. My theory is their misguided allegiance to an outdated section within a certain document creates this strange dichotomy, but that is just a theory.
     
  5. 1. deconstruction of the GOP
     

  6. Allowing people to vote instead of states would weaken both major political parties and quickly give rise to "third party" candidates. First past the post is perhaps the single largest culprit of the two-party system we have today. Although more on that in a future thread.
     
  7. I stopped reading after the second paragraph because I already figured out where you can start..and it doesnt even take reforming of any kind! Hold the people responsible for disobeying the constitution on all levels..

    Check out this reality check, the nomination is being stolen from RP on multiple fronts.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hihJefo2U0]Ron Paul Supporters are PISSED! - YouTube[/ame]
     
  8. #8 everlearning, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2012
    You stop reading my thread after two paragraphs but want me to watch a 5:30 minute video? Quid Pro Quo NasaJoe! If you bothered reading the whole thread, you'd understand how outdated methodology is being manipulated for the personal gain of a few. Besides, what you are addressing is not the presidential election but rather the primary elections that determine who is going to represent the political party in the presidential election. Two completely different elections each with its own set of rules and problems.

    By the way, primary elections are not covered by the Constitution but rather the state the caucus or election is held. I have no idea what Missouri's rules are governing their caucus, nor do I know who these party leaders were for or against (although it is fair to assume Ron Paul supporters are getting hosed). On a final note, delegates are under no legal obligation to vote as their constituents direct them to; in other words, while what these jokers did was sleazy (according to the YouTube video anyway), it wasn't necessarily illegal.
     
  9. Then we're back to square one. History is so cynical.

    How about no gov.
     
  10. To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just ‘spectators' and ignored.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    2,110 state legislators (in 50 states) have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via nationalpopularvoteinc
     
  11. yes lets have no government so a bunch of europeans will come in and colonize it. o wait.
     
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