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-   -   Poll: Should the U.S. get rid of the Electoral College? (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/politics/60126-poll-should-u-s-get-rid-electoral-college.html)

SarcasmIsBeauty 10-27-2008 08:45 AM

Poll: Should the U.S. get rid of the Electoral College?
 
I think we should get rid of it and let the people actually choose who will be the leader.

Please share your thoughts on why we should or shouldn't get rid of this electoral college.

MimsTX 10-27-2008 08:50 AM

VERY interesting topic... I'm really looking forward to seeing what people have to say.

I had to put Maybe/undecided, simply because I think there are probably aspects of it that I don't fully understand, so I'm not sure how effective and neccesary it really is.

gemini 10-27-2008 09:00 AM

I said yes. I understand the original purpose of it, but I don't think we need it anymore.

CurlyGina2 10-27-2008 09:17 AM

Yes. I want my vote to actually count as my vote.

Amandacurls 10-27-2008 09:18 AM

I voted yes. If the vote were a true popular vote and candidates didn't win states and such, everyone would be equally represented. Everyone's vote would count just as much as anyone elses. But I also think we should do away with the candidates picking their own VP's. I'm more of a fan of the way old school way they did it where 2 (or however many) people ran for president and whoever got the most votes was president, and second highest was VP. Then competing interests are all represented and politicians would be forced to work together.

redcelticcurls 10-27-2008 09:22 AM

To quote some fellow cynics - they are from the Constitutional Convention of 1787- on why I still favor the Electoral College.

Granted, these same issues can still be seen using the College, but I think keeping it helps even it out a bit.

I cannot prove it, but I personally feel that a simple majority vote would benefirt Dems more than Pubs in Presidential elections as urban population centers on average tend to vote Dem more than Pub.

"A popular election in this case is radically vicious. The ignorance of the people would put it in the power of some one set of men dispersed through the Union, and acting in concert, to delude them into any appointment." -- Delegate Gerry, July 25, 1787

"The extent of the country renders it impossible, that the people can have the requisite capacity to judge of the respective pretensions of the candidates." -- Delegate Mason, July 17, 1787
"The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men." -- Delegate Gerry, July 19, 1787

redcelticcurls 10-27-2008 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amandacurls (Post 767904)
I voted yes. If the vote were a true popular vote and candidates didn't win states and such, everyone would be equally represented. Everyone's vote would count just as much as anyone elses. But I also think we should do away with the candidates picking their own VP's. I'm more of a fan of the way old school way they did it where 2 (or however many) people ran for president and whoever got the most votes was president, and second highest was VP. Then competing interests are all represented and politicians would be forced to work together.

I'm for that.

MimsTX 10-27-2008 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redcelticcurls (Post 767913)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Amandacurls (Post 767904)
I voted yes. If the vote were a true popular vote and candidates didn't win states and such, everyone would be equally represented. Everyone's vote would count just as much as anyone elses. But I also think we should do away with the candidates picking their own VP's. I'm more of a fan of the way old school way they did it where 2 (or however many) people ran for president and whoever got the most votes was president, and second highest was VP. Then competing interests are all represented and politicians would be forced to work together.

I'm for that.

That would definitely help eliminate some of the bi-partisan hostilities that have gotten increasingly worse over the years...

I wonder how much would actually be ACCOMPLISHED (you know there would massive amounts of internal scwabbling) but it really would help to have every person's vote be represented.

Amandacurls 10-27-2008 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimsTX (Post 767916)
Quote:

Originally Posted by redcelticcurls (Post 767913)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Amandacurls (Post 767904)
I voted yes. If the vote were a true popular vote and candidates didn't win states and such, everyone would be equally represented. Everyone's vote would count just as much as anyone elses. But I also think we should do away with the candidates picking their own VP's. I'm more of a fan of the way old school way they did it where 2 (or however many) people ran for president and whoever got the most votes was president, and second highest was VP. Then competing interests are all represented and politicians would be forced to work together.

I'm for that.

That would definitely help eliminate some of the bi-partisan hostilities that have gotten increasingly worse over the years...

I wonder how much would actually be ACCOMPLISHED (you know there would massive amounts of internal scwabbling) but it really would help to have every person's vote be represented.

I know at first it'd be bumpy, but if they knew they had to give a little to get a little, it'd be great. Compromise would go a long way. I must say I'm very upset with government in it's current state, I don't think it's what the founding fathers had in mind AT ALL, but I'm optimistic that we can/could change it. We should definitely try to make it "by the people, for the people". Government SHOULD work for us, not against us or for themselves.

legends 10-27-2008 09:42 AM

I'm undecided on the electoral college.

About having the candidate with the second highest votes be VP, wouldn't we have to expand the power of the VP for it to make a difference? I think it might work if we had at least 3 candidates that all had a chance in hell of winning, but with only two people seriously running it just seems like a way to, at best, have a deadlocked government where nothing gets done (which might not be a bad thing, actually), or, at worst, increase the risk of assassinations.

I do agree though that it's a bad idea for candidates to just pick a VP themselves. How about if whoever gets second place in the primaries become the automatic VP candidate?

MimsTX 10-27-2008 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by legends (Post 767935)
I'm undecided on the electoral college.

About having the candidate with the second highest votes be VP, wouldn't we have to expand the power of the VP for it to make a difference? I think it might work if we had at least 3 candidates that all had a chance in hell of winning, but with only two people seriously running it just seems like a way to, at best, have a deadlocked government where nothing gets done (which might not be a bad thing, actually), or, at worst, increase the risk of assassinations.

I do agree though that it's a bad idea for candidates to just pick a VP themselves. How about if whoever gets second place in the primaries become the automatic VP candidate?

If we did away with the electoral college, wouldn't that open up the field a little bit for a third party?

As it's set up right now, even if a third party got a good number of the majority votes, they still probably couldn't even take 1 state, just because of the way things are set up. And if you can't even take 1 state, you're screwed with the system as it is right now...

CottonCandyCurls 10-27-2008 09:47 AM

I voted no. The electoral college is a good federalist instrument, it ensures that whoever is elected has wide popular support that is distributed across the country in rural and urban areas. It also empowers the minority vote to not get swallowed up by the majority. There is a reason no one has been able to come up with a suitable alternative for two centuries. Give the founders some credit. Either way whether I think it should be preserved, the electoral college is not going anywhere. Constitutional amendments are rare and Congress has little incentive to actually pass it. Though legislation to abolish the electoral college has come up over 700 times.

CottonCandyCurls 10-27-2008 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimsTX (Post 767937)
Quote:

Originally Posted by legends (Post 767935)
I'm undecided on the electoral college.

About having the candidate with the second highest votes be VP, wouldn't we have to expand the power of the VP for it to make a difference? I think it might work if we had at least 3 candidates that all had a chance in hell of winning, but with only two people seriously running it just seems like a way to, at best, have a deadlocked government where nothing gets done (which might not be a bad thing, actually), or, at worst, increase the risk of assassinations.

I do agree though that it's a bad idea for candidates to just pick a VP themselves. How about if whoever gets second place in the primaries become the automatic VP candidate?

If we did away with the electoral college, wouldn't that open up the field a little bit for a third party?

As it's set up right now, even if a third party got a good number of the majority votes, they still probably couldn't even take 1 state, just because of the way things are set up. And if you can't even take 1 state, you're screwed with the system as it is right now...

It would open it up but not all third parties are desirable. I like the some of the uphill battles third parties have to climb because that means they need to build themselves bottom up and make a serious effort to address the whole country not just their niche.

legends 10-27-2008 09:52 AM

Good points, Mims. Getting rid of the electoral college might help some, but I don't think the votes for other parties would amount to much except for maybe creating a bigger difference in votes between the republican and democratic candidates. It all comes down to money, and all but those two parties don't have enough to get their names out. I doubt any third party candidate could even get enough support to be allowed to participate in any of the debates. Ross Perot was the last one...when was the last time before him?

MimsTX 10-27-2008 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CottonCandyCurls (Post 767942)
I voted no. The electoral college is a good federalist instrument, it ensures that whoever is elected has wide popular support that is distributed across the country in rural and urban areas. It also empowers the minority vote to not get swallowed up by the majority. There is a reason no one has been able to come up with a suitable alternative for two centuries. Give the founders some credit. Either way whether I think it should be preserved, the electoral college is not going anywhere. Constitutional amendments are rare and Congress has little incentive to actually pass it. Though legislation to abolish the electoral college has come up over 700 times.

this is one arguement i've never understood in regards to the electoral college. Maybe it's just never been explained correctly to me, but how does the fact that the majority vote of a state gives a certain number of 'points' to a candidate ensuring that the minority vote isn't swallowed?

MimsTX 10-27-2008 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by legends (Post 767948)
Good points, Mims. Getting rid of the electoral college might help some, but I don't think the votes for other parties would amount to much except for maybe creating a bigger difference in votes between the republican and democratic candidates. It all comes down to money, and all but those two parties don't have enough to get their names out. I doubt any third party candidate could even get enough support to be allowed to participate in any of the debates. Ross Perot was the last one...when was the last time before him?

hmm... perhaps with some kind of limit established on the amount of cash that's spent on all of these campaigns? I know it's come up several times in conversations on these boards, about how much money is spent on these things... and is it really the best use of the cash?

I don't know...I do agree that the 'third parties' are at a severe disadvantage... but that doesn't mean it can't EVER work.

and no, cottoncandy, I don't think they're all desirable either. But doesn't it make sense that the MOST successful of any of them would be the ones that appeal to the broadest section of the country's population? I don't think you have to worry about a small niche group rising into power like that, even if it's based on a majority vote alone.

CottonCandyCurls 10-27-2008 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimsTX (Post 767949)
Quote:

Originally Posted by CottonCandyCurls (Post 767942)
I voted no. The electoral college is a good federalist instrument, it ensures that whoever is elected has wide popular support that is distributed across the country in rural and urban areas. It also empowers the minority vote to not get swallowed up by the majority. There is a reason no one has been able to come up with a suitable alternative for two centuries. Give the founders some credit. Either way whether I think it should be preserved, the electoral college is not going anywhere. Constitutional amendments are rare and Congress has little incentive to actually pass it. Though legislation to abolish the electoral college has come up over 700 times.

this is one arguement i've never understood in regards to the electoral college. Maybe it's just never been explained correctly to me, but how does the fact that the majority vote of a state gives a certain number of 'points' to a candidate ensuring that the minority vote isn't swallowed?

Okay well take this particular election. Blacks account for about ~13% of the population. One of Obama's strategies for turning some red states blue is to increase turnout of the black vote in Southern states like North Carolina, Virginia etc. Here a small minority can help edge out the opposition. If successful he would win all the electoral votes for that state. Which gives their vote more clout. In a direct election they would only account for 13%.

Some people see this as unfair. I see it as making sure smaller groups are courted. Same strategy works for rural people. If it was a direct election, a candidate could ignore the small towns and states and solely campaign in big urban areas. That would be unfair, and would definitely favor democrats who are much more likely to live in high density areas.

lacunaCoils 10-27-2008 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amandacurls (Post 767904)
I voted yes. If the vote were a true popular vote and candidates didn't win states and such, everyone would be equally represented. Everyone's vote would count just as much as anyone elses. But I also think we should do away with the candidates picking their own VP's. I'm more of a fan of the way old school way they did it where 2 (or however many) people ran for president and whoever got the most votes was president, and second highest was VP. Then competing interests are all represented and politicians would be forced to work together.

ITA!

RedCatWaves 10-27-2008 10:13 AM

If you want the east and west coasts of the country to decide elections, then go ahead and get rid of the electoral college and go with popular vote. Since most liberals live on the coasts, including me, I'd be all for it.

I do think the electoral college makes it impossible for any third party candidates to ever get a fair chance, but I have no clue how to fix it. Apparently no one else does either.

CottonCandyCurls 10-27-2008 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedCatWaves (Post 767979)
If you want the east and west coasts of the country to decide elections, then go ahead and get rid of the electoral college and go with popular vote. Since most liberals live on the coasts, including me, I'd be all for it.

I do think the electoral college makes it impossible for any third party candidates to ever get a fair chance, but I have no clue how to fix it. Apparently no one else does either.

Since we don't officially have a national election but 51 state elections, each state can decide to change from winner-take-all to a proportional allocation. Nebraska and Maine have their own system. Each state could do as they see fit, and it wouldn't require a change to the constitution. But again, what incentive do they have to change it? The two parties in power do not give a flip about increasing competition.


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