Discussion in 'Politics' started by JOEBIALEK, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. JOEBIALEK Registered Member

    The debate has started again as to whether the US Constitution should be amended in order to change the presidential election process. Some promote
    eliminating the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote for president while others believe the Electoral College should remain unchanged. Just as compromise solved the initial problems of the framers so it is that compromise can solve this problem. The solution is to change the electoral votes to electoral points and reward each candidate a percentage of points based on the percentage of popular votes received in each state.
    This would eliminate the "winner take all" system thus allowing for all the votes to count. A voter is more apt to believe their vote counted when a percentage of popular votes are taken into account rather than the "all or nothing" system currently in existence. Further, this new system would integrate the desire for a popular vote for president with the need for the individual states to determine who actually gets elected.

    As for political primaries the number of delegates awarded in each state should be determined by the percentage of votes won by each candidate.

    For 2016 multiplying the percentage of votes each candidate received {in each state} times the number of electoral votes {in each state} results in the following: Clinton 256.985 and Trump 253.482.
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  3. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Not saying there's anything wrong with your proposal, but I'm certainly glad it wasn't in effect in 2016. Can you imagine what would have happened when no one received 270 votes, so it goes to the GOP house to decide it...and the house picks Trump, even though Clinton won the electoral vote 256-253? You think people are losing their shit over the election now....
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps you should begin with why people want change and why some people don't want change. Trump didn't want the Electoral College before the election. It's ironic, isn't it? It's funny how that works. Now The Donald is a passionate advocate for the Electoral College.

    You don't need to change the Electoral College to foment compromise. Prior to the rise of the right wing entertainment industry compromise wasn't a bad word. Unfortunately, today, in right wing circles, compromise has become a four letter word. It simply isn't tolerated. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the Electoral College. And frankly, with extremism deeply embedded within the Republican Party and reinforced daily by Fox News, Republican talk radio, and right wing internet blogs, the Republicans Party is no longer capable of compromise.

    Basically, what you are advocating is modifying the "winner take all solution" which really doesn't solve anything. It doesn't change the basic problem. In fact, it avoids the problem. The basic problem is that not all votes are counted equally in the national vote owing to how the Electoral College is organized. A vote in a place like Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, or Georgia is worth more than a vote in California in a presidential election and in Congress. Because the representation in the Electoral College and Congress is based upon geography rather than population. That is the problem, and splitting up the state's vote doesn't change the fact that some states are over represented in Congress and the Electoral College and some are under represented. That's the problem.

    And the reason is simple, the number of votes each state is entitled to is based not on population but on geography. For example, a state like Alaska has a population of 738,000 people. Yet, it is entitled to the same number of senators as California which has a population of more than 39 million people and since the number of Electoral College votes are dependent upon congressional representation, it over represents small states and under represents large states. The 700k Alaska voters get 2 votes in the Senate and Electoral College and the 39 plus million voters in California get the same 2 votes in the Senate and Electoral College. That's the problem.

    The problem is not splitting the vote. You can split a state's votes till the cows come home, but it won't solve the problem, because that's not the problem. The problem is small states are over represented and larger states are under represented both in Congress and the Electoral College, and your proposal does nothing to change that. A vote in a small state is worth more than a vote in a large state like California or New York or Texas owing to how votes are apportioned. The allocation of electors and congressmen are based on geography and not on population. That's the problem, and the only way you solve it is with a popular vote where all votes are treated equally and have equal value. That's not the case today with the Electoral College.




    As previously explained, you are missing the point. It doesn't matter if states split their vote or not. It won't solve the problem. In fact, it could exacerbate the problem. The problem isn't "winner take all". The problem is the number of votes each state is entitled to isn't supported by its population. Voters in small states have more representation than voters in large states; that's the problem. This "splitting the vote" is an old idea, but it solves nothing. It's a red herring. It's a distraction from the real problem.

    In my example, Alaska with a population of about 700k has the same number of senators as a big state like California with a population of more than 39 million people. That's the problem. Votes are allocated not based upon population but geography, and until that changes discrepancies between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote remain possible. Until that is changed, a vote in Alaska is worth more than a vote in California in Congress and the Electoral College.

    While some states may administer primary elections, the rules for primaries are determined by individual parties. The number of delegates to the party's convention is determined by each party. It's not a function of government. States do not determine the number of delegates each party will have to the party convention. Each party makes that decision and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Electoral College.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Considering the republican control it all now, there is no chance they will allow abolishing the electoral college considering their ever decreasing showing in a popular vote. Republicans will argue for "state representation" simply because it grants low population states (which tend towards republicanism) more voting power in the presidential election. For example a person in North Dakota has 3 times the voting power as a person in California.

    I would love the abolishment of the "first past the post" (winner-take-all) vote and replacement with instant run-off rank choice. This dream is not impossible, for example Maine is now implemented it!
  8. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

    It is somewhat ironic that the lower population states (often Red states) are also some of the poorest in the nation... and yet the folks living there seem overly content to keep voting in Republicans on the basis that "it might work this time!"... *shakes head*

    We need a new system...
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Human are talking apes, we are riddled with ignorance, stupidity and pure delusional hypocrisy.

    Well at present democracy is the worst from of goverment there is, except for all the rest, but the moment we acheive superintelligent AI I'm bowing down that that.
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    We do need a new system, and clearly the rural vote isn't a rational vote. Trump has repeatedly threatened trade wars as a solution to unemployment - never mind the fact that the nation is at or near full employment. The irony here is that a trade war would have disastrous consequences for rural workers as the American agricultural industry is heavily dependent upon agricultural exports: most notably to China which is the primary locus of Trump's public ire.

    We have a case of rural workers who are unhappy with their lot in life and are voting for Trump thinking he will provide something better, never realizing that they are voting for the exact opposite. Furthermore, they aren't interested in fact or reason. They ignore and discount fact and reason faster than they can be communicated.

    It kinda reminds me of something Rush Limbaugh said decades ago on his radio program. He told his audience that they should know the answer to any issue without even thinking about it. They didn't need facts, they didn't need reason, all they needed was to have a "conservative" mind. If they had that, they didn't need anything else. That really struck me; that's why I remember it to this day. It was so profound and so bizarre, it is indelibly etched in my mind.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    True enough, but some humans are quite clever and crafty and without moral fabric, and therein lies the problem. They prey on the ignorant and the gullible.
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I tend to feel that in the least the constitution needs to define and enforce exactly what "fitness for office" means.
    A history of fraud, bankruptcy etc should be significant in the disqualification of a nominee, but apparently it isn't.
    The qualities of the candidate must reflect the significance of the office in all aspects such as financial, economics, morality, ethics etc...

    Causes for disqualification:
    Convictions of fraud ( integrity)
    Bankruptcy, ( financial incompetence)
    Impulsiveness : (Self restraint, self discipline)
    Secret commissions: ( hidden tax returns, foreign investments etc)

    Why there is no apparent list ( enforced by the Electoral College) , such as above, for the office of President is in itself unbelievable.
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The problem with this is called propaganda and mud slinging. It is too easy for those in power, backed by special interests money and media, to create misinformation and/or exaggerations, about anyone who is not with their program. If you make a false claim, on the front page of the NY Times, it may take weeks or months to be refuted. The apology will end up on page 57, so nobody sees it. Misinformation will linger when the system is rigged.

    As far as the job of president, a good president should try to care for the needs of all the people, and not just those in their own party. This criteria would disqualify most of the insiders from both parties. They only need 51% of the vote and will buy just those votes with tax payer money.

    Professional politicians plan their lives to make their surface facade look clean. They know how to smile on cue and tell you what you want to hear. They also know enough to avoid pitfalls and stepping into crap that might stick. The ideal politician is an actor playing the role of statesman. Inside they may be less than competent or even corrupt, but you will not see this until it too late. The surface will be stereo-typical competent looking, enough for an Academy Award. Such people are easy to buy, since they leave much of the needs of the role of president to the directors, producers and writers.

    The non-politician is not planning their life around looking good on the surface to impress people for votes. They are looking for results, which will require taking risks and getting dirty. For example, if you wanted to make money by investing, you will also make yourself vulnerable to losses. The more risk, the higher the payout, but also the larger the potential losses. The professional politicians will not go there as far. Instead he he will point out these losses, in the other, out of proportion to their successes, so the person is misjudged as incompetent. The shallow people get fooled.

    Trump does not play by the rules of the political actors guild. He likes to get in the mud and is not afraid to get dirty. The actors are all flustered because this is taboo among the actors union. Trump will show the next generation that leadership is not about make-up, but rather is about getting dirty while you build. The dirt can be washed off with soap while the building can withstand a hurricane. The size of government reflects the incompetence that the political actors bring to real world problems. Real doers can do the same and better with much less.
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Do you believe that a person who has become legally bankrupted ( defaulted on his obligations to people/companies he/she promised to pay) is fit for the office of President of the USA?

    ...and if you were one of those creditors that lost money due to the candidates incompetency or manipulation or fraud, how would that affect your answer?

    nay... define "fitness for office" in the constitution and the Electoral College can enforce it and most of the problem is solved...IMO. (Make the college do it's job properly)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  15. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    I believe so. Heck, Abraham Lincoln went bankrupt at one time. Bankruptcies are not just caused by incompetency, manipulation or fraud. Markets change..economies change...technologies change...and people change. Lots of successful people have had to file for bankruptcy not for any failings of their own, but because their market dried up, or the economy tanked...or they just took a chance on something, and it didn't pan out. It doesn't mean they are incompetent or shady.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well, here is the problem with that, in Trump's case markets didn't change. In every case the economy was growing when Trump's companies went bankrupt. Moreover, Trump has a very long history of business failures which extends over the course of decades and the causes are always the same. Trump has a long history of overspending and mismanaging his businesses. It didn't take a genius to figure out Trump was over spending and under delivering on his casino properties. Trump was warned by his business advisers. He financed his businesses with junk bonds. Because there was no way in hell he could make those businesses successful from day one.

    Additionally, as a businessman, you are suppose to anticipate market, technology and economic changes. It's part of your job: going bankrupt isn't. Yes, many successful people have gone bankrupt. But they didn't have a habit of going bankrupt. Trump does, and Trump's bankruptcies are the result of his personal failings. His latest bankruptcy occurred just two years ago. They aren't the result of generalized market or economic changes. Trump's Atlantic City casinos were the only Atlantic City casinos to go bankrupt.

    Even now Trump is over promising. Let's look at his prescription for the US. If you believe what Trump says, he wants to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure spending and give a trillion dollar tax break mostly to America's richest residents. The one cogent tax plan he has released will add 12 trillion dollars to the national debt over the course of 10 years. When that was pointed out to him, he released revised tax plans which were so full of contradictions it became impossible to determine the effect they would have on the nation's debt. Trump has referred to himself as the master of debt, and indeed his record shows he likes to play fast and loose with other people's money.

    If Trump isn't shady, then why is it he refuses to release any information about his finances? Why is it he refuses to release his tax returns? Why is Trump so secretive? Other presidents have released their tax returns while under audit. But even so, Trump has many years of tax returns which are not under audit. Yet he steadfastly refuses to release any tax return.

    Addtionally, Trump has a long history of shady business dealings. Banks have refused to lend him money, and understandably so. Thus Trump has been forced into licensing deals with shady characters around the world.

    Trump begain his business career with handouts and bailouts from his father.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  17. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    I wasn't referring to Trump specifically. I was just answering QQ's question "Should someone that has filed for bankruptcy be considered to be "unfit" to be President?" My answer is "No", for the reasons I listed.

    Trump, on the other hand, is a completely different story. The man is so crooked, he could swallow a nail and poop out a corkscrew. His past financial issues are the least of my concerns. My biggest concern with Trump is that his big assed mouth and ego is going to get us into an unnecessary war with somebody.
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    As previously pointed out, your reasons don't hold water for a man like Trump. GE doesn't go bankrupt every time the economy goes into recession. Most companies don't go into bankruptcy for any of the reasons you listed. The reasons companies go into bankruptcy is because they were mismanaged, and Trump has a very long history of mismanagement and that history continues to this day.

    Yeah, I can see a small mom and pop operation going bankrupt because of events beyond their control like economic recession. The vast majority of small businesses are sophisticated players and are under capitalized from day one. That wasn't the case with The Donald. What Quantum Quack is proposing is some sort of test of competency.

    I agree, Trump is a very crooked man. I share you concerns about his mouth and ego.
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    "Fitness for office" is one of the reasons why the Electoral College was created. If the Electoral College cannot prevent someone like Trump from becoming POTUS, then there really is no longer any meaningful justification for the Electoral College. We are kidding ourselves if we think the Electoral College adds some value to our society. Quite the opposite is true as demonstrated by this election.

    The nation's founding fathers never anticipated what the United States has become. The government they created was predicated on 18th century technologies. They never anticipated modern medicine. So the requirements to become POTUS were very rudimentary and so it remains today. The theory was democracy would weed out the chaff and if it didn't it would be weeded out in the Electoral College. Well, Trump has clearly demonstrated that model no longer works. The founding fathers never anticipated the rise of political parties. George Washington, the founding father, denounced political parties. Political parties have rendered any value vested in the Electoral College worthless and in this case it has made the Electoral College outright dangerous.

    It's time for a change. But with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, and the judicial branches of government, a snowball's chances in Hell are better than the prospects of Electoral College changes. The Republican Party is a minority party. It cannot win popular elections. Were it not for the very undemocratic aspects of our government (e.g. gerrymandering and the Electoral College), Republicans wouldn't control Congress, the presidency, or the judiciary.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    That's very ironic and flat-out hypocritical coming from a Trump supporter, but all too typical. Trump has stacked his government with the people who hire the lobbyists as well as a few lobbyists. His closest advisers are and have been professional lobbyists. His campaign advisers have been and remain lobbyists for foreign governments: most notably Mother Russia. Trump's cabinet is the richest cabinet in the history of the nation. Trump has stuffed his cabinet with billionaires.

    Now if you have any evidence to support your allegations of misinformation and exaggerations, now is the time to show it. The truth his Trump has been the most dishonest presidential candidate in modern times. That's just a simple matter of fact. Fact checkers have found that 3 out of 4 things Trump says are false. That's about 3 times more than your average American politician.

    This would disqualify Trump.

    The fact is that Obama has bent over backwards to accommodate Republicans. But on the very day Obama was sworn into office congressional Republicans and Republican Party advisers met and agreed to oppose Obama no matter what he did, and they did. What is now known as Obamacare, was the Republican healthcare plan. It was developed in a well renowned Republican think tank. It was implemented by a Republican governor in his state, and Republican congressional leaders like Newt Gingrich were touting it days before Democrats began supporting it.

    And you seriously think any of that makes sense? I guess you don't know much of history or current events.

    Trump has equated himself with P.T. Barnum. And as we all know P.T. Barnum is strongly associated with saying, "There is a sucker born every minute.". And it's very apropos here. It's not hard to see why Trump would equate himself to P.T. Barnum. It is all about make-up and deception with Trump and Republicans at large, because no sane and intelligent person would agree to their agenda if it were otherwise.

    Here is one other thing to consider, I'll bet you cannot tell me one meaningful thing about the size of government and incompetence. How much government is too much government, and why and how does that relate to incompetence? I bet you cannot offer a cogent answer to even one of those questions. Because you don't know the answers. You are just mindlessly repeating partisan nonsense as you are wont to do.
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Happy New Year MacG!
    Any suggestions on how the College could ensure that it lived up to it's mandate of keeping "wood ducks" and other unfit persons from gaining the presidency?
    Defining "fit-ness" seems to me to be a major issue...
  22. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    If the president were to be elected by popular vote, a small number of states with large populations would become extremely important.

    Presidential campaigns would ignore a large number of states, likely resulting in post election policies unfavorable to those states.

    BTW: While Trump seems to leave much to be desired, note that the Clintons have been career politicians throughout most of their adult lives. Winning the next election for themselves or their party is the fundamental goal of such folks. Not sure that their motivation & resultant policy decisions are best for the country.

    This is not the first election in which the electoral college system resulted in electing a president who did not win the popular vote.

    Note that the electoral college system can cope with some otherwise problematical situations. Examples:
    In one of Asimovs’s SciFi stories. A powerful politician says to a scientist
    The context was a cheap energy producing technology, which resulted in prosperity for almost everybody in the world with dire consequences in circa ten years.

    The attitude of that fictional politician is an extreme case of the short term goals of almost all politicians.
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    As opposed to a small number of small states being extremely important as is the case today, why do you think the opposite would be better? This really is quite simple, you either believe in democracy or you don't. And if you believe in democracy, you would get rid of the Electoral College.

    Under the Electoral College system all but a handful of states are ignored. When was the last time anyone in a national election paid any attention to California, Texas, or New York? We are all suppose to elect the POTUS and not just a few states as is the case with the current Electoral College setup.

    What does Trump or the Clintons have to do with the Electoral College?

    No, it isn't the first time, but it is the second time in the last 16 years. Before 2000 the Electoral College results differed from the popular vote. In the 224 years preceding the 2000 election the Electoral College results differed from the popular vote on only 3 occasions. The increasing relevance of the Electoral College results is and should be concerning to anyone who believes in democracy.

    The Electoral College couldn't deal with Trump. You can believe in fiction all you want. But we are talking reality here. There is no evidence the Electoral College makes our country better. We do know it subverts the will of the people and our democracy for no good reason.

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