The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

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The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Arden_Foxx on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:04 am

I hope everyone here knows how the EC works and why it was created. If not, here's a short, relatively unbiased video for explanation:



With the United States Presidential Election of 2016, candidate Hillary Clinton received ~2.9 million more voters than candidate Donald Trump, but lost in the Electoral College with a total of 232 to candidate Trump's 302 Electoral votes.

What are your opinions on the EC?

Should the President represent the people or the states?

[WARNING: BIAS INCOMING]
In my opinion, it is absolutely absurd for a presidential candidate to gain the support of almost 2.9 million voters more than another candidate but still lose the election with 70 less votes in the EC. This seems to be the result of a corrupt and/or broken system that needs fixing as soon as possible
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by EmperorRanceTheDragonHear on Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:28 am

Trump said he try to win the ec vote not the popular vote because the ec vote is how you win otherwise i would of campagin in New York and Californa.


My personal opinion i don't think that because more people vote for someone else doesn't mean they are right.

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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Crazy Boris on Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:31 am

The EC is necessary to create a balance between the states. If it weren't there, states like Texas, California, New York, and other high-population states would hold a monopoly on power, and small states like Wyoming, Kansas, and Connecticut would basically have all their votes mean nothing, simply due to numbers, which could lead to bigger states using their power to basically screw over small states, which will just create a whole new series of problems.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Bowtie on Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:52 pm

I am for the Electoral College but I don't believe the popular vote carries as much weight as it should.

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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Arden_Foxx on Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:17 pm

Crazy Boris wrote:The EC is necessary to create a balance between the states. If it weren't there, states like Texas, California, New York, and other high-population states would hold a monopoly on power, and small states like Wyoming, Kansas, and Connecticut would basically have all their votes mean nothing, simply due to numbers, which could lead to bigger states using their power to basically screw over small states, which will just create a whole new series of problems.

It is my opinion that since we are all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. When voting we are all voting for the same goal: to elect one person we all see as best fit to lead our country.

CGP Grey brings up some other great points and explains them better than I can

VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Big_Appa on Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:11 pm

Arden_Foxx wrote:
Crazy Boris wrote:The EC is necessary to create a balance between the states. If it weren't there, states like Texas, California, New York, and other high-population states would hold a monopoly on power, and small states like Wyoming, Kansas, and Connecticut would basically have all their votes mean nothing, simply due to numbers, which could lead to bigger states using their power to basically screw over small states, which will just create a whole new series of problems.

It is my opinion that since we are all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. When voting we are all voting for the same goal: to elect one person we all see as best fit to lead our country.

CGP Grey brings up some other great points and explains them better than I can

VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


This is correct. We aren't defined by our state (hence the United States).
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Cold War Communist on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:45 pm

Arden_Foxx wrote:It is my opinion that since we are all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. When voting we are all voting for the same goal: to elect one person we all see as best fit to lead our country.

You're right, but not everyone agrees with who is the best person for the job. Furthermore, the states are not perfectly identical or united. They face similar and also distinct issues, challenges, and situations from one another. In order to ensure they are given representation, aid (where necessary), and the right to be heard they need the electoral college.

It ensures that they can't be skipped over by someone who says, "You know what, since we're all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. I'll just go to the biggest, most populated states and try to win their support. Everyone else can take a hike."
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by King of Wurrtemburg on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:22 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:
Arden_Foxx wrote:It is my opinion that since we are all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. When voting we are all voting for the same goal: to elect one person we all see as best fit to lead our country.

You're right, but not everyone agrees with who is the best person for the job. Furthermore, the states are not perfectly identical or united. They face similar and also distinct issues, challenges, and situations from one another. In order to ensure they are given representation, aid (where necessary), and the right to be heard they need the electoral college.

It ensures that they can't be skipped over by someone who says, "You know what, since we're all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. I'll just go to the biggest, most populated states and try to win their support. Everyone else can take a hike."

The result though is that people in smaller states get more say, while with a Popular Vote, people don't get more of a say because of where they live but because there's more of them. What's unfair about that? Also they'd be more reason for losing party voters to vote because Republicans getting 40% in NY would mean something, and Democrats getting 45% in Texas would mean something whereas today it means nothing. Today a lot of minority party voters in non swing states just don't vote because their vote doesn't matter, which is true.

States aren't people and the EC was created when the US was a coalition of semi independent states and such distinctions mattered. That being said the main point of the EC wasn't to have the system we have today where every voter automatically follows their states popular vote. It was to have each voter vote for their 2 top choices for President before the 12th amendment and state popular votes changed this. I do think the concept of being able to veto a choice is interesting but almost no one has used that right in the last few decades, so really what we have is a popular vote system where states are people.

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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Arden_Foxx on Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:05 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:
Arden_Foxx wrote:It is my opinion that since we are all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. When voting we are all voting for the same goal: to elect one person we all see as best fit to lead our country.

You're right, but not everyone agrees with who is the best person for the job. Furthermore, the states are not perfectly identical or united. They face similar and also distinct issues, challenges, and situations from one another. In order to ensure they are given representation, aid (where necessary), and the right to be heard they need the electoral college.

It ensures that they can't be skipped over by someone who says, "You know what, since we're all Americans, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. I'll just go to the biggest, most populated states and try to win their support. Everyone else can take a hike."

That's why its important for a candidate to appeal to ALL Americans and help advance the country.

If you watch the video, Grey explains that even if you go to the top 100 populated cities in the Union, you wouldn't even reach 20% of the entire American population.

So instead, with the electoral college, candidates spend most of their resources and time in Swing States. The presidential race has become less of appealing to the entire American population, or even appealing to all the states. It has become more of a race to see who can impress certain demographics in Swing States the most.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by DuceMoosolini on Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:36 pm

Crazy Boris wrote:The EC is necessary to create a balance between the states. If it weren't there, states like Texas, California, New York, and other high-population states would hold a monopoly on power, and small states like Wyoming, Kansas, and Connecticut would basically have all their votes mean nothing, simply due to numbers, which could lead to bigger states using their power to basically screw over small states, which will just create a whole new series of problems.

I agree with this, because rural and urban areas have vastly different values and priorities. A state like New York, with most of its voters concentrated in metropolitan areas, won't give a crap about agricultural subsidies or manufacturing or other issues which don't affect the cities. And historically, especially recently, states with greater urban populations and state with greater rural populations tend to vote much differently. You could see this even in America's earliest days. Rural farmers tended to like the agriculture-friendly, small-government Jefferson, while urbanites backed the pro-business Hamilton. Let's face it, rural vs urban is one of civilization's oldest societal cleavages, and this had to be taken into account in America's politics from the Constitution's very first days. The EC is all about making sure the urbanites can't use their greater population to democratically tyrannize people who don't live in the cities.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Cold War Communist on Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:16 am

http://www.electproject.org/2016g

According to the information compiled by the United States election project, 139 (rounded) million citizens voted in the 2016 presidential election. The difference between Trump's total vote count and Hilary Clinton's is 2.9 million. That's .02% of the total voting population, which would have decided for the other 50% in a purely popular vote. This is also not considering the demographics of where these people came from, what issues they face, etc.

The point stands that .02% of mostly urban dwellers should not be the deciding factor for the other 50% spread out and facing multiple challenges in multiple locations with entirely different needs.

I'm working off of a cell phone here, but if you need better examples of why this is a problem, google images of the electoral maps of Michigan and Pennsylvania to see why the electoral college is absolutely necessary.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Arden_Foxx on Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:55 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:http://www.electproject.org/2016g

According to the information compiled by the United States election project, 139 (rounded) million citizens voted in the 2016 presidential election. The difference between Trump's total vote count and Hilary Clinton's is 2.9 million. That's .02% of the total voting population, which would have decided for the other 50% in a purely popular vote. This is also not considering the demographics of where these people came from, what issues they face, etc.

The point stands that .02% of mostly urban dwellers should not be the deciding factor for the other 50% spread out and facing multiple challenges in multiple locations with entirely different needs.

I'm working off of a cell phone here, but if you need better examples of why this is a problem, google images of the electoral maps of Michigan and Pennsylvania to see why the electoral college is absolutely necessary.

But that's exactly what the EC does in every single state! It does not matter if you win one more vote in a state or one million more votes in a state, you will still get ALL of that state's EC votes (Except in Maine and Nebraska, which split the votes). This is called "Winner takes all" and is completely broken.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:08 am

The EC was useful for the 1700s and the 1800s. Not so much now. CGP Grey for example did a good job debunking the idea that it'd simply be rule by the cities in his video. The idea of small states fighting the bigger states or rural vs cities is irrelevant once you factor in the whole country. Cities and rural areas, big and small states, north and south, west and east, have substantial populations for both Democrats and Republicans, and is generally always at most a 66 - 33% division for everywhere.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Cold War Communist on Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:44 am

CP Grey did a great job showing his ignorance of the topic at hand. He clearly strayed out of his realm and it showed in how it addressed the "big cities" discussion, which was completely misrepresented. I'll explain: Grey makes the claim that, proportionately, cities make up a small part of the national population, citing data on the population of New York and subsequently the next 9 states ranked from highest to lowest population totals.

What he misses is that the issue isn't the population of cities proportionate to the national population, but rather to the state population. Most of a state can safely be ignored if you hit on the most densely populated areas within the state, not within the U.S.. Let me give you some examples:





The dark blue section of Pennsylvania is Philadelphia County, which (go figure) hosts the city of Philadelphia, which is the 6th most populated city in the United States. Do you see an issue with the map? Despite winning almost the entire state, Trump won by 1% more than Clinton, who carried the most densely populated areas (including Pittsburgh, which I didn't attach an extra map of). Hilary Clinton won 2.9 million votes in PA, and Philly and Pittsburgh both voted overwhelmingly for her. That's a total of 1.8 million votes from 2 cities. Lets check another state:





I want you to take a good, hard look at the counties Clinton won and where the cities are located. Miami, Tampa, Palm Beach, Orlando, Tallahassee. The only major city Clinton didn't win in Florida was Jacksonville, which is also a noted industrial hub in Florida (something kind of out of the norm, so to speak).

Perhaps the most damning evidence against CP Grey's video? This map:



Tell me again how the Electoral College is broken with a straight face and that map on the page. Looking at that map, there is almost no reason whatsoever that the presidential election of 2016 should have been even remotely competitive. But when you look closely at how the battles progressed in each state, you begin to realize that yes, big cities can easily dominate entire elections due to their dense populations and their pull IN STATE. Looking at this on the national level first is entirely incorrect, and there is your proof that the EC maintains a parity between a large but thinly spread population and a more densely packed urban one. Do we have an understanding now of why it's necessary?
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Arden_Foxx on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:48 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:CP Grey did a great job showing his ignorance of the topic at hand. He clearly strayed out of his realm and it showed in how it addressed the "big cities" discussion, which was completely misrepresented. I'll explain: Grey makes the claim that, proportionately, cities make up a small part of the national population, citing data on the population of New York and subsequently the next 9 states ranked from highest to lowest population totals.

Grey did not misrepresent anything. The 'big cities" section of the video was dedicated to the EC-Supported argument that if under the popular vote any candidate could just city-hop their way to victory.

Cold War Communist wrote:What he misses is that the issue isn't the population of cities proportionate to the national population, but rather to the state population. Most of a state can safely be ignored if you hit on the most densely populated areas within the state, not within the U.S..

Yes, under our current Electoral College system, the states hold the power in the election. What you are doing here is damning the use of the EC, not the popular vote. If we transition to the popular vote, this problem disappears. Other problems like gerrymandering also disappear.

Cold War Communist wrote:Tell me again how the Electoral College is broken with a straight face and that map on the page. Looking at that map, there is almost no reason whatsoever that the presidential election of 2016 should have been even remotely competitive. But when you look closely at how the battles progressed in each state, you begin to realize that yes, big cities can easily dominate entire elections due to their dense populations and their pull IN STATE. Looking at this on the national level first is entirely incorrect, and there is your proof that the EC maintains a parity between a large but thinly spread population and a more densely packed urban one. Do we have an understanding now of why it's necessary?

[MAINTAINS STRAIGHT FACE]
Again, thanks to the EC, big cities are much more valuable in elections.

"But there's so much red!" you say and also forget you're using a map that doesn't take the density of the population into consideration. Here, let me help.





Huh. Kinda paints a different picture for the election, dunnit?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oooooh I almost forgot.

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/266038556504494082?lang=en

This isn't very relevant to the topic, but it amuses me.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by HistoricallyInsane on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:21 am

I personally am for the Electoral college. I think it's most important purpose that is often overlooked is that it prevents high population states such as California and New York to consistently elect our president. Most of those 2.9 million votes were in highly Democratic states that were already won for Clinton no matter what. It really depends what you want. But, I think that the electoral college did what it was supposed to in the 2016 election. The electoral college, in a way, splits up political opinions between states. Now, there is always the argument that the high population density, urban areas that will always lean more liberal should have more say because, well, there are more people here. However, I like the electoral college because it gives the more conservative, agricultural people living in the Center of the country and the Midwest a chance to have a real impact in choosing our President. In the 2016 election we saw states that have been (in recent times) Democratic go Republican. Like it or not, I think the electoral college gives a better overall picture of political views of the country. That's my take.

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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Lord Yavimaya on Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:32 pm

I think it is incredibly simple here
A democracy is decided by the people
If more people vote for something than against it
It is democratic for that something to happen
So if you decide to screw over the rural population while appeasing the urban population, and you gain more votes because there are more urban-dwellers than country folk, you should win. Same goes for the other way around, try and appeal to the farmers and smaller towns while ignoring the urban elites and the industrial workers.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Arden_Foxx on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:43 pm

I don't even think liberal candidates alienate the rural population, or conservative candidates alienate the urban population. For example, a big part of Trump's campaign was renovating the inner cities. And the majority of liberal candidates want to decrease taxes for the lower classes.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by SHAM00E on Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:46 pm

Here is a video by CGP Grey to clear up the whole cities vs rural thing, probably. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLQz-LgrM
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by DavidlVofGeorgia on Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:13 pm

Neither. The electoral college sucks but First past the post (or popular vote) is even worse. Move to Single Transferable Vote.

CGP grey did a video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8XOZJkozfI
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by SHAM00E on Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:12 pm

Agreed, except that it doesn't work for president because there can only be one
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Max Hess on Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:25 pm

I hate the Electoral College in the United States.

It is an outdated system that does not work well at all. It has resulted in several presidents, including the current one, being elected contrary to the will of the people. It even fails in its original purpose, which is to provide a way for a few educated citizens to prevent a harmful demagogue from taking power.

I would be okay with the Electoral College if it was allowed to function normally. However, in the most recent election there were several examples of electors attempting to exercise their right to vote according to their conscience only to be coerced, penalized, or dismissed by state legislatures.

Therefore, we need to choose one of two paths to solve this problem: Either remove the Electoral College system and elect the head of state by popular vote, as most countries do today, or at the very least allow the electors to do their jobs without intimidation and coercion by the existing government.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:51 pm

I agree with you Hess, it didn't even succeed in their only goal (which in itself is a matter of debate on whether it's good or not). Regardless on your stance, the current college is past its time.

Not only that, but it ensures third parties will forever remain a fringe in national politics (unless one miraculously wins, thereby eliminating one of the parties and retaining the 2 party system). Unlike other FPTP countries like the UK or Canada, while third parties split the vote, their combined votes still add up correctly. In the electoral college, it only means at best nobody forms a majority and the house of representatives vote, who are either democrats or republicans, thereby removing any democracy at all and guaranteeing the system stays the same even if the majority is now against it.
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Re: The Electoral College - Necessary or Unnecessary?

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