Author Topic: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight  (Read 5781 times)

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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2019, 09:55:40 PM »

Offline mctyson

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I guess I don't totally understand the EC. Some people say it gives too much power to small states, but I don't see how that can be. Candidates don't really care about small states like Maine, which has only 4 electoral votes; they care mostly about big states with large numbers of electoral votes, like California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida. If anything, it seems to me like rural, conservative voters are the ones who get slighted, and the states with big, liberal urban populations are favored (but I guess they'd be favored even in one-person-one-vote elections as well).
Except what you are thinking is demonstrably untrue. As pointed out above when you go state by state and do an Electoral College votes to population ratio for each state smaller states have a higher ratio which shows their votes carry much more weight. There are also a lot more small rural states than there are large populous states and so, because of this, if most small states vote the same way, and they tend to do so, it creates a situation where a minority of the nation's population controls the government. Of course, that was always the Founding Father's desire anyway, to keep power in the hands of the minority group of rich, white men that we wrote the laws.
Getting rid of the electoral college means the dissolution of the United States.  The states with a smaller rural population will in no way be willing to accept a reduction in their voice and be ruled over by the large coastal populous.  If you think our electoral college is bad go take a look at the European Union in which the less populous countries receive as much as 12 times the representation as others.  Those countries would not have agreed to the union if not for the added representation.
So when it comes to electing a president, small states would much rather control the power to determine who gets elected even though they are the minority? So if Biden beats Trump by 15 million votes but loses the Electoral College, you think it's fair because the vast minority of people in rural states controlled the Electoral College because the huge populations in coastal urban centers turned out like crazy but their votes had no power because of the limitations of proper representation in the Electoral College. All men are created equal according to the Declaration of Independence but not all votes are created equal and there is something seriously very Animal Farm wrong with that.

The electoral college, and all the complaints about it you cite, affect 1/3 of the United States government. 

That is the way it is supposed to be.

Everyone is obsessed about presidential politics and races, and they refuse to focus on the the congressmen/women, state and local representation who affect their daily lives far, FAR more than a US president.

That is not the way it is supposed be.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2019, 09:57:14 PM »

Offline bellerephon

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I like the EC as a backup plan. I felt it was always meant to be a backup once better voting systems came into place. Yet in the era of hacking and manipulation I don't want to get rid of it and just make it a backup.

Can there a compromise between the two? Like if the vote is scewed by over x amount of votes the EC is voided and if it is under x amount of votes the EC is used? Would that help?
It was never meant as a backup, it was always intended to act as a check against the rise of a demagogue. Also keep in mind that the office of the Presidency and the federal government in general are far more powerful now than the founders ever envisioned or intended. The original intention was for the vast majority of governing to be done at the state level. The federal government was for defense, interstate issues, and matters too big for any one state to handle on its own. It was really thought to be a union of independent states. The independence of the states has waned over time, with good reason. The founders were mostly concerned with the central government abusing its power, but over time it became clear that state governments also could be abusive. Moreover, people became more mobile and began to think of themselves as Americans rather than citizens of a state.
I have not been taught that. If that was the thinking people would call the founding fathers elitist and narcissistic. I was taught in war situations and lack of communication that an EC was a way of still getting a vote. So no one leader can seize/hold power when the nation was under duress. In ecessence a backup plan if people could not get votes a representative would vote for them.
I think you were misinformed. The EC was clearly established to allow for a check against the possibility that the people could be led astray. There is ample historical evidence of exactly this kind of thing happening in ancient Greece and Rome, which were two important models that they followed. Keep in mind there were no contemporary models for them. Nor was the EC the only example of this ideal. Senators were also not elected directly by the voters, but rather by state legislatures. The founders believed in the ideal of democracy, but were very concerned that it could be corrupted. They attempted to put in various safeguards to prevent a tyrant from taking control by misleading the masses.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2019, 10:10:52 PM »

Offline jambr380

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I guess I don't totally understand the EC. Some people say it gives too much power to small states, but I don't see how that can be. Candidates don't really care about small states like Maine, which has only 4 electoral votes; they care mostly about big states with large numbers of electoral votes, like California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida. If anything, it seems to me like rural, conservative voters are the ones who get slighted, and the states with big, liberal urban populations are favored (but I guess they'd be favored even in one-person-one-vote elections as well).
Except what you are thinking is demonstrably untrue. As pointed out above when you go state by state and do an Electoral College votes to population ratio for each state smaller states have a higher ratio which shows their votes carry much more weight. There are also a lot more small rural states than there are large populous states and so, because of this, if most small states vote the same way, and they tend to do so, it creates a situation where a minority of the nation's population controls the government. Of course, that was always the Founding Father's desire anyway, to keep power in the hands of the minority group of rich, white men that we wrote the laws.
Getting rid of the electoral college means the dissolution of the United States.  The states with a smaller rural population will in no way be willing to accept a reduction in their voice and be ruled over by the large coastal populous.  If you think our electoral college is bad go take a look at the European Union in which the less populous countries receive as much as 12 times the representation as others.  Those countries would not have agreed to the union if not for the added representation.
So when it comes to electing a president, small states would much rather control the power to determine who gets elected even though they are the minority? So if Biden beats Trump by 15 million votes but loses the Electoral College, you think it's fair because the vast minority of people in rural states controlled the Electoral College because the huge populations in coastal urban centers turned out like crazy but their votes had no power because of the limitations of proper representation in the Electoral College. All men are created equal according to the Declaration of Independence but not all votes are created equal and there is something seriously very Animal Farm wrong with that.

The electoral college, and all the complaints about it you cite, affect 1/3 2/3 of the United States government. 

That is the way it is supposed to be.

Everyone is obsessed about presidential politics and races, and they refuse to focus on the the congressmen/women, state and local representation who affect their daily lives far, FAR more than a US president.

That is not the way it is supposed be.

ftfy.

For some reason you are forgetting perhaps the most important aspect of the electoral college - at least in two recent elections. The judicial branch is also one of the three branches of government and, as has been noted by Ogaju, 4 of the current Supreme Court Justices have been given their position by presidents who didn't even win the popular vote. There are many out there (including here) who admittedly sold their soul by voting for Trump in order to keep the court conservative.

While your larger point holds true in many respects (and Republicans have done a superb job of getting into smaller governmental positions - FL is not even remotely evenly represented at the state level, for instance), the Supreme Court is immensely important and it is directly related to who is actually the president.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2019, 05:51:25 AM »

Online Celtics4ever

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I think we should keep the electoral college it also protects small states or we should break up the big ones like California so they don't have as much power if they get rid of it.

One again people trying to change things when they don't go their way.

Quote
If that was the thinking people would call the founding fathers elitist and narcissistic

They were some well educated and well read men and it shows because they system they created still persists and is great despite their warts.   Yet you have a whole party throwing them under the buss because some owned slaves.    Which is horrible, I grant you, but they did some good too, despite what professors are telling people these days.    They were men of their age who owned slaves in some cases.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2019, 09:55:29 AM »

Offline mmmmm

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You've been pretty vocal prior to the Trump administration about your dissatisfaction of how it was leaning.

I was?

You realize we’ve had a conservative leaning court for decades?  Scalia (a conservative) was replaced by Gorsuch (a conservative) and Kennedy (mostly a conservative) was replaced by Kavanaugh (a conservative).

As for the Electoral College, I think Federalism is a good thing.  Voters in California have different issues than those in Montana.

The senate and the electoral college are in some ways hedges against the same problem, which is concentrating governing power in large populous states at the expense of smaller less populous states. And in principal I don't think thats awful, its good that smaller states have a voice. Its just that we've reached an equilibrium breaking point where essentially a minority of the country is holding a majority of the country hostage because the majority live in the wrong places to acheive power.

The Senate and the effect it has on the Electoral College give political representation to land over people.

The other thing that the EC does is completely disenfranchise millions of U.S. citizens who live in territories outside the 50 states.  They are not allowed to vote for their President.

We have a representative democracy, but it isn't very representative and thus not really all that democratic.

And it's currently ruled by a wanna-be-authoritarian and judged by a panel dominated by an elite clique of rich white men from a very tiny select segment of society.
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2019, 10:07:14 AM »

Online Roy H.

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You've been pretty vocal prior to the Trump administration about your dissatisfaction of how it was leaning.

I was?

You realize we’ve had a conservative leaning court for decades?  Scalia (a conservative) was replaced by Gorsuch (a conservative) and Kennedy (mostly a conservative) was replaced by Kavanaugh (a conservative).

As for the Electoral College, I think Federalism is a good thing.  Voters in California have different issues than those in Montana.

The senate and the electoral college are in some ways hedges against the same problem, which is concentrating governing power in large populous states at the expense of smaller less populous states. And in principal I don't think thats awful, its good that smaller states have a voice. Its just that we've reached an equilibrium breaking point where essentially a minority of the country is holding a majority of the country hostage because the majority live in the wrong places to acheive power.

The Senate and the effect it has on the Electoral College give political representation to land over people.

The other thing that the EC does is completely disenfranchise millions of U.S. citizens who live in territories outside the 50 states.  They are not allowed to vote for their President.

We have a representative democracy, but it isn't very representative and thus not really all that democratic.

And it's currently ruled by a wanna-be-authoritarian and judged by a panel dominated by an elite clique of rich white men from a very tiny select segment of society.

I hear Canada is nice. 🇨🇦
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2019, 10:09:52 AM »

Offline CptZoogs

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This was discussed waaay back at the beginning of this thread, but a few folks mentioned issues with the two party system.  Duverger's law argues that this may be a product of our plurality voting system.  The good news is that there are actually a lot of other voting systems to explore.  For example, Maine was the first state to use ranked choice voting for house and senate seats.  The idea is that it makes it easier for third party candidates to have an impact.  The bad news is that according to Arrow's theorem, no voting system with 3 or more options can be completely "fair".  By "fair", I mean a set of fairness tenants like "transistivity" or "no dictator".  In short, when it comes to voting, you have to pick your poison.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2019, 10:30:07 AM »

Online Roy H.

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This was discussed waaay back at the beginning of this thread, but a few folks mentioned issues with the two party system.  Duverger's law argues that this may be a product of our plurality voting system.  The good news is that there are actually a lot of other voting systems to explore.  For example, Maine was the first state to use ranked choice voting for house and senate seats.  The idea is that it makes it easier for third party candidates to have an impact.  The bad news is that according to Arrow's theorem, no voting system with 3 or more options can be completely "fair".  By "fair", I mean a set of fairness tenants like "transistivity" or "no dictator".  In short, when it comes to voting, you have to pick your poison.

Ranked choice isn’t about helping third parties. Rather, it ensures that third parties never win an election, as it benefits the predominant party in a state. In Maine, it was all about ensuring that a blue state never elects red politicians.
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2019, 10:46:06 AM »

Offline mmmmm

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I guess I don't totally understand the EC. Some people say it gives too much power to small states, but I don't see how that can be. Candidates don't really care about small states like Maine, which has only 4 electoral votes; they care mostly about big states with large numbers of electoral votes, like California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida. If anything, it seems to me like rural, conservative voters are the ones who get slighted, and the states with big, liberal urban populations are favored (but I guess they'd be favored even in one-person-one-vote elections as well).
Except what you are thinking is demonstrably untrue. As pointed out above when you go state by state and do an Electoral College votes to population ratio for each state smaller states have a higher ratio which shows their votes carry much more weight. There are also a lot more small rural states than there are large populous states and so, because of this, if most small states vote the same way, and they tend to do so, it creates a situation where a minority of the nation's population controls the government. Of course, that was always the Founding Father's desire anyway, to keep power in the hands of the minority group of rich, white men that we wrote the laws.
Getting rid of the electoral college means the dissolution of the United States.  The states with a smaller rural population will in no way be willing to accept a reduction in their voice and be ruled over by the large coastal populous.  If you think our electoral college is bad go take a look at the European Union in which the less populous countries receive as much as 12 times the representation as others.  Those countries would not have agreed to the union if not for the added representation.
So when it comes to electing a president, small states would much rather control the power to determine who gets elected even though they are the minority? So if Biden beats Trump by 15 million votes but loses the Electoral College, you think it's fair because the vast minority of people in rural states controlled the Electoral College because the huge populations in coastal urban centers turned out like crazy but their votes had no power because of the limitations of proper representation in the Electoral College. All men are created equal according to the Declaration of Independence but not all votes are created equal and there is something seriously very Animal Farm wrong with that.
My post does NOT in any way suggest that the electoral college is what is fair.  What I said is that without it the dissolution of the United States as constructed is inevitable.  More than half the states would immediately vote to secede from the union upon removal of the E.C., many others would soon follow rather than to be ruled over by N.Y. and California.  Inland California, Washington and Oregon would also want out.  Our founding fathers struck an amazing balance and somehow it has led to this country staying together for this long.

The EC was an elitist concept based on the idea that the people in this great democracy cannot be trusted to vote for president so each state would have electors that would meet and vote for president regardless of the popular vote. It is undemocratic and needs to be fixed.

By that token, representative democracy is also “undemocratic”. Half the country is led by an Executive they don’t agree with, and a Congress who doesn’t enact their wishes.

Let’s go to pure democracy and create laws by ballot initiatives / referendum.

I suspect if folks really cared about one person, one vote they’d object when their own party gerrymanders legislative districts.  Instead, people’s principles seem to be aligned with what would benefit their party of choice.

No, that's a straw man argument.  A representative democracy can be democratic.  The real problem is that our current representative democracy is not very representative.
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2019, 10:50:23 AM »

Offline mmmmm

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I guess I don't totally understand the EC. Some people say it gives too much power to small states, but I don't see how that can be. Candidates don't really care about small states like Maine, which has only 4 electoral votes; they care mostly about big states with large numbers of electoral votes, like California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida. If anything, it seems to me like rural, conservative voters are the ones who get slighted, and the states with big, liberal urban populations are favored (but I guess they'd be favored even in one-person-one-vote elections as well).
Except what you are thinking is demonstrably untrue. As pointed out above when you go state by state and do an Electoral College votes to population ratio for each state smaller states have a higher ratio which shows their votes carry much more weight. There are also a lot more small rural states than there are large populous states and so, because of this, if most small states vote the same way, and they tend to do so, it creates a situation where a minority of the nation's population controls the government. Of course, that was always the Founding Father's desire anyway, to keep power in the hands of the minority group of rich, white men that we wrote the laws.
Getting rid of the electoral college means the dissolution of the United States.  The states with a smaller rural population will in no way be willing to accept a reduction in their voice and be ruled over by the large coastal populous.  If you think our electoral college is bad go take a look at the European Union in which the less populous countries receive as much as 12 times the representation as others.  Those countries would not have agreed to the union if not for the added representation.
So when it comes to electing a president, small states would much rather control the power to determine who gets elected even though they are the minority? So if Biden beats Trump by 15 million votes but loses the Electoral College, you think it's fair because the vast minority of people in rural states controlled the Electoral College because the huge populations in coastal urban centers turned out like crazy but their votes had no power because of the limitations of proper representation in the Electoral College. All men are created equal according to the Declaration of Independence but not all votes are created equal and there is something seriously very Animal Farm wrong with that.
My post does NOT in any way suggest that the electoral college is what is fair.  What I said is that without it the dissolution of the United States as constructed is inevitable.  More than half the states would immediately vote to secede from the union upon removal of the E.C., many others would soon follow rather than to be ruled over by N.Y. and California.  Inland California, Washington and Oregon would also want out.  Our founding fathers struck an amazing balance and somehow it has led to this country staying together for this long.

The EC was an elitist concept based on the idea that the people in this great democracy cannot be trusted to vote for president so each state would have electors that would meet and vote for president regardless of the popular vote. It is undemocratic and needs to be fixed.

Right, wrong, or otherwise, do you actually think 2/3 of state legislators would ever agree to a dissolution of the EC?  You're asking a whole lot of people to essentially give up their way of life in favor of urban desires.  I can't see that ever happening.

You'd probably have better luck just moving in a mass exodus to a rural or southern state.

I concur that a constitutional amendment to fix this is unlikely.

However, states are slowly working towards a partial solution in the form of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.   Once adopted by a few more states, bringing the total number of electoral votes under it's influence above the 270 vote threshold (it is currently at 196), then it will go into effect, which will effectively remove most of the influence of the Electoral College.

It still won't solve the problem of disenfranchisement of citizens outside the 50 states, but at least it will force the popular vote to mean something.
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2019, 10:59:37 AM »

Offline mmmmm

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is there voting by the majority on the workplace? is there equal representation for workers and owners and share holders at meeting

Should there be? I think that would be disastrous for many businesses.

For instance, why would a secretary have an equal vote to a partner at a law firm? The partner invested capital. The partner got a law degree. The partner is the one on the hook for malpractice, complying with Bar rules, etc.

The secretary should be respected and treated well, but s/he has no business being anywhere close to an equal stakeholder.
“Shareholder” and “stake holder” are two different things.
Publicly traded companies should have worker representation on a a corporate board

Not necessarily as members of the board, but they need to have proper representation in negotiations arbitrating the cost of the service they are providing the company.   In theory this is the role of labor unions but the GOP has systematically demonized and dismantled labor unions as a mechanism of worker representation in this country over the last few decades.

It is to the benefit of the company to fragment the workforce so that they always have more power in each of many negotiations rather than equal power in one negotiation.

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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2019, 11:03:07 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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that is weird that overseas votes are not assigned to particular states. Isnt it  true that even Presidential elections are run on a state by state basis?

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2019, 11:45:08 AM »

Offline arctic 3.0

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Quote
is there voting by the majority on the workplace? is there equal representation for workers and owners and share holders at meeting

Should there be? I think that would be disastrous for many businesses.

For instance, why would a secretary have an equal vote to a partner at a law firm? The partner invested capital. The partner got a law degree. The partner is the one on the hook for malpractice, complying with Bar rules, etc.

The secretary should be respected and treated well, but s/he has no business being anywhere close to an equal stakeholder.
“Shareholder” and “stake holder” are two different things.
Publicly traded companies should have worker representation on a a corporate board

Not necessarily as members of the board, but they need to have proper representation in negotiations arbitrating the cost of the service they are providing the company.   In theory this is the role of labor unions but the GOP has systematically demonized and dismantled labor unions as a mechanism of worker representation in this country over the last few decades.

It is to the benefit of the company to fragment the workforce so that they always have more power in each of many negotiations rather than equal power in one negotiation.
I hear this but have to ask...
How many American communities have been gutted by a corporate board’s calculation that shareholders will see more profit of operations are moved overseas.
Multinational’s have no allegiance to community or country, their only allegiance is to the short term profits of the shareholders. in my opinion, requiring worker representation on boards will help return some level of  civic responsibility to a runaway system.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2019, 11:51:38 AM »

Offline arctic 3.0

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This was discussed waaay back at the beginning of this thread, but a few folks mentioned issues with the two party system.  Duverger's law argues that this may be a product of our plurality voting system.  The good news is that there are actually a lot of other voting systems to explore.  For example, Maine was the first state to use ranked choice voting for house and senate seats.  The idea is that it makes it easier for third party candidates to have an impact.  The bad news is that according to Arrow's theorem, no voting system with 3 or more options can be completely "fair".  By "fair", I mean a set of fairness tenants like "transistivity" or "no dictator".  In short, when it comes to voting, you have to pick your poison.

Ranked choice isn’t about helping third parties. Rather, it ensures that third parties never win an election, as it benefits the predominant party in a state. In Maine, it was all about ensuring that a blue state never elects red politicians.
Not the best explanation of ranked choice i’ve read.
Ranked choice allows voters to vote choose candidates based on order of preference.
This allows people to vote their ideals instead of choosing the lesser of 2 evils.
If it negatively impacts conservative candidates (or liberal) it’s because those ideals are less popular.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2019, 12:10:03 PM »

Offline CptZoogs

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This was discussed waaay back at the beginning of this thread, but a few folks mentioned issues with the two party system.  Duverger's law argues that this may be a product of our plurality voting system.  The good news is that there are actually a lot of other voting systems to explore.  For example, Maine was the first state to use ranked choice voting for house and senate seats.  The idea is that it makes it easier for third party candidates to have an impact.  The bad news is that according to Arrow's theorem, no voting system with 3 or more options can be completely "fair".  By "fair", I mean a set of fairness tenants like "transistivity" or "no dictator".  In short, when it comes to voting, you have to pick your poison.

Ranked choice isn’t about helping third parties. Rather, it ensures that third parties never win an election, as it benefits the predominant party in a state. In Maine, it was all about ensuring that a blue state never elects red politicians.

What theory and/or data are you basing this assertion on?

 

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