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Old 2004-11-01, 22:36   Link #21
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeOni
Electorial system was based upon the theory that the mass majority is illeterate. This was true when the system was setup - it's also pretty true now. It protects the rights of states from majority rules. If it's popular base, smaller states lose power since they have less say. If you look at the contested states, you noticed that the majority is in the small states. who would have thought that Hawaii, Navada, and mid-western states are all in contest. If it was majority rule, candidates would concentrate only in New York, texas, and California. If you win all three states and a handful of other states, you win since those three states hold 48% of the population.
I think you have it reversed. Because of the electoral system, candidates focus all of their energy trying to win the biggest states they can. The only reason they don't campaign in those three states already is because Texas is traditionally overwhelmingly Republican, while California and New York are similarly Democrat.

If it was a majority rule, the candidates would have to try to campaign for a majority vote. True, they would probably focus on more populated areas, to more efficiently move their message, but it would have nothing to do with the states. If anything, the Electoral Collage marginalizes the small states. If all 25 of the less populous states got together and voted as a block, the still wouldn't be able to affect any but the closest of elections.

What the electors have done is create the phenomenon known as 'swing states' or 'battleground states'. This year there are only 10 swing states, those states where the results haven't been determined long ago, and the only two that are large enough to really make a difference are Ohio and Florida. So that is where all of the action is taking place. Now explain to me how this system ensures that the smaller states are well represented. If anything, a state like Rhode Island becomes incredibly marginalized, even if it was up for grabs, no one cares enough to go there, because it doesn't even count towards a general popular vote.

Once upon a time, there was some debate about states that were primarily urban dominating the states that were primarily rural, due to the population difference, but since each state was equally important to the economy, they needed equal representation under the law. That's about the best excuse I've seen for the Electoral Colege to have been created, but there are no more rural states. Even Montana has more people living in its cities than in the country.

Quote:
Oh, BTW, since you are listed as WA state. You can say Gary Locke is a very good govenor. He got in because of the concentrated asian vote. As to how good he was, well, you know.
As someone who lives in Texas, I can tell you about a bad governer who had no concept of finance or regulation, and his equally incompatent successor. Between the two of them, they wrecked state politics so badly that the ensueing conflicts resulted in legal battles that may change the face of out state government forever, but not before we declare bankruptcy, and eventually raise taxes through the roof to make up for all the money that disappeared. That governor's name? George W. Bush.
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Old 2004-11-01, 23:05   Link #22
ChoBaka
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While the Electoral College may have been come up with to protect smaller states from the more populous larger ones, it tends to marginalize voters in states that are firmly held by one party or the other. If one candidate wins by a landslide in a certain state, anybody who voted for that candidate in that state above the number that was needed to win, effectively didn't count on a national scale. I believe this is unfair because the presidential election is not an election for local government, but for national government.
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Old 2004-11-01, 23:16   Link #23
LoveOfAnime
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnimeOni..........Oh, BTW, since you are listed as WA state. You can say Gary Locke is a very good govenor. He got in because of the concentrated asian vote. As to how good he was, well, you know.
Well Actually I do know. Taking a long look at how things have been for the last 4 years as a Resident of WA state I've noticed a few things. Compared to what Bushie has done to TEXAS.

Quote:
Originally posted by Hooliganj...........As someone who lives in Texas, I can tell you about a bad governer who had no concept of finance or regulation, and his equally incompatent successor. Between the two of them, they wrecked state politics so badly that the ensueing conflicts resulted in legal battles that may change the face of out state government forever, but not before we declare bankruptcy, and eventually raise taxes through the roof to make up for all the money that disappeared. That governor's name? George W. Bush.
and compared to what Mr. President has done as leader of our fair nation(notice the sarcasm here) in the last four years, Gary Locke has been a real walk in the park. I won't tell you who I am voting for on a national level but it has to be pretty clear.
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Old 2004-11-01, 23:43   Link #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeOni
Sorry, let me clarify. The thing is that many people in the US does not know the issues and some do not care what the issues are. They vote with their hearts vs heads.
Many people, in any election, will vote for what they want, or what's best for them personally, more than what's best for the country (or even the world) as a whole.

What I find baffling about the US system is that there are, effectively, just two candidates and many, many voters who will like some of the policies of both candidates (pro Republican stance on one issue, pro Democratic on the other) but they can only ever pick one - it's like they're having to choose the least worst option, or prioritise their own beliefs ("I want issue X to be dealt with more than issue Y, so I guess this is the party for me.").

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Old 2004-11-02, 00:38   Link #25
NoSanninWa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliganj
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeOni
Electorial system was based upon the theory that the mass majority is illeterate. This was true when the system was setup - it's also pretty true now. It protects the rights of states from majority rules. If it's popular base, smaller states lose power since they have less say. If you look at the contested states, you noticed that the majority is in the small states. who would have thought that Hawaii, Navada, and mid-western states are all in contest. If it was majority rule, candidates would concentrate only in New York, texas, and California. If you win all three states and a handful of other states, you win since those three states hold 48% of the population.
I think you have it reversed. Because of the electoral system, candidates focus all of their energy trying to win the biggest states they can. The only reason they don't campaign in those three states already is because Texas is traditionally overwhelmingly Republican, while California and New York are similarly Democrat.
Actually AnimeOni has the right of it, though he explains the reasons badly.

The Electoral College prevents any candidate from winning based on regional popularity. It doesn't matter if you can deliver 99% of the deep south since that is worth no more than 51% of the deep south. Consequently candidates need to win over states outside of their immediate base. This forces campaigning in states that the candidate would rather not have to be in. This is one of the good things about the Electoral College system.

The result is that there is a LOT of campaigning in states that the candidate wouldn't bother with if they didn't have to. Even a 3 electoral vote state is important in this election. And a buch of smaller states combined can add up to something really nice.
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Old 2004-11-02, 01:20   Link #26
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa
Actually AnimeOni has the right of it, though he explains the reasons badly.

The Electoral College prevents any candidate from winning based on regional popularity. It doesn't matter if you can deliver 99% of the deep south since that is worth no more than 51% of the deep south. Consequently candidates need to win over states outside of their immediate base. This forces campaigning in states that the candidate would rather not have to be in. This is one of the good things about the Electoral College system.

The result is that there is a LOT of campaigning in states that the candidate wouldn't bother with if they didn't have to. Even a 3 electoral vote state is important in this election. And a buch of smaller states combined can add up to something really nice.
Fair enough, but is there any region with enough votes to carry the country these days? Back during the first few presidential elections I imagine New England could outvote the rest of the country put together, but that's not really true anymore. Even if it was, the electoral college doesn't solve anything. A region with a lot of people still has a lot of votes, so it still carries a lot of power, it's just abstracted.

I suppose my primary objection to the system is that my vote is completely marginalized. There is no way that the state of Texas is going to vote any way but Republican, regardless of who the candidate is. But that doesn't mean that everybody in Texas supports that party or that candidate. My vote, which didn't go for Bush, will essentially be throw away, even if the slip of paper doesn't actually end up in the wastebasket. I have no method of speaking out or supporting a different candidate, thanks to the voting system we use.

Of course, thanks to the two-party system I can't vote for a candidate I actually believe in, either, but that makes for a totally different rant. (Bush, Kerry, or Badnarik, what kind of choice is that? Why can't we just let Nader be on the ballot?)

Anyway, none of this even matters if people aren't allowed to vote. I think a few of those in charge have forgotten that people who are actively barred from having a voice in their government have historically found other ways of making their opinions known.
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Old 2004-11-02, 12:16   Link #27
AnimeOni
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Nadar is being prevented by the Democrats as with the Republicans were against Perot 8 years ago. ANY Candidates who will take votes away from the major party are considered risks since it takes away from the major parties. Nadar was blamed for Gore's loss since it took votes away from Gore. Remember, Gore lost the electorial but won the popularity. If he had a few more votes here and there, he would have won.

As you said, there's not much of a choice in the US election. The way I choose is by this criteria. Which one does less damage to the country and me. I have not seen a candidate on any of my local gov't or federal gov't that I want to vote for.
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Old 2004-11-02, 12:55   Link #28
Shii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeOni
ANY Candidate[] who will take votes away from the major party [is] considered [a] risk[]. Nad[e]r was blamed for Gore's loss since [he] took votes away from Gore. Remember, Gore lost the electorial [vote] but won the popular[ vote]. If [Gore] had a few more votes here and there, he would have won.
That doesn't mean you can blame Nader for it, though. It's the electoral system that's at fault, and you shouldn't be voting for a major candidate because you are afraid of voting for someone whom you really agree with.
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Old 2004-11-02, 13:31   Link #29
Sanjuronord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashibaka
That doesn't mean you can blame Nader for it, though. It's the electoral system that's at fault, and you shouldn't be voting for a major candidate because you are afraid of voting for someone whom you really agree with.
Nicely said, wish I could find a great Nader quote that I heard him say the other day on tv about that but can't seem to find it online. Was something along the lines of "Kerry has to earn his own votes. How is it my fault that he's neck and neck with Bush, he should be winning by a landslide...". Basically even if you want to argue that Nader is a little too blame, it's more the Dem.'s own fault for not making a better case for their party.
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Old 2004-11-02, 13:33   Link #30
LoveOfAnime
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Exclamation You have to read this THIS

CHECK THIS OUT

This is beyond what I can take! but READ it and we will see what happens.
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Old 2004-11-02, 13:42   Link #31
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You guys really shouldn't bother to vote now. The winner of this election has already been decided after the Skins got beat by the Packers last week.
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Old 2004-11-02, 13:44   Link #32
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOfAnime
CHECK THIS OUT

This is beyond what I can take! but READ it and we will see what happens.
I dare say it's possible, as much as it may sound like something from out of the mind of one of the better conspiracy theorists. Although if anybody is crazy enough to get out and vote in the middle of a terrorist alert, it would be the majority of Southern California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BullSquat
You guys really shouldn't bother to vote now. The winner of this election has already been decided after the Skins got beat by the Packers last week.
I never believed that particular little piece of forcasting, but I can say, go Green Bay!

A little closer to the original topic: As usual, Garry Trudeau finds an interesting angle to explore about all of this. I laughed pretty hard.

Finally, some good news and some bad news That has got to be a new record for turn-around in a federal court of appeals. One day later a three judge panel overturns the ruling barring outside workers from interfering with voters, and the vote is split right down party lines. I was saving my Tylenol for watching the returns tonight, but I feel that headache coming on already.
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Last edited by hooliganj; 2004-11-02 at 14:03. Reason: added comic, more news
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Old 2004-11-02, 14:10   Link #33
LoveOfAnime
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Talking

Quote:
Originally posted by Hooliganj Finally, some good news and some bad news That has got to be a new record for turn-around in a federal court of appeals. One day later a three judge panel overturns the ruling barring outside workers from interfering with voters, and the vote is split right down party lines. I was saving my Tylenol for watching the returns tonight, but I feel that headache coming on already.

I am so there with you. Watching MSNBC and listening to it all and I ready for some. <Pulls out the Tylenol bottle and downs 3> I voted first thing this morning and have been keeping a close eye on all the coverage.
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Old 2004-11-02, 14:13   Link #34
AnimeOni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanjuronord
Nicely said, wish I could find a great Nader quote that I heard him say the other day on tv about that but can't seem to find it online. Was something along the lines of "Kerry has to earn his own votes. How is it my fault that he's neck and neck with Bush, he should be winning by a landslide...". Basically even if you want to argue that Nader is a little too blame, it's more the Dem.'s own fault for not making a better case for their party.
Blaming others for our own shortcomings "IS" the "American" way. If you say otherwise, We will "SUE" you.
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Old 2004-11-02, 15:02   Link #35
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I've had this discussion on the upcomming election days on end. Unfortunately, I've lost faith in the American political system. I'm only 17, but I'm never voting with candidates like Bush and Kerry.

For example:
Bush and Kerry and just going for the "undecided" states to campaign, what about IL and the other states? That just goes to prove their intentions on the presidency.
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Old 2004-11-02, 15:22   Link #36
Tzurial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AOforever1
I've had this discussion on the upcomming election days on end. Unfortunately, I've lost faith in the American political system. I'm only 17, but I'm never voting with candidates like Bush and Kerry.

For example:
Bush and Kerry and just going for the "undecided" states to campaign, what about IL and the other states? That just goes to prove their intentions on the presidency.
In Alaska I dont feel my vote for president is going to make much of a difference. We all know the republican's getting the vote there. But the issues! the issues! For example..bear baiting!! Doesnt that just set a fire in your heart! This was my first year being able to vote, but Im so middle class, theres no way I would have missed out
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Old 2004-11-02, 15:43   Link #37
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I hate the fact that I can't vote
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Old 2004-11-02, 15:46   Link #38
tanuki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa
Actually AnimeOni has the right of it, though he explains the reasons badly.

The Electoral College prevents any candidate from winning based on regional popularity. It doesn't matter if you can deliver 99% of the deep south since that is worth no more than 51% of the deep south. Consequently candidates need to win over states outside of their immediate base. This forces campaigning in states that the candidate would rather not have to be in. This is one of the good things about the Electoral College system.

The result is that there is a LOT of campaigning in states that the candidate wouldn't bother with if they didn't have to. Even a 3 electoral vote state is important in this election. And a buch of smaller states combined can add up to something really nice.
States with more than 15 electoral college votes:

California-55
Texas-34
New York-31
Florida-27
Illinois-21
Pennsylvania-21
Ohio-20
Michigan-17
Georgia-15
New Jersey-15
North Carolina-15

The system is seriously skewed with 11 states hold 271 electoral votes, out of a possible 538 vote total. Number of votes needed to win is 278. This points to why candidates campaign so heavily in some states more than others. Neither candidate can afford to just hand their opponent most or all of these 271 votes without a fight and still expect to win.
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Old 2004-11-02, 15:53   Link #39
Aquillion
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Another interesting quirk of the Electoral College: In order to win, you need a majority of electoral votes (that is, more than 51% of the total.) Right now, that's 270. If both candidates get 269 and nobody has a majority, then the House of Representitives decides the President, while the Senate decides the vice-president. In theory, you could end up with a president from one party and a vice-president from another.

Originally, the founding fathers envisioned a much smaller role for the US President. They didn't intend for him to be popularly elected (which is why state legislatures can assign electoral votes arbirarily in many parts of the country); they intended for Congress to be popularly elected, and to have them appoint the President. But within a few decades, things had changed to the way they are now.

And, incidently, if a third party were to significently cut into the electoral vote total then elections would almost always go to Congress; we would effectively lose the ability to elect the president. I don't like it either, but that's the way the laws work out at the moment.
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Old 2004-11-02, 16:50   Link #40
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
For my own personal knowledge, I would like to know exactly how this US "electoral system" works.

What's wrong with just using the popular vote? It always makes me wonder why the US has this weird election system that no other Westernized nation understands.
Here's a good encyclopedic article on how the electoral college works for kj1980 or anyone else who might want some more details.
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