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View Full Version : The electoral college? Should it be scrapped?


Stronk Serb
September 20th, 2017, 04:12 AM
Okay so I watched this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k

So you can technically win the presidential elections with about 22% of the popular vote. I think it is highly unfair such a system exists. Plus it happened in last years elections too. Why can't you use a normal electing system like other countries? Russia (another federation like the US) counts the percentage of the popular votes for both the Duma (their parliament) and their president.

mattsmith48
September 20th, 2017, 08:02 AM
Okay so I watched this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k

So you can technically win the presidential elections with about 22% of the popular vote. I think it is highly unfair such a system exists. Plus it happened in last years elections too. Why can't you use a normal electing system like other countries? Russia (another federation like the US) counts the percentage of the popular votes for both the Duma (their parliament) and their president.

The electoral college is just part of the problem, the whole FPTP system is a failed system that can only work when they are two choices, like yes or no, in an election the more choices you have the better, what better example for that than the US where the choices are right wing nuts and corrupted centrists. I like the German electoral system it stops parties from getting 100% of the power with only 30% of the votes.

Stronk Serb
September 20th, 2017, 11:03 AM
The electoral college is just part of the problem, the whole FPTP system is a failed system that can only work when they are two choices, like yes or no, in an election the more choices you have the better, what better example for that than the US where the choices are right wing nuts and corrupted centrists. I like the German electoral system it stops parties from getting 100% of the power with only 30% of the votes.

Well, they had to really re-do the system because the Weimar system allowed the Nazis to take power with less than half.

In Serbia it's fair because for parliament the percentage is counted and you need either a party or coalition majority to elect the executive branch. For president is also must be more than half of the popular vote. Of course this is if no one messes with the Republican Electoral Comission which happens a lot.

Mars
September 20th, 2017, 11:28 AM
I never really understood how this worked? If someone can explain in detail to me? I get that even if you don't win majority vote you can still become president, and that's just not fair because if the majority of American people don't want you, you shouldn't be in office. That simple.

Babs
September 20th, 2017, 11:42 AM
Yes, it's a useless middleman. Not to mention it interferes with democracy.

ShineintheDark
September 20th, 2017, 11:58 AM
I feel it's a really outdated system that probably made a lot of sense back when the states were first created but has now outserved its purpose. The UK is in no way perfect but our system of counting by constituancies is at least partially representative of the population as opposed to arbitrary points assigned to each state.

PlasmaHam
September 20th, 2017, 01:17 PM
I never really understood how this worked? If someone can explain in detail to me? I get that even if you don't win majority vote you can still become president, and that's just not fair because if the majority of American people don't want you, you shouldn't be in office. That simple.
First, an explanation on how the electoral college works. So votes are handed out onto the states given their representatives in Congress. For instance, Alaska has 3 congressmen, so they have 3 college votes, while California has 55 congressmen, so they have 55 electoral college votes. In the election, the candidate is assigned is assigned those votes once they pass the majority in each state. If there is a tie, then the candidates are voted upon by the House, where the winner is then choosen.

Now onto why the electoral college is used. The electoral college is designed to prevent centralized majorities from controlling the Federal executive branch. The top ten cities easily have the voting power to control the Federal government under a direct democracy, which is basically saying that less than 1% of the country geographically could control all of it. Another point to bring up, that compared to other developed countries, America treats it states much more like separate entities, thus a system to protect those states and their citizens from the whims of other states has been had to have been implemented. The electoral college is part of that system.

The whole origin of the American voting system is pretty complicated. It stems from years of debates over power distribution, state equality, preventing mob-rule, etc. Far too complicated to go into here, but it is an interesting issue if you like history or politics.

Living For Love
September 20th, 2017, 02:32 PM
The top ten cities easily have the voting power to control the Federal government under a direct democracy, which is basically saying that less than 1% of the country geographically could control all of it.
But the most populous states have the most college votes, so the states who have more population still have more power. Or am I interpreting this wrongly?

Dmaxd123
September 20th, 2017, 06:20 PM
some states do in deed have more power, but it gives the less populated states a more fair share in the election.

I personally find it very interesting how many people get hung up on the presidential election, the President is only a fraction of our judicial system so although they have power it isn't a ticket to go do whatever one wants.

for me i'm 100% fine with the electoral college: geographically the nation gets a say, then on a state & county level it is the pure democracy of 1 vote = 1 vote so in a state like NY our whole geographic area is ruled by NYC, Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo so those of us in outlying areas at least get a bit of a say somewhere along the line, even if we are still overpowered by our population centers

mattsmith48
September 20th, 2017, 07:43 PM
The UK is in no way perfect but our system of counting by constituancies is at least partially representative of the population as opposed to arbitrary points assigned to each state.

The system use in the UK which is the same we use here, is one of the worst electoral system. Its basically the same thing than the electoral college in the US except each riding are worth one instead of an arbitrary number based on population.

Now onto why the electoral college is used. The electoral college is designed to prevent centralized majorities from controlling the Federal executive branch. The top ten cities easily have the voting power to control the Federal government under a direct democracy, which is basically saying that less than 1% of the country geographically could control all of it. Another point to bring up, that compared to other developed countries, America treats it states much more like separate entities, thus a system to protect those states and their citizens from the whims of other states has been had to have been implemented. The electoral college is part of that system.
for me i'm 100% fine with the electoral college: geographically the nation gets a say, then on a state & county level it is the pure democracy of 1 vote = 1 vote so in a state like NY our whole geographic area is ruled by NYC, Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo so those of us in outlying areas at least get a bit of a say somewhere along the line, even if we are still overpowered by our population centers

Because its so much better to have four states having all the power and the majority of the votes cast in almost every major cities being literally worthless.

Here is an example of I did with California back in May to show just how worthless voting is in the US


Most states will always go for the same party, like the Democrats in California that 55 votes is a guarantee to go to the Democrats before anyone even voted, any votes in California for another party or any surplus votes for the Democrats are worthless, In the 2016 election 8.7 millions Californians voted for Clinton, 4.4 million voted for Trump, 478 thousands voted for Gary Johnson, 278 thousands voted Jill Stein and 39 thousands voted for Evan McMullin, 147 other. Couple things wrong here first Hillary Clinton got 61% of the votes but 100% of the electoral college votes, secondly 5,427,807 of Californian who voted for someone else than the candidate who was guarantee to win the state, so their votes where worthless plus counting the 4.2 millions extra votes the winner got that she didn't need to win the state, for a total 9,697,785 worthless votes, all those voters put together would be the 10th most populated state ranked between North Carolina and Michigan, and the 87th most populated country. So under this system the population the size of Sweden all those votes are worthless just in one state, how is this fair?

The whole origin of the American voting system is pretty complicated. It stems from years of debates over power distribution, state equality, preventing mob-rule, etc. Far too complicated to go into here, but it is an interesting issue if you like history or politics.

Not really, the origin of the electoral college is pretty well known. The founding fathers didn't trust the population to pick the right president, so they created this system to fix potential mistakes from the population and prevent the wrong person from getting to power, someone like a mentally unstable pussy grabber.

But the most populous states have the most college votes, so the states who have more population still have more power. Or am I interpreting this wrongly?

Not really since in most states the winning party is always known and guaranteed before one vote as been cast, so while states like California or Texas do have the most electoral votes everyone knows who is getting those votes.

ShineintheDark
September 21st, 2017, 11:09 AM
The system use in the UK which is the same we use here, is one of the worst electoral system. Its basically the same thing than the electoral college in the US except each riding are worth one instead of an arbitrary number based on population.


Not quite. I do agree that, since we also have FPTP we also have a very bad system but at least our constituancies are increasingly based on population rather than land (the reason why some constituancies are hundreds of miles worth of area and some are mere districts of a city) and so a vote is roughly worth the same in each constituancy. The issue with the electoral college is that, as a set system of points, some peoples' votes will end up worth a tenth or so someone elses'.

mattsmith48
September 21st, 2017, 11:59 AM
Not quite. I do agree that, since we also have FPTP we also have a very bad system but at least our constituancies are increasingly based on population rather than land (the reason why some constituancies are hundreds of miles worth of area and some are mere districts of a city) and so a vote is roughly worth the same in each constituancy. The issue with the electoral college is that, as a set system of points, some peoples' votes will end up worth a tenth or so someone elses'.

FPTP makes thousands of votes worthless in each constituencies and on the same scale that the electoral college makes votes worthless in the US. Because first a lot of constituencies, like states in the US, are almost locks for one party, that have long history of voting one way and have a big base and that's without entering in consideration the gerrymandering that makes things worst so voting for anyone else is worthless. Secondly in every constituencies all the votes for a candidate who didn't win plus all votes that the winner didn't need to win the seat are wasted. If you take the 2015 election here in Canada, 9.1 million or 51.8% of votes were literary worthless, those people stay home, the election goes the same way. I did an example with California its a good comparison since we are about the same population. California had 9.6 million worthless votes or 68,4%. In both cases that's a lot or worthless votes.

NewLeafsFan
September 25th, 2017, 02:24 AM
The electoral college is an extremely dysfunctional that has failed the USA and other countries in many elections.

That being said I do not wish to implement the Russian elector system.

Stronk Serb
October 2nd, 2017, 05:40 PM
First, an explanation on how the electoral college works. So votes are handed out onto the states given their representatives in Congress. For instance, Alaska has 3 congressmen, so they have 3 college votes, while California has 55 congressmen, so they have 55 electoral college votes. In the election, the candidate is assigned is assigned those votes once they pass the majority in each state. If there is a tie, then the candidates are voted upon by the House, where the winner is then choosen.

Now onto why the electoral college is used. The electoral college is designed to prevent centralized majorities from controlling the Federal executive branch. The top ten cities easily have the voting power to control the Federal government under a direct democracy, which is basically saying that less than 1% of the country geographically could control all of it. Another point to bring up, that compared to other developed countries, America treats it states much more like separate entities, thus a system to protect those states and their citizens from the whims of other states has been had to have been implemented. The electoral college is part of that system.

The whole origin of the American voting system is pretty complicated. It stems from years of debates over power distribution, state equality, preventing mob-rule, etc. Far too complicated to go into here, but it is an interesting issue if you like history or politics.

Yeah but a system that allows about a quarter of the population to count more than the other three quarters is pretty unfair to me. Besides, countries are becoming more and more centralized, so why keep such an outdated system? I mean instead of focusing on state rights, why not focus primarily on individual rights which are supressed in some states?

But the most populous states have the most college votes, so the states who have more population still have more power. Or am I interpreting this wrongly?

Living For Love
October 3rd, 2017, 08:44 AM
The electoral college is an extremely dysfunctional that has failed the USA and other countries in many elections.

That being said I do not wish to implement the Russian elector system.
How do you fail in an election?

mattsmith48
October 3rd, 2017, 11:53 AM
How do you fail in an election?

When the candidate with the most votes doesn't win.

Stronk Serb
October 7th, 2017, 07:07 PM
When the candidate with the most votes doesn't win.

This. Like outlined, also the system allows for a victory with 25% of the popular vote if you win in smaller states. If I were a crony candidate I would focus on these states, literally wipe their butt with golden toilet paper.

The system is pretty feudal-like, with portions swearing fealty to the central government while getting autonomy and a say on some legislative matters.

mattsmith48
October 8th, 2017, 12:43 AM
This. Like outlined, also the system allows for a victory with 25% of the popular vote if you win in smaller states. If I were a crony candidate I would focus on these states, literally wipe their butt with golden toilet paper.

The system is pretty feudal-like, with portions swearing fealty to the central government while getting autonomy and a say on some legislative matters.

That would only work in hypothetical world where all the state could go anyway, but in reality the entire country is so divided and partisan that almost every state's majority is on one side. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it is very unlikely in today's context.

Stronk Serb
October 9th, 2017, 10:17 AM
That would only work in hypothetical world where all the state could go anyway, but in reality the entire country is so divided and partisan that almost every state's majority is on one side. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it is very unlikely in today's context.

Still, a system which has this as a possibility, no matter how improbable, is a flawed system.

mattsmith48
October 9th, 2017, 10:55 AM
Still, a system which has this as a possibility, no matter how improbable, is a flawed system.

Flawed not the word I would picked, but you are absolutely right.