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F... US voting bureaucracy

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Old 02-18-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
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F... US voting bureaucracy

Is anyone else sick of the way we elect officials? This archaic system needs to be overhauled. We make it far more difficult. We need to get rid of the electoral college and we need to get rid of this whole delegate system for primaries. This system worked great when it took months for information to travel, but itís time for us to move to popular vote. We have the technology to see what the American people think. No more wasted votes if you live in an overwhelmingly Democratic/Republican state.

Am I alone in being sick of this? Does it really add anything to the process? Iím going to be very upset if the super delegates end up deciding the Democratic primary instead of the voters.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

One of the good things about the electoral college is that it takes the pressure off of a vote that would wind up roughly 50/50. If a popular vote (for an important election) was split down the middle, like + or - 2%, you'd have 2000 all over again, in every state. It would be mass chaos.

It is a pretty outdated system though, and could use some refining. I'm just not sure that straight up-popular vote is the best way to go.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

The Super Delegates that the Dems use are not very fair to the rest of us, but the Electoral College system works.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

The electoral college makes it worth a candidate's time to go to places like South Dakota or Maine and campaign. With a straight popular vote, they would never have to leave Washington, New York, and Los Angeles. I can understand why some people, who view the middle part of the country as extraneous anyway, would not be bothered by that, but IMO, it would have the further, detrimental consequence of making politicians in Washington even more isolated from the people.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

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The electoral college makes it worth a candidate's time to go to places like South Dakota or Maine and campaign. With a straight popular vote, they would never have to leave Washington, New York, and Los Angeles. I can understand why some people, who view the middle part of the country as extraneous anyway, would not be bothered by that, but IMO, it would have the further, detrimental consequence of making politicians in Washington even more isolated from the people.
Very good point - the only places that would really matter would be the larger population centers. It wouldn't so much be a country-wide vote campaign as it would be candidates catering exclusively to densely populated urban areas.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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The electoral college makes it worth a candidate's time to go to places like South Dakota or Maine and campaign. With a straight popular vote, they would never have to leave Washington, New York, and Los Angeles. I can understand why some people, who view the middle part of the country as extraneous anyway, would not be bothered by that, but IMO, it would have the further, detrimental consequence of making politicians in Washington even more isolated from the people.
EXACTLY. If we elected by the popular vote, the candidates would ignore the entire nation except New York City, L.A., Detroit and Chicago.

They'd also have to have agendas tailored more towards urban populations (aka welfare crowd) since they hold a lot of the population...

The MAJORITY of the nation would be screwed.

Take a look at the 2000 and 2004 election maps. The blue represents the votes for the Democrat candidate. Notice how the only places they really won individual county popular votes were concentrated mainly around large cities: New York, CA cities, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philly, Miami, St. Louis, Seattle, Pittsburgh. The remainder of the country voted the opposite way and under the electoral college system, the majority of the nation gets a candidate that represents them. If we elected by popular vote, you can see only a few miles of the thousands of miles of the nation would be represented by the winner, which would be a bad thing for the majority of the nation. Also, the winner of the electoral votes in nearly every election ALSO wins the popular vote, so the system DOES work for both the majority of AREA and POPULATION of the nation.

2000:


2004:

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Old 02-20-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

im not sure how i stand on this. i do see a need for every small town to have the vote counted. but the bigger cities is where all the revenue to run the government comes from. in voting, you can carry 3 of the smaller states, gaining all of their votes from the electoral college. but the actual voter count from 3 of the smaller states would still probably be less then that of new york city. does this mean that if everyone in new york city wanted a certain candidate for president, their vote shouldn't count as much? i guess the popular vote should decide. does anyone know of any other country that uses anything close to the system that we use?
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

So god forbid a majority of the PEOPLE elect a president? Are you sure? Yes, North Dakota would miss out on campaigning. I realize what a shame that is, but how many people actually go to campaign events to decide who to vote for? Has anyone on this board gone to a campaign event and changed their mind? I doubt it. We have all the information easily available via the internet now. Campaigning is more of a pep rally than a way to bring people over to your side.

I don't understand why you're equating land mass to population. If a MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE (aka the welfare crowd as you ignorantly put) want a candidate, why should the less than 2 million people in north dakota have such a big impact?
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #9
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

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So god forbid a majority of the PEOPLE elect a president? Are you sure? Yes, North Dakota would miss out on campaigning. I realize what a shame that is, but how many people actually go to campaign events to decide who to vote for? Has anyone on this board gone to a campaign event and changed their mind? I doubt it. We have all the information easily available via the internet now. Campaigning is more of a pep rally than a way to bring people over to your side.

I don't understand why you're equating land mass to population. If a MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE (aka the welfare crowd as you ignorantly put) want a candidate, why should the less than 2 million people in north dakota have such a big impact?
this is a great point. its called making numbers look any way you want them to.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

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Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
So god forbid a majority of the PEOPLE elect a president? Are you sure? Yes, North Dakota would miss out on campaigning. I realize what a shame that is, but how many people actually go to campaign events to decide who to vote for? Has anyone on this board gone to a campaign event and changed their mind? I doubt it. We have all the information easily available via the internet now. Campaigning is more of a pep rally than a way to bring people over to your side.

I don't understand why you're equating land mass to population. If a MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE (aka the welfare crowd as you ignorantly put) want a candidate, why should the less than 2 million people in north dakota have such a big impact?
I think it is less about campaigning and more about avoiding politicians making sure ALL the money and benefits our gov't can offer going to only those places with high population density. If we went straight popular vote and I were a politician willing do whatever it took to get elected I'd make sure NY, LA Chicago, etc... KNEW I was looking out for them specifically. That's what the elctoral college seeks to do...avoid making certain people voiceless.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

Essentially it is the Walmart principle.

Going to a popular vote would make LA, Chicago, NY the Walmarts of the voting world. Politicians could go there and get lots of stuff(votes) cheap(campaigning and gov't services/money) putting the locol mom and pops like Fargo out of business. The electoral college seeks to create a more balanced market place. Is it perfect? No but it certainly is better than a popular vote in that regard. I am actually pretty impressed by our founding fathers and their foresight on this. This is a damn clever solution to a problem that was probably more difficult to understand that in the late 1700's. Maybe some tweaks are in order though.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:43 AM   #12
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

FRPLG: I doubt our founding fathers had this insight. The electoral college was created because of poor communication and very long travel times. It was the best solution to a rather spread out country.

FRPLG -- any way you cut it, the candidates would be campaigning to the majority. Not the minority of folks, but the majority of people.

I definitely think tweaks are in order, but I really don't understand why people complain about the campaigning in small markets. It's not like candidates spend a long time in those states anyhow once the presidential election comes. They're still going to go and campaign there during the primaries.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:51 AM   #13
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

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FRPLG: I doubt our founding fathers had this insight. The electoral college was created because of poor communication and very long travel times. It was the best solution to a rather spread out country.

FRPLG -- any way you cut it, the candidates would be campaigning to the majority. Not the minority of folks, but the majority of people.

I definitely think tweaks are in order, but I really don't understand why people complain about the campaigning in small markets. It's not like candidates spend a long time in those states anyhow once the presidential election comes. They're still going to go and campaign there during the primaries.
Again I don't think the campaigning has much to do with it anymore. It did in the past due the relative difficulties it took to coomunicate accross a large nation but now it really comes down to not leaving people out of the system completely. Economically it can be proven that almost 90% of country would become irrelevant to the process of gov't if their voices weren't artificially strengthened.

Essentially what the electoral college seems to do is weaken the relative voice of people in hig population densitys while strengthening the voices in the opposite. Without this type of system it is possible and maybe even likely that high density areas would have ALL the voice and low density would have NONE or close to it. So either way isn't perfect but one seems better than the other to me because it still lets everyone have a voice.

I get that it makes complete logical sense to elect via a majority but that isn't the only variable to the equation. What matters is that every vote counts for something and that everyone has a voice. If a straight popular vote within the context of a large geographical area with high density areas actually achieves the opposite of "one vote one voice" then it really isn't a popular vote at all.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:06 PM   #14
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

Isn't a vote, that matters, a voice? I just don't understand your argument. In my scenario, every voting person in the United States has an equal say of who the next president is, as it is now many people don't have a vote. For instance, I typically lean more liberal in Virginia. My vote is more or less useless. Fairfax county is a different story, but Virginia is a majority Republican. I feel like my voice isn't heard because of this problem. Yes, programs will be directed more towards urban areas, but the point of this is to work to do what the majority of the country wants, not just a cell of the country.

We'll have to agree to disagree, I really can't fathom the argument you're making. Every person has their vote counted, and the majority of America speaks. Let's also remember, I know people think Democrats get the minority vote -- but Hispanics are often very conservative. I've said what I want to say, people know my stance. I'm actually a bit surprised there isn't more support on the issue, but that's what I like about civil political discussions. At least try to see what others think.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:51 PM   #15
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Re: F... US voting bureaucracy

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FRPLG: I doubt our founding fathers had this insight. The electoral college was created because of poor communication and very long travel times. It was the best solution to a rather spread out country.
This was one reason. I think the main reason was that the founders thought most people were not capable of responsibly carrying out their civic duties. When I see Jay Leno do that quiz thing he does, I tend to see their point.

Also, the the likelihood of someone winning the popular vote and losing in the electoral college is fairly remote. It's unlikely to happen again in any of our lifetimes. It really shouldn't have happened in 2000. It's very rare that a man has such a distasteful persona that he loses his home state. I mean, even Mondale won Minnesota.
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