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 Time for a convention?

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_Howard
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PostSubject: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:21 pm

By that, I mean a Constitutional Convention.

There are many things that need to be changed. Or maybe we should just start over.

The first place to start would be with representation in the federal government. Fuck the idea of state's representation; all should be based on population. I am tired of my votes not counting for anything in the presidential election or in the Senate. For a Californian's vote to have the same weight as one in Montana, California would have to have 135 Senators and 200 electoral votes. The country is not the same as it was when the silly damned Constitution was written. It's time to join the twenty-first century and every other democracy on the planet and have popular election of the president.

Clinton will wind up with probably two million more votes than the orange hemorrhoid, thanks mostly to California voters, but the votes of seven or eight million Californians who voted for Clinton will be ignored. Fuck that. Well past time for a change.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:39 pm

_Howard wrote:
I am tired of my votes not counting for anything in the presidential election or in the Senate.
The logic behind the current system, I'm not saying if it's right or wrong, but the logic behind it is exactly that: without the Electoral College, the most populous states like California, Texas, New York and Florida would have total dominion over the less populous states.  What you feel now would be felt by Montana and Alaska (and about 46 others) after the change.  Do California, Texas, New York and Florida represent the will of the whole nation?  Obviously not, because the rural farm states voted very differently from the urban big-city states.

The country is sharply divided.  Making everyone's vote count equally will be very very difficult, because you can't have two governments and two sets of priorities.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:48 pm

That's very eighteenth-century thinking. If the majority of the people happen to reside in a few states then, yes, the population of those states will have more say in elections. And that's the way it works in every democracy in the world except ours. It's the people who vote - not the states. It's the people who deserve representation, not the states. The people of those few states may not represent the will of the entire nation, but they do represent the will of the majority of people in the nation. There is no justification for allowing a minority of the population to have the majority of the voting power.

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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:53 pm

Protecting the rights of the minority against the overwhelming power of the majority is not an unwarranted endeavor.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:59 pm

That may be correct in some instances, but not in simply counting votes.
How about protecting the rights of the majority against the stupidity of the minority?
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:03 pm

If tables were turned, would you be railing about "protecting the rights of the minority against the stupidity of the majority"?
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:14 pm

_Howard wrote:
Clinton will wind up with probably two million more votes than the orange hemorrhoid,
You sure about that?

Clinton currently (today) leads Trump by 395,050 votes.  Only NH and MI have not been called.  Clinton leads by 2,528 in NH and trails by 11,837 in MI, for a net 9309 in Trump's favor.

CA is 70% counted and Hillary leads by 61.6%.  Total votes cast so far = 9,120,778 so another 30% would be 3,908,904 more, at 61.6% Hillary would be 2,407,885 more votes for her.

Wow, you're right!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:24 pm

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/abolish-the-electoral-6?akid=173121.26653023.vtQGnG&rd=1&source=mo&t=2
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:39 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
If tables were turned, would you be railing about "protecting the rights of the minority against the stupidity of the majority"?

No, I would not be saying that.  Is it somehow unthinkable that every vote for an office should count the same? Gerrymandering gives a minority the ability to garner election results far in excess of their portion of the population. That's the reason why we have a heavily Republican House. Are you in favor of gerrymandering? It provides the same results as the electoral college.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:31 pm

No I am not. But the rules allowed it, and the Republicans took advantage of it when they had the chance. Democrats did the same when they had the majority.

Change the rules, like I suggested: make districting reflect geography and percentage of the populace, irrespective of political affiliation.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:37 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
No I am not. But the rules allowed it, and the Republicans took advantage of it when they had the chance. Democrats did the same when they had the majority.
Then the rules must be changed.

California changed the redistricting rules a few year ago and is now in compliance with what you have stated.

But how can you be against gerrymandering and still support the electoral college? The difference is only quantitative, not qualitative.

In Washington, you each get one vote for governor. Would you be okay with giving one vote to those who live in Seattle and two votes for those who live in small towns? If not, then please tell me what the effective difference is between that and the electoral college.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:11 pm

Also implement some form of proportional representation, or something. When the election is winner-take-all, and there is no incentive for a partisan to pay any attention to views of the other party(ies), votes are effectively thrown away even without considering things like gerrymandering. Consider Texas, for example. Yes, it's a Republican state. The population splits about 60-40 Republican. In a presidential election, the votes of the 40% are effectively discarded in the current system, even when the system works perfectly and as fairly as it can. That's not right.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:12 pm

I did not mean to imply that "I'm in favor of the Electoral College," only that I understand the reasoning behind it. It's the same reason each state has two Senators, regardless of size, and for that matter the reason the Democratic Party has used superdelegates since 1970. The founding fathers learned, during the Confederation (1777-1787), that pure democracy was unwieldy and yielded uneven results. A more representative form of government was leaner and could develop much-needed expertise.

Every election cycle somebody proposes throwing out the baby with the bathwater, depending on which party's baby gets scalded -- but we have a president-elect while California is still counting ballots.

Maybe an all-electronic instant balloting system would obviate the EC need, but then you have access problems for the poor/electronically challenged.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:14 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Making everyone's vote count equally will be very very difficult, because you can't have two governments and two sets of priorities.
richard09 wrote:
When the election is winner-take-all, and there is no incentive for a partisan to pay any attention to views of the other party(ies)
European coalition governments are one possibility, although hardly ideal for getting shit done.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:57 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
I did not mean to imply that "I'm in favor of the Electoral College," only that I understand the reasoning behind it.  It's the same reason each state has two Senators, regardless of size, and for that matter the reason the Democratic Party has used superdelegates since 1970.
Maybe you don't understand the EC as well as you think. Take a look at this article. The EC was never intended to be used in the manner it is today. Madison wanted to amend the constitution to prevent it being used this way.

NoCoPilot wrote:
Maybe an all-electronic instant balloting system would obviate the EC need, but then you have access problems for the poor/electronically challenged.
"Need"? What so you perceive to be a need for the EC?
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:29 am

The Republicans not only won the White House, and the Senate, and the House of Representatives, but

  • They will hold 34 of the 50 state governorships
  • They now hold 68 of 99 state legislatures
  • In 33 of these states they hold both houses

Let's face it, they're smarter than us.  They won.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:38 am

_Howard wrote:
Maybe you don't understand the EC as well as you think. Take a look at this article.
Maybe the Three-Fifths Compromise should be re-instated.  That's all that turn out to vote anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:17 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
Let's face it, they're smarter than us.

Don't include me in your "us".
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:48 am

Yeah, they won alright (but not all right).
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:57 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
_Howard wrote:
Maybe you don't understand the EC as well as you think. Take a look at this article.
Maybe the Three-Fifths Compromise[/url] should be re-instated.  That's all that turn out to vote anyway.

You still haven't said what you perceive to be a need for the EC?
Quote :
Maybe an all-electronic instant balloting system would obviate the EC need

Do you mean we needed it to give us President George W. Bush? Or the upcoming President Tr<ach>...Tr<ach>,,, I just can't say it. Without the EC we would have had neither.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:27 pm

http://thenextgalaxy.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-the-electoral-college/
Infoplease wrote:
Four times [now five] in election history a candidate has won the popular vote but lost the election.

In 1824, Andrew Jackson won both the popular and the electoral vote—that is he received more votes than any of the other candidates. But, no one in the four-man race won a majority, or more than 50%, in the Electoral College, so the House of Representatives decided the outcome. The House picked John Quincy Adams, who had come in second in the popular and electoral votes.

In 1876, Samuel J. Tilden won 51% of the popular vote, while Rutherford B. Hayes captured 48%. However, Hayes won 185 electoral votes, while Tilden got 184. A special electoral commission picked Hayes to be president.

In 1888, Benjamin Harrison became president by winning 233 electoral votes, even though he received only 47.8% of the popular vote. His opponent, Grover Cleveland, garnered 48.6% of the popular vote, yet received only 168 electoral votes.

In 2000, Al Gore won 48.38% of the popular vote and 266 electoral votes. George W. Bush won only 47.87% of the popular vote but received 271 electoral votes, thus won the election.

Is the Electoral College needed? Is it fair? Does it prevent California from being the only state that candidates campaign in?
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:19 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
http://thenextgalaxy.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-the-electoral-college/

Quote :
1. Gives Smaller States A Voice

That's wrong. That was not the reason for the EC. It was a bone tossed to the slave states.

Quote :
2. Provides Candidates Focus

Not a valid reason for the EC. Let the candidates work a little smarter.

Quote :
3. Avoids A Recount

Not necessarily. And besides -- so fucking what?

Quote :
4. Represents The Country As A Whole

Nonsensical, ridiculous, and backwards.

NoCoPilot wrote:
Is the Electoral College needed?  Is it fair?
I was asking for your opinion of this. You said it was needed. Why did you say that?

NoCoPilot wrote:
Does it prevent California from being the only state that candidates campaign in?
It would be absurd for any candidate to focus only on California and forget about the other 88 percent of the voters. Compare the ratio of the weight of vote in Wyoming against larger states. The electoral value of a vote in Wyoming vs one on California is about 3.6:1. It's nearly as bad in Washington with a ratio of about 3:1. That goes against the idea that the election is democratic.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:59 pm

_Howard wrote:
You said it was needed. Why did you say that?
I will give you my answer, but I'll warn you in advance you won't like it.

Maps of the country, right after the election, that showed red or blue status not state-by-state but county-by-county, pointed up a reality in US politics. There are not "red" or "blue" states; there are big cities and then there's everywhere else.

Clinton won the cities. Trump won everywhere else.

The population of the cities put Clinton over the top, barely, votes-wise. But 85% of the country, geographically, went for Trump.

Which represents the country? Should cities dictate policy to non-city dwellers? An argument could be made either way.

This is a long-standing argument here in Washington State, because east of the mountains is solidly Republican, but Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia have ruled statewide issues for decades. There's a clear line down the center of the state, and the Easterners have been pissed off about it forever.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:13 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
I will give you my answer, but I'll warn you in advance you won't like it.

I didn't see an answer.

I have never - NEVER - heard a good reason why the majority of the people should not elect the president. I don't differentiate between states and rural/urban in counting votes. It is a country-wide election and the votes should all count the same. Geography doesn't matter at all - dirt doesn't vote or pay taxes.

Just did a quick search and these numbers are approximate for 2016. There are only six or seven states which have more people living in rural areas than does California. One of those states is New York. Just thought that might be interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Time for a convention?   Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:19 am

"States rights," a code for slavery, held that the more populous Northern states should not overrule the Southern states (who didn't count Negroes.) The same logic holds today, although the Southern states technically lost the slavery fight 150 years ago. Other "states rights" issues now stand-in for slavery:
  • coal mining
  • fracking
  • taxation
  • immigration policy
  • trade policy
  • abortion
  • Cuba
  • gun rights
  • etc.
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