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Old Dec 15, 2016   #1
Veoo
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Electoral College, Do we really need it?
Just to kick this off:

I'm all for the electoral college, it allows people in rural communities to have a say in the election. Without the electoral college politicians would only target the small (geographically) dense-ly populated places nessecary to win the election. In a time where many people are upset with trumps election (I'm not so happy about it either) they react by saying the won the popular vote so Hillary should be in office. While I'm not excited for the next four years, I do think Trump deserves this, because he won fairly. I just think its the mostly democratic (with the exception of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal) medias way of denying this election and sticking it in the face of the republicans. Just my opinion.

Here is a video that pissed me the fuck off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z0iuWh3sek

Notice how they target Republican Electors saying they can vote for "anyone" Why don't they tell the democratic ones that too?

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Last edited by Veoo; Dec 15, 2016 at 10:19 PM..
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Old Dec 15, 2016   #2
Oracle
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Rural communities should have a say, the problem is that they have much more say than the people in larger, more densely populated areas.

As an example, California has 38.8 million people living there, and has 55 electoral college votes. Or, assuming everybody can vote (which isn't accurate, but for simplicity's sake let's assume, since voting population between states should be proportionally similar) a little over 700,000 people per electoral vote. Meanwhile, Mississippi, who has a population just under 3 million, has 6 electoral college votes, or just under 500,000 people per electoral college vote.

As such, a single vote in the primarily rural Mississippi has greater influence over the electoral college than a single vote in California.

It's why some people are discontent with the electoral college, since it means somebody can easily lose the popular vote, but still win the electoral college, because the electoral vote is not allocated in proportion to population.
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Old Dec 16, 2016   #3
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Oracle: I see what you're saying.


BUT I feel like the democrats didn't push for this before they lost because the electoral college, I feel like if they won the election but not the popular vote there would be a very different reaction in the media and the DNC

That being said, I also feel like it should exist because if it doesn't, states like California can make states like North Dakota basically worth 0 votes, and that is unfair geographically
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Old Dec 16, 2016   #4
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The reason you don't hear it get brought up very often is because it's only happened 5 times in U.S. history, and the first three occurred in the 1800s. The other two are the aforementioned 2000 election of Bush v Gore, and the 2016 election of Clinton v Trump.

And California having a lot of electoral votes does nothing to diminish the effects of other states' votes. California is only ~8% of the total population of the U.S. 8% is a lot, but it's not going to win you the election by itself. In fact, if basing the electoral college on population, California would lose some of their electoral votes because they have over 10% of electoral votes.

Plus, it's not just Republican states that have small voter to votes ratios. Hawaii votes Democrat routinely, but it gets 3 votes with less than 1.5 million people living there. Again, 500,000 votes per electoral vote compared to California's 700,000 votes per electoral vote.


Besides, let's look at it this way. If the electoral college reflected population, then why not just use the popular vote?

And this is part of the problem. The only way the electoral college means anything is if it doesn't reflect the popular vote. Yet if the majority of the country prefers one candidate over another, and the other candidate wins the election through the electoral college, how can you call it a democratic election? The basis of democracy is that majority rules, yet the electoral college can throw all that out the window.

Part of it is that the electoral college is a winner takes all system, so a close race in a state translates to a landslide for the winner. If you win a state 50.1% to 49.9%, you don't get 50.1% or even 60% of their votes, but 100% of their votes. But is that fair to the 49.9% who didn't vote for you? Their vote is essentially tossed out because they didn't win.

In general, the electoral college has always been a mess. The reason it's never brought up though is because, for most intents and purposes, it will reflect the popular vote. It's the fringe cases that show the problems with the system.
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Old Dec 16, 2016   #5
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Well, if the presidency actually was determined by the popular vote, wouldn't both candidates have conducted their campaigns differently, possibly leading to a different result in the popular vote?
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Old Dec 16, 2016   #6
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They targeted republican electors because they don't believe the republican candidate is qualified to be president and want them to vote someone else
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Old Dec 17, 2016   #7
Bodhisattva
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Originally Posted by Rouxster View Post
Well, if the presidency actually was determined by the popular vote, wouldn't both candidates have conducted their campaigns differently, possibly leading to a different result in the popular vote?


Short answer is yes.

It's important to remember America is not a democracy. It's a democratic republic. We elect people who vote on our behalf. A vote doesn't equal another vote depending on what state it come froms. This system feels a tad archaic, in principle maybe we need more social, scientific, and mathematic experimentation to consider redistribution of some electoral votes, maybe that's always taking place and I haven't heard about it. What I'm confident about is I don't think we can change elections post facto. Even if we change the system, we can't redo our election.

I'm against unfaithful electors outside of unbelievably extreme circumstances. Unless we uproot some massive truth we had no idea about that completely undermines the safety of our nation, I think you need to stand by your parties vote.
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