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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day! (Page 14)

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Author Topic: Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day!
BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I think it's pretty terrible to prophecy on what your opposition is going to do in response to something.

Is it possible, even likely? Yes. But both sides could play that game, and since we are already writing each other's scripts, why even both conversing?

Thank God nobody was hurt, I hope the police find the perpetrator.

The thing is, they've done it before. This exact thing happened four years ago, and that's exactly what they did.

There's nothing terrible about taking past events and using them to guess at what happens in the future.

Who is they? If you mean some conservatives talking heads, well sure. But if we want civil discourse we can't tell conservatives in essence, "Your lowest common denominator is pretty much all I pay attention to." or "You are inexorably tied to your past until you meet some arbitrary standard of good behavior for an arbitrary period of time.

There's always people whose key philosophy is "Never miss an opportunity to take advantage of tragedy."

It's Rush Limbaugh saying, "I hope he fails!" in regards to Obama. I'm sure in Limbaugh's world the only thing that would make him happy is if Obama had an affair, punched a baby in the face, or admitted to "hating white people."

Of course these same talking heads are not going to take this incident and say, "Conservatism can sometimes be taken too far, and really we should be moderate in our political opinions."

or

"Maybe there's something to this whole handguns being a bad idea liberal ideology."

Since 99% of talking heads are listened to because they don't admit to being wrong, they instead find any explanation that makes their position appear unassailable, and latch onto it tight.

But we don't do ourselves any favors, when we act like most conservatives honestly think an Obama camper fired a gun at the office, in the hopes of drumming up sympathy for Obama. Honestly, who is going to vote for Obama because they believe somebody shot at some of his staff?

Here's Fox News' take. It's pretty standard stuff. I was unable to find any conspiracy sites peddling your prediction.

I do know though that if the positions were switched, somebody fired a gun at Mitt Romney's headquarters in Florida, and a poster got on and said that MSNBC or some liberal rag is going to accuse the Romney camp of doing it because they wanted to drum up support in a battleground state, I'd be bugged.

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Lyrhawn
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Problem is, those conservative talking heads work for Fox News. I don't watch Fox News 24 hours a day, nor does a single brief blurb on their website speak for the entire network when they have a cadre of people who routinely say batshit crazy stuff, like last week when several Fox News hosts claimed the BLS cooked the books on unemployment numbers for Obama.

I'm still willing to bet that over the last couple days at least one Fox News commentator made that suggestions. If I'm wrong I'll apologize for the insinuation, but I'll be surprised.

And I never said most conservatives, or all conservatives. I specifically listed Fox News or someone similar, which is to say, conservative media outlets. That's far from painting the entire conservative section of the country with the same brush, but I'll cop to painting the conservative media with the same brush, and I have no qualms about that. The "they" in my second post specifically refers to my first one, which is to say, Fox News. They did this four years ago.

quote:
Honestly, who is going to vote for Obama because they believe somebody shot at some of his staff?
Who is going to do ANY of the bizarre whackadoodle crap that Fox News suggests and claims on a regular basis?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
And I never said most conservatives, or all conservatives. I specifically listed Fox News or someone similar, which is to say, conservative media outlets. That's far from painting the entire conservative section of the country with the same brush...
This is true, and I certainly misread your post when I posted. For that I apologize.
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Samprimary
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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-12/the-final-word-on-mitt-romney-s-tax-plan.html

I am just being a boring pos and reminding people of this again.

I mean, it's important, and yet nobody voting for romney even wants to think about it.

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Rakeesh
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I have yet to hear an answer for Romney's apparently unworkable budget that didn't involve 'but Obama is worse' (which I dispute as accurate, but can't reject as a reason to vote against Obama if one feels that way), or didn't simply accept Romney's statement that he doesn't have to give details because that's how business works.

It's been a long campaign season. I don't expect there actually exists an answer that explains why Romney's budget is both good and honest. Now, on to the sarcasm: we should simply trust Romney's integrity and experience, on the basis of his business career in which he was quite successful. Because people who are successful in business are automatically both honest and wise in all fields.

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Samprimary
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blahblah something obama lemonade stand blahblah
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SenojRetep
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There's fairly strong evidence that Romney's debate bounce is fading, as increasingly national polls are returning to a slight edge for Obama. For instance, the ABC News/WaPo poll published today has him up three, the Ipsos/Reuters web poll has him up one, etc. Obama also got a strong swing state poll from PPP in Ohio, which showed him up five (although Silver's pollster rating for PPP says it has about a three point democratic lean, so it's probably more like an O+2).

Romney's chances have subsided slightly, but he got some good polls today in VA and IA from ARG, and PPP's polls of FL and NC suggest he's maintaining his current lead there as well.

It seems likely that the election will come down to a set of six states that current polling suggest are leaning slightly to Obama: OH, CO, NV, IA, NH, WI. If Romney wins any combination of three of those that doesn't include NH, and if current polling elsewhere holds, he'll win the election*. Or if he wins OH and any other state from the list, he'll also win the election.

*The combo CO-IA-NV results in an EV tie, in which case the winner would be chosen by the House with each state's delegation getting a single vote. This would almost certainly result in a Romney win. The Vice President, however, would be chosen by the Senate, with each Senator getting a single vote. Given the projected partisan make-ups of the two chambers, an electoral tie would very likely result in a Romney-Biden presidency.

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Destineer
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Undecided voters FTW. You can mix and match their shoes and their favorite beverages. Brought to you by CNN, patron site of undecided voters.
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Samprimary
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an EV tie with a significant Obama national popular vote win resulting in the house picking Romney would be

uh

no, goodbye, not hanging out for the riots

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Orincoro
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I'm sorry, I can't see the math on that. What state combinations would you need for that tie? Is it even remotely in play?

ETA: ah, found the article. Doesn't seem likely.

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Blayne Bradley
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It would finally let us kill the Electoral College though.
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Orincoro
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Us, eh?
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Blayne Bradley
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I'm an internationalist.
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BlackBlade
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Oh cool, so you're all up in everybody's business?

----

I can't imagine how pissed folks would be if it actually went to the House.

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Blayne Bradley
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Canada invented getting up in everybody's business, after all we invaded two countries! Wait...
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BlackBlade
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You managed to invade us twice while belonging to two different empires. You invaded us when you belonged to France during the Seven Years War, then you invaded us when you belonged to Great Britain in 1812.

It's no wonder where we got the inclination from.

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Rakeesh
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Blayne is *totally right*, we invented getting into other people's business, because we invaded two countries.

Of course when we do it, it's 'getting into other people's business'. When certain...other countries do it, well of course it's something else entirely. But I suppose with a label as meaningless as 'internationalist', inconvenient consistency would be easily avoided.

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Samprimary
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- china's brutal occupation of tibet: a.o.k.
- china's warmongering towards taiwan: a.o.k.
- america's electoral college process: GET ALL UP IN DAT BIDNESS

This here "Internationalist" stance sure seems useless

quote:
I can't imagine how pissed folks would be if it actually went to the House.
Rioting. Bad things. Very bad things. But at least the end of the electoral college at an .. enhanced medium term schedule.
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Samprimary
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Apparently Paul Ryan did something which I really can't see as anything other than incredibly, remarkably toolish. He weaseled his campaign photo op team into a soup kitchen without proper permission to do a photo-op of him washing* dishes, you know, to show how much he cares about the poor or whatever**.

*well, "washing." they were, uh, already clean

**they had made the claim they wished to speak to the clientele, but made sure to come by only after it was closed and all the indigents wouldn't get in the way of the photo op

***to add injury to insult this is an organization that would have been cut of all funding and left to dry under ryan's own plan, I think

Proving you Care about Poors, the Republican Way?

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Undecided voters FTW. You can mix and match their shoes and their favorite beverages. Brought to you by CNN, patron site of undecided voters.

LOL, I was just watching the video of the Long-Term Unemployed undecided voter. There's a segment of him in his community college class, and they show you what he's writing in his notebook:

"My favorite movie would have to be Highlander. This movie is about a Scottish highlanders that becomes immortal. His name is Duncan McCloughed."

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BlackBlade
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Romney's Tax Plan.

I laughed.

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Samprimary
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yeah here it is

ryan helps the poors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2WVJNxOpvY

could he be more of a stereotype wtf

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advice for robots
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quote:
I can't imagine how pissed folks would be if it actually went to the House.
Rioting. Bad things. Very bad things. But at least the end of the electoral college at an .. enhanced medium term schedule. [/QB][/QUOTE]


I propose an 8-team playoff in place of the electoral college.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Undecided voters FTW. You can mix and match their shoes and their favorite beverages. Brought to you by CNN, patron site of undecided voters.

LOL, I was just watching the video of the Long-Term Unemployed undecided voter. There's a segment of him in his community college class, and they show you what he's writing in his notebook:

"My favorite movie would have to be Highlander. This movie is about a Scottish highlanders that becomes immortal. His name is Duncan McCloughed."

And he calls himself a fan?

Inexcusable. And not just for the spelling.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Apparently Paul Ryan did something which I really can't see as anything other than incredibly, remarkably toolish. He weaseled his campaign photo op team into a soup kitchen without proper permission to do a photo-op of him washing* dishes, you know, to show how much he cares about the poor or whatever**.

*well, "washing." they were, uh, already clean

**they had made the claim they wished to speak to the clientele, but made sure to come by only after it was closed and all the indigents wouldn't get in the way of the photo op

***to add injury to insult this is an organization that would have been cut of all funding and left to dry under ryan's own plan, I think

Proving you Care about Poors, the Republican Way?

The problem with funding wasn't that Ryan's budget would cut it. The problem is that his funding comes entirely from private sources that insist on strict non-partisanship. If his sources decided the Ryan visit was an endorsement, the funding could dry up.

Ryan did not clear the visit with the management of the kitchen, where it would have been most certainly rejected.

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kmbboots
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In addition to the whole thing being completely faked. But, apparently, we are so used to lies that it hardly bears mentioning.
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Dan_Frank
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It's so jarring to me to see people talking so cavalierly about ending the Electoral College as if that were a great thing.

Why do you think that, Sam/Blayne/etc.?

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Orincoro
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How about the vast iniquities ironed into a system that hinges upon certain very much non-representative swing states, in which individual voters are, as a function of the system, vastly more significant in the political process than those of states with larger populations, and less proportional representation.

And while I fully understand and sympathize with the problem that smaller states, with smaller economies and populations, need some insurance against the influence of larger states- this is still a system in which the world's 8th largest economy (California), rates almost no attention in an election season. That is decidedly a problematic situation. And as long as huge net tax contributors are having their political future decided by equally big tax recipient states, there will remain an inequity. There's a reason why it's politically feasible to shut down military bases in California, and not to do so in some other states. And it has nothing to do with which is costing more or producing more- it has to do with the fact that there are several states that would be considered 3rd world nations without the direct support of the federal government. And we aren't one of them- but we have to give them enhanced representation in the electoral college.

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Dan_Frank
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Okay, so you've pointed out some flaws in the EC system. That's largely true. But recognizing something has flaws doesn't mean it should be destroyed. Lots of flawed things still provide vital functions.

If we did away with the EC, candidates would have zero incentive to campaign outside of major cities. Hell, would they have any incentive to campaign outside of the coasts?

The interests of several significant minority groups would be completely steamrolled, wouldn't they?

Seems like there's a lot of problems with the idea of getting rid of the Electoral college, too. So why advocate such a radical and potentially disastrous change?

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Destineer
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There are also minorities being disenfranchised because of the EC. I imagine the net total of disenfranchised minorities would probably wash out in the end.

Also, the EC is really easy to game compared with popular vote systems. As social scientists become better at predicting people, this will become a worse problem.

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Orincoro
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I don't. Reform is necessary. Of some kind. Radical change is too dangerous, for the reasons you mentioned.

But there are several plausible replacement systems, none of which offers a perfect solution. Voting by congressional district is one example. (in fact, the framers of the constitution envisioned this as the likely scenario- that congress would directly elect the president due to a lack of majority in the EC). A mixed system including popular and district voting is another.

You're not right on when it comes to how campaigns would run if it depended on the popular vote. First of all, the states are apportioned a fairly close representation according to their populations. Only the very smallest states have crazily high proportional representation. That means the urban centers of America are already having a huge influence on elections. For instance, urban centers in New York and California dominate those states, and ensure that all of the state's votes go to one side. A popular system would eliminate that pressure and open up rural areas in those states to campaigning. And it would free other smaller urban centers from the yolk of their larger rural counterparts. The fact is that the popular vote, despite the disincentive to vote in non-swing states, is relatively close, traditionally. Certainly, if anything it is often closer than the EC numbers suggest. I just don't think it should be dismissed.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
There are also minorities being disenfranchised because of the EC. I imagine the net total of disenfranchised minorities would probably wash out in the end.

Well, really, look at that very statement. Popular voting "disenfranchises" no-one. Everyone would have a vote. He's talking about the attention of political campaigns, which would focus on urban centers. But what he's actually talking about, is the fact that if the popular vote ruled, the Republican party would not exist in its national form. There are just too many democrats- and if all their votes mattered just as much as everyone else's, the dems would win every election. Then fairly soon it wouldn't be the Dems and the Republicans. It would be the Civil Democrats and the Progressive Democrats, or whatever you can think of- as it is in many countries where there *is* no social conservative major party.
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Aros
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This article shows a few pretty clear pros and cons of the college:

http://geekpolitics.com/10-pros-cons-and-ideas-for-the-electoral-college/

Hmm. I think that the biggest argument for getting rid of it would be to enable third party candidates to have a real chance. But it seems fairly evident that a popular vote might be a bad idea. Especially considering the size of some of the states (California, Texas) and special interest.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
It's so jarring to me to see people talking so cavalierly about ending the Electoral College as if that were a great thing.

Why do you think that, Sam/Blayne/etc.?

Why do you assume "cavalierly"? I am pretty sure that folks here (in general) have considered the EC quite thoroughly and seriously.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
There are also minorities being disenfranchised because of the EC. I imagine the net total of disenfranchised minorities would probably wash out in the end.

Well, really, look at that very statement. Popular voting "disenfranchises" no-one. Everyone would have a vote. He's talking about the attention of political campaigns, which would focus on urban centers. But what he's actually talking about, is the fact that if the popular vote ruled, the Republican party would not exist in its national form. There are just too many democrats- and if all their votes mattered just as much as everyone else's, the dems would win every election.
Where are you getting this? The parties are pretty solidly split across the country, with Democrat registration slightly higher but with more independents leaning Republican.

I think what you're really saying is this: because all the largest cities lean heavily Democratic, Democrats would get a significant edge (from where they are now) if the votes of all those cities were effectively pooled regardless of state lines.

That's true. Republicans would have a much more significant logistical challenge, I think, given the more rural/diffuse tendency of their constituency.

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Then fairly soon it wouldn't be the Dems and the Republicans. It would be the Civil Democrats and the Progressive Democrats, or whatever you can think of- as it is in many countries where there *is* no social conservative major party. [/QB]

You think the Electoral College is what keeps that from happening here? And not, you know, the dramatically different history, traditions, and culture? Okay...
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
It's so jarring to me to see people talking so cavalierly about ending the Electoral College as if that were a great thing.

Why do you think that, Sam/Blayne/etc.?

Why do you assume "cavalierly"? I am pretty sure that folks here (in general) have considered the EC quite thoroughly and seriously.
I didn't get that impression from Blayne at all.

In fairness to Sam though he seems cavalier about everything, so...

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
If we did away with the EC, candidates would have zero incentive to campaign outside of major cities. Hell, would they have any incentive to campaign outside of the coasts?

In a world with mass communication, does that really matter any more?
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Lyrhawn
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The electoral college is a demon that brings the entire election down to just a very few states. Candidates spend time promising the world to Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and almost everyone else gets almost entirely ignored. That's not democracy, it's not even a republic; it's an oligarchy. There is simply no argument that makes up for that in the pro column. Far too many people are shut out of the process; period.

Going to a straight up popular vote enfranchises the whole country. No one's votes get left out. No one is powerless. Everyone has a voice, everyone has a chance to have their issues spoken to, no one ever has to feel that their vote doesn't count.

Voting by congressional districts won't work for a single reason: gerrymandering. More resources than every will be put toward making sure one party or another controls the state house every census so they can cook not just Congress, but the entire government, in their direction. No thank you!

I just don't get what the fear of big states is. Big states already have massive power in the electoral college! Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania are considered the Big Three of any election, and it's specifically because they are big states, they just happen to swing their allegiance more often. But California has more electoral votes than the bottom 12 or so states combined. They already have a lot of power! And for that matter, no one campaigns in those 12 states! Their votes are totally taken for granted. And yet regardless of all that, the EC still makes a vote in one of those 12 states worth much much more than a single vote in California.

One voice, one vote, one person. That's how it should be. If you can't win based on the strength of your argument and candidacy, we shouldn't be using electoral trickery to make some people worth more than others.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

If we did away with the EC, candidates would have zero incentive to campaign outside of major cities. Hell, would they have any incentive to campaign outside of the coasts?

The interests of several significant minority groups would be completely steamrolled, wouldn't they?

As opposed to now where major cities are pretty much ignored* and huge amounts of time and attention (and money) are spent on six undecided voters in Ohio and Iowa?

Which minority groups do you have in mind?

*Of the top 10 population centers, I would guess that only 1 (Philadelphia) gets any attention. Roughly 80% of the people in the US live in cities and suburbs.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If we did away with the EC, candidates would have zero incentive to campaign outside of major cities.
I'm absolutely fine with that, personally.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
If we did away with the EC, candidates would have zero incentive to campaign outside of major cities.
I'm absolutely fine with that, personally.
Why's that?
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TomDavidson
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Because rural areas are not important. I understand that we Americans tend to mythologize rural regions, but it's stupid and illogical of us. You aren't entitled to a more valuable opinion because you live a hundred miles from the nearest theater and own a tractor.
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Dan_Frank
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Ah.

So then who looks out for the interests of those people? Or is getting screwed over by a government that despises them just the price they pay for not being important?

By the way, Kate, to answer your question: The minorities I'm talking to Tom about. Ranchers and farmers and power plant workers and so on. I know "minority" is often code for "racial minority" but I really just meant any small group bound by common interests.

If you need it to be a racial minority, I guess American Indians fit the bill for the most part. They're mostly in rural areas.

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Orincoro
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Economically speaking, Tom's perfectly correct. Rural areas produce little of economic value that requires skills of any kind. While they produce the majority of the nation's food, and are home to most of its resources, that food and those resources are had at a low cost for that very reason. That these areas exercise such an unbalanced level of political influence is odd, since they would, and do, produce the same amounts, and in the same ways, no matter the economic conditions. So political changes affect these areas much less (apart from keeping some of them artificially populated through government spending).

Whereas in Europe, where the majority of capitals are politically and economical hypertrophic, they somehow manage to do better in the realms of transportation, health care, and education across the board. "Somehow" being of course focusing their resources on urban centers where most of the economically valuable and fungible activities take place.

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Lyrhawn
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Dan -

Ranchers and farmers would still be a powerful constituency. Right now they are an OVERPOWERED constituency. They have way, way more political clout than the average person and have obscene amounts of money funneled their way. And the sad thing is, by and large they are co-opted by massive ag conglomerates that suck up the money that purports to be spent on those small time farmers. Also, there are fewer small holding farmers than at any point in history. There simply aren't that many farmers any more. Why on earth would you structure a national election in a country with hundreds of millions of people and incredibly diverse interests on a few thousand people in a single industry?

And why on earth do power plant workers count as any sort of useful voting bloc? It's one job in a country that has thousands of different kinds. At any given time, someone's job is going to be under fire. Why would you structure your elections to artificially empower some over others? That's ridiculous.

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
If you need it to be a racial minority, I guess American Indians fit the bill for the most part. They're mostly in rural areas.

It's a small side point, but I think most American Indians are now living in urban areas. (56% urban, 44% rural)
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Lyrhawn
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That's true. I think people bring it up so often because the ones that are living in rural areas experience a level of poverty unknown anywhere else in the country.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by CT:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
If you need it to be a racial minority, I guess American Indians fit the bill for the most part. They're mostly in rural areas.

It's a small side point, but I think most American Indians are now living in urban areas. (56% urban, 44% rural)
Oh cool! I sometimes forget that, though the Navajo Nation is the biggest reservation in the country, it doesn't actually contain a majority of Indians.
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CT
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*nod

There are a host of issues not encapsulated in the raw numbers.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

By the way, Kate, to answer your question: The minorities I'm talking to Tom about. Ranchers and farmers and power plant workers and so on. I know "minority" is often code for "racial minority" but I really just meant any small group bound by common interests.

Are we now defining "minority" to mean person who holds any particular type of job? Do we count, say, librarians as a minority? Trombone players?
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