Abolish the Electoral College?

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posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:15 AM
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I am not an American, but I am fully versed in how the US electoral process is worked. My question is this? Does George Bush currently have the power to abolish the Electoral College, not in totality, but to remove their input in the Presidential elections for good?

As US Presidents can only serve two consecutive terms I see it is the norm in the second term, if won, for the incumbent President to actually knuckle down and get some of the good stuff done.

It would appear to me that by removing the process of electoral college votes in further US Presidential elections you would find yourself with a President that the majority actually wants.

Now, before people put me right on the fact that GWB actually DID have the majority of votes this time round, I am well aware of that fact. However, going forward can this process be changed?

Merkin




posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:43 AM
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I am tired of hearing about this stuff. The electoral college was put in place for a reason. A reason that holds true even more today than when it was concieved.

America is not a democracy. It is a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC. For those who do not know what that is, I will give a very short explanation. It is a system of government where the citizens elect representatives that they feel will support their points of view, at least better than the next guy. This is due to the whole, "Can't make everyone happy at the same time" issue that will always exist.

The electoral college is a similar idea, but a little more complex (with good reason). The electoral college serves almost as a referee, insuring that all points of view are at the very least considered. America has several population centers of high concentration. These people, living around major cities and the east and west coast live a certain type of lifestyle. They have certain issues and concerns regarding the economy, race, religion, ect. They also make up a vast majority of the countries population. There are also people who live in areas with a significantly smaller population density. These people have concerns with economics, race, religion, ect., that almost have to differ dramatically to those in high concentrated areas. These concerns are just as important to our economy and country as those concerns from high population centers.

What the Electoral College insures is this. The peoples concerns in these areas must be heard and addressed. If it was not for the Electoral college, you could win an election just pleasing inner city and costal citizens. Why spend the money to campaign, or bother worrying about anything else? You win by gaining the support of high population centers. With the Electoral College in place, it is necessary to consider the concerns of the country as a whole. It forces the candidates to consider more than just one lifestyle.

People need to get over it. The EC is a good thing.

It is a small price to pay when the majority does not win the election...on the rare occasions that it may occur, when pitted against the positives that the Electoral college presents.

[Edited on 11/24/2004 by Seapeople]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:53 AM
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Great post, Seapeople. That was the best explanation I've read (been trying to explain it to my British wife, with little success...).

The other point to make is that Bush did, in fact, also win the popular vote (much to my dismay!).



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:56 AM
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Merkin,

I sarted a thread on this a while back that might have some good info for you.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

I dont agree with the EC. IMO, the EC doesnt represent the will of the people anymore, and it hasnt for at least 100 years. The EC was formed mainly because our forfathers thought the common person was not intelligent enough to make that choice. The reason we are given is the EC represents the population better, where the population is smaller. The thinking goes that a candidates wouldnt even have to campaign in the lower populated states. The ignorant thinking is that all the big cities would dictate the vote. That might have been true back in 1850, but our population is so diverse that I dont believe the former reason still holds any water.

If you make all the candidates speak at the same places, and all the places visited covered all population counts, then I believe we could use the popular vote to determine the president.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 07:25 AM
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Thanks for the compliment radiant, I don't get many of those on this forum.

Merkin, please do not forget one thing. The Electoral College represents the population. This is an example, the numbers arent real. A state with 1 million people living in it has 100 EC votes. While a state with 100 thousand has 10 votes. It is based on population. I do understand what you are saying. It is the only thing someone arguing the EC can say. Lets say 80% vote one way, and 20% the other. The 20% go away in a sense. You are correct. BUT. Lets take the country as a whole.High population areas make up for most of the voting base. They live a different lifestyle than low population areas. Plain and simple. I do not know for a fact, but I would bet my life that High to Low population areas split the population 80% to 20% or somewhere close. They live different lives. They have different concerns. You basically do the same thing there, but with the whole country. Eliminate the 20%.

Now as to forcing the candidates to campaign in a certain way, in certain areas. We have enough corruption in our governemnt already. If you force the candidates into an area, that in all honesty, means nothing to them. The issues the bring up will, in all honesty, mean nothing to them. It will just be part of a routine. Government regulation has a tendency to do that.

If you want to force real concern to these issues. You need the votes to count. As it stands now, they wouldn't.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by Seapeople
The Electoral College represents the population.


This is where people often get confused. The EC doesnt represent the will of the people. The people who are responsible for casting the EC votes may cast them AS THEY PLEASE. They do not have to vote with the popular vote. It is not a requirement. If the EC voter feels the population for thier represented areas are not making the right choice, they may vote opposite of the popular vote. This is the main bases for the abolishment of the EC.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:09 AM
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Originally posted by Kidfinger

Originally posted by Seapeople
The Electoral College represents the population.


This is where people often get confused. The EC doesnt represent the will of the people. The people who are responsible for casting the EC votes may cast them AS THEY PLEASE. They do not have to vote with the popular vote. It is not a requirement. If the EC voter feels the population for thier represented areas are not making the right choice, they may vote opposite of the popular vote. This is the main bases for the abolishment of the EC.


You are correct, just as an ellected official can cast their vote AS THEY PLEASE. Well, that is, only in a few states, and with some little regulations. Several states have state law mandating that they cast their votes for the state winner. Most of the other states make them take a pledge to do so. The federal goverment also has the ability to fine members of the Electoral College, as well as invalidating their vote, if cast in a direction not parralel to the states popular vote. They also have the ability to remove members of the EC and replace them on the day of voting if necessary to achieve this. There are two states that do not give all electoral votes to the winner as well. Nebraska and Maine.

Now just for some info, it has happened in the past. Voters have cast their votes in different directions. This has been without reprocussions from the federal government. If the EC members did something dramatic, as you are insinuating to be possible, I assure you that not only would their vote be thrown out, but they would be punished.

So, according to you, I am confused? Are you sure you shouldn't go research this issue a little more. Maybe you will find out that I am not.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:39 AM
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Seapeople,

There are no laws mandateing the votes of the EC. Here is a quote fromm a CNN article.


There is no federal law requiring electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states, but some states do bind electors to popular vote results.

The only previous tie was in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each got 73 electoral votes. The House chose Jefferson and Burr, under the system then in place, became vice president.


www.cnn.com...

If the EC was truely in place for the people, then the popular vote would be used in case of EC vote tie. This is not the case. The House gets to pick the next president
Not the people.

Here is a quote from ecyclopedia.com about how the EC voters are chosen. Read it carefully and tell me it is not biased.


The process for selecting electors varies throughout the United States. Generally, the political parties nominate electors at their state party conventions or by a vote of the party's central committee in each State. Electors are often selected to recognize their service and dedication to their political party. They may be state elected officials, party leaders, or persons who have a personal or political affiliation with the Presidential candidate.


encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com...

Something else. You say that EC voters will be repremanded if the do not vote according to popular vote. This is not true. EC votes have been cast opposint the popular vote and nothing was done.


The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties' nominees. Some State laws provide that so-called "faithless electors" may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.


www.archives.gov...

As you can see, I have done my research. I am not making statements I cant back up. Everything I have spoken is the complete truth. Maybe you should do a little research youself to make sure you completly understand the EC and what it really does.

Ever heard of Raymond Burr?



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:17 AM
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There is no constituional provision or federal law. There are state laws. You are wrong. You have not done your research. You just hit a random search on the internet about 10 minutes ago. Found a few articles that support your view by ignoring facts.

Here is my 10 minute internet search, that supports my point of view.

usinfo.state.gov...

As I said in the above post. SOME states have mandatory laws set in place, and others have pledges set in place. Here is a breakdown of which states require the votes by LAW WITH PENALTY and which states have pledges.....

www.archives.gov...

*Note the above link...and how it is off one of the websites you so diligently researched and provided to me.

Ray v Blair, 343 US 214

That is the US Supreme court giving the state power to require pledges, leagally.

The following link is the constitutional provisions that the electoral college has to abide by, just for supplemental information.

www.archives.gov...

This is a link giving information on all of the dissenting EC votes in the past....detailing every one of them. Just for fun.

www.fairvote.org...

I have a lot more from where this came from. Once again, YOU ARE WRONG! I love saying that....



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:29 AM
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You can love saying it all you want, but it doesnt make you right. There has NEVER been a single EC voter prosecuted for voting agianst the popular vote. Am I wrong? I answer with an emphatical NO These are links I have had for a while. Dont go saying I did a 10 miute search because you are blowing steam out of your arse. Did you even read the previous thread I had linked to earlier? Doubtffull, or you would have realized that I have been looking into this for quite sometime. Also,if you would have read the quotes, you would have noticed that I didnt edit them to fit my agenda. I left them as they are. That way, you can see that I am looking at this strictly from a unbiased point. Now, to cut off you accusation that I know you would come back with, I started off looking at the EC in 1996. I have questioned it every sense. The system is corrupt, just like our governing body.

You say that EC voters must take pledges. I have addressed this in my previous post, which you obviously ignored. Not only that, you have yet to truly refute any proof I offered. You just want to, as you admitted, do a 10 minute search and pick and choose what best fits your Ideas. Now, if you really want me to reconsider my opinion, show me some facts that refute the facts I presented,in the previous thread, as well as this one.

Just as you said, I have much more owhere this came from, but iwont start crying like a child and saying your wrong.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:37 AM
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No, there has never been a punishment issued. Just to make it clear, I said that quite a few messages ago. You said no such laws existed.

Let us take a real quick run through the past.

Kidfinger says...and I quote:

"There are no laws mandateing the votes of the EC. "

So tell me again who was wrong?

All I am saying is this. If a serious enough issue with the EC was presented, which had the ability to affect the outcome of an election, these laws would be acted upon.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by Seapeople


All I am saying is this. If a serious enough issue with the EC was presented, which had the ability to affect the outcome of an election, these laws would be acted upon.


The laws have never been enforced befdore, and I dont see it ever happening. There has been a few voting instances where this has happened, and no punishment was ever dolled out. Further more, the pledge the EC voters have to take is like a promis. How many promises do you know of that have actually been kept by government officials? If they break thier pledge, it makes no difference. That is just one of the many corrupt instances of the EC.

Also, on a different note, Why does your avatar show your offline when your not? You might want to U2U SO and let him know, there might be some goofy problem with your account sinse they are switching tech.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 10:59 AM
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Kid,

What is the percentage of dissenting votes in the EC since the beginning?

What is the percentage of dissenting EC votes that affected elections?

Like I said above, I do see your point. I just do not feel it is as big of an issue as you do. I would be in favor of eliminating the actual personel in the electoral college....just leaving the votes as is. That way no corruption could leak in. I am 100% confident, that a dissenting elector's vote, would not be allowed to cost an election. There is far too much controversy with such a serious issue like that. The only thing that could do in my opinion, is force the EC out of the picture.

And I have no idea about my avatar. Maybe I am in stealth mode so I can sneak up on respond on people. Actually, I do close and open ATS and BTS alot, so even if I am online, it might show that I am not, because I am not on the site.

[Edited on 11/24/2004 by Seapeople]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Kidfinger
Merkin,

I sarted a thread on this a while back that might have some good info for you.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

I dont agree with the EC. IMO, the EC doesnt represent the will of the people anymore, and it hasnt for at least 100 years. The EC was formed mainly because our forfathers thought the common person was not intelligent enough to make that choice. The reason we are given is the EC represents the population better, where the population is smaller. The thinking goes that a candidates wouldnt even have to campaign in the lower populated states. The ignorant thinking is that all the big cities would dictate the vote. That might have been true back in 1850, but our population is so diverse that I dont believe the former reason still holds any water.

If you make all the candidates speak at the same places, and all the places visited covered all population counts, then I believe we could use the popular vote to determine the president.


Wow...nothing personal here Kidfinger, really I mean it so please do not get mad, but this comment shows you do not understand the concept of the EC.

Originally the United States of America was composed of 50 sovereign countries (Or as was then know as "states"). Under the Articles of Confederation (1), the United States was more like what the EU is now. The idea behind the EC was that each state was lead by a governor. The Governor was essential the president of that state. An interesting note is that from 1777 - 1789, the United States did not have a President. The 10 men who were "president" were simply the leader of the senate. This was one of the many problems that lead to the adoption of a CEO position in the Constitution. Now the debate as to how the states would come to decide who would lead the "Federation" under the constitution was a very heated debate. Small states had the same amount of votes as large states. This was an idea that really irked the larger states, such as Virginia and New York. To finally break this impasse a bicameral congress was set up. This made all partys happy.
The intent behind the EC was not to have a way of confusing or fooling the electorate about the process of presidential election. Rather, the intent was to allow states to decide in their own way, who was to be their candidate for president. Any change to the EC process would be a violation of the Constitution on two levels. The first of which would be what I have listed below.

Section. 1.

Clause 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Clause 2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Clause 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chose from them by Ballot the Vice President.
(3)

The second reason related to another portion of the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment 10 of the United States Constitutions states:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."(4)

Therefore since, as we have seen above, the Constitution make no commands on how each state should elect their EC voters, any attempt by any member of the federal government to pass a law requiring a popular vote for the president of the United States would be, not just unconstitutional, but a civil rights violation. The only way to change this would be a new constitutional amendment (5). This process is a bit tougher and would be ultimate unsuccessful.


(1): fixedreference.org...
(2): www.usatoday.com...
(3) www.house.gov...
(4) www.law.cornell.edu...
(5) www.law.cornell.edu...


[edit on 24-11-2004 by Imperium Americana]





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