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What is the point in voting if the electoral college decides the president?

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posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: CornishCeltGuy
It''s not so different from the British system.
The British electorate chooses members of Parliament, and the majority of M.P.'s decide on a Prime Minister. The fact that modern majorities will have chosen their candidate in advance doesn't affect the principle- the electoral choice of Prime Minister is indirect, not direct.




posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:47 AM
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originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy

originally posted by: dragonridr
You cant win a campaign by making promises to 6 states. Imagine what politicians would promise these states if thats all they needed.

And how long do you think the other states would stay knowing that 5 or 6 states decides the fate of all of them

The founding fathers seemed to have it all sewn up all those years ago. Places like Wyoming or Nebraska just wouldn't have any say if it was down to the popular vote. This has been interesting reading, I'm all set for the next POTUS election...now I just need to figure out what these mid-terms are all about, time to do some googling lol


Mid-terms are the votes for the Congressional representatives (Senate and House Reps). These are the folks that actually write/pass laws and decide upon funding for the policies of the country.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
Almost like MP constituencies being mini states then in a childlike way of imagining it. Ours isn't representative in many ways though, see how many MP's Scotland gets compared to its population. Their MP's have disproportionate power in the House of Commons for sure.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa

originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy

originally posted by: dragonridr
You cant win a campaign by making promises to 6 states. Imagine what politicians would promise these states if thats all they needed.

And how long do you think the other states would stay knowing that 5 or 6 states decides the fate of all of them

The founding fathers seemed to have it all sewn up all those years ago. Places like Wyoming or Nebraska just wouldn't have any say if it was down to the popular vote. This has been interesting reading, I'm all set for the next POTUS election...now I just need to figure out what these mid-terms are all about, time to do some googling lol


Mid-terms are the votes for the Congressional representatives (Senate and House Reps). These are the folks that actually write/pass laws and decide upon funding for the policies of the country.

So ideally Trump wants a majority of Republicans voted in then. This upcoming election could be interesting.
We only get to vote every 5 years, even our second chamber is unelected lol...the British version of 'democracy' in action, not.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

I didn’t realize Hillary posted on ATS



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: Krakatoa

Yes voting by population means cities control the election. And you could win by taking hige metropolitan areas such as New York and Los angeles. Im curious if Hillary would still have win California if you removed Los Angeles county, orange and San Diego. Those 3 counties have such a large population im sure they decide which way California votes.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:02 AM
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Yes, as would any president hope that his/her party wins more seats in the Congress. Here is a great desciption oour congressional terms and breakdown from Wikipedia:


The members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative. Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. Currently, there are 100 senators representing the 50 states. Each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election.

United States Congress



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: norhoc
Haha my money is being transferred by the DNC within the hour

Seriously though I'm neutral, I'm middle of the road with my UK politics as well, I agree with things from both sides of the left/right policies.
I follow Trump on Twitter though, he's been a breath of fresh air for US politics.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy
a reply to: DISRAELI
Almost like MP constituencies being mini states then in a childlike way of imagining it. Ours isn't representative in many ways though, see how many MP's Scotland gets compared to its population. Their MP's have disproportionate power in the House of Commons for sure.


The states need to be looked at more like the EU. A group of countries that agreed to work together. Each state has their own laws and their own government. The United States was formed so these governments would work together.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: Krakatoa
Lots of checks and balances in the US system

You seem to have more 'real' representation than us Brits do as well, I can only vote for my MP, and I didn't get the one I wanted last time around so I don't feel represented at all.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:11 AM
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originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy
I follow Trump on Twitter though, he's been a breath of fresh air for US politics.




The whole thing seems ridiculous to me, either the presidential candidate won most votes or they didn't, this electoral college thing just smells like a big scam to me.


Without the ridiculous Electoral College, Trump would not be president.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: dragonridr
Gosh there is a scary thought, the United States of Europe [/shudders]
At least people are voted in for you guys, the EU is run by a commission decided by cronies who want to help their mates on the gravy train.
...still waiting to see how badly Britain gets spanked for daring to leave.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

I only say that because Hillary is on an anti electoral college campaign



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:17 AM
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originally posted by: norhoc
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

I only say that because Hillary is on an anti electoral college campaign
Is she yeah? Surely that's a constitutional thing though, she'd need to win the mid-terms for a start, don't constitutional changes require something like three quarter majority of senators/congress people?
I know it can be changed but the bar is high for that change to happen.
...as it's been explained to me, the EC voting system seems the best option for your federal republic.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:23 AM
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originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy

originally posted by: Thejoncrichton
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

You're right. California and New York should decide every American election. That wont cause problems at all.
Lol, I'm just asking questions here. Another one then, if there was no electoral vote is it fair to say that the Cali/New York vote would produce a Democrat president every election?



Ummm...only up until we drove them all into the sea...then when all the sharks were well fed...real people would simply occupy those few square miles and guarantee a conservative winner...

See...there's a formula for every eventuality...





YouSir



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:23 AM
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originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy
a reply to: Krakatoa
Lots of checks and balances in the US system

You seem to have more 'real' representation than us Brits do as well, I can only vote for my MP, and I didn't get the one I wanted last time around so I don't feel represented at all.


Yes, there is check and balances. Which is why many of us that actually understand it get all frustrated by the incessant cries of "but...Trump did not win the popular vote" by the losing party. Its just like someone whining they lost the football (European football) game because they had more shots on goal than the winning team. What they fail to admit is the point of the game is to score more goals than your opponent, regardless of how many times you tried.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:24 AM
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Because it's not all about the voter. And in your case, it's not about you at all. It's also about the states.

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Every presidential season we go through the same thing. “Why is there an electoral college?” “The electoral college is not fair!” “We should elect by popular vote!” and on and on. There appears to be a woeful lack of understanding why this situation developed, with many members fabricating or misunderstanding the reasons for it.

IN THE BEGINNING

The “United States of America” was a collective noun. It meant the original thirteen colonies united for a common purpose. Each colony was separately governed and there were many issues of discontent between them, so many that the United States Constitution is a document of compromise that barely passed. Each colony had good reasons for not joining and none of them wanted to sacrifice their own self-governance to the new “federal” government.

The biggest state by far was Virginia, which included West Virginia at the time. It was big in terms of size, in terms of population, and in terms of influence. It dominated early American politics. Indeed, four of the first five presidents were from Virginia and, except for John Adams’ single term of four years, Virginians controlled the presidency for 32 of the 36 years until 1825. Many of the early issues revolved around slavery and, of course, Virginia was a slave state. Basically what happened with the slave issue was that they kicked the can down the road for the next generation to deal with, the result of which was the Civil War, which killed more people than all the other American wars combined.

The biggest issue, then, was states’ rights. Today we tend to think this meant the right of the southern states to keep slavery, but that’s not really true. It was the opposite. The southern states are large; the northern states generally are not. ‘States’ rights referred just as much to Rhode Island being smothered by the other states as it did Georgia. Of the original 13 colonies, half of them were tiny and they were all northern. Delaware and Rhode Island are smaller than many western counties.

And they all demanded their rights! And the biggest way they got them was through the biggest compromise in the US Constitution: The House of Representatives versus the Senate. The House, of course, is elected via popular vote according to the size of the population, so a populous state gets way more representatives than a non-populous state. But the Senate is composed of two senators for each state, no matter how large or small. So in the Senate Virginia was “no bigger” than Rhode Island.

Further, the Senate was elected NOT by a vote of the people, but by the State legislatures. Now you could say there was a connection to “the people” because the legislators themselves were elected by the people, but the message there was that the Senate represented the States themselves where the House represented the people directly. That was how the United States (plural) came to be.

THE EROSION OF STATES’ RIGHTS

When the next generation caught up with the can the issues were still smoldering, and this resulted in the Civil War. Today we think and even insist that the war was all about slavery. This is one of the biggest public relations coups in history that is still believed by the majority even today. But slavery as an institution was in a tailspin. It wasn’t economically viable. The old “plantation model” instituted by Great Britain was eroding.

The real reason was “states’ rights” and when the south seceded, Lincoln invaded and forced the south back into the fold. For the first time the “United States of America” became a singular noun. It was one country, not a collective of separate countries with a loose and limited federal government. This was the beginning of the end because the federalist weren’t finished.

Next on the list was the Senate. A campaign started to change the very idea of the Senate into another House with direct election of the Senators. The campaign painted the Senate as group of cronies chosen by corrupt legislatures which chose Senators because of vote buying and corruption. If we chose senators by popular vote, it was stated, this would eliminate that corruption and clean house. This whole issue started in the early 19th century and was later promoted by none other than William Randolph Hearst, who called senators every name in the book. Even by today’s low standards the politics of the situation were harsh. It was another PR coup as the 17th amendment was passed in 1914.

THE EFFECT OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The formula is straightforward. The number of electoral college members is s simple addition of the number of legislators in the House plus the number of Senators in the state, so Alaska, and Wyoming each have a single representative in the House plus two senators for a total of three Electoral College votes. California, on the other hand, has 53 legislators and two senators for a total of 55 votes.

One of the provisions of this process is the “winner take all” rule where if 50% +1 of the popular vote goes to candidate X, that candidate gets all the electoral college votes. This is a state-controlled issue. It is NOT an overall rule and there are a couple of states that do not allocate electoral college votes in this manner.

The overall result of this is that it gives a very slight edge to the less populous states. It’s enough of an edge that a candidate cannot get away with campaigning in New York, Pennsylvania, and California and calling it a wrap. And in a very tight campaign where both candidates are approaching the winning number of 270, any single state could provide the margin for victory.

The Electoral College was designed to prevent an all-powerful central government. That is, of course, what we already have. States’ rights have been eroded to the point where states by themselves are ineffectual and virtually powerless against the huge central government. The fears of the Founders have been realized. It took about 100 years to do it, but it’s just about done.

The amazing part of this story is that we actually have people who believe they are being disenfranchised BECAUSE of the Electoral College which, if it went away, would result in these very same voters being MORE disenfranchised than they are today. At least today there is a chance for a voter’s choice to have an effect, but without the Electoral College, people in the vast majority of states may as well not even vote, because the election will be decided by city dwellers in California, New York, and Pennsylvania, both coasts, where the fly-over states may as well be a different country.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:26 AM
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And just as an added little bonus, here's a map of all the counties showing in how many Trump won and in how many Hillary won. You're going to look at that and tell me Trump didn't win, right?



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: schuyler
That was an excellent and interesting read

Thanks for posting the historical background as well, I've learned lots in this thread.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: schuyler
And just as an added little bonus, here's a map of all the counties showing in how many Trump won and in how many Hillary won. You're going to look at that and tell me Trump didn't win, right?

Hahaha! Nothing like a good infographic to tell the story!
Yes, point taken




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