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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 @ 01:39 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the interesting replies, I've enjoyed reading them all.

...why I put this in the mudpit I have no idea lol, really friendly and informative political thread so far.




posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: amazing

George W Bush lost to Al Gore in the popular vote. So no all republicans havnt won. But it didn't matter again he won the electorial college. We actually had a president that lost both.

In 1824, John Quincy Adams was elected president despite not winning either the popular vote or the electoral vote. Andrew Jackson was the winner in both categories. Jackson received 38,000 more popular votes than Adams, and beat him in the electoral vote 99 to 84. However neither candidate reached the 130 needed meaning congress had to vote. The reason for the shortage was
there were 3 candidates for president but one dropped out. John C. Calhoun decided to run for vice president instead. Oddly at that time vice presidential elections were held separately and you could end up with a democrat in the white house and a republican as VP. Despite Jackson winning Congress chose Adams over Jackson.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: dragonridr
That was interesting!

I'm glad I posted this now, I'm getting some cool history as well. Just googling something ain't the same as asking a question on ATS, honestly, it is like a real people search engine to me the amount of threads I ask questions in lol.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 02:17 PM
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Then you can begin the debate of, "if there has to be so many restrictions on how votes count, why is the entire place still just one country?"

To explain:

Before someone comes along and calls me an idiot since this is the Mud Pit: Yes, I understand that the electoral college is good for the US as a whole. After all, if we went majority, we'd ALMOST always have a Democratic president, and that could ultimately lead to a significant portion of the country not getting all of their "needs" met. "Needs" meaning "wants" in this case. Example: The majority of folks in Wyoming are probably concerned with completely different things than folks in NYC.

To me, this logically leads to the question: why, if there are areas of the country that are so vastly different in their wants/needs, is there only 1 person in charge of the whole place? I think it makes sense to have a few different "presidents" in charge of different regions of the country. West coast, Rocky Mountains, Midwest, etc.

I know that isn't a popular opinion here in the land of "America is the greatest thing that's ever been invented and it never does anything wrong ever now shut up about it", but I think logically, that makes perfect sense. If there's an entire population of the country that isn't represented by the president/government, shouldn't there be a way to change that so everyone feels properly represented?

I know it's way too complicated, and the only way it'd work is to make the US a few completely separate countries (which would ultimately be a bad thing, how would we divide assets, etc). But, it's a fun thought experiment.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 02:46 PM
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a reply to: narrator
My gosh, I'm a Brit and even I can see the can of worms you are talking about there haha!
...it's the mudpit so I'm stepping away now lol, be interesting to read an argument against you though.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: narrator

That is what Congress is for actually. And last I checked, there was more than one person in that role.

The president is mostly an external contact to the world...so that a country only has a single point of contact to deal with at any given time. That is a good thing, which you would know if you ever had to deal with a committee of more than 3 people.

Congress mostly deals with internal affairs of running the country.....which does represent the population, and each disparate area separately (as it is supposed to work when lobbyist $$$ is not involved).



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

Basically, the system exists for a few reasons. The biggest is that it's a way to weight the votes so that small state interests aren't completely subservient to large states.

It makes a lot of sense, but the current balance in the system is off relative to population distribution and small states have double the say in elections as large states.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 03:19 PM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa
a reply to: narrator

That is what Congress is for actually. And last I checked, there was more than one person in that role.

The president is mostly an external contact to the world...so that a country only has a single point of contact to deal with at any given time. That is a good thing, which you would know if you ever had to deal with a committee of more than 3 people.

Congress mostly deals with internal affairs of running the country.....which does represent the population, and each disparate area separately (as it is supposed to work when lobbyist $$$ is not involved).



Correct. And that's the gist of what I'm getting at...if Congress is basically running the country, why is there just one person who speaks for the whole of the country, even though that person doesn't actually speak for the entire country, because Congress is running the show?

I just feel like the President is made out to seem like they have all this power, when really, there isn't THAT much they can do. Congress actually runs the show, therefore, the president isn't that big of a deal, and it seems like the president barely listens to Congress nowadays (nowadays being the last decade or so), so why do we still have one? Let Congress speak for their constituency, not someone who has rarely (if ever) even been there. I'm looking at Alaska, specifically. Alaska is a red state, through and through. But to say that Trump understands the plight of the average Alaskan is laughable at best. I'd assume they'd want someone who understands what they deal with on a day-to-day basis to represent them, not someone who has a golden toilet and eats his well-done steak with ketchup.

(I'm not saying either of those things makes him a bad person, just using humor to point out that he's pretty out of touch with the average Alaskan).



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 03:28 PM
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originally posted by: CornishCeltGuy
I've been reading up on it since Trump became president but failed to win the popular vote, and I really don't understand how such a system ever came into being. It doesn't seem like democracy to me, especially when I read this...


Well you got this thing called 50 united states that formed a perfect union...There is a reason why each state has independence from each other, but all come together under the federal Government. Because we are a republic each state needs to be provided a level of influence in federal election and the electoral college provides that. Now the number of votes are based on the population of each state, so even though a state like CA may get a huge number of votes there is still a level of independence between states, and so we would not want to see a few states dictating the other 45 plus states with just a popular vote. The Senate is selected by each state and the President is basically selected by the Senate through the electoral college system, once again allowing each independent state having a say in the process.




edit on 30-10-2018 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 03:35 PM
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DP

edit on 30-10-2018 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 03:51 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy



It makes a lot of sense, but the current balance in the system is off relative to population distribution and small states have double the say in elections as large states.


I think the population is just part of it. The population side is the number of representatives in the state, and CA has 53. What you are suggesting is that because each state has the same number of Senators (2) then that is where the disparity lies. This means each state being independent bodies of each other start out with 2 votes each for President. The remainder is how many Reps they have and every state has at least one rep too. That is how we get 3 votes minimum.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

It makes a lot of sense, but the current balance in the system is off relative to population distribution and small states have double the say in elections as large states.


Double? So Alaska has 3 electoral votes and California has over 50. I'm not seeing "double" here. Alaska basically has almost no say in the outcome, but it COULD, and that is the essential point. In today's world the Electoral College forces candidates to pay attention to the fly-over states. The other issue that gets glossed over is that the intent of all this was to give states a vote. In other words, it's not just about people. States also have issues and concerns and originally states were much more independent than they are today. When direct election of Senators started, that was pretty much the death knell of states' independence. They went from being 'junior countries' to administrative districts similar to counties.

The United States is not a democracy and has never pretended to be. It's a Republic representing more than just the interests of individual voters. The Electoral College helps prevent Mob Rule from taking over. Think about it. Half the population has an IQ below 100. All politicians have to do is convince the stupid half of the voters to vote for them. And they've done a pretty good job of it so far.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

It is a representative democracy.


REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA


www.ncsl.org...


Representative democracy (also indirect democracy, representative government or psephocracy) is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy.[2] Nearly all modern Western-style democracies are types of representative democracies


en.wikipedia.org...


To be correct you should say America is not a direct or pure democracy. However no one really claims that it is so it is not necessary to state this.



Democracy itself comes in many shapes and sizes. Be aware of the following distinctions when considering the type of democracy organized by the US Constitution:



A representative democracy is a form of government in which representatives are elected to make policy and enforce laws while representing the citizens. All modern democratic countries are representative, not direct, democracies. A representative democracy is also known as a republic.


dlc.dcccd.edu...
edit on 30-10-2018 by JimTSpock because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 09:50 PM
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originally posted by: narrator
Correct. And that's the gist of what I'm getting at...if Congress is basically running the country, why is there just one person who speaks for the whole of the country, even though that person doesn't actually speak for the entire country, because Congress is running the show?


Because Congress functions as neither head of state or head of government. In some countries these two positions are seperate functions, in others like the US they are merged. They typically exist independent of their nations legislatures though.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:10 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
Double? So Alaska has 3 electoral votes and California has over 50. I'm not seeing "double" here. Alaska basically has almost no say in the outcome, but it COULD, and that is the essential point. In today's world the Electoral College forces candidates to pay attention to the fly-over states. The other issue that gets glossed over is that the intent of all this was to give states a vote. In other words, it's not just about people. States also have issues and concerns and originally states were much more independent than they are today. When direct election of Senators started, that was pretty much the death knell of states' independence. They went from being 'junior countries' to administrative districts similar to counties.

The United States is not a democracy and has never pretended to be. It's a Republic representing more than just the interests of individual voters. The Electoral College helps prevent Mob Rule from taking over. Think about it. Half the population has an IQ below 100. All politicians have to do is convince the stupid half of the voters to vote for them. And they've done a pretty good job of it so far.


Since Senators are now publicly elected, it is fair to consider them as representatives of the people rather than of their states, most people treat them that way anyways, and that's how they run for office.

In terms of representation 22 out of 100 Senators are accountable to 50% of the population, the other 78 are accountable to the other half. This is a significant power disparity. This means that in the most extreme case, something could pass in the Senate with 51% of the vote, while only 32% of the population supports it. In fact, this very thing happened not too long ago with Net Neutrality. And more recently than that, Kavanaugh's confirmation, was supported by a group of Senators which only represented 42% of the population.

Now, in the case of the EC rather than just the Senate, the 12 largest states combined, which make up 50% of the population only control 29% of the total EC votes. The 25 smallest states make up 24% of the population but control 24% of the vote.

Lets look at California, it has 55 Electoral Votes. New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming combined have 56 votes.

However, California has 36 million people. Those states I just mentioned? They have a combined total of 18 million people.

This is a problem that is going to get worse as urbanization becomes more of an issue. The Electoral College worked back when population distributions were fairly even, and you might have 20% of the population in the city and 80% in the surrounding area. Today, 57% of the population is in cities, another 33% in small towns, and only 10% in rural areas. And all projections show that over the next couple decades that number is likely to rise to 75% in the cities.

This creates something of a problem. There are good reasons that representation shouldn't be based purely on population, but at the same time, votes shouldn't be weighted so much that lesser populated areas have an equal or greater amount of say, because that means most peoples interests aren't being represented.

Basically, I think this issue comes down to the number of Representatives we have. The ratio of people:reps is off, and the ratio of Senators:Reps we have is also off.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: narrator

The presidents job is to run government. He doesn't get to make laws he just must find ways to enforce them. His job is in any government you need someone to manage it. The correct term is Chief Executive Officer. Yes hes the CEO and as chief executive, he enforces laws, treaties, and court rulings; develops federal policies; prepares the national budget; and appoints federal officials.



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 10:32 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

In terms of representation 22 out of 100 Senators are accountable to 50% of the population, the other 78 are accountable to the other half. This is a significant power disparity.


Should China and India dictate world agendas? You keep focusing on just population and not understanding that 50 states are EQUAL within the republic, each is independent of each other, but come together under a federal Government. That equality is 2 Senators from each state, no more no less, so how is that hard to understand. Each state also has at least one Representative in the house, how is that hard to understand. CA being such a large population they have 53 to other states having just 1. Delaware has close to 1 million people and get 1 rep vote, CA has 38 million and get 53 votes, should CA get only 38 votes to be equal?



posted on Oct, 30 2018 @ 11:24 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
Should China and India dictate world agendas? You keep focusing on just population and not understanding that 50 states are EQUAL within the republic, each is independent of each other, but come together under a federal Government. That equality is 2 Senators from each state, no more no less, so how is that hard to understand. Each state also has at least one Representative in the house, how is that hard to understand. CA being such a large population they have 53 to other states having just 1. Delaware has close to 1 million people and get 1 rep vote, CA has 38 million and get 53 votes, should CA get only 38 votes to be equal?


What you point out there is an issue with the house, and the fact that there's only 435 representatives. It leads to some districts being much, much larger than others, when they were originally supposed to be fairly close in size. Delaware is one state that is massively under represented.



posted on Oct, 31 2018 @ 12:54 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

What you point out there is an issue with the house, and the fact that there's only 435 representatives. It leads to some districts being much, much larger than others, when they were originally supposed to be fairly close in size. Delaware is one state that is massively under represented.


I don't see that number changing anytime soon since it was set in stone in the 1920s, but every 10 years I think they reestablish each state's number by giving each state 1 then dividing the rest up based on population, so in the end the big population states get the most even though the lowest is 1 for a good number of states. As example Ca had only 45 in 1980, and today they are 53. If we said 1 per 600,000 then CA would have 63 then while other stats would still have one. Trump had 73 more votes so even if we did that I still don't see Hillary winning.

We can always hope for CA to become their own country and then we can get back to normal...lol



posted on Oct, 31 2018 @ 12:59 AM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

The census is conducted every 20 years. But other than that, yeah.



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