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Popular Vote Movement Gaining Strength

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posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 10:04 PM
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A movement to essentially junk the Electoral College and award the
presidency to the winner of the nationwide popular vote is making
some headway in states large and small — including, somewhat
improbably, North Dakota.

The National Popular Vote movement is aimed at preventing a repeat
of 2000, when Democrat Al Gore lost despite getting more votes than
George W. Bush.

Backers are asking states to change their laws to award their electoral
votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.

A bill to do that was introduced last week in the North Dakota Legisla-
ture, even though it could reduce the political influence of small states
like North Dakota.


SOURCE:
news.Yahoo.com


I am glad to see something like this happening, as it is about time,
though I think we need to just get rid of the electoral college enti-
rely, rather than just alter it for the better.

I personally dislike the elctoral college, I consider it an insult to my
intelligence and a very undemocratic system.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 04:53 AM
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States have plenary power to appoint electors in any manner they see fit; however, a law like this seems pretty weird to me.

I think a better system, already implemented by a few states, is to award the electoral votes representing House districts to the winner in those districts and the two representing the senators to winner of the popular vote within the entire state. This preserves states' rights while making the presidential race more competitive and include much more of the U.S. population in play than in the current system.

[edit on 1/17/2007 by djohnsto77]



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 09:11 AM
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posted by iori_kome


A movement to junk the Electoral College and award the presidency to the winner of the nationwide popular vote is making some headway in states large and small including somewhat
improbably, North Dakota. The National Popular Vote movement is aimed at preventing a repeat of 2000, when Democrat Al Gore lost despite getting [500,000] more votes than George W. Bush.

Backers are asking states to change their laws to award their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally. A bill to do that was introduced last week in the North Dakota Legislature, even though it could reduce the political influence of small states like North Dakota. [Edited by Don W]


I am glad to see something like this happening, as it is about time, though I think we need to just get rid of the electoral college entirely, rather than just alter it for the better. I personally dislike the electoral college, I consider it an insult to my intelligence and a very undemocratic system. Comments, Opinions? [Edited by Don W]



Historians tell us the EC was a compromise offered to get the slave states to join the new Union-to-be. The Articles of Confederation, proposed in 1775 to unite the colonies in the upcoming War of the Rebellion, had proved completely inadequate for running a country after the War ended in 1783. By 1787 it was urgent that something must be done, and the second Constitutional Convention was called. The required 9 states approved the new document in time for the first presidential election to be held - late - in 1789. Only 10 states voted; NC, NY and RI had not signed-on in time to vote.

The Articles had two glaring deficiencies: no power to tax and no central executive. Additionally, while the number of members in each state’s delegation to the Continental Congress was determined by population, the slave holders liked the provision that voting was by state and not by member. Each state had 1 vote. Virginia, for example, had a 9 member delegation, Delaware had a 3 member delegation, but each state had the same 1 vote in the Congress.

A second and disgusting concession in the new document to the slave owners was the acquiescence to count slaves as 3/5ths of a person when allotting seats in the House, although slaves could not vote and never would be allowed to vote. There were 500,000 slaves in America in 1787, and almost all were in the slave states. This meant 7 or 8 more seats in the House of Representatives would be assigned to the slave states than they otherwise should have had. The 13th Amendment ended that provision.

Yet another and third concession was made to the slave owners. The third was the creation of a bi-cameral legislature to replace the Articles’ unicameral legislature. The Senate. Here, each state gets equal representation without regard to population. Two senators each.

This is why many historical critics say the US Constitution is a pro-slavery document. Whether the slave states would have come along later if these offers had not been made is problematical. France, Great Britain and Spain were contesting dominance of the North American continent. Southern slave holding states might well have found common ground with Spain. OTOH, after Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, the demand for cotton in the newly industrialized mills of England would have made the two natural partners. The Western territories might have found France a good partner. Remember we did not buy Louisiana until 1803. I”m talking about the 1780s. It is also arguable that without those concessions there would not be a United States such as we know today. It is easy to imagine 3 countries occupying the continent. Not the one we love today.

The US would be located east of the Mississippi. New France would be from New Orleans west to the continental divide in the Rockies. New Spain would run up to Oregon, which would be part of Canada, along with Washington state and British Columbia. Texas would be quasi-independent, rocking back and forth between New Spain and New France.



[edit on 1/17/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 10:47 AM
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posted by djohnsto77

(1) States have plenary power to appoint electors in any manner they see fit; however, a law like this seems pretty weird to me. I think a better system, already implemented by a few states, is to award the electoral votes representing House districts to the winner in those districts and the two representing the senators to the winner of the popular vote within the entire state. (2) This preserves states' rights while making the presidential race [somewhat] more competitive and [puts] much more of the U.S. population into play than in the current system. [Edited by Don W]



1) We have not addressed the issue whether states could use fractional voting, i.e., award the candidates a fractional number of electoral votes based on the popular vote. I agree the system of allocating electoral votes by House district as well as state-wide is progress. Remember there are 12 states with 3 or 4 electoral votes and 3 states with 5 EC votes. 13 states can block any constitutional amendment. State by state reform offers the best solution to a knotty problem left over from slave days.
2) State’s Rights are, in my mind, a synonym for State’s Wrongs. I cannot think of a state’s right that has benefitted America.

But I digress. I agree any electoral college reform puts a few more voters into play, but I don’t see it putting “much more” into play. Whereas each electoral vote in Wyoming represents 171,000 voters, in California, each vote represents 650,000 voters. We cannot retain the EC and remedy this discrepancy.



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 07:42 PM
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the electoral college is simply broken
it gives an equal amount of electors to wyoming and montana, yet there is a population difference of around a million



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 09:24 PM
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posted by madnessinmysoul

the electoral college is simply broken it gives an equal amount of electors to wyoming and montana, yet there is a population difference of around a million. [Edited by Don W]



Montana did sue in 1991 over the 1990 reapportionment in which Montana lost 1 of its 2 House representatives, making it the largest population with 1 representative, over 800,000. Wyoming had 510,000 population. Montana won in the lower District Court but lost in the Supreme Court. Although the case endorsed the 1941 law that sets forth the method to re-allot seats, the case really was a separation of powers case, with the court saying the Congress could basically use any law not forbidden by the Con and which had a rational basis.

U.S. Supreme Court DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE v. MONTANA, 503 U.S. 442 (1992)
Article I, 2, of the Constitution requires apportionment of Representatives among the States "according to their respective Numbers." A 1941 federal statute provides that after each decennial census "the method known as the method of equal proportions" shall be used to determine the number of Representatives to which each State is entitled. Application of that method to the 1990 census caused Montana to lose one of its two seats in the House of Representatives. If it had retained both seats, each district would have been closer to the ideal size of a congressional district than the reapportioned single district. A three-judge court granted Montana summary judgment on this claim, holding the statute unconstitutional because the variance between the single district's population and that of the ideal district could not be justified under the "one-person, one-vote" standard developed in Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 , and other intrastate districting cases.

Held:
Congress exercised its apportionment authority within the limits dictated by the Constitution." MY CONCLUSION: Under any method, the first 50 seats are assigned one to each State. Both mathematical and political reasons point to the Method of Equal Proportions as the best plan for a just apportionment. . . . Congress has power to delegate the task to the president or other high official, if the size of the House and the method be definitely indicated. . . .


[edit on 1/17/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 03:52 AM
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The popular vote would focus political strife over control of the Executive to almost only the urban areas. Nevada's vote is worth more than Californians because of the Electoral College only - without the EC it is unlikely Nevada's interests would ever be considered.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
1) We have not addressed the issue whether states could use fractional voting, i.e., award the candidates a fractional number of electoral votes based on the popular vote. I agree the system of allocating electoral votes by House district as well as state-wide is progress. Remember there are 12 states with 3 or 4 electoral votes and 3 states with 5 EC votes. 13 states can block any constitutional amendment. State by state reform offers the best solution to a knotty problem left over from slave days.


Maine and Nebraska already implement this; however, it's never actually happened since in both states the winner of the state won all the districts as well. But if larger states like California and New York with distinct conservative and liberal areas implemented this there'd certainly be a split in the states' votes.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:27 AM
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The Method of Equal Proportions

Here is my understanding how the current law works on re-apportioning the US House after each 10 year’s census.

The US Con provides every state gets 1 Representative regardless of its population. That leaves 385 seats to allocate between the 50 states based on population.

You arrange the states by population in descending order, the largest on top, the smallest on the bottom. Population-wise. California is on top. California gets the next seat, its 2nd seat. Now, you divide California’s population by 2. If that number is larger than #2 New York’s population, California would get yet another seat, but if it is not, then the next seat would go to New York. Again, you divide New York’s population by 2. When California’s population is larger than the next state, you give California the next seat. The same rule applies to New York, #3 Texas, #4 Florida and so on. The divisor grows with each added seat, but the original population is used throughout the process. You continue assigning the next seat to the state with the largest number until you have given out all 385 seats. Montana’s 803,000 was not as large a number as the state that received the 385th seat. It was next to get a seat, but missed by one state.

The apparent inequity is caused by the US Con’s allotment of 1 House seat to every state, regardless of its population. That was the rule that deprived Montana of its 2nd seat in the House. Not the Method of Equal Proportions.

The British (UK) House of Commons has 650 members. Assuming the room in which the Commons hold the Prime Minister’s Question Hour - on PBS and CSpan every week - is the largest in Parliament, it is plain that not all 650 members are present. I believe the monarch - Queen Elizabeth II - delivers her annual speech in the House of Lords Chamber. It looks larger but not by much. Once I heard there were over 1,000 members of the House of Lords, bur that rarely more than 200 ever attended a session. The House of Lords was the Court of Last Resort - our Supreme Court - but some time ago, a group of “Law Lords” was appointed to hear legal appeals so that the decisions on laws would be more legal than traditional.

I understand that is changed, and in a short time the UK will have a Court of Last Resort detached from Parliament’s House of Lords. I believe the UK have opted for a single 15 year term for those judges rather than the life appointments in the US. Whether you like it or hate it, it is generally acknowledged that the lifetime appointment of the Federal judiciary is the key factor in making it the co-equal third branch of our governmental system.


[edit on 1/18/2007 by donwhite]







 
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