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Should we change how we elect presidents?

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posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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Should we change how we elect presidents?

Even though this is an opinion it is gaining momentum and so I thought we should have a thread on it.
Here is a video prepared by Fred Thompson below, states a very credible case for Popular Vote Plan.

With our electoral system now, the candidate with the most votes still might lose.



Should we change how we elect presidents?

By Paul Sracic, Special to CNN
July 22, 2011

www.cnn.com...


(CNN) -- A political movement is under way which, in the words of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, could result in "the most radical transformation in our political system that has ever been considered."

Moynihan spoke those words in 1979, during a Senate debate over a proposed constitutional amendment calling for the direct popular election of the president.

While that amendment failed, the goal of having the people vote directly in presidential elections has been resurrected in the form of the National Popular Vote plan.

Just last week, California's legislature passed NPV into law, and it now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.

The Electoral College system, which passes the votes of the people through individuals called electors, has been a source of controversy in the United States for decades.

Indeed, it seems that nearly every new Congress brings with it a proposed amendment calling for the elimination of this indirect election system.

The NPV plan, however, is different. It is not a constitutional amendment, and it retains the basic form of the electoral system.


Here is a link to the National Popular Vote Plan including more video that describes it more in depth. www.nationalpopularvote.com...



Here is a similar thought provoking thread I found searching ATS but from a different angle.
Should the Electoral System be Replaced with the Alternative Voting System?
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Republicans favor it by 6 - 1
Democrats favor it by 24 - 3
I think we should. I have for a while and wish there was more to elaborate on but that's it.
What do you think?


edit on 22-7-2011 by newcovenant because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:39 PM
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........I think we should also. While were at it, why dont we do away with the two party system too! Nothing irritates me more than Democrats and Republicans bickering at each other all while nothing seems to be solved in this country! its not for the people, by the people, of the people anymore.....I cant quite explain what it is now besides a cluster &%#@!!



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:39 PM
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Well it wouldn't do any good right now seeing as how all of the presidents we've had in a long time have been hand picked puppets, that were picked by the elites, the ones who run this country, and most other countries of the world.

But Yeah after the revolution thats a good idea!



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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If presidents are elected by popular vote, the largest states like New York and California would elect every president. If these states are controlled by one party, which they are, then there would be no sense in having a two party system. Is that really what the American people want?"



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:46 PM
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Here's an idea: Put the names of every NATURAL BORN U.S. military veteran with a clean criminal record into a hat, and draw a name at random. Whoever is chosen HAS to be better that the last 4 retards we've been saddled with.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:57 PM
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Having looked at the article and looked at the electoral college as it stands the answer must be yes and no.
We should not give up the electoral college as it stands, for it balances out the power of all 50 states, to prevent one from getting an advantage over the other. By going with just popular vote, then all a candidate would have to do is get the support of the majority of the population in the larger states, campaign strategies would change to reflect such, and that would not even account for when the population changes states.
While the current system is not perfect, perhaps it can be changed a bit more, the first being that the president and the vicepresident should not be a one package deal. It needs to be broken up, so that way the voice of the people can be heard. It used to be that the vicepresident was the person who came in second, and just maybe we need to go back to that idea. The system also could be further modified to where it is what the people of that state reflects when it comes to the actual election, the electors casting their ballots based off of the percentages that the people of their state dictates. So that means if say Obama and Palin were to run for president and the people of a state gives Obama 50% of the vote and Palin the other 50%, then the votes from the electors should reflect that, rather than winner take all.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by OldCorp
Here's an idea: Put the names of every NATURAL BORN U.S. military veteran with a clean criminal record into a hat, and draw a name at random. Whoever is chosen HAS to be better that the last 4 retards we've been saddled with.


Hey buddy Sad state of affairs but true. You offer at least one viable solution here.
Do we have any others?



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:12 PM
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The electoral college was created for one purpose...control. An elite class created it to "correct" any mistakes made by the voters in not choosing the candidate of their liking. They didn't trust other land owning white men who weren't in the know to make up their own minds.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by OldCorp
Here's an idea: Put the names of every NATURAL BORN U.S. military veteran with a clean criminal record into a hat, and draw a name at random. Whoever is chosen HAS to be better that the last 4 retards we've been saddled with.

Bush Jr, Clinton, Bush Sr, and Reagan? We already have a natural born president who is better than those four in office right now.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by newcovenant
 


Our election process is sort of a running joke on the world stage. Other nations that have the same system have been rioting under the media assumption that it's about something else. But... it's really about their own two-party systems and that they do not work for democracy. A "checks and balances" system is just as attainable with direct votes. Heck, I don't even like having representatives but I'd accept it if we had ten parties instead of two.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:20 PM
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...yep - to make citizens' votes for potus REALLY count, the electoral college must be abolished because it was a corrupt idea from the get-go and has never produced a truly elected by the people prez... however, that only addresses part of the problem...

...another crucial part is making sure our direct votes are counted properly... the current "count" system is too easily corrupted and, even though its true that there is no such thing as a computerized system that cannot be corrupted, we have to find a better way...

...also on my list of (very old) gripes - it should be illegal for a candidate to receive more than one hundred thousand dollars (cumulative cap) to help support campaigning... thats a paltry amount by today's standards but today's standards are obscene and insure that candidates will be beholding to people with very deep pockets... a whistle-stop type of tour is still possible with a hundred thousand dollars... they might not be able to afford speach writers, wardrobe specialists and butt-wipers but thats the way it should be anyways...



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:22 PM
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We are not a Democracy.

You can't stop the Electoral College from picking the President. As Bill Clinton once said "you've got a better chance at seeing a UFO"



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by OldCorp
Here's an idea: Put the names of every NATURAL BORN U.S. military veteran with a clean criminal record into a hat, and draw a name at random. Whoever is chosen HAS to be better that the last 4 retards we've been saddled with.


I don't know about that...I know some NATURAL BORN U.S. military veterans with clean criminal records who just BARELY passed the needed asvab scores to just hold a rifle, let alone lead the executive branch. Scary thought of them at the helm. Of course, it would be no different than Reagan during those later years...



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by zapr1943
 


The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as obscurely far down as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States.

Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by zapr1943
 


Under the current system, the 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States, and a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in just these 11 biggest states -- that is, a mere 26% of the nation's votes.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Pervius
 


National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a "republican" form of government or is a "democracy."

In a republic, the citizens do not rule directly but, instead, elect officeholders to represent them and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.
A "republican" form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a republican form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).

Under the National Popular Vote bill, all the electoral votes from all the states that have enacted the bill would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes -- that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:19 PM
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yeah i want it changed

i want both contenders to get into the square ring and go at it the one left standing is the winner.





good luck ever changing the system aint ever going to happen.
edit on 22-7-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...yep - to make citizens' votes for potus REALLY count, the electoral college must be abolished because it was a corrupt idea from the get-go and has never produced a truly elected by the people prez... however, that only addresses part of the problem...


The Electoral College is a corrupt idea? How so? It was never intended that the presidency be directly elected by the people. Reason being is the smaller rural areas (even at the time) would be held hostage of sorts to large population centers. James Madison writing in Federalist Paper's #39 simply explains -- "The President is indirectly derived from the choice of the people..." Federalist Paper #39 was to explain how the Constitution establishes a Republican form of government.

In Federalist Paper #68, Alexander Hamilton further explains the benefits of the system. Knowing that the method they have devised for the selection of the office was not perfect, it is an excellent idea given the form of government they were establishing. Since the presidency (as should be but is severely eroded) is/was extremely limited in their duties in regards to the administration of the Federal Government, the method of choosing, via an Electoral College system, fits nicely.



...another crucial part is making sure our direct votes are counted properly... the current "count" system is too easily corrupted and, even though its true that there is no such thing as a computerized system that cannot be corrupted, we have to find a better way...


I am agreed on this. But in regards to the "popular" vote, it doesn't count for anything. We do not directly elect the president, but we are most surely responsible for the electors that are chosen and thus indirectly still involved as a people in the election of a president.



...also on my list of (very old) gripes - it should be illegal for a candidate to receive more than one hundred thousand dollars (cumulative cap) to help support campaigning... thats a paltry amount by today's standards but today's standards are obscene and insure that candidates will be beholding to people with very deep pockets... a whistle-stop type of tour is still possible with a hundred thousand dollars... they might not be able to afford speach writers, wardrobe specialists and butt-wipers but thats the way it should be anyways...


Campaign finance is an overall tough subject in terms of a private citizen seeking to obtain office. There of course should be regulations on where and how donation money is spent, but the amount -- I am still not quite sure about that.

-----------------------

This isn't directed at the poster I replied to, but the overall post. The lack of knowledge on how and why we elect presidents via an Electoral College system is evident and I would suspect half designed to push for more "democracy". More specifically, direct democracy. It is ironic that people have been calling the current system corrupt and "elite" but moving to a popular vote would be disastrous. On average, over the past two presidential elections, approximately 63% of all eligible voters voted. Given President Obama's percentage and Senator McCain's percentage we would have elected a president with only about 74 million people. Yet people think that will be fairer? Will be a truer representation of who we want as leadership? Out of all the eligible voters in 2008 (about 230 million), the president would be voted in with just about 32%.

Given that, I would much rather have the Electoral College, which puts states at the forefront in deciding who the president will be. You have a much better chance at exacting a change at your state level (as long as you are involved in the process but that is a different topic all together) than you do trying to change the Federal Constitution.

Disclaimer: I can link the sources later but they are readily available on the internet. I have time constraints and certain restrictions currently that prohibit me from doing so. Also, all numbers above are approximates. If any of my math seems fuzzy, please correct it; you won't offend me.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 03:05 PM
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The founders intended that women NOT vote.

The founders intended that black people NOT vote.

The founders intended that native Americans NOT vote.

The founders intended that only white men with money could vote.

In 1789, only 3 states used the winner-take-all method (awarding all of a state's electoral vote to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state). However, as a result of changes in state laws, the winner-take-all method is now currently used by 48 of the 50 states.

In other words, neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

As a result of changes in state laws, we are where we are today.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution, and enacting National Popular Vote would not need an amendment. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.



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