Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Nov 2012 11:37 UTC
In the News "This election won't hinge on technology issues. Just look at prevailing discussions this year at the national level: major candidates have sparred over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the role of government, inane comments on the female body, and to nobody's surprise, the economy. Despite that fact, many decisions will be taken up by the next US president and those in Congress that will affect the world of tech, and by consequence, the real lives of citizens and human beings around the world - from alternative energy, to the use of killer drones, the regulation of wireless spectrum, and policies that aim to control content on the internet. Your chance to vote is just around the corner. Here's what's at stake in tech this election, and how the major candidates could influence our future." Happy voting, American readers. Whatever you pick, please take at least a few minutes to consider that the implications of your choice do not end at the US border.
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RE[6]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 6th Nov 2012 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

The side effect of this, is that candidates disregard non swing states as not deserving attention. It's not an acceptable situation. Removing this layered system will make it an even democratic process. There is simply no benefit in keeping this awkward and indirect process in use.

Edited 2012-11-06 20:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by shmerl
by kenji on Tue 6th Nov 2012 20:29 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by shmerl"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

The side effect of this, is that candidates disregard non swing states as not deserving attention. It's not an acceptable situation. Removing this layered system will make it an even democratic process. There is simply no benefit in keeping this awkward and indirect process in use.


My point was that in strong left or right leaning States the candidates would be either preaching to the choir or making a futile attempt to gain a majority that they will never achieve. What's the point of doing that when it will not affect the outcome, even if the vote was entirely based and popular votes and the Electoral College was dissolved?

A win is a win and a majority is a majority, electoral college or not.

Another side effect, if you can call it that, is that the swing States get more small town attention. If candidates went to all States, they would stay mostly in large cities and ignore the less populated areas (and even States that are 'too small' to matter entirely). That puts the power in the hands of the 'balanced' or centrist population and ignores the strongly partisan areas, which I think helps the political landscape.

I also appreciate that the candidates and running mates have made several visits to my small city, which would be ignored otherwise.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 6th Nov 2012 20:39 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

So focusing on more cities in swing states is better than ignoring non swing states altogether? Even if there is a majority in some state, the minority of voters there don't appreciate that they are ignored just because their state majority predefines the result based on electoral college. Direct elections are simply more fair for everyone, since result is cumulative, state majority is not important. This gives candidates better focus on real problems, instead of attempts to gauge swing state favors.

Edited 2012-11-06 20:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by Alfman on Wed 7th Nov 2012 00:18 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kenji,

"What's the point of doing that when it will not affect the outcome, even if the vote was entirely based and popular votes and the Electoral College was dissolved?"

http://www.chacha.com/question/what-three-elections-did-the-elector...

"The electoral college and popular vote differed when the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876, The Harrison/Cleveland election of 1888, and also occured in the 2000 presidential election, where George W. Bush received fewer popular votes than Albert Gore Jr., but received a majority of electoral votes."

It's been rare, but it means the majority lost with Bush. I think there's another disadvantage to electoral voting - independent parties get ZERO representation in the final election tally instead of getting what they deserve. Absolving the electoral college might cause a behavioural shift in voters who collectively avoid voting independent because they plainly see that independents always get zero representation in the end.

Let me ask you, if you detest party A's policies, do you vote for party B who has the best chance of defeating party A? Or do you vote for party C who has no chance of winning in your states electoral vote AND increasing the odds of party A winning?

This is not rhetorical, I really want you to answer it. Voters face the same conundrum at the polls. Rank voting is a superior method of voting because it encourages people to vote for who they want, and not just who can win.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by demetrioussharpe on Thu 8th Nov 2012 14:35 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

What's the point of doing that when it will not affect the outcome, even if the vote was entirely based and popular votes and the Electoral College was dissolved?

A win is a win and a majority is a majority, electoral college or not.


You are incorrect. Using the electoral college instead of a popular vote is the same as using whole numbers instead of real numbers. Whole groups of democrats get rounded down to 0 in republican states & whole groups of republicans get rounded down to 0 in democrat states. It'd be more fair to be able to add the total number of democrat & total number of republican votes (without the round-down error) to see who really should win. That's what the popular vote is. There've been cases where the popular winner wasn't the election winner. That's the sort of thing that pisses people off.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by shmerl
by Luminair on Tue 6th Nov 2012 20:36 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by shmerl"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

if you remove the electoral system then the non-swing states that are ignored get traded for small states that are ignored.

you could say this is fine because the president is a national office, and the states have their fair chance to provide local representation through the cronies they elect to congress.

point is, stopping the electoral system is not a clear positive.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 6th Nov 2012 20:44 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Right, there will be some other shift. But right now there is more disbalance. Direct elections will even things out, but small swing states probably will loose attention because of that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by demetrioussharpe on Thu 8th Nov 2012 14:53 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

...if you remove the electoral system then the non-swing states that are ignored get traded for small states that are ignored.

you could say this is fine because the president is a national office, and the states have their fair chance to provide local representation through the cronies they elect to congress.

point is, stopping the electoral system is not a clear positive.


The outcome of the vote shouldn't be determined by states, it should be determined by the vote of individual people. Why should I bother to vote, if I know that only Republican votes will matter? In that case, I might as well stay home. If I want to vote republican, then I really don't have to vote, because they'll get my state's electoral votes, anyway. If I want to vote democrat, then why bother, since my state always votes republican??? When you live in a state like that, what's the actual incentive to vote??? Individual votes only effect the popular vote. We've seen (in our lifetime) presidents who've won the popular vote & lost the election. The popular vote is the true gauge of who the country wants as president. The electoral college is a slap in the face of all Americans.

Reply Parent Score: 2