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[7]: Comment by shmerl
by kenji on Tue 6th Nov 2012 20:29 UTC 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[9]: Comment by shmerl
by kenji on Tue 6th Nov 2012 21:10 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by shmerl"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

So focusing on more cities in swing states is better than ignoring non swing states altogether?


Yes and no. What I'm saying is that highly partisan States will provide predictable outcomes, every single time. The electoral majority mirrors the popular majority.

I do think that it could be considered a shame that some States do get ignored but I personally would consider it punishment for being so partisan. My point is that States with a balance of power, get more power in this case.

In other words, swing States are more representative of the entire country than the partisan ones (which would balance out if all lumped together - nation-wide the gap between democrats and republicans is essentially balanced, which swing States mirror).

Reply Parent Score: 2

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[9]: Comment by shmerl
by kenji on Wed 7th Nov 2012 00:42 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by shmerl"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

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.


I do not vote for third parties because it is futile. That is the nature of politics in the USA. I also generally do not vote against things, I vote for them. Don't assume that all Americans are full of hate and tend to vote against the 'other guy' over voting for 'their guy'. It happens for sure, especially in this election but it isn't a constant.

Anyway third parties will never gain traction unless the entire system is rebuilt from the ground up. Congress is deadlocked with two parties and two agendas. Imagine the chaos of multiple parties and agendas.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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