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Old 11th November 2017, 08:43 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
If you really spend that much time getting to know your local member then you must be one in a million. Most people can be considered knowledgeable if they know which party controls their electorate and if they know the name of their local member then they can be considered geniuses.
And again that's not the fault of a voting system. Voter apathy is not a problem that can be solved via telling parties "Just go ahead and make my decisions for me."

And we're not talking some huge, unimaginably complex dump of information.

It's President/Vice President ticket, Two Senators, A Representative, A Governor and a LT Governor, my district representatives for the State legislature, a half dozen state officials and a handful of referendums.

If you can keep track of the GOT characters or all the stats for your favorite sports team you can do this.
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Old 11th November 2017, 09:55 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And again that's not the fault of a voting system.
You haven't made a case for why the voting system should make it super easy for unscrupulous politicians to exploit "voter apathy" when there are much better systems around.
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Old 11th November 2017, 09:57 AM   #43
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How exactly is the current system any better or worse when it comes to voter apathy?

You don't get much more apathetic than "I'll just let my party make my choices for me."
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
How exactly is the current system any better or worse when it comes to voter apathy?
It concentrates power in the hands of one party when the voters don't want that.

You don't get to say, "We are not giving you any other voting options because you haven't done enough homework".
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:49 AM   #45
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I don't follow exactly what you're disagreeing with here.

I'm arguing for the idea of considering different voting systems.
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:50 AM   #46
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:56 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Okay. Do you have a response to go along with that?
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Old 11th November 2017, 11:54 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Okay. Do you have a response to go along with that?
Somewhere (about here) you switched from discussing voting systems to criticizing voters for not being more politically astute and concluding that we should not have a voting system that "protects people from themselves".

If a voter would rather vote for a party and let the party choose the elected candidate then that should be catered for. It's the party that is going to choose the candidate anyway and the only thing the voter can say is "yay" or "nay". It is rare for a local member to build up a personal following that is big enough for him to defy the parties (especially under FPTP).
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Old 11th November 2017, 12:27 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Right now if you're a Republican living in California or a Democrat living in Texas you are not getting a vote in any functional level and that's just wrong.
Why is it wrong? If you're a Republican living in San Francisco, your vote matters not a whit at the local or state level, but it has to mean something at the national level?
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:44 PM   #50
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Since we're talking about voter apathy, can I be That Australian Guy and bring up compulsory voting?
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:54 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Since we're talking about voter apathy, can I be That Australian Guy and bring up compulsory voting?
It's certainly a fair topic for discussion in this context.
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Old 11th November 2017, 07:57 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Since we're talking about voter apathy, can I be That Australian Guy and bring up compulsory voting?
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
It's certainly a fair topic for discussion in this context.
It does stop candidates (and parties) campaigning to get people to vote. Edit. They campaign instead on why you should vote for them. Or sometimes why you should not vote for the other party. /edit. The AEC goes to a great deal of trouble to make it easy to vote. Australians can vote
1. by post
2. before election day
3. at any polling station in Australia.

How does that compare with voting in other countries?

Last edited by rjh01; 11th November 2017 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 12th November 2017, 02:30 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Yes. And if I didn't I would only have myself, not the voting system, to blame.



Then what you want isn't democracy and outside the scope of this discussion.
Nonsense. Democracy doesn't mean the tyranny of the majority.
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Old 12th November 2017, 03:22 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Nonsense. Democracy doesn't mean the tyranny of the majority.
Errrrr.... maybe/sorta.

Feet to the fire I see little functional difference between "Tyranny of the Majority" and "I don't like the results of a the democratic process" in anyway that can be defined in a way useful to the voting process.

This is not to say that a democratic majority cannot come to a "good" or "wrong" decision, but as I've said already that's a problem with the society, not the voting process.

To be sure the "Tyranny of the Majority" is a thing that can happen in democratic societies in the literal sense, the only thing you need for that to happen is for a tipping point number of people to be "wrong" about something and no political system can prevent that.

The only way to fix this would be to have some separate group of special people (special people who by definition couldn't be elected because how would that even work...) who get to say when the democratic process is "wrong" and override it and a system like that would be a thousand times more open to both honest mistakes and intentional misuse than simple majority voting would be.

"Tyranny of the Majority" will always be there, but it will always beat "Tyranny of the Minority."

And as I alluded to earlier this whole idea that so often floats just under the surface of a lot discussions about democracy and how it works; this distrust of "the masses" and the vague idea that "most people" aren't smart/right/correct enough to make the right decision is essentially anti-democratic and never going to sit well with me.
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Old 12th November 2017, 06:11 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
It does stop candidates (and parties) campaigning to get people to vote. Edit. They campaign instead on why you should vote for them. Or sometimes why you should not vote for the other party. /edit. The AEC goes to a great deal of trouble to make it easy to vote. Australians can vote
1. by post
2. before election day
3. at any polling station in Australia.

How does that compare with voting in other countries?
Ease of voting in America is getting better, but it's not there yet.

One of the problems with American voting is that there really aren't all that many laws on a Federal level as to how voting actually works on a functional, nuts and bolts level (outside of broad Constitutional ones and even those are, to be charitable, "interpreted loosely" at lot of the time) and essentially we don't have a single voting system, we have 50 or more since each state (and to a lesser degree localities) sets its own voting rules and procedures.

Here in Florida it's pretty nice. You can vote up to 10 business days prior to any election, they seem to put at least some effort into putting a fair amount of thought into polling stations and ours is only a 5 minute drive from our house and hasn't been busy the couple of times I've voted there, and generally the "process" hasn't been that painful.

Some other states not so much from what I can gather. Some states have early voting, some don't. Some states allow early voting for any reason, some require a (varying degree of reasonable) justification for early voting. Same with mail in ballots. Some states have nice efficient electronic voting or scannable ballots, others don't.

We really need a unified method of how we vote that allows in person, mail in, and if people can't get over their silly phobias about it online voting used for all elections.
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Old 12th November 2017, 06:14 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Why is it wrong? If you're a Republican living in San Francisco, your vote matters not a whit at the local or state level, but it has to mean something at the national level?
Yes because the Presidential election is set up (with one exception) so if you win 50.00001% of the votes in that state you win all the states electoral votes.

If you live in a state where the 90% of the people vote one way those 10% of people who vote the other should still count on a national vote level and that's not how it is right now.
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Old 12th November 2017, 08:44 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Yes because the Presidential election is set up (with one exception) so if you win 50.00001% of the votes in that state you win all the states electoral votes.
And if you happen to be a voter who casts a ballot for the candidate who got 50.00001%, you know your vote really mattered. I mean, if that's the key, then maximizing the number of opportunities for close elections is the way to go. Fifty plus individual races means much more opportunities for a close race than one gigantic national vote.

Quote:
If you live in a state where the 90% of the people vote one way those 10% of people who vote the other should still count on a national vote level and that's not how it is right now.
To repeat myself, why should it still count on a national level? I mean, suppose that we had done away with the electoral college before the 2016 election and Hillary won. Does my vote count for anything? She won by something like 3 million votes I keep hearing, and this was a pretty close election. In that case, does anybody's vote count for anything other than a drop in the ocean?
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:08 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
To repeat myself, why should it still count on a national level?
*Confused* Because...it should.

"Votes should count" isn't a statement I think I should really have to defend.

"We wouldn't have won anyway" isn't the same as "my vote didn't count."
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:15 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
And if you happen to be a voter who casts a ballot for the candidate who got 50.00001%, you know your vote really mattered. I mean, if that's the key, then maximizing the number of opportunities for close elections is the way to go. Fifty plus individual races means much more opportunities for a close race than one gigantic national vote.



To repeat myself, why should it still count on a national level? I mean, suppose that we had done away with the electoral college before the 2016 election and Hillary won. Does my vote count for anything? She won by something like 3 million votes I keep hearing, and this was a pretty close election. In that case, does anybody's vote count for anything other than a drop in the ocean?
Every vote changes the percentage by the same margin as every other vote in some systems, but not in others. Among the 1 million voters in the San Francisco mayoral election, each vote counts for 1/1,000,000 of the total, whether you are a Dem, Rep, Lib, Grn or whatever voter. In the US-wide election, where, say, R.I. is the only contested state and actually decides the Presidency, each of the 30,000 voters in R.I. has a weight of 1/30,000, when they should only weigh 1/200,000,000 (200 million being nationwide voters). The actual weight of voters in the other 49 states however is 0.

The comparison USA vs SF is false because SF population really wants to be Dem by a wide margin, whereas the US population is split rather evenly ( with a slight Dem majority in the 2016 election).
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:51 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
*Confused* Because...it should.

"Votes should count" isn't a statement I think I should really have to defend.

"We wouldn't have won anyway" isn't the same as "my vote didn't count."
"My vote counts up until the point where my vote doesn't count"
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:53 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
And if you happen to be a voter who casts a ballot for the candidate who got 50.00001%, you know your vote really mattered. I mean, if that's the key, then maximizing the number of opportunities for close elections is the way to go. Fifty plus individual races means much more opportunities for a close race than one gigantic national vote.



To repeat myself, why should it still count on a national level? I mean, suppose that we had done away with the electoral college before the 2016 election and Hillary won. Does my vote count for anything? She won by something like 3 million votes I keep hearing, and this was a pretty close election. In that case, does anybody's vote count for anything other than a drop in the ocean?
It takes every drop in the ocean to make the ocean. Which of the drops is least important?
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Old 14th November 2017, 12:22 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
It does stop candidates (and parties) campaigning to get people to vote. Edit. They campaign instead on why you should vote for them. Or sometimes why you should not vote for the other party. /edit. The AEC goes to a great deal of trouble to make it easy to vote. Australians can vote
1. by post
2. before election day
3. at any polling station in Australia.

How does that compare with voting in other countries?
The other thing, of course, is that you can be subject to a fine if you do not show up at a polling place and get your name marked off the electoral roll. It does have a bit of a problem with informal voting, but not as much as one might think. Personally I think that one result of compulsory voting is that people, in general, are more likely to be engaged with the process.
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Old 14th November 2017, 12:58 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The other thing, of course, is that you can be subject to a fine if you do not show up at a polling place and get your name marked off the electoral roll. It does have a bit of a problem with informal voting, but not as much as one might think. Personally I think that one result of compulsory voting is that people, in general, are more likely to be engaged with the process.
The fine is $50. But not many people are actually fined.
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Old 14th November 2017, 01:57 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
It takes every drop in the ocean to make the ocean. Which of the drops is least important?
The drops that reside in a Democrat stronghold or a Republican stronghold. Marginal electorates (or in the case of the POTUS, marginal states) are the only ones that the political parties are interested in come election time.

This is why you need some form of MMP or PR if you want to enhance democracy.
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Old 14th November 2017, 02:23 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Errrrr.... maybe/sorta.

Feet to the fire I see little functional difference between "Tyranny of the Majority" and "I don't like the results of a the democratic process" in anyway that can be defined in a way useful to the voting process.

This is not to say that a democratic majority cannot come to a "good" or "wrong" decision, but as I've said already that's a problem with the society, not the voting process.

To be sure the "Tyranny of the Majority" is a thing that can happen in democratic societies in the literal sense, the only thing you need for that to happen is for a tipping point number of people to be "wrong" about something and no political system can prevent that.

The only way to fix this would be to have some separate group of special people (special people who by definition couldn't be elected because how would that even work...) who get to say when the democratic process is "wrong" and override it and a system like that would be a thousand times more open to both honest mistakes and intentional misuse than simple majority voting would be.

"Tyranny of the Majority" will always be there, but it will always beat "Tyranny of the Minority."

And as I alluded to earlier this whole idea that so often floats just under the surface of a lot discussions about democracy and how it works; this distrust of "the masses" and the vague idea that "most people" aren't smart/right/correct enough to make the right decision is essentially anti-democratic and never going to sit well with me.
What you claim is undemocratic is exactly how most (every?) democracy actually works. For example, under your explanation above the US Constitution is undemocratic since it prevents a 50.01% majority of the population doing things which are unconstitutional.

Democracy simply means that the nation is governed by the people and the people participate in decision making. The idea that we must do whatever insane thing 50.01% of the people want is not inherent to democracy.
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Old 14th November 2017, 08:15 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
What you claim is undemocratic is exactly how most (every?) democracy actually works. For example, under your explanation above the US Constitution is undemocratic since it prevents a 50.01% majority of the population doing things which are unconstitutional.

Democracy simply means that the nation is governed by the people and the people participate in decision making. The idea that we must do whatever insane thing 50.01% of the people want is not inherent to democracy.
I still don't see a way formally codify into a voting process any defense against "The Tyranny of the Majority" that doesn't by definition create "The Tyranny of the Minority" or worst "The Tyranny of a the Few."

Again I'm not saying it's not there, that it's not a thing, just that it distinct and separate from how voting should work.

No democratic system (hell you could argue no political system period) can have a safeguard against a stupid, uniformed populace.

Let's take this down to brass tacks. 51% of the people in a democracy have the "wrong" opinion (however you want to define that) about something that is being voted on. How, in a democratic framework, can that "wrong opinion" be identified and fixed? Who determines which decisions the majority makes are bad ones? Who decides who gets to decide? What process should a democracy have for overturning the majority?

And to be clear I'm not being factious here I'm honestly curious. I'm with you in the abstract; that a democracy has to be something more than four wolves and three sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

But the idea that we as a populace aren't "smart" enough to make correct decisions but "smart" enough to elect people who can make those decisions is a hard line for me to walk. Not impossible, but hard.

It's like that old urban legend or that trope you saw in war movies sometimes where in the old Cold War nuclear bunkers they were supposed to have two guys, one to push the button and another guy to shot him if he didn't push the button to insure it happened. Why not just have the guy with the gun also be the guy who pushes the button?

If you need a failsafe system in place to prevent the primary system from making mistakes why not just use the failsafe as the primary? Like if there's a "thing" in place in government; a position, a court, a committee, a process, a rule whatever, that kicks in when "the majority" makes a mistake... why not just make that the decision maker in the first place?

Unless the idea is it's possible to make a "thing" that is somehow good at recognizing mistakes but not good at making the decisions those mistakes come from which is... weird.

And I still say that they way this mentality, as accurate and noble as it is, manifests in America is the problem with a lot of our voting system quirks. The reason we have the massively unfair and unbalanced Electoral College system is the ingrained (but completely false) idea that it protects small states / rural areas from the "Tryanny" or the larger states / urban centers.
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Old 14th November 2017, 08:34 AM   #67
Archie Gemmill Goal
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I still don't see a way formally codify into a voting process any defense against "The Tyranny of the Majority" that doesn't by definition create "The Tyranny of the Minority" or worst "The Tyranny of a the Few."

Again I'm not saying it's not there, that it's not a thing, just that it distinct and separate from how voting should work.

No democratic system (hell you could argue no political system period) can have a safeguard against a stupid, uniformed populace.

Let's take this down to brass tacks. 51% of the people in a democracy have the "wrong" opinion (however you want to define that) about something that is being voted on. How, in a democratic framework, can that "wrong opinion" be identified and fixed? Who determines which decisions the majority makes are bad ones? Who decides who gets to decide? What process should a democracy have for overturning the majority?

And to be clear I'm not being factious here I'm honestly curious. I'm with you in the abstract; that a democracy has to be something more than four wolves and three sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

But the idea that we as a populace aren't "smart" enough to make correct decisions but "smart" enough to elect people who can make those decisions is a hard line for me to walk. Not impossible, but hard.

It's like that old urban legend or that trope you saw in war movies sometimes where in the old Cold War nuclear bunkers they were supposed to have two guys, one to push the button and another guy to shot him if he didn't push the button to insure it happened. Why not just have the guy with the gun also be the guy who pushes the button?

If you need a failsafe system in place to prevent the primary system from making mistakes why not just use the failsafe as the primary? Like if there's a "thing" in place in government; a position, a court, a committee, a process, a rule whatever, that kicks in when "the majority" makes a mistake... why not just make that the decision maker in the first place?

Unless the idea is it's possible to make a "thing" that is somehow good at recognizing mistakes but not good at making the decisions those mistakes come from which is... weird.

And I still say that they way this mentality, as accurate and noble as it is, manifests in America is the problem with a lot of our voting system quirks. The reason we have the massively unfair and unbalanced Electoral College system is the ingrained (but completely false) idea that it protects small states / rural areas from the "Tryanny" or the larger states / urban centers.
Effective democracies should have a system of checks and balances in place and different competing power bases. It shouldn’t be possible for 51 percent of the population to vote to enslave the other 49 percent for example.
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Old 14th November 2017, 03:22 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
The fine is $50. But not many people are actually fined.
And some people do indeed choose to hand over the pineapples in order to preserve their choice not to participate. But again, not as many as one might think.
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Old 15th November 2017, 07:40 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) as used in New Zealand and in European countries seems to be the most democratic system available. It could be used for both the House of Representatives and the Electoral College and ensures that in each state, each party gets the same proportion of seats as they received in votes.

Unfortunately, it would require a constitutional change since no state would likely go it alone.
I remember reading about a number of states who have passed a bill for proportional electoral votes which will only trigger once enough states (representing 270+ votes) have similar bills in place.

This is where the tapatalk signature that annoys people used to be
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Old 15th November 2017, 07:05 PM   #70
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Here's how crazy the Electoral College is.

In 2016 the popular vote was:

62,984,825 voted for Donald Trump.
65,853,516 voted for Hillary Clinton.
04,489,221 voted for Gary Johnson.
01,457,216 voted for Jill Stein.
00,731,788 voted for Evan McCullim
00,203,010 voted for Darrel Castle
00,111,850 voted for Bernie Sanders
00,074,392 voted for Gloria La Riva
00,002,684 voted for John Kasich.
00,000,124 voted for Ron Paul
00,000,025 voted for Colin Powell.

But here's how the Electoral Vote worked out.

304 to Donald Trump.
227 to Hillary Clinton.
003 to Colin Powell.
001 to Bernie Sanders
001 to John Kasich
001 to Ron Paul
001 to Faith Spotted Eagle

So Colin Powell basically gets an Electoral vote for every 8.3 votes he received despite not actually running. Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, and Ron Paul all got an electoral vote despite they're being four third party or independent candidates got more votes than they did.

Oh and Faith Spotted Eagles? She's a Native American activist and politician. How did she get an electoral vote despite not running nor receiving a single vote? A faithless elector out of Washington State cast a vote for her... as a protest. He, one of the 538 electors who actually decide who's gonna be President decided that that was the moment to make a statement.

How is all this possible? Because in most states electors are under no legal obligation to vote with the general populace. One California Elector is, as of last reporting, suing the state of California for making him vote one way.
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Old 15th November 2017, 07:23 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Here's how crazy the Electoral College is.
< ... snip ... >
The "winner takes all" mentality of all but 2 of the states guarantees improbable results like this. Had the states allocated EC votes in proportion to the number of votes received by each candidate then California (for example) would have sent 34 Democrat and 21 Republican delegates to the EC. However, there is no requirement for the states to honour the votes at the election. In fact, some states have made a pact that once enough states agree, they will allocate all EC votes to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally regardless of how an individual state votes (so far, no Republican states have agreed).

It will take a change to the constitution to stop the states thumbing their noses at the voters.
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Old 16th November 2017, 09:57 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Nonsense. Democracy doesn't mean the tyranny of the majority.
True, it means the tyranny of the minority. By free men over everyone else (women, slaves, ...) in the old Athenian version, and by the rich over the poor in the modern capitalist version.
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Old Yesterday, 02:07 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
> My preference is none of the above, but rather, multi-dimensional democracy.
> Autonomy of political parties. We count the votes, and then each party
> gets to control a geographical area, and a share of the total national
> funds, equal to its statistical share of the votes. No winners, no losers.
> Only larger and smaller political trends, which all run their own affairs.

I'm not particularly comfortable with this approach because it means that pretty much everybody will be living in an area where the ruling party doesn't have the support of the majority of the population. Let's say that an ultra-conservative party manages to get 15% of the vote nationally, this means that they get to exert absolute control over 15% of the country.
Currently most people live in an area which is controlled by a government that they don't agree with much. And they are doomed to live in such circumstances for the rest of their lives. My solution opens up the opportunity to move into an area whose legislation and politics is closer to your personal opinions than is currently possible anywhere.

Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Who gets to decide which 15% of the country gets screwed over so completely ?
Some mathematical algorithm would assume that every person in the country would move from his current home into sovereign area of his or her voted party. (This is not true, though: many would opt to stay home and be ruled by a different party.) Then we would give the algorithm some parameters which define the minimum or preferred radius (size) of sovereign areas: do we want to split the whole continent into large country-like chunks, one for each party, or do we prefer a much larger number of local small(ish) sovereign areas scattered here and there -- for example splitting each major city into sovereign suburbs per party? Based on the given parameters, the algorithm would create an optimized map which splits the given geographical area into sovereign areas of the voted parties, so that the total distance of all citizens moving from their homes to the nearest sovereign area of their voted party is smallest. The rough picture is that the algorithm would allocate each region to the party which got most votes in that region. The Mormon party would get much of Salt Lake City, and so on. The smallest parties would not be the most voted party anywhere, so the algorithm would allocate area for them in some seemingly random, but mathematically optimized place, what comes to the needed distance between people's current homes and the allocated sovereign area of their voted party.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
True, it means the tyranny of the minority. By free men over everyone else (women, slaves, ...) in the old Athenian version, and by the rich over the poor in the modern capitalist version.
My solution, described above, solves that problem.

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Old Today, 01:57 PM   #74
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How about "two men enter, one man leaves"



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