Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
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26-07-2017, 02:27 PM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 12:03 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(26-07-2017 11:58 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  The states whose votes are worth more are the less populated states, though, and that is exactly the intent -- to prevent New York and California and a handful of other states from dictating to the rest of the country. Whatever argument you make for abolishing the electoral college would also make a case for abolishing the Senate, and does anyone want to do that? The two cases are more closely related than you might think -- the number of electoral votes for a state is exactly equal to the number of representatives + senators for that state. Adding the two extra electors (i.e., number of senators) is what makes it not strictly proportional.

I'm not saying that I'm 100% in favor of keeping the EC, but I can understand the rationale for having it.

But then why should voters in swing states receive disproportionate attention at election time? Capture those and you capture the presidency. It means that those same not-so-populated states voters get a much greater say in running the country than they should. Why *shouldn't* the big population centres have a proportionate say in what goes on in the country?

In today's general election scenario, the candidates only campaign in a handful of states, seeking marginal gains. It's made worse by the winner takes all nature of the system. if you are a Republican in California or New York your vote is practically irrelevant. Same for a Democrat in Kentucky or Tennessee.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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26-07-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 02:27 PM)tomilay Wrote:  
(26-07-2017 12:03 PM)morondog Wrote:  But then why should voters in swing states receive disproportionate attention at election time? Capture those and you capture the presidency. It means that those same not-so-populated states voters get a much greater say in running the country than they should. Why *shouldn't* the big population centres have a proportionate say in what goes on in the country?

In today's general election scenario, the candidates only campaign in a handful of states, seeking marginal gains. It's made worse by the winner takes all nature of the system. if you are a Republican in California or New York your vote is practically irrelevant. Same for a Democrat in Kentucky or Tennessee.

True. Another problem is the all-or-nothing allotment of a state's electoral votes. If a candidate wins 51% of the vote in California, it doesn't seem fair that they get all of the electoral votes. Why not 51% of them (or as close to that as possible)? There are all kinds of ways the system could be improved.

I find it remarkable, though, that electoral votes (usually) track the popular vote as closely as they do. What happened in the recent election is rare -- and when it does happen, it's still a close thing. Clinton's majority of the popular vote was tiny percentage-wise. It's not like she won by a landslide.
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26-07-2017, 02:45 PM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 02:27 PM)tomilay Wrote:  In today's general election scenario, the candidates only campaign in a handful of states, seeking marginal gains. It's made worse by the winner takes all nature of the system. if you are a Republican in California or New York your vote is practically irrelevant. Same for a Democrat in Kentucky or Tennessee.

But "winner take all" in the Electoral College voting is not a requirement. Two states - Nebraska and Maine - proportion the Electors based on percentage of votes.

Quote:The District of Columbia and 48 states have a winner-takes-all rule for the Electoral College. In these States, whichever candidate receives a majority of the popular vote, or a plurality of the popular vote (less than 50 percent but more than any other candidate), takes all of the state’s Electoral votes.

Only two states, Nebraska and Maine, do not follow the winner-takes-all rule. In those states, there could be a split of Electoral votes among candidates through the state’s system for proportional allocation of votes. For example, Maine has four Electoral votes and two Congressional districts. It awards one Electoral vote per Congressional district and two by the state-wide, “at-large” vote. It is possible for Candidate A to win the first district and receive one Electoral vote, Candidate B to win the second district and receive one Electoral vote, and Candidate C, who finished a close second in both the first and second districts, to win the two at-large Electoral votes. Although this is a possible scenario, it has not actually happened.
https://www.archives.gov/federal-registe...html#wtapv

There's nothing stopping other states from proportioning EC votes, and there is nothing that forces Electors to vote for the candidate that got the most votes in the state. Some states have "requirements" that Electors do so, but the fines are usually very small. Part of the problem is that most of us, unless we go search the internet, never even know who our Electors are/were. We have the EC, but it most definitely is not working the way the Founders intended.

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26-07-2017, 02:55 PM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 02:44 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(26-07-2017 02:27 PM)tomilay Wrote:  In today's general election scenario, the candidates only campaign in a handful of states, seeking marginal gains. It's made worse by the winner takes all nature of the system. if you are a Republican in California or New York your vote is practically irrelevant. Same for a Democrat in Kentucky or Tennessee.

True. Another problem is the all-or-nothing allotment of a state's electoral votes. If a candidate wins 51% of the vote in California, it doesn't seem fair that they get all of the electoral votes. Why not 51% of them (or as close to that as possible)? There are all kinds of ways the system could be improved.

I find it remarkable, though, that electoral votes (usually) track the popular vote as closely as they do. What happened in the recent election is rare -- and when it does happen, it's still a close thing. Clinton's majority of the popular vote was tiny percentage-wise. It's not like she won by a landslide.

It could definitely be improved it dramatically, even with those minimal suggestions. But changing the constitution in this environment is virtually impossible. Especially since it would require the cooperation of Republicans who have benefited tremendously from the undocumented features that we would be trying to fix.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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26-07-2017, 05:14 PM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 11:43 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  As for the electoral college, I have mixed feelings. Even as a Democrat who has been "robbed" twice by the EC, I'm not convinced that it's a bad thing. The basic idea is to make it harder for a few heavily populated states to rule over the rest of the country, and that concept is at least worth some thought. It's the same reason we have a Senate (where every state has equal representation) as well as a House of Representatives (representation proportional to population).

The thing is, the EC makes it easier for heavily populated states to swing their weight around, because EC votes are distributed on the basis of population. This is why candidates vie for New York, California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and ignore places like Rhode Island or North Dakota. And to be fair, Clinton pursued exactly this strategy in 2016, ignoring states with smaller EC representation.

The EC has outlived one of its purposes -- to work around slow information speed -- while the other purpose, the concentration of the decisive power in the hands of the elite, only seems to be strengthened by it.
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27-07-2017, 11:21 PM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 10:22 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(25-07-2017 09:37 AM)Dom Wrote:  This is not a "what if" situation, it's already reality.

So, how do you all like it? Facepalm

It's been a reality since day one in 1776.

You can't have contact with people from other countries without them having some influence on you - and vice versa.....


With today's worldwide availability of instantaneous worldwide communication, even a casual conversation by someone with any social media following at all, is going to help make opinions.....

So - if some celebrity in France says "Trump is zee twat." that might be just the thing to change a few minds in the US.... While probably a small effect, it does influence an election......

Exactly. How does one define "influence" anyway? When British news outfits write about American politics, and an American reads that piece, is that illegal influence? The BBC is a British government owned entity, so does that mean every time they write about US politics they are interfering with our democracy?


I would be fine with laws requiring full disclosure. Then, if the Chinese buy Bill Clinton, or the Russians buy Trump, at least we know and we can decide if that matters to our vote. But it seems that we do find out these things anyway. Both Clinton and Trump had/have their foreign influence scandals. And the US does this all over the world anyway--so who are we to hypocritically gripe when another country tries to influence our elections. As a recent example, Obama certainly didn't funding NGOs against Netanyahu in his election in Israel.
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28-07-2017, 04:42 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 01:30 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Easy answer... the US government needs to make voting compulsory.

91% voter turnout for Australian federal election in 2016 versus a US presidential election turnout of just 55% indicates that the average US citizen just doesn't care who their president is, or are simply too fucking lazy to get out of bed.

And another confounding factor is the outmoded Electoral College system. It has to go ASAP as it got Trump the presidency by default, but with no subsequent mandate by the people.

It might be an easy answer - but it sucks ass....

Why?

Did you see the candidates in our last election???? Being forced to vote for one would be like --

"OK, you decide - do we hang you, decapitate you, or fuck you to death with a pineapple???"


The choices were bad, worse, and fuck no!!

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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28-07-2017, 05:46 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
The point of a campaign is to influence results by manipulating the fears and desires of the emotionally driven masses. At this point I don't care whether it comes from some random corporation or from Putin. If people don't know how to apply skeptical analyses to the data that is influencing their vote, that vote will ultimately not be based on rationality either way.

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28-07-2017, 06:18 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(26-07-2017 05:14 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(26-07-2017 11:43 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  As for the electoral college, I have mixed feelings. Even as a Democrat who has been "robbed" twice by the EC, I'm not convinced that it's a bad thing. The basic idea is to make it harder for a few heavily populated states to rule over the rest of the country, and that concept is at least worth some thought. It's the same reason we have a Senate (where every state has equal representation) as well as a House of Representatives (representation proportional to population).

The thing is, the EC makes it easier for heavily populated states to swing their weight around, because EC votes are distributed on the basis of population. This is why candidates vie for New York, California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and ignore places like Rhode Island or North Dakota. And to be fair, Clinton pursued exactly this strategy in 2016, ignoring states with smaller EC representation.

The EC has outlived one of its purposes -- to work around slow information speed -- while the other purpose, the concentration of the decisive power in the hands of the elite, only seems to be strengthened by it.

Yabbut, people move around all over the country all the time. The law was made when people had a homestead and stayed there til death. Populations are not fixed in locations anymore. People move back and forth between cities and country all the time - often born in the country, move to the city during the "hormonal years" and back to the country for retirement. Populations are mobile and that makes the rest of the EC is pointless too.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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