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posted by Fnord666 on Monday July 13 2020, @04:23PM   Printer-friendly

Absurdity of the Electoral College:

Here's one nice thing we can now say about the Electoral College: it's slightly less harmful to our democracy than it was just days ago. In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states have the right to "bind" their electors, requiring them to support whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote in their state. Justice Elena Kagan's opinion was a blow to so-called "faithless electors," but a win for self-government. "Here," she wrote, "the People rule."

Yet while we can all breathe a sigh of relief that rogue electors won't choose (or be coerced) into derailing the 2020 presidential contest, the Court's unanimous ruling is a helpful reminder that our two-step electoral process provides America with no tangible benefits and near-limitless possibilities for disaster. To put it more bluntly, the Electoral College is a terrible idea. And thanks to the Justices' decision, getting rid of it has never been easier.

[...] The Electoral College, in other words, serves no useful purpose, other than to intermittently and randomly override the people's will. It's the appendix of our body politic. Most of the time we don't notice it, and then every so often it flares up and nearly kills us.

[...] Justice Kagan's words – "Here, the People rule" – are stirring. But today, they are still more aspiration than declaration. By declining to make the Electoral College an even great threat to our democracy, the Court did its job. Now it's up to us. If you live in a state that hasn't joined the interstate compact, you can urge your state legislators and your governor to sign on. And no matter where you're from, you can dispel the myths about the Electoral College and who it really helps, myths that still lead some people to support it despite its total lack of redeeming qualities.

More than 215 years after the Electoral College was last reformed with the 12th Amendment, we once again have the opportunity to protect our presidential-election process and reassert the people's will. Regardless of who wins the White House in 2020, it's a chance we should take.

Would you get rid of the Electoral College? Why or why not?

Also at:
Supremes Signal a Brave New World of Popular Presidential Elections
Supreme Court Rules State 'Faithless Elector' Laws Constitutional
U.S. Supreme Court curbs 'faithless electors' in presidential voting
Supreme Court rules states can remove 'faithless electors'


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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday July 13 2020, @04:36PM (36 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @04:36PM (#1020433) Journal

    Unsure, TBH. There are a few things I like about it, there are more things I don't like. Electoral voters can be pretty much compared to the DNC's superdelegates - they do whatever the hell they want to do. And, that is what the SC doesn't like.

    The only defense that I have ever made of the electoral college is, "Those have been the rules for forever, stop bitching that you don't like the rules!"

    With this ruling, maybe it can be fixed. Probably not though.

    With this ruling, the US becomes maybe a little more of a democracy, a little less of a republic. Is that a good thing? I'm really unsure. Remember, a true democracy is represented by two or more wolves and a sheep, voting on "What's for dinner?" Or, it can be equated to mob rule. Every election cycle, we get whatever the mob wants.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Farkus888 on Monday July 13 2020, @04:53PM (14 children)

      by Farkus888 (5159) on Monday July 13 2020, @04:53PM (#1020444)

      The purpose of faithless electors, I was taught, is related to communication delay. Say a candidate commits murder the day before the election and is arrested. In the early 1800s it was impossible for the average voter to find out in time to change their vote. The electors were more informed and could wisely vote based on the latest information.

      That purpose is gone now that being a (Democrat||Republican) is worse than being a murderer, so this is a wise decision by the court.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by fyngyrz on Monday July 13 2020, @06:42PM (11 children)

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday July 13 2020, @06:42PM (#1020567) Journal

        The purpose of faithless electors, I was taught, is related to communication delay.

        Well, peripherally — but no, not really. It was about all matters related to competence:

        It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.

        -- Alexander Hamilton
           the Federalist Papers

        ...and from TFS:

        The Electoral College, in other words, serves no useful purpose, other than to intermittently and randomly override the people's will. It's the appendix of our body politic. Most of the time we don't notice it

        ...I notice every presidential election. Because what the electoral college does in Montana is erase non-Republican votes from presidential elections.

        In addition, it makes the Republican votes here weigh considerably more heavily then, for instance, Democratic votes in California.

        And that's all without any "faithless elector" issues.

        In fact, the "faithless elector" thing was what was intended to save us from idiots like the dumpster fire sitting in the white house right now. If the voters were being outright stupid, as they were in 2016, and voting in, or getting close to voting in (Trump actually lost the popular vote, remember), the electoral college was supposed to consist of smart, careful folks who would make sure the ship wasn't steered directly onto the rocks.

        But here we are, with an incompetent president, who we weren't protected from by the electoral college, but instead, this loon was inflicted upon us by the electoral college.

        So yeah, it really, really, really, really needs to go.

        And before someone chimes in with the inevitable "Well, if the EC had elected Clinton, you'd be okay with that, right?" Yes, I bloody well would be, because the the EC would actually then be doing the job it was intended to do.

        --
            Cult: The founder made up some nonsense and is still around.
        Religion: The founder made up some nonsense and is dead.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Farkus888 on Monday July 13 2020, @07:50PM (5 children)

          by Farkus888 (5159) on Monday July 13 2020, @07:50PM (#1020612)

          I don't think anyone as partisan as you should have a say. California's Republican votes get ignored just like Montana's Democrat votes. If only 5% of them voted Republican that is twice the entire population of Montana. Short sighted selfish ideations about government like yours got us into this mess. It hasn't always been a Republican elected by the electoral college against the popular vote. Democrats have benefited in the past too.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:34PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:34PM (#1020661)

            But, but, all of Montana's Republicans are Californians! They own Ranchettes! Not to mention the Oracle sell-out from New Jersey ("Bodyslam" Gianforte) and the real estate developer from Maryland ("Maryland Matt). As Sen. Doc Melcher said in the '80s, "there's a bunch of out-of-staters coming into Montana for the campaign, and they're stepping in some of what they're trying to sell!
            Problem with being a beautiful state, and the Last Best Place, it attracts rich assholes like flies.

          • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:29AM (2 children)

            by fyngyrz (6567) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:29AM (#1021156) Journal

            I don't think anyone as partisan as you should have a say.

            Well, that's the thing about voting in any form of Democratic system, isn't it: the voters are generally expected to make choices if they participate. Even if, for some incomprehensible reason, they disagree with Farkus888.

            It hasn't always been a Republican elected by the electoral college against the popular vote.

            While this is technically true, it is only true because the first time it happened, it was't a Republican or a Democrat, because the parties had not yet formed. That was so offensive to the winner of the vote (Andrew Jackson, by a considerable margin) it served as the impetus that caused the Democratic party to form, and this was formed out of the side that was overridden, so in hindsight, it was still the Democrats who were overridden, they just hadn't set themselves apart by that party designation as yet.

            Democrats have benefited in the past too.

            No, they have not. [wikipedia.org] Ever since there has actually been a Democratic party, the EC's popular vote overrides have favored the Republicans.

            Five times the EC has overridden the popular vote thus far.

            In 1824, the first time this happened, it actually caused the creation of the Democratic party because Andrew Jackson, who received 152 thousand votes, lost (via the EC) to John Quincy Adams, who received 114 thousand votes — this was over a 10% win by popular vote which the EC threw in the trash in favor of the loser, Adams.

            The other four times, the Republican, having lost the popular vote in each instance, was emplaced in the presidency over the Democrat who won the popular vote.

            Certainly it is true that the Democratic party of those first few overrides was radically different from the Democratic party today; and so was the Republican party. From the issues of reconstruction to women's right to vote, the parties both maintained platforms that most people today would find radically offensive. So it's somewhat of a case of apples vs. oranges.

            But in recent years, let's say post-Reagan, the sides have been pretty clear and consistent in terms of party positions and in these cases — as with those preceding them — it has been Republican-favoring overrides every time.

            --
            An apple a day keeps anyone away.
            If you throw it hard enough.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18 2020, @10:51PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18 2020, @10:51PM (#1023536)

              I don't think anyone as partisan as you should have a say.

              Well, that's the thing about voting in any form of Democratic system, isn't it: the voters are generally expected to make choices if they participate.

              You were making an argument the voting system should be modified because, in your view, it favors your opposition. You can have a say as a voter, but you are not impartial so should not have a say on the voting rules.

              • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by fyngyrz on Sunday July 19 2020, @01:53AM

                by fyngyrz (6567) on Sunday July 19 2020, @01:53AM (#1023596) Journal

                I'm completely impartial WRT a candidate's party; I'm all about their positions and their history, and of course if the party has handed them wrongheaded positions, then the party will also figure into that, but not by name or "just because."

                But when a candidate has the mind of a grade schooler, that's a perfectly valid reason to eschew them. Trump is feeble minded compared to a normal adult. You can't get around that. The man is flat-out incompetent to hold the position of the president of... well, anything, really. Much less this country. Likewise, when the candidate's history provides clear illustration of a failure to treat people with anything even remotely resembling a fair hand, that also is a well qualified reason to decide against them.

                Your assertion that I'm not impartial in some disqualifying manner is ridiculous. To be impartial requires that the matters being considered are otherwise equal, and then the decision be made on the merits; I made, and am am making, such a decision — Trump is lacking in merit in so many concrete ways as to make the decision obvious, and this was the case prior to the votes being cast.

                Those who decided otherwise are the ones who are not being impartial; because only a partial outlook towards an incompetent — ignoring racism, a truly reprehensible attitude towards women, abusive behavior towards the handicapped, lying to the press, etc. — could have allowed someone to vote for Trump.

                Another factor was all the BS about Clinton; hardly perfect, but Benghazi, the "pizza shop", and so on? FFS, that was such utter nonsense. Yet people (and more importantly, the people in the EC) still voted for him and to this day, there are people here who rattle on about how bad a choice Clinton was compared to Trump. How absurd.

                No one is impartial — or should be impartial — when faced with incompetence, evil, and abusive behavior. If I was impartial in such cases, then I'd be someone you couldn't trust with these matters.

                You may have the last word, if you're so inclined. I'm done here.

                --
                When I dunk my cookies, I think of you.
                I hold them under until the bubbles stop.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:56PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:56PM (#1021227)

            The Electoral college was supposed to prevent the kind of incompetence that gave us this:
            https://www.gzeromedia.com/the-graphic-truth-two-different-pandemics-eu-vs-us-coronavirus-cases-spike-28-june [gzeromedia.com]

            It failed spectacularly.

            And before anyone says, "what makes you think anyone else would do better?" the answer is simple, nearly the entire world did better, almost every nation (Sweden might be an exception) handled this better than we did. Therefore, it stands to reason, that on average, anyone running for office was likely to do better than this guy.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:01PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:01PM (#1020624)

          How about somebody besides Clinton or Trump?

          Why is this so difficult?

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by deadstick on Monday July 13 2020, @09:52PM

          by deadstick (5110) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:52PM (#1020744)

          Cult: A small, unpopular religion.
          Religion: A large, popular cult.

        • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Monday July 13 2020, @09:56PM (1 child)

          by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:56PM (#1020749)

          I did the math one time (didn't save it anyplace where I can find it right now) and figured out that a candidate can theoretically get well over 90% of the popular vote and still lose the election. Figure out the minimum number of small states (population wise) that provide an electoral victory and win each of those states by 1 vote (this also assumed winner take all). The losing candidate can get every other vote available, it would not matter. Highly unlikely, but possible.

          • (Score: 2) by toddestan on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:08AM

            by toddestan (4982) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:08AM (#1020935)

            Theoretically, all you need to do is figure out the minimum number of states that a candidate would have to carry to win. Assume that in those states, exactly one person voted, and they voted for that candidate. In all the other states, assumed 100% turnout and every vote was for the opposing candidate. In that case, someone could win with less than a couple dozen votes total, with tens of millions of votes for the opposing candidate. Theoretically, of course.

        • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:23PM (#1021188)

          "outright stupid, as they were in 2016"

          You voted third party then?

          Because that was really the only rational option in 2016. My guess guess is you were a year-of-the-beaver voter, based on your self rightous attitude. Great, good for you, you helped elect Trump. Much like BLM. They were (and currently are) huge contributors to the Trump campaign. Nothing encourages turnout on the right like beating the shit out of the elderly and setting buildings on fire. And crashing Bernies podium during the primary? Yeah, great effort BLM! WhooHoo! Keep it up!

          BLM is Trumps greatest ally.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:03PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:03PM (#1020686)

        In the current day, the average voter may never find out the truth thanks to the media.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 14 2020, @07:14PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @07:14PM (#1021434) Journal

          Sure they can. They can do the homework themselves. It is harder.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:05PM (#1020465)

      Anything that reroutes the peoples vote is only a tool for the richest bidder.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:08PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:08PM (#1020468)

      Every election cycle, we get whatever the mob wants.

      Maybe if the USians would get better educated (not necessarily schooled), that wouldn't be such a bad result?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday July 13 2020, @05:31PM (5 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @05:31PM (#1020504) Journal

        Broken beyond repair.

        The people who can fix US Education are the very ones who benefit from it being broken. Keep the reality TV shows flowing.

        The people who can fix Campaign Finance are the very ones who benefit from it being broken.

        The people who can fix Corruption are the very ones who benefit from it.

        The people who can drain the swamp are the very ones whose lives are dependent upon its very existence.

        Any questions?

        Believing that it can be fixed at this point is like thinking that systemd won't soon take over the screen saver, followed by the entire display system software stack.

        --
        With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:13PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:13PM (#1020700)

          The people who can fix US Education are the very ones who benefit from it being broken. Keep the reality TV shows flowing.

          Not so much. Curricula are generally set on a state by state basis. Are you claiming that *every* state legislator/education department official is opposed to quality education? If so, with what evidence do you make such a claim?

          What's more, education funding is generally set at the local level, with input/funds from the state as well.

          In fact, less than 10% of K-12 fundng comes from the Federal government [ed.gov]. Which means the vast majority of school funding comes from states and municipalities (often, but not always, from *local* property taxes).

          Given that only a few thousand (at most) votes is often enough to elect a school board member, and not too much more is required to elect town/city council members, mayors/county executives, etc., forcing positive change at that level is absolutely doable.

          The people who can fix Campaign Finance are the very ones who benefit from it being broken.

          This is absolutely true. However, many states and municipalities have implemented serious campaign finance reforms, including publicly funded elections. Doing so more broadly, especially at the Federal level, will require folks around the country to make lots of noise and vote out those who oppose such reforms.

          This is a big problem for our political system and needs to be addressed. Making appropriate changes will require *grassroots* action.

          The people who can fix Corruption are the very ones who benefit from it.

          That's only partly true. Corruption at the Federal level is minuscule compared to the corruption at state and local levels.

          Favoritism, nepotism and self-dealing need to be harshly dealt with as well. Again, change like this needs to come from the grassroots, with constituents *demanding* real changes. Unless and until that happens, ALEC [alec.org] written legislation is in the future (not to mention the present) of your state/municipality.

          The people who can drain the swamp are the very ones whose lives are dependent upon its very existence.

          This isn't even close to being true.

          The majority of those elected to Federal office (mostly due to financial reporting requirements) limits a lot of that while the official is in office. Closing the government/private sector revolving door, as well as campaign finance reforms can address this pretty easily. But again, it requires grassroots *action*.

          Any questions?

          Many. You claim that there's only doom and gloom, but you make no recommendations for change, even though there are many, many avenues to effect positive change. Much of that needs to happen at the state and local levels, where your voice can be much louder than on the national stage.

          1. What are *you* doing to address these issues?
          2. Are you aware of the efforts in your state/municipality to address them?
          3. What do you propose we should do about it?

          I'll start with those three questions. I look forward to your answers and comments on my response.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 15 2020, @01:38PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 15 2020, @01:38PM (#1021897) Journal

            Curricula are generally set on a state by state basis.

            Curricula are generally set by the state of Texas.

            --
            With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 14 2020, @07:20PM (2 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @07:20PM (#1021437) Journal

          We're going through a painful period now, but the tools to shatter the status quo are here and regular people are gaining proficiency with them. What happens when we all have solar panels and/or wind turbines? Oil companies lose their control. What happens when additive manufacturing hits a tipping point? Manufacturers lose control.

          Those are only a couple revolutions underway now. There are many more. The crappy political and economic systems we have now are ripe for collapse.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 15 2020, @01:39PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 15 2020, @01:39PM (#1021898) Journal

            While we have a right to peaceably assemble, we do not yet have a right to repair.

            --
            With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Thursday July 16 2020, @06:39PM

              by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday July 16 2020, @06:39PM (#1022506) Journal

              We don't, but we should. After the collapse of the First American Republic, we must write it into the new Constitution. The Right to Privacy should also be formally declared, so that we can kill off social media and other invasive parties.

              Personally, I would also like to split up Washington DC and re-locate its various departments all over the US so that the Beltway culture dies. The banking system needs to be broken up and decentralized as well. If we don't rip up the hidden, non-elected systems of control we'll never have real democracy.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @05:19PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:19PM (#1020483)

      Yes. Yes I would. It is a relic from the times when information traveled as fast as a horse could carry its rider and it was a full time job to actually know who you'd want to vote for and what that person stands for.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday July 13 2020, @05:48PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:48PM (#1020533)

      Remember, a true democracy is represented by two or more wolves and a sheep, voting on "What's for dinner?"

      The problem with that analogy is that right now, what we have is 2 wolves and 3 sheep voting on "what's for dinner?", and the 2 wolves win the vote because their 2 votes count more than the sheep's 3 votes.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday July 13 2020, @11:58PM

        by Mykl (1112) on Monday July 13 2020, @11:58PM (#1020840)

        Actually, the polling station was outside of the Sheep Pen, so the Sheep were unable to vote during the day (it was a Tuesday - a normal workday for most). By the time they were let out into the field again, the polling booth had closed.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:24PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:24PM (#1020654)

      Thank you for your wise comments that you don't know, Runaway. Shirley you are a stable genius of Constitutional Law!!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @10:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @10:00PM (#1020754)

        And, you, Shirley, need to get back into the stable. Who named a horse "Shirley", anyway?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @10:11PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @10:11PM (#1020768)

      Perhaps you should stick to citing your favorite fake news site [mediabiasfactcheck.com] to spread misinformation about wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 [soylentnews.org]. You don't have a lot to add to this discussion.

      Yes, the rules are the rules. Except the rules include a mechanism for changing them, which is by ratifying an amendment to the Constitution.

      The electoral college made more sense in the early US. Significantly greater autonomy was granted to the states, with mechanisms created to protect that autonomy and agreed upon in the Connecticut Compromise. That autonomy has been limited significantly by the fourteenth amendment and has been further eroded by judicial precedent. The idea of a confederation of states selecting a single leader is largely obsolete. The electoral college also effectively means that a Republican vote in Hawaii or California, or a Democratic vote in Wyoming or the third district of Nebraska are largely irrelevant. Those people can cast votes, but those votes are rendered essentially meaningless by the voting trends in those places. Abolishing the electoral college would give those people a greater voice in the government, which is a good thing. It might be reasonable to make representation in the Senate proportional, too, but retain the longer terms so it's less susceptible to voting trends in any single election cycle.

      Also, in the early US, voters were far less informed than in the present day. Limited modes of communication and generally less travel meant far fewer opportunities for voters to be informed about presidential candidates. State legislatures chose senators and, frequently, electors. It was the responsibility of the legislatures to be informed and make good decisions, particularly because most people didn't have the same level of access to information. The legislators were often highly educated people at a time when the standard of education was significantly lower. The people voted on candidates within their districts, people who they might well have known personally, and would be in a much better position to make an informed and wise decision about voting for. Because people are generally far more educated and have far greater access to candidates through radio, TV, and the internet, this is a relic of the past.

      So how about we abolish an antiquated system that effectively disenfranchises a significant amount of voters?

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Monday July 13 2020, @10:39PM (5 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @10:39PM (#1020791) Journal

        Change the Senate to be more like Congress? So, you want a more democratic system, which will tend to smother all those "flyover" states. Got it.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:08AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:08AM (#1020846)

          First off, fake news Runaway, I actually live in Nebraska, which is one of those "flyover" states. Because of the population differences, I have about 20 times the representation in the Senate than a resident of California. Why is this reasonable?

          The current system is smothering large states like California. Changing the Senate to be proportional won't smother small states. It will simply put large states on equal footing with them.

          If the system was implemented properly, it could offer some significant improvements over what we have now. Let's say we gave states one senator per million residents. Nebraska would still have two senators but California would have 40. The Senate would still have six year staggered terms. That means California would elect 13 or 14 senators per election cycle.

          This could be a statewide election in which parties conduct primaries to determine a list of senators from their party, ranked in order of the votes received. In the general election, each person votes for a party. The Senate seats are given proportionately from the party vote, starting at the top of each party's list and working downward. In such a system, California wouldn't send 40 Democrats to the Senate. Instead, you'd see a significant amount of Republicans. It would also be a lot easier to elect third parties. In a state the size of California, less than 10% of the vote would be needed to elect third party candidates. In California's case, this likely means electing some Greens. But in other large states like Texas, it might mean sending Libertarians to the Senate.

          This wouldn't smother states like Nebraska at all. It would, however, give equal representation to large states like California. In a state like California that typically sends two Democrats to the Senate, this would allow other people in the state like Republicans to have some representation in the Senate. Why would this be a bad thing at all?

          • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:10AM (1 child)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:10AM (#1020937) Journal

            But, California and other populous states already enjoy that sort of "equality" in the House. The Senate isn't supposed to be just like the House.

            No, California isn't being "smothered". That's some kind of talking point that you've picked up somewhere.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:17AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:17AM (#1021038)

              We've already made the Senate more like the House. The seventeenth amendment did just that.

              A legislature need not have two very distinctive chambers for the government to be a properly functioning democracy. New Zealand used to have a bicameral legislature but abolished its upper house decades ago. For that matter, Nebraska has a unicameral legislature. At the state level, the differences between the upper and lower houses are often in legislative powers, different term lengths, and differently sized districts. But the differences are less distinct than at the federal level. While the UK has a parliamentary system, the US legislature is modeled after the UK in many respects. However, the House of Lords has lifetime appointments but significantly less legislative power than the US Senate. That said, making the Senate representation proportional to the population wouldn't make it identical to the house for the reasons I stated in my prior comment.

              In terms of the rights of "flyover" states, we're talking about geographic regions with boundaries that were influenced heavily by political disputes during the 19th century. For example, Dakota Territory was split into North and South Dakota before being admitted because the Republicans wanted to admit two states to get more representation in the Senate. State lines were essentially gerrymandered to exploit the disproportional representation in the Senate. In the case of South Dakota, much of the state actually belonged to the Sioux, so there were concerns about whether it was even viable as a state. The state was eventually opened up to settlers when the Sioux were coerced and deceived by George Crook into signing away their land. The Sioux were forced onto reservations against their wishes. The US attempted to disarm the Sioux, armed conflict broke out, and the result was the Wounded Knee Massacre.

              So let's be clear. Preventing "flyover" states from being "smothered" really means preserving the gerrymandering of state lines from over a century ago because it's politically beneficial to your party in the present day. I'm all for insulating the Senate from the whims of voters in any particular election, something that is already done with the staggered six year terms. But your argument for the rights of "flyover" states isn't particularly meaningful when those states were drawn up for the sole purpose of gaining a political advantage in the Senate.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:30AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:30AM (#1021012) Journal

            Because of the population differences, I have about 20 times the representation in the Senate than a resident of California. Why is this reasonable?

            Because the Senate represents states not individual people.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:39AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:39AM (#1021050)

              House members doesn't represent "individual people", either. They represent districts.

              In the proposal I described, elections would still be statewide, and senators would still represent states. The only difference is that more populous states would have larger delegations.

              In the past, it might have been more correct to say that senators represented the states when they were elected by the state legislatures. That changed with the seventeenth amendment, which required that senators be directly elected by the people.

              So the senators now represent the people, as do the representatives. The difference is the amount and geographic boundaries of the people they represent -- except for states like South Dakota, which only have one representative.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:45PM (#1021201)

      One tally means you only have to corrupt one counter.

      IMHO the value of the electoral college is that it distributes the fraud. Which may help to cancel it out to some degree.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @04:46PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @04:46PM (#1020437)

    CPG gray had an episode about this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COmW6r23zas [youtube.com]

    Basic conclusion is that the supreme court didn't really change anything, they just upheld the status quo.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @04:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @04:48PM (#1020439)

      err ... it's CGP Grey

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by iWantToKeepAnon on Monday July 13 2020, @07:09PM

      by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Monday July 13 2020, @07:09PM (#1020581) Homepage Journal

      AC beat me it; but the vid is a followup to this one: " rel="url2html-14813">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUX-frlNBJY

      But this decision upholds what has always been true; that is the only way the SC vote will ever unanimous ... if it really doesn't mean anything.

      --
      "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @04:46PM (126 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @04:46PM (#1020438)

    Now it's up to us. If you live in a state that hasn't joined the interstate compact, you can urge your state legislators and your governor to sign on. And no matter where you're from, you can dispel the myths about the Electoral College and who it really helps, myths that still lead some people to support it despite its total lack of redeeming qualities.

    If I live in a small population state, why would I want to sign on the the compact? It just reduces my influence. In fact, it dis-enfranchises the majority votes from my state if my state votes differently from the "nationwide majority". The author obviously does not understand the difference between a democracy and the federated republic that we live in.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @04:55PM (26 children)

      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @04:55PM (#1020447) Journal

      Honestly, if the EC was to be eliminated states should be given the opportunity to peacefully secede. Eliminating the EC is akin to a labor contract where you agree to X for $Y/hr. Eliminating the EC would be like discovering halfway through your contract, you are going to be paid $0.00/hr AND you have to do X because your coworkers voted for a new contract. The only way that would be OK would if you were free to say screw this job. If you can't, you're a slave.

      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @08:09PM (12 children)

        by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @08:09PM (#1020638)

        You might want to explain how creating an indirection layer in the election process is akin to not being paid for work. Because I fail to see how that parallel makes sense.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:40PM (#1020664)

          Hemo. He used to make sense. Also used to be a Democrat, a liberal, and a functioning human being. But now the EU is Tyranny! Get off his Schengen Lawn!!

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @09:08PM (8 children)

          by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:08PM (#1020692) Journal

          "An indirection layer" -- by that you mean the tool that convinced independent nations to join a union? Without the EC, the United States might be nothing more than NY, CT, MA, NJ, and PA. The states that joined later, did so with the understanding that they would have somewhat of a voice in the US, rather than none at all, which inventivized joining. How many of those states would have said "nah -- screw that -- we'll just keep 100% of our sovereignty if all you offer is zero back."

          Basically, you got the benefit of the bargain here -- Iowa doesn't blockade its border to the movement of meat and grain eastward for example -- and in return you want to get out of the price you agreed to, by force. That sort of thought is colonialist, imperialist, and in the end, bloody minded. The best way to start a civil war is to disenfranchise 49% of the population because 51% think being in the majority gives them a mandate from the gods and nobody else matters.

          • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @09:33PM (3 children)

            by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:33PM (#1020720)

            How about we replace the electoral college by simply splitting the votes of a state based on the votes? You have X people in your state, your state has Y votes in the federal election, so for every X/Y votes you secure on your candidate he has one federal vote?

            It's exactly the same, without paying a bunch of useless spongers to do essentially nothing.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @07:18AM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @07:18AM (#1021105)

              Sure, you figure out a fair way to solve x=3/2 such that x is an integer and 2x=3 and do the same for every odd number from 3 to 55 and we’ll get right on that.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:13PM (1 child)

                by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:13PM (#1021271)

                How about instead of putting all eggs in one basket to split the votes according to how the PEOPLE (you know, the subjects in the "we, the people" thing) vote? Why can't a state hand down one democrat and two republican (or the other way 'round) votes if this is what would represent best what the PEOPLE OF THIS STATE wanted?

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:13PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:13PM (#1021314)

                  Because, why would a president CARE about that state, if they are only going to get a 1 or 2 elector advantage there?

                  You would need to have ALL states do that or the states that do just get screwed.

                  It's classic game theory.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:46AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:46AM (#1020864)

            "An indirection layer" -- by that you mean the tool that convinced independent nations to join a union? Without the EC, the United States might be nothing more than NY, CT, MA, NJ, and PA. The states that joined later, did so with the understanding that they would have somewhat of a voice in the US, rather than none at all, which inventivized joining. How many of those states would have said "nah -- screw that -- we'll just keep 100% of our sovereignty if all you offer is zero back."

            You conveniently ignore that the 800lb gorilla back then was Virginia, with Massachussetts well behind it, followed by Pennsylvania. In fact, James Madison (the primary author of the Constitution) was a Virginian. As was Washington. And Jefferson.

            At the time, CT, NY and NJ were piddling little states by comparison.

            However, once they joined the United States (by ratifying the Constitution), they accepted that the Constitution was "the supreme law of the land." There was never any deception or skullduggery about it. It's right there in the text of the document.

            What they did do was *compromise*. Which was necessary then, and is certainly necessary now. Fortunately for us, they were willing to do so back then. Unfortunately for us, that seems to no longer be the case.

            The hallmark of a good compromise is one where no one is completely happy. That was certainly true back in 1789, and it's true now. The difference appears to be that today certain folks are unwilling to compromise. On anything.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:37AM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:37AM (#1021017) Journal
              So who is failing to compromise here? For example, the AC selling proportional voting for US President seems to be offering a very one-sided proposal.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:20AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:20AM (#1021079)

                So rebut the AC's proposal with something better. Engage in a discussion.

                Why are you whinging about it when you could be engaged in productive discussion?

                Sigh.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:53AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:53AM (#1021171) Journal

                  So rebut the AC's proposal with something better.

                  Like doing nothing? I'm surprised no one has reached the obvious conclusion of simply eliminating the Senate. What's the point of having two legislative bodies when you want to throw away the thing that made them different (well aside from longer election cycles)?

                  Why are you whinging about it when you could be engaged in productive discussion?

                  There's a huge futility here in any quest for productivity. What is to be produced by said productive discussion.

                  Now, if we were to speak of eliminating first-past-the-post, we'd be onto something relatively productive.

        • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:16PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:16PM (#1021240)

          Basically, people with privilege hate to give it up. When someone in Wyoming hears that their vote will no longer count 20x as much as those dirty Californians, they get mad.

          The fact that the people in California already have no voice doesn't concern them as, "that's just the way it is supposed to be." It's not dissimilar to the justifications for slavery.

          • (Score: 2) by EEMac on Thursday July 16 2020, @02:34PM

            by EEMac (6423) on Thursday July 16 2020, @02:34PM (#1022408)

            the people in California already have no voice

            California has more votes [wikipedia.org] in the electoral college, and more seats [britannica.com] in the House of Representatives, than any other state in the Union.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:22PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:22PM (#1020710)

        Eliminating the EC would be like discovering halfway through your contract, you are going to be paid $0.00/hr AND you have to do X because your coworkers voted for a new contract. The only way that would be OK would if you were free to say screw this job. If you can't, you're a slave.

        I completely disagree. Getting rid of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. Doing so requires 2/3 majorities in the House and Senate (which is composed of representatives from *all* the states) and ratification by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states.

        As such, ratifying any constitutional amendment requires broad-based support from pretty much the entire nation.

        Which is why there's so much interest in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact [wikipedia.org], as that only requires validation by state legislatures in enough states to have 270 electoral votes.

        You apparently don't understand how our system of government is organized. And that you have a '+5 Insightful' score on your comment shows that others don't understand such things either. More's the pity.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:31PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:31PM (#1020718)

          Thanks for that break down.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by EEMac on Monday July 13 2020, @11:33PM (1 child)

          by EEMac (6423) on Monday July 13 2020, @11:33PM (#1020826)

          Notice how the early adopters of the NPIC are (mostly) the states with the largest populations? They are *pissed off* that little states actually had an impact this last presidential election, and they want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:43PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:43PM (#1020833)

            Notice how the early adopters of the NPIC are (mostly) the states with the largest populations? They are *pissed off* that little states actually had an impact this last presidential election, and they want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

            Except this is nothing new, so I'm not sure what you mean by "early adopters." The current idea was floated in 2001, long before the 2016 election. What's more, there have been various proposed amendments to abolish the electoral college [wikipedia.org] dating back 50 years or so.

            In fact, *majorities* of Americans supported getting rid of the electoral college since at least 1944. [wikipedia.org]

            You're either misinformed, ignorant (willfully or otherwise) or just a lying sack of shit. Which one is it?

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Monday July 13 2020, @09:59PM (4 children)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:59PM (#1020753)

        ...if the EC was to be eliminated states should be given the opportunity to peacefully secede.

        I have been wondering if that is a conversation Americans ought to be having regardless.

        Not that it would be easy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:52PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:52PM (#1020837)

          ...if the EC was to be eliminated states should be given the opportunity to peacefully secede.

          I have been wondering if that is a conversation Americans ought to be having regardless.

          Not that it would be easy.

          All that would do is to make the poorest states in the US into some of the poorest countries in the world. I'd note that *most* states that make noises about seceding (with the exception of Texas) are among the poorest places in the US -- with substantial Federal dollars flowing into them. If we were to allow those states to secede and take away those Federal subsidies, we'd have an *enormous* immigration issue, with ten or so more Mexico or Guatemala-like economies full of people clamoring to get into the US.

          What's more, many of those poorest states have pretty significant revenue from both investment from, and employment by the Federal government. Take away those jobs from the residents of those states, and the tax revenue from those jobs/investments to the state governments, and we've got a bunch of third-world economies.

          On a personal level, I really wouldn't care. But as an American, I believe in the Union, even if it means that more of my Federal tax dollars go to those poor states than to my own.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:35AM (2 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:35AM (#1021015) Homepage

            Our states may be relatively poor, but we produce most of your food and fuel. And we wouldn't be a bunch of third-world countries, because we're not dumb enough to secede one by one; we'd still be the second largest country on this continent, while the remainers would be two separate coasts and a handful of chunks inland.

            A nice graphical representation, which also points up the dire necessity of the EC:

            https://vividmaps.com/trumpland-and-clinton-archipelago/ [vividmaps.com]

            But hey, anyone who wants to be totally ruled by California and New York, forever and ever, dump the EC. Just so long as you don't force the rest of us to join you.

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:15PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:15PM (#1021317)

              Those maps just show that Trump won big where people don't live.

              So what?

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday July 15 2020, @12:51AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday July 15 2020, @12:51AM (#1021589) Homepage

                No worries! so long as you in the Archipelago are self-sufficient.

                Wait, what? Getting hungry there in the dark??

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
      • (Score: 2, Troll) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:05AM (2 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:05AM (#1020879) Journal

        This...does not follow. At all. What happened to you? It looks like you just went plumb crazy about 2 months ago...

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2020, @08:20PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2020, @08:20PM (#1022084)

          He took the rightwing hysteria about "cancel culture" seriously, has not bothered to do a reality check, and has been radicalized into believing antifa are terrorists, BLM are the real racists, and cancel culture has made Democrats the new Nazi party.

          I've found out the key clue, any time someone says "I used to be a liberal" or "I'm a real liberal" you know they've been radicalized and are swallowing the rightwing propaganda that tells them they are the REAL defenders of freedom.

          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday July 16 2020, @12:39AM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday July 16 2020, @12:39AM (#1022172) Journal

            I wish I knew what makes supposedly intelligent people fall for such a stupid trick. Unfortunately, my suspicion is "they were never doing anything but shallow virtue-signalling in the first place, and this represents not a change of heart but an unwillingness to keep the disguise up any longer."

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:14PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:14PM (#1021212) Journal
        The interesting thing about the interstate compact is that it doesn't eliminate the EC. This is an inherent flaw of the EC approach (and voting systems in general).
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 13 2020, @04:59PM (70 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @04:59PM (#1020449) Journal

      It would be useful to describe how the interests of small population states differ so radically from the popular vote of the country.

      I understand that different states may have different groups of people that they hate. Maybe this can be reconciled so that we all hate the same people?

      --
      With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 13 2020, @05:06PM (54 children)

        Missing the point. We are not supposed to be "One Nation", under God or otherwise. In pretty much every governmental context except regarding US territories, "state" means sovereign nation. We were supposed to be something much more akin to NATO or what the EU was originally billed as (not what it's become) than a single nation. Everything that the states could realistically handle without screwing each other or themselves was supposed to be handled by the states. In that context, the EC makes complete sense.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:15PM (16 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:15PM (#1020480)

          No, EC was a compromise to get small states to ratify the Constitution. It wasn't any more a brilliant piece of political foresight than the Three Fifths Compromise. It was just brilliant as a negotiating tool.

          The end result of the Electoral College is that you have people win the electoral college but lose the popular vote, and that's never the right thing. Conservatives love it because twice in the past twenty years it happened to support the person who won. But my vote as a resident of a large state should not count for less in the presidential election than the vote of someone in Montana or Rhode Island. And if it happened that a Republican won the national popular vote and lost the electoral college, you would be howling for it to be abolished. Claiming anything else would be a lie.

          • (Score: 2, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Monday July 13 2020, @05:37PM (6 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @05:37PM (#1020517) Journal

            my vote as a resident of a large state should not count for less

            It's your choice to live in a densely populated area, where no one knows you, and no one gives a damn about you. It was my choice to live in a more sparsely populated area, where my name and my face are known to pretty much everyone within several miles.

            That is NOT TO SAY that everyone likes me, admires me, loves me. I am ONLY observing that almost everyone knows me, or at least knows of me.

            Now, you should quiet yourself, crawl back into the hive, and get to work like a good little worker. If the Queen wants or needs your opinion, you will be called for. Most definitely STOP whining about your chosen life style!

            • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:26PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:26PM (#1020657)

              As usual you're an idiot. The value of your vote should be geographically determined? What a bunch of horse shit.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:46PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:46PM (#1020671)

                Runaway is an idiot. "Idiotes" means "private", as in "autistic", unable to understand what it is like to be another person, a sociopath, a rather dangerous person. Voted for Tom Cotton, no doubt. His vote counts for nothing, though, since we don't cotton to the Electoral Collage.

                • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday July 13 2020, @10:11PM (1 child)

                  by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday July 13 2020, @10:11PM (#1020769)

                  And someone else modded that pile of steaming manure +1 Insightful. what a strange world we live in.

            • (Score: 5, Touché) by SpockLogic on Monday July 13 2020, @09:56PM (1 child)

              by SpockLogic (2762) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:56PM (#1020748)

              It was my choice to live in a more sparsely populated area, where my name and my face are known to pretty much everyone within several miles.

               

              From the Post Office walls ?

              --
              Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
              • (Score: 4, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:07AM

                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:07AM (#1020881) Journal

                Well, that's WHY it's sparsely-populated :)

                --
                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 13 2020, @05:40PM

            You're reading shit into what I said that I did not say and thinking I'm a conservative when I'm not. I did not vote for Trump and I explicitly said that the EC was a compromise further down the page. So, no, none of that supports your position that the EC is bad with me.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @05:52PM (7 children)

            by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:52PM (#1020535) Journal

            The EC was a compromise, meaning there was bargaining and an exchange to get to agreement. It is the height of self-entitlement however, to expect small states to give up what they bargained for and won, for nothing. What makes you so special that by the mere ability to procreate more -- to be a fucker -- you get to renege on what amounts to a treaty? Would you agree that breaking treaties for personal gain is a bad thing?

            So the question is, if you want the end of the EC -- what do YOU give up? Or is this just an exercise in self-satisfying moralizing and sanctimonious scolding?

            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @08:23PM (6 children)

              by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @08:23PM (#1020650)

              Counter question, do you consider it fair and just that your vote counts more than 3 times as much if you're from Wyoming than when you're from Florida?

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @09:19PM (4 children)

                by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:19PM (#1020705) Journal

                Yes, it is fair because it was the deal everyone made.

                If the deal was that WY was to have zero say in the US should it join, it would not have joined and WY would have been its own country (for better or worse), and rather than control 25% of its sovereignty and destiny, it would control all of it and FL would control 0%. Hell, if WY was an independent nation it could fire SCUD missiles at FL if it wanted to. That's something Floridians don't need to worry about today because of the EC.

                • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @09:36PM (3 children)

                  by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:36PM (#1020723)

                  You do understand that WY (or anyone else) would cease to exist if it as much as thought about considering pondering firing a missile at a US state, yes?

                  You're not exactly making a lot of sense right now.

                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @11:08PM (2 children)

                    by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @11:08PM (#1020808) Journal

                    Maybe -- it depends on who was allied with Wyoming and who was allied with Florida. You are assuming that without the EC, only WY would have objected -- perhaps all the Red States would have objected and they'd most all the Uranium. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining_in_the_United_States#/media/File:Map_of_US_uranium_reserves.gif [wikipedia.org]

                    The point you are missing is that you assume the US would look like it does in the absence of the EC. It wouldn't and that is why objecting to the EC now, after you avoided all those Wyoming SCUDs or horseback cavalry charges, took all of its uranium, and built an interstate from coast to coast across what would likely foreign territory to facilitate transport of all the essentials of life, is an extremely shallow and narrow perspective as well as being indicative of an imperialist mindset.

                    • (Score: 2, Troll) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:08AM (1 child)

                      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:08AM (#1020883) Journal

                      Please, please, PLEASE, let Wyoming fire missiles at Florida. Whoever loses, we win. Best case scenario, both states are reduced to flaming rubble.

                      --
                      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                      • (Score: 1) by hemocyanin on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:40AM

                        by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:40AM (#1020959) Journal

                        LOL. No more Florida Man stories though. The world would be a dimmer place.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2020, @08:44PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2020, @08:44PM (#1022096)

                First, the voters are counted equally. Your CA vote counts just as much as any other CA vote. You are comparing apples to oranges when you're trying to compare across state lines.

                Second, if you wanted to solve your misguided issue in a reasonable and fair manner then you should be advocating to split your state into multiple states. That would effect all the other states equally rather than your completely lopsided solution while also giving you the 'power' that you claim you don't have. But no, gotta smack down others and force them to change so you can get yours rather than being fair about it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:31PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:31PM (#1020501)

          that hasn't been true since 1861.

        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Monday July 13 2020, @06:27PM (30 children)

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @06:27PM (#1020552)

          Everything that the states could realistically handle without screwing each other or themselves was supposed to be handled by the states. In that context, the EC makes complete sense.

          TMB, could you elucidate on that a bit for me? As an outsider, I see the electoral college making sense when the speed of travel and communication was slow, but I think you're hinting at something else here.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by vux984 on Monday July 13 2020, @07:43PM (29 children)

            by vux984 (5045) on Monday July 13 2020, @07:43PM (#1020603)

            I thought he was pretty clear. His premise is that the states are supposed to be effectively sovereign states. The federal government is supposed to be a 'league of nations' construct, aka a so-called 'united states' the president of the 'united states' is supposed to be elected by the member-states, not by direct voting of the citizens of the member states. In this united states each state determines for itself how it wants to cast its it vote for president and runs its own elections. The EC makes decent sense in a 'united states is a league of sovereign countries' context.

            One could even argue giving each state 1 vote would also be pretty reasonable in this context; it would even be reasonable in that system for each governor to simply pick a candidate and send their vote to DC. In that system, citizens very indirectly would have a say in the president by selecting the state governor; loosely like how the UN Secretary General is selected.

            The point is, if you think of the USA as "united states" then the idea of citizens directly selecting the leader via popular vote is almost ridiculous; on par with approving the north american free trade agreement by simply having a direct referendum counting votes from all citizens of canada, the states, and mexico -- you of course need each country to sign on. Getting a simple majority of citizens from the 3 sovereign countries is... absurd.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @09:52PM (24 children)

              by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:52PM (#1020745) Journal

              This is a great post. I think some of the issue is that in the United States, which is one nation with a number of specific states, we forget that in international law the concept of state is the same as the concept of country and that the current conception of a "US state", uses a diminished sense of the word state unfortunately without using a different word. When the Constitution was ratified, it was very much an agreement between separate wholly sovereign entities, not some mere agreement between what in the US, we now conceive of as states (in the diminished sovereignty sense).

              This I think is the fundamental issue the anti-EC crowd ignores. Without the EC, it is likely the US would not exist as it does. If we are to talk about eliminating the EC, maybe it's time to have a discussion about peaceful withdrawal, but to destroy the EC without that discussion is an expression of extreme violence because at the root of it, the anti-EC people are talking about enforcing laws on unwilling states (which may be seen as diminished by some, undiminished by others). At the root of that is the pure unadulterated power of weaponry and a willingness to use those weapons against opposition. It is in this way that the anti-EC crowd is monstrous -- right now it is the monstrosity of smug "we know better than you" attitudes, but under that, is the monstrosity of bloodshed for those who don't comply, or crushing submission by those who will.

              • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday July 13 2020, @10:54PM (19 children)

                by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday July 13 2020, @10:54PM (#1020801)

                ...but under that, is the monstrosity of bloodshed for those who don't comply, or crushing submission by those who will.

                No-one is suggesting violence to enforce anything.

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @11:22PM (18 children)

                  by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @11:22PM (#1020817) Journal

                  Eliminating the EC without a Constitutional amendment can only be accomplished through violence. There are two broad categories of ways to get people to do what you want -- agreement and force. By circumventing the agreement method (Constitutional Amendment) and doing some Constitution underminingl workaround (Interstate Compact) you necessarily rely on the force method.

                  Let's say there is an election in which the EC would have elected on person, but the Interstate Compact elects another. What are you going to do if States not part of the compact refuse to accept the election, refuse to accept Federal power, refuse to pay taxes or take federal money, and throw up barriers across the interstate freeways at their borders? You are either going to accept that secession or send in the troops. The troops will secure either military victory (or loss) or submission of the populace by threat of force. That's violence and eliminating the EC without agreement is at it's core, an exercise in brute-force-barrel-of-the-gun power and compliance. To even suggest eliminating the EC without the correct amendment procedure, is threaten such force.

                  You need to understand this or you won't understand why the consequences of your desire are so high.

                  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:14AM (7 children)

                    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:14AM (#1020848)

                    Eliminating the EC without a Constitutional amendment can only be accomplished through violence.

                    Are you sure that's true? It seems awfully unimaginative to me, but you might be right.

                    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:32AM (6 children)

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:32AM (#1020953) Journal

                      Governance is either by agreement or coercion. Coercion is violence (*), otherwise it isn't coercion -- it's asking. Right now, we can see that many are not agreeing with the current governing model and cities burn. If these groups take power, there will be others who oppose them and did not agree, and again, cities will burn. Our system is incredibly fragile.

                      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:23AM (5 children)

                        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:23AM (#1021006)

                        That's a shame.

                        So there's no other way then?

                        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:41AM (4 children)

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:41AM (#1021020) Journal
                          Why does there need to be another way? We have a built-in peaceful way to do things. Why not use it? Why this interest in circumventing it?
                          • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:48AM (3 children)

                            by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:48AM (#1021025)

                            That's what I'm wondering.

                            I don't see why there has to be violence, but hemocyanin seems to think its inevitable.

                            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:15PM (1 child)

                              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:15PM (#1021213) Journal
                              I consider the Interstate Compact approach to be legal and workable. hemocyanin does not.
                              • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday July 14 2020, @08:12PM

                                by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @08:12PM (#1021459)

                                I had to look up the Interstate Compact, and yes, that seems to be the way to do it.

                                Better that killing each other too, I would have thought.

                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2020, @08:57PM

                              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2020, @08:57PM (#1022101)

                              There has to be violence because the groups wanting to abolish the EC are doing it by forcing the change on others without their consent. That is an attack. They could fix their problems fully internally by splitting themselves up into multiple smaller states so that each person within the new states has the same 'voting power' as the less popular states. That would be a peaceful way to get the same result that their populations are complaining for without causing undo harm on any existing states. However they're not complicating that solution because it'll reduce their collective power as single, larger states. That shows you their true goals. They don't want equality, they want the power to impose their will on others and that only happens when they're one of the largest states rather than redefining themselves to be a bunch of same-sized states. They're the ones who picked the path of violence, forcing others to bend to their will instead of changing their own identity.

                  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:10AM

                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:10AM (#1020886) Journal

                    If this happens, all it means is Lincoln should have given the Southern traitors what they deserved: burned the place to the ground, salted the ashes, downed half a cask of ale, and taken a Presidential piss of Noachide proportions on said salty ashes.

                    --
                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:40AM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:40AM (#1021084)

                    Eliminating the EC without a Constitutional amendment can only be accomplished through violence. There are two broad categories of ways to get people to do what you want -- agreement and force. By circumventing the agreement method (Constitutional Amendment) and doing some Constitution underminingl workaround (Interstate Compact) you necessarily rely on the force method.

                    You're leaving out an important step here. The courts.

                    Assuming the NVPIC [wikipedia.org] gains legislative approval from enough states to guarantee the election of the popular vote winner *ever* happens, about nineteen seconds later dozens of lawsuits will be filed trying to invalidate such an arrangement.

                    And it's not clear that such an agreement/compact is even constitutional [wikipedia.org].

                    It's entirely possible that SCOTUS could rule such an agreement unconstitutional for a variety of reasons.

                    After that, what sort of "force" are you talking about? Reg'lar army folks occupying statehouses until they ratify an amendment? SEAL teams assaulting Governor's mansions? Or maybe just FBI? You've got some imagination there friend.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:06PM (1 child)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @01:06PM (#1021209) Journal

                      And it's not clear that such an agreement/compact is even constitutional.

                      All they need is consent of Congress to get past that obstacle (or a favorable Supreme Court line up). Given that Congress hasn't protested the agreement now despite the progress made for over a decade (sounds like they're up to 15 states), that's a strong demonstration of consent.

                      And of course, they could just do it anyway. Supreme Court has limited power to enforce.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:06PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:06PM (#1021233)

                        All they need is consent of Congress to get past that obstacle (or a favorable Supreme Court line up). Given that Congress hasn't protested the agreement now despite the progress made for over a decade (sounds like they're up to 15 states), that's a strong demonstration of consent.

                        Yeah. That's the law. If Congress says it's okay, then it's okay. That's neither illegal or some sort of trick/fraud. It's right there in the Constitution.

                        If SCOTUS says they don't need Congress' approval, that's not illegal or a trick/fraud either.

                        This is how our system works. And it's been that way since 1789 and 1804, respectively.

                        If anyone doesn't like it, they can try to change the constitution with an amendment, as we've done 27 times over the years.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:58AM (2 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:58AM (#1021173) Journal

                    Let's say there is an election in which the EC would have elected on person, but the Interstate Compact elects another.

                    Why would that happen? The Interstate Compact despite its flaws distributes votes in the EC (the states after all have considerable freedom in how they vote in the EC). There's no opportunity for such a difference to occur.

                    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Tuesday July 14 2020, @05:52PM (1 child)

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @05:52PM (#1021377) Journal

                      People can do the math and figure out they were had. If that was to occur I expect nothing peaceful to result.

                      There is a way to amend the Constitution -- gutting it with slimy workarounds has been the order of the day for some time, but mostly in areas where most people don't feel the effects, such as with the 2A and 4A. If there was an election in which the vote totals under the EC would elect Trump but the totals under the IC would elect Biden, and either takes office, I would expect a shooting war. One side considers the other literal nazis and the other side considers the other literal Maos. At that point there really is no path to resolution by agreement.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @10:23PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @10:23PM (#1021505) Journal

                        People can do the math and figure out they were had.

                        They can then overturn the Interstate Compact in the usual way.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:13PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:13PM (#1021239)

                    Let's say there is an election in which the EC would have elected on person, but the Interstate Compact elects another. What are you going to do if States not part of the compact refuse to accept the election, refuse to accept Federal power, refuse to pay taxes or take federal money, and throw up barriers across the interstate freeways at their borders?

                    As with most things Federal, the law is what Congress says it is, and/or it's what SCOTUS interprets it to be.

                    As is clearly stated in the Constitution, it's the supreme law of the land. Full stop.

                    Should the bizzaro world scenario you're fantasizing about actually come to pass (fat chance!), then those responsible for the civil unrest will be arrested and prosecuted.

                    It's a great fantasy. And you even get to use your AR-15 on Gub'mint folk. That's gotta get your cock hard, huh? How many times have you masturbated to that particular fantasy?

                    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Tuesday July 14 2020, @05:58PM

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @05:58PM (#1021385) Journal

                      I think Portland and Seattle are prime examples of the fact that those creating civil unrest and devastation to public and private property, will not necessarily face consequences. Whether there are consequences will depend wholly on whether local government is aligned with your insurrection. This creates a "one law for me, one law for thee" situation which is inherently unstable.

                      I have no fantasies about what may come. It will be horrific whether the regressive left's authoritarian proclivities win by acquiescence because authoritarian governments are always evil and bloody, or we end up civil war, which are always evil and bloody.

                  • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Thursday July 16 2020, @12:14AM

                    by vux984 (5045) on Thursday July 16 2020, @12:14AM (#1022164)

                    "What are you going to do if States not part of the compact refuse to accept the election, refuse to accept Federal power, refuse to pay taxes or take federal money, and throw up barriers across the interstate freeways at their borders? You are either going to accept that secession or send in the troops."

                    Lighten up Francis.

                    "What are you going to do if States that **ARE** part of the compact refuse to accept the election, refuse to accept Federal power, refuse to pay taxes or take federal money, and throw up barriers across the interstate freeways at their borders? You are either going to accept that secession or send in the troops."

                    "To even suggest that the Interstate Compact won't be allowed, is to threaten such force."

                    It cuts both ways equally. And there's nothing special about the EC either. A group of states could unilaterally secede over literally anything at any time.. a supreme court ruling they don't like, an obnoxious tweet from the cheeto in charge, even a duly and properly passed constitutional amendment -- just because you did it by the books doesn't mean a group of states can't decide to throw barricades on the highway and secede over it.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:58PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:58PM (#1020841)

                When the Constitution was ratified, it was very much an agreement between separate wholly sovereign entities, not some mere agreement between what in the US, we now conceive of as states (in the diminished sovereignty sense).

                That diminishment of state power was understood and agreed to by those who ratified the constitution in 1789. It's right there in the the text: that the Constitutions is "...the supreme law of the land."

                We tried the "League of Nations" style national government. That was the Articles of Confederation [wikipedia.org]. It didn't work well. At all. Which is why we replaced it.

                • (Score: 1) by hemocyanin on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:34AM (2 children)

                  by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:34AM (#1020955) Journal

                  Right -- I don't understand why you think that is contradicting me. The states accepted diminishment in exchange for a system where low population states still had a voice. Without that say, those states would not have accepted diminishment. It is a fundamentally fraudulent dealing to trick a party into agreement under a specific set of terms, and then change those terms on the party later and say "haha, so sad, suck it up buttercup." Super slimy.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @05:10AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @05:10AM (#1021062)

                    It is a fundamentally fraudulent dealing to trick a party into agreement under a specific set of terms, and then change those terms on the party later and say "haha, so sad, suck it up buttercup." Super slimy.

                    Again, I heartily disagree.

                    As I pointed out [soylentnews.org] in response to one of your other comments [soylentnews.org]:

                    Getting rid of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. Doing so requires 2/3 majorities in the House and Senate (which is composed of representatives from *all* the states) and ratification by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states.

                    That mechanism (amending the constitution) is also explicitly defined in the Constitution as ratified by every single state, both those that were extant at its implementation, and all the other states as they joined the union.

                    Each and every state has ratified the constitution that includes the amendment process. No one has been tricked, duped or defrauded. If a state was uncomfortable with, or objected to, the amendment process, they certainly did not have to ratify it.

                    As such, claiming that using said process is somehow "a fundamentally fraudulent dealing to trick a party into agreement" is ignorant at best, and disingenuous at worst. Which is it, then?

                    • (Score: 1) by hemocyanin on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:00PM

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:00PM (#1021386) Journal

                      Amending the constitution is not fraudulent.

                      Constitution gutting workarounds like the interstate compact are. If you don't want the EC, do it the legit route. Everything else is slimy and dangerous.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Joe Desertrat on Monday July 13 2020, @10:06PM (2 children)

              by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday July 13 2020, @10:06PM (#1020762)

              The problem is that this heavily "states first" idea is a proven failure. Think back to the Articles of Confederation and the Confederacy. What you end up with is large portions of the nation refusing to act for the benefit of the whole (although we seem to be slipping back towards this) even when failing to do so dooms them in the long run.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday July 15 2020, @09:49AM (1 child)

                by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday July 15 2020, @09:49AM (#1021783) Homepage Journal

                That's only a failure if your aim is to control everyone and make them do as you think they should. That, my friend, is the opposite of liberty. So you can kind of see why nobody much wanted that.

                --
                My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday July 16 2020, @10:10PM

                  by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday July 16 2020, @10:10PM (#1022599)

                  The failure usually shows most in disaster response. Instead of a coordinated response (sending Johnston enough troops to stop Grant in the west, for instance) that can stop* a problem early, responses end up being piecemeal, each state responding on its own, with the usual result that none of them succeed.

                  *OK, the south was never going to win the war, their hope was to make victory for the Union so costly that they would essentially give up and allow the Confederacy to exist. They lost all hope of that when they blew it in the west, and they blew it mostly because they had no government capability to coordinate a response.

            • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:27AM

              by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:27AM (#1021155)

              Thanks. That "League of Nations" concept is what slipped by me.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:42PM (#1020667)

          And Buzzy says this, right after the Supreme Court has re-asserted the sovereignty of the Indian Nations?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:26PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:26PM (#1020711)

          In pretty much every governmental context except regarding US territories, "state" means sovereign nation. We were supposed to be something much more akin to NATO or what the EU was originally billed as (not what it's become) than a single nation.

          That view of the US died with the Articles of Confederation [wikipedia.org].

          The current Constitution (ratified in 1789), while leaving most things to the states, clearly states that the US Constitution is the "supreme law of the land." As such, your "view" of the US government hasn't been in place for more than two centuries.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday July 15 2020, @09:54AM

            by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday July 15 2020, @09:54AM (#1021786) Homepage Journal

            Man, how did you get so much bullshit stuffed into such a small head? That they moved incrementally from the articles of confederation to what we have today (as well as the tenth amendment and many other bits) should tell you that keeping as much power as possible with the states was the goal right from the start.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @11:06PM (#1020807)

          People often forget those 6-8 years between the revolution and the Congressional Congress. We tried the whole 'States as Sovereign Entities', it failed because of the lack of a universal currency combined with debts owed to foreign entities (primarily France) which left our mechant class unable to secure credit to get more products brought over from Europe that were deemed necessary, particularly with british encroachment from Canada and maritime conflicts with a variety of players making each shipment both financially and politically high risk.

          This was further solidified by our endless conflict over slave versus free states, and eventually the Civil War, where we decided once and for all that States are only as Independent as the Federal Government deigns them to be.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Freeman on Monday July 13 2020, @05:25PM (13 children)

        by Freeman (732) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:25PM (#1020492) Journal

        The purpose of the Electoral College is so that Big states don't have the only say in an election. Otherwise, it's conceivable that a president elect, could 100% ignore 1/2 the country or more and only focus on what the large majority of the major cities want. Everyone else can go suck on an egg. That is categorically unfair and what the Electoral College exists to protect against. Yes, your vote as a person in a more populous state doesn't count the same as some less populous states, that's life. But, that's how the other states actually get a say in anything.

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by GlennC on Monday July 13 2020, @06:47PM (1 child)

          by GlennC (3656) on Monday July 13 2020, @06:47PM (#1020571)

          The purpose of the Electoral College is so that Big counties don't have the only say in an election.

          FTFY,,,without the Electoral College, a candidate could simply focus on the dozen or so largest counties in the nation and easily win.

          This means that entire regions would be effectively disenfranchised.

          A listing of the largest counties is available at https://ballotpedia.org/Large_counties_in_the_United_States_by_population [ballotpedia.org]

          --
          Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @07:45PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @07:45PM (#1020605)

            Personally I prefer screwing over the minority rather than the majority. Simple math, but of course the flyover states don't want to lose their undeserved privilege. Buncha Karen states, that is what state's rights are all about.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday July 13 2020, @07:36PM (6 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @07:36PM (#1020594) Journal

          The purpose of the Electoral College is so that Big states don't have the only say in an election.

          The purpose of the Electoral College is so that the majority of voters in Big states don't have the only as much or any say in an election. Even if they win by popular vote.

          Otherwise, it's conceivable that a president elect, could 100% ignore 1/2 the country

          But it's totally okay to have a president, by minority vote, that 100% ignores 1/2 the country. Nothing wrong here. Nosiree.

          and only focus on what the large majority of the major cities want.

          ... and only focus on what he wants, his racist minority base wants, how things will play in the media, and what the ratings will be.

          --
          With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Monday July 13 2020, @07:45PM (4 children)

            by Freeman (732) on Monday July 13 2020, @07:45PM (#1020606) Journal

            Better than the alternative. The electoral college was created to make sure that the people in a tiny place like New York City, (not by population size, but by square mileage), wouldn't have absolute say over the entire rest of the nation or vice versa.

            --
            Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Monday July 13 2020, @08:03PM (3 children)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @08:03PM (#1020630) Journal

              So if the people in New York City were to take up more land, should their vote suddenly count more?

              Or are they just unimportant.

              We we have not is a system where a president can and does ignore the needs of 1/2 the country. You just don't like it to be your half.

              And neither party can seem to represent more people, and neither party can seem to put up a candidate who represents more people's interests.

              --
              With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
              • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday July 13 2020, @08:43PM (2 children)

                by Freeman (732) on Monday July 13 2020, @08:43PM (#1020668) Journal

                What I'm saying is that the electoral college vote is designed to give equity to the system, not equality. Otherwise, if each state was equal, there would be an even greater disparity of the vote. While a system where 1 vote = 1 vote, would lend itself to only focusing on the issues that matter to a few cities in the entire country, essentially neutering the vote of the entire rest of the country. That coming from a person from one of the largest and most populous states.

                --
                Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
                • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 13 2020, @09:06PM (1 child)

                  by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @09:06PM (#1020691) Journal

                  I'm in a red flyover state, yet making arguments against the E.C., Trump, etc.

                  --
                  With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:47PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14 2020, @06:47PM (#1021413)

                    Maybe they should just go back to the 1 EC per X people +2EC for a state, instead of capping the total number of people in the EC. They capped the House because it was just getting too big, but that isn't really an issue with the EC is it?

                    Have the EC votes follow the number originally prescribed in the constitution, while still capping the House.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:01PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:01PM (#1020625)

            Yes. That is exactly correct, because what your statement shows is your complete lack of knowledge.

            The EC is the election method that STATES use to elect the president. It is not, has never been a means by which the PEOPLE elect the president. It is a weighting system that compromised between the large and the small states so that states that are likely to have more economic power cannot completely disenfranchise those that have lesser economic power. The current election system for the Senate is a good example. Now the Senate is elected by the people, but this was not originally so. The direct election of the Senator means that he is LESS culpable to the people of the state, because he can use federal issues to distract the people from when he does actual harm to their state. For example, the Senator in KS who supported via multiple means the takeover and gutting of Cabela's... a perfectly good profitable company, by Paul Singer (among the largest of GOP donors) and the destruction of an entire county. If the Senator was still appointed by the state legislature or governor, his ass would have been canned instantly.

            It is the compromise of a federation of states, not a populist election system. Careful, when you wield the power of the electorate, you may not like what you get. The majority of people would still vote against gay marriage, and immigrant rights, and a myriad of other issues that have been stymied by the federal system, or where the state system has been used to shoehorn in a consensus, despite popular vote. Compromises that are reneged often have very large unforeseen consequences. The Civil War is but one example.

            People have this egomaniacal view that their position gets better when they demand pure democracy, that is rarely true, and often the opposite. This has been explored by political science and philosophy since the literal beginning of recorded philosophy. I like to think its the origin of a Germanic law where if a chieftain tried to promote himself above other chieftains it was a requirement of the other chiefs and the people to kill him. Lord Acton and all that.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by meustrus on Monday July 13 2020, @09:08PM

          by meustrus (4961) on Monday July 13 2020, @09:08PM (#1020693)

          The purpose of the Electoral College is so that Big states don't have the only say in an election.

          That's why states get an extra +2 EC votes regardless of population, but it's not why the EC exists. This comment [soylentnews.org] references Hamilton promoting it as a tool of explicit elitism. TFA itself has this to say about the purpose of the Electoral College:

          Just because the Electoral College doesn’t favor small states, rural states or either party doesn’t mean our Founders didn’t create it for a reason. In fact, as Akhil Amar describes in his book America’s Constitution: A Biography, they were three reasons. First, in a brand-new country connected dirt roads, conducting a direct nationwide election was unimaginable, so it was far better to hold the election in stages. Second, because states had very different requirements for voting, not just involving race but wealth as well, a national popular vote would put pressure on states to make more people eligible to vote, something our Founders weren’t comfortable doing. Finally, because the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution gave states with larger enslaved populations more representatives in Congress – and because a state’s strength in the Electoral College is based mostly on its number of representatives in Congress – Southern states insisted on a system of electors to increase their influence.

          To sum up all three reasons into one: the Electoral College exists in order to integrate multiple voting systems that quantified representation in otherwise incompatible ways. It was built for a world where one state might want 50% suffrage and another might want only 10% suffrage, but they were supposed to have some kind of equivalent influence on the presidential election.

          In a world where all states and territories have near-universal suffrage, we don't need it. The only good that's left is the small amount of extra influence it gives to small states. Let's be honest about how much of a difference that really makes. From TFA:

          In fairness, because electors are apportioned in a hybrid system – 435 of them are distributed proportional to population, while the remaining 100 are divided up equally among the states – places like Wyoming and Vermont do have a bit more clout than they otherwise would. But because the vast majority of votes doled out proportionally, the influence of small states is still pretty puny. In the Senate, California and Wyoming are equals. In the Electoral College, the winner of California gets 55 votes while the winner of Wyoming or Vermont gets just three. In fact, to make up for losing California, you would have to sweep the 15 smallest states and D.C. If the Electoral College is meant to keep small states from being overlooked, it’s doing an awful job.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:49AM (1 child)

          by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @12:49AM (#1020868)

          I thought that's what the Senate is for:

          - The House of Reps proposes legislation based on representation of people nationally
          - The Senate supports or opposes the legislation based on the number of states that support it

          You could be forgiven for thinking that the job of the Senate is to blindly support or oppose the President, depending on which party they're from, as that's how it's been working for the past 6 years.

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:33PM

            by Freeman (732) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @02:33PM (#1021253) Journal

            It's been working that way for a lot longer than that. While, there are other ways a small state could exert influence, having some say in who is elected President is definitely something they should and need to have the power to do.

            --
            Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 2) by dwilson on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:12PM

          by dwilson (2599) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:12PM (#1021270) Journal

          The purpose of the Electoral College is so that Big states don't have the only say in an election. Otherwise, it's conceivable that a president elect, could 100% ignore 1/2 the country or more and only focus on what the large majority of the major cities want. Everyone else can go suck on an egg.

          And if you'd like an empirical demonstration of what that will look like, look no farther than your northern neighbour. If a party sweeps the board in Ontario and Quebec, they generally have enough seats to form the government with only a smattering of wins elsewhere. It works about as well as you'd expect.

          --
          - D
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:27PM (#1020495)

        It's not the interests of small population states that differ so radically from the popular vote of the country.

        It's the interests of a handful of large population states (one in particular) that differ so radically from the interests from the rest of the country.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:10PM (19 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:10PM (#1020472)

      So if I was a voter in a big state, it's right for your vote to count more than mine? Why?

      Forget Donald Trump. Imagine any scenario in which some candidate wins the electoral college but loses the popular vote. How is that fair to the voters?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Monday July 13 2020, @05:35PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:35PM (#1020511) Journal

        They don't give a shit about fair...

        As soon as winning by getting fewer votes benefits Democrats they'll try to disband the EC.

        And I'll help them.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:44PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @05:44PM (#1020528)

        Just move to a small state and then you too can be completely ignored in the popular vote.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:36PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @09:36PM (#1020724)

          You are not ignored, your vote counts just as much as any other individuals. If you want to do something differently from the rest of the country you make it a state issue, and then it can go to the supreme court to decide if the federal or state level takes precedence.

          Buncha ignorant selfish pricks you are. Woops, also fascist for wanting to force your minority opinion upon others like some entitled twat.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:16AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 14 2020, @04:16AM (#1021036) Journal

            If you want to do something differently from the rest of the country you make it a state issue, and then it can go to the supreme court to decide if the federal or state level takes precedence.

            You're really selling this with the "Mommy may I?" routine. It's ridiculous to use the US Supreme Court as a gatekeeper just because some part of the country wants to be a little different.

            Buncha ignorant selfish pricks you are.

            This compromise was agreed to way back when in order to have a country. Fatuous appeals to morality won't change that. And I can't help but notice the appeal is one-sided with no similar demands required of you. What are you willing to offer?

            My take on this is that the vote weighting aspect of the Electoral College helps preserve political diversity as amply demonstrated by your first paragraph. We don't need the Supreme Court to nanny us. A related big problem is one-size-fits-all solutions. For example, minimum wage law is a classic example with some proponents going as far as to propose a minimum wage (such as $15 per hour in the mid 2010s) that would be aggressive for any urban area, much less the lower priced (and usually much poorer) rural areas. Gun control is another with rural areas having different risks and needs from urban areas.

      • (Score: 2, Troll) by hemocyanin on Monday July 13 2020, @05:59PM (2 children)

        by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:59PM (#1020540) Journal

        Without the EC, there would be no US. You are jumping into this thing in the middle. Go to the beginning -- you would have ZERO say over what happens in Montana without the EC because Montana would not be part of the US at all. And you bitch about having a substantial but not 100% power over Montana?

        Anyone who wants to abandon the EC, must in fairness provide for the peaceful voluntary secession of states. Otherwise you are just colonizing those less populous states and breaking treaties. Do you really want to be a colonizing treaty breaker??

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:52PM (#1020675)

          Montana, the eastern half, anyway, was part of the Louisiana Purchase, so if Tommy Jefferson had not gotten a "going out of business" deal from Napolean, Montana would be French. Mon Deiu! Or Piegan and Absarokee, and Shosone, and Salish. And Gros Ventre, and Cheyanne.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:53AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @03:53AM (#1021026) Homepage

          "Do you really want to be a colonizing treaty breaker??"

          Actually, I think that's *exactly* what the anti-EC forces want to be. They may frame it differently, but that's what it boils down to. "There's more of us than there are of you, so bend over."

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @06:29PM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @06:29PM (#1020555)

        Why should your vote in a big state mean more than my vote in Wyoming? A big state already has more economic clout, more voting clout, more revenue from income taxes, more revenue from tourism, more businesses and infrastructure to attract even more businesses, and not to mention more name recognition. For every one person that says "Let's take a trip to Wyoming." 1000 people say "Let's take a trip to NYC/Miami/Cali/DC/..etc, etc.". Your one vote already counts for much more than my one vote.

        The thing is no matter what system you use ~10 states control 50% of the vote. And in each of those 10 states one or two cities control 50% of the vote inside the state. EC gives the little communities in each state and give each little state a chance to occasionally to say "I am important".

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @05:21PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:21PM (#1020487)

      Counter question: How is it fair that your vote has more weight than the one from someone in a bigger state?

      How about creating a counter weight system where there is one house where every state has the same amount of say, independent of size, while we also have a second house where the seats are distributed based on population?

      Wait, that sounds familiar...

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Monday July 13 2020, @05:45PM (3 children)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Monday July 13 2020, @05:45PM (#1020529)

      you have less population, you DESERVE less influence!

      well, duh.

      why should you have as much as large states?

      the system is broken. your concerns have been noted. and rejected. have a nice day.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Monday July 13 2020, @07:59PM (2 children)

        by Freeman (732) on Monday July 13 2020, @07:59PM (#1020623) Journal

        Define large state. Generally, that means say Texas, vs Rhode Island. What about Texas vs New York? The whole idea is to be equitable, not equal. Otherwise, you either have candidates focusing only on large population centers, or tiny states like Rhode Island that have the same say as a very populous state like New York or a very large and very populous state like Texas.

        You don't want a tiny population+size state to have the same say as a large+populous state like Texas/California. Yet, you also, don't want it to be strictly based on population, because otherwise, you will have large population centers that matter and literally every other place, is of no consequence.

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 13 2020, @08:05PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 13 2020, @08:05PM (#1020634) Journal

          I wonder what would happen if E.C. were reorganized so that number of votes a state has was tied to a state's economic output?

          Just hypothetically.

          Wondering.

          --
          With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
          • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday July 13 2020, @08:15PM

            by Opportunist (5545) on Monday July 13 2020, @08:15PM (#1020646)

            Mmm... per capita or in total? Because if the former, D.C. would basically simply ignore what's going on in the rest of the country.

            Otherwise you'd have California and Texas duking it out, with New York and Florida as their respective partners and the rest of the states basically sitting on the sideline and doing cheerleading duty.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday July 13 2020, @06:59PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday July 13 2020, @06:59PM (#1020574)

      If I live in a small population state, why would I want to sign on the the compact? It just reduces my influence.

      Because unless your small population state is considered a "swing state", everyone running the national campaigns for president have already marked it down in one column or the other, and you have absolutely nobody competing for your vote and thus nobody with an incentive to even say things that you agree with. So you'd want to get rid of the EC if you're a Democrat in Idaho or a Republican in Vermont, because right now your votes don't meaningfully count for anything and everyone knows it.

      I'm feeling too lazy to do the math right now, but it would also potentially make your vote more important if you're a backer of the Libertarians, Greens, or another smaller party or independent candidate. Right now, if your vote is in a state that's not close (i.e. most of them), the major parties don't care about your vote in the slightest. If your vote is in a state that *is* close enough that support for your candidate matters, the major parties will invariably blame you for their loss.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13 2020, @08:38PM (#1020663)

      No kidding. For that matter, I'd prefer to strengthen federalism much more, and get rid of the 17th amendment. I'd rather pull as much authority down to the local and state level as possible, and having the senators be beholden to the state government rather than popular vote would help. After all, if you don't like things like Trump threatening school funding if they don't open, well, if this kind of federalism hadn't been so weakened he wouldn't have a lever to threaten with.

    • (Score: 2) by Revek on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:25PM

      by Revek (5022) on Tuesday July 14 2020, @11:25PM (#1021545)

      I live in a small population state and would welcome someone telling me/them what to do. This place is backwards and in need of reason.

      --
      This page was generated by a Swarm of Roaming Elephants
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