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post #51 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 05:55 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Quote:
Botnst - 10/17/2004 4:45 PM

I agree, it zeroes-out the effect of population size. It provides the states with power separate from their population sizes. This is to give them power in tehir relationship with the federal government. The House is intended to reflect the ebb and flow of population fickleness. That's why it's population-dependent and why it has a (theoretically) higher turn-over due to 2-year terms.

The Electoral College combines these two goals. Each state is apportioned electors based on the number of congressional districts and the number of senators. This weights against the absolute majoritarian rule of both direct election and proportional representation. By design, the President is NOT supposed to reflect the popular will. The Presidency is NOT a popularity contest.

Practically speaking, there is no way that the Electoral College will ever be amended out of the constitution. The majority of states would lose power to the minority of highly-populated states. They will never do that. The best hope there is for reform to allow minority representation in the state's presidential vote is to allow for elector selection by congressional district.
I believe that Nebraska and Maine have that in place already, do they not? I'm fine with that, though I like Colorado's plan better. Either way, there's a greater incentive to vote, and anything that encourages voter participation is a good thing, at least to my feeble mind.

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post #52 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:01 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

What those two states are doing (and Colorado is trying) is great for voters but hell for party politics.

It would give Naderites, Greenies, and Libertarians actual hope for real power. That could be revolutionary.
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post #53 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:07 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

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Botnst - 10/17/2004 7:10 PM

How come each state has two senators while the populations of each state vary widely? If population alone is important, shouldn't senators be apportioned like congressmen?

Why does Rhode Island have the same number of senators as Alaska?

And why does Wyoming even have a congressmen? Its way out of proportion to their population.

Its the recognition that population alone is not sufficient reason to exersize power, else you have strict majority rule. Majority rule fails to protect minority will.

If you want something closer akin to population fairness, invite your state legislature to change the way electors are selected so that each congressional district elects its own elector and two electors are elected state-wide. Its consitutional, but the two major parties figured-out how to limit third parties by shutting-out minority candidacy and power.
Its a false example. THe Senate was never meant by the founders to be a "representative" body. We've been over this before. The House represents the people, and it is apportioned by population. It is given the greatest power of government, the power of the purse. Constitutionally, very little legislation can originate in the Senate, and that is so for a key reason - the founders envisioned the Senate as a council of sages, not legislators. Each state was supposed to send their two most learned men, picked by the legislature of the state. Their job is to be the brake on the passions of the mob, they ae not to originate legislation, they are to examine that which the House has originated and passed. They are there, second time this has been said, to provide Wisdom not representative democracy.

In addition, they are to examine men appointed by the executive branch to positions of great power, again to prevent cadres of radicals being appointed as a result of a demogogue becoming President. They are there to "advise and consent". Please stop using it as an example for your cockeyed theory of why the electoral college was designed as it is. The existance of the Senate and the existance of the EC have never been and are not related. I have already posted the reasons for the Electoral College in Madison's own words - it was not for any grand design, it was because of slavery. The other explanation you give has been around forever, but it was a post-facto rationale cooked up by Hamilton to sell the damned thing to New Yorkers. Kind of like we do with our reasons for War in Iraq - make up reasons after the fact to hide the real reason.

The college is an abomination left over from the days of slavery. It directly conflicts with the 14th and 15th Amendments, which under the principle of supercession overrule it. It is a time bomb. We don't need an amendment to get rid of it - The Supreme Court needs to simply rule it must follow the one-man one-vote rule that 600,000 Americans died for in the Civil War. That would result in apportionment.

In addition, the whole "rural states vs city states" was over a long time ago. All states have large urban populations. Its time to stop using stupid imaginery lines and "states rights" in the Internet age to justify democracy being stolen from us. The Electoral College is an institution that special interests have found easy to control, and it is one of the ways they control us, becoming an ever more sophisticated technique of our new modern fascists. Its about time the majority got to pick the President of this country. The current one is a damned disaster.

BTW - right now the odds of a Kerry Electoral victory and a popular vote defeat are much higher than vice versa.

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post #54 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:09 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Just one more reason to support it. Can you imagine if Colorado's split vote (if it's voted in, of course) decides the election? It would have swung the election to Gore four years ago. Supreme Court anyone?

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post #55 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:21 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Quote:
kvining - 10/17/2004 8:07 PM

Quote:
Botnst - 10/17/2004 7:10 PM

How come each state has two senators while the populations of each state vary widely? If population alone is important, shouldn't senators be apportioned like congressmen?

Why does Rhode Island have the same number of senators as Alaska?

And why does Wyoming even have a congressmen? Its way out of proportion to their population.

Its the recognition that population alone is not sufficient reason to exersize power, else you have strict majority rule. Majority rule fails to protect minority will.

If you want something closer akin to population fairness, invite your state legislature to change the way electors are selected so that each congressional district elects its own elector and two electors are elected state-wide. Its consitutional, but the two major parties figured-out how to limit third parties by shutting-out minority candidacy and power.
Its a false example. THe Senate was never meant by the founders to be a "representative" body. We've been over this before. The House represents the people, and it is apportioned by population. It is given the greatest power of government, the power of the purse. Constitutionally, very little legislation can originate in the Senate, and that is so for a key reason - the founders envisioned the Senate as a council of sages, not legislators. Each state was supposed to send their two most learned men, picked by the legislature of the state. Their job is to be the brake on the passions of the mob, they ae not to originate legislation, they are to examine that which the House has originated and passed. They are there, second time this has been said, to provide Wisdom not representative democracy.

In addition, they are to examine men appointed by the executive branch to positions of great power, again to prevent cadres of radicals being appointed as a result of a demogogue becoming President. They are there to "advise and consent". Please stop using it as an example for your cockeyed theory of why the electoral college was designed as it is. The existance of the Senate and the existance of the EC have never been and are not related.

The college is an abomination left over from the days of slavery. It directly conflicts with the 14th and 15th Amendments, which under the principle of supercession overrule it. It is a time bomb. The Supreme Court needs rule it must follow the one-man one-vote rule that 600,000 Americans died for in the Civil War.

In addition, the whole "rural states vs city states" was over a long time ago. All states have large urban populations. Its time to stop using stupid imaginery lines and "states rights" in the Internet age to justify democracy being stolen from us. The Electoral College is an institution that special interests have found easy to control, and it is one of the ways they control us, becoming an ever more sophisticated technique of our new modern fascists. Its about time the majority got to pick the President of this country. The current one is a damned disaster.

BTW - right now the odds of a Kerry Electoral victory and a popular vote defeat are much higher than vice versa.
Its a true example, yours is false. Nyah-nyah! Blllbbrbrbrrrrblllh!!!

Show me where I said the Senate was supposed to be a representative body? If you read what I wrote, you'll notice exactly the opposite.

The issue of slavery (I love it when you use words like 'abomination', its just thrilling!), not as important as you suggest until after the slave states failed to follow-through on their agreement to halt slaves by the turn of the century.

If you'll follow the link I provided previously it will take you a Federalist paper in which one of the Framers (Hamilton) explains the electors. As you may recall, 'Publius' was a nome de plume of the Framers when they wrote about the constitution. This particular writer was not a slaveholder and was from a non-slave state. He provides several reasons for the Electors which you might find instructive.
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post #56 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:22 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

That is why it is a ticking time bomb. The court has already shown it has become political in the year 2000, and Scalia and Thomas are radical rightwingers who are more interested in achieving right wing political aims than they are justice. Colorado could be decided anyway that is required to get Bush elected. The right way it should be decided is that all states must use Colorado's model, which will result in the popular vote electing the President, and it will result in all of us being equal before the law as stated in the 14th Amendment. Read the Amendment. There are no buts, no maybes, no "under this condition". The Electoral College is simply in violation.
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post #57 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:31 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Quote:
Botnst - 10/17/2004 8:21 PM

Quote:
kvining - 10/17/2004 8:07 PM

Quote:
Botnst - 10/17/2004 7:10 PM

How come each state has two senators while the populations of each state vary widely? If population alone is important, shouldn't senators be apportioned like congressmen?

Why does Rhode Island have the same number of senators as Alaska?

And why does Wyoming even have a congressmen? Its way out of proportion to their population.

Its the recognition that population alone is not sufficient reason to exersize power, else you have strict majority rule. Majority rule fails to protect minority will.

If you want something closer akin to population fairness, invite your state legislature to change the way electors are selected so that each congressional district elects its own elector and two electors are elected state-wide. Its consitutional, but the two major parties figured-out how to limit third parties by shutting-out minority candidacy and power.
Its a false example. THe Senate was never meant by the founders to be a "representative" body. We've been over this before. The House represents the people, and it is apportioned by population. It is given the greatest power of government, the power of the purse. Constitutionally, very little legislation can originate in the Senate, and that is so for a key reason - the founders envisioned the Senate as a council of sages, not legislators. Each state was supposed to send their two most learned men, picked by the legislature of the state. Their job is to be the brake on the passions of the mob, they ae not to originate legislation, they are to examine that which the House has originated and passed. They are there, second time this has been said, to provide Wisdom not representative democracy.

In addition, they are to examine men appointed by the executive branch to positions of great power, again to prevent cadres of radicals being appointed as a result of a demogogue becoming President. They are there to "advise and consent". Please stop using it as an example for your cockeyed theory of why the electoral college was designed as it is. The existance of the Senate and the existance of the EC have never been and are not related.

The college is an abomination left over from the days of slavery. It directly conflicts with the 14th and 15th Amendments, which under the principle of supercession overrule it. It is a time bomb. The Supreme Court needs rule it must follow the one-man one-vote rule that 600,000 Americans died for in the Civil War.

In addition, the whole "rural states vs city states" was over a long time ago. All states have large urban populations. Its time to stop using stupid imaginery lines and "states rights" in the Internet age to justify democracy being stolen from us. The Electoral College is an institution that special interests have found easy to control, and it is one of the ways they control us, becoming an ever more sophisticated technique of our new modern fascists. Its about time the majority got to pick the President of this country. The current one is a damned disaster.

BTW - right now the odds of a Kerry Electoral victory and a popular vote defeat are much higher than vice versa.
Its a true example, yours is false. Nyah-nyah! Blllbbrbrbrrrrblllh!!!

Show me where I said the Senate was supposed to be a representative body? If you read what I wrote, you'll notice exactly the opposite.

The issue of slavery (I love it when you use words like 'abomination', its just thrilling!), not as important as you suggest until after the slave states failed to follow-through on their agreement to halt slaves by the turn of the century.

If you'll follow the link I provided previously it will take you a Federalist paper in which one of the Framers (Hamilton) explains the electors. As you may recall, 'Publius' was a nome de plume of the Framers when they wrote about the constitution. This particular writer was not a slaveholder and was from a non-slave state. He provides several reasons for the Electors which you might find instructive.
That is exactly what I said. Madison came first, and he discusses the reasons it was inserted as part of his recording of the activities of the Constitutional Convention itself. Hamilton's reasoning was never even discussed. Madison says directly, pure and simple, it was there for one reason - slavery. Hamiltons "Publius" writings are letters he sent to the New York papers months after the convention had concluded - his Publius letters are the sales pitch to get New York voters to ratify it, they had nothing to do with arguing for or against great principles as the Constitution was drafted - it was already a done deal. If you read Publius in the Federalist Papers, you will notice the letters all start with "To the people of the State of New York". Madison's always start with a notation that this a recording of the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention. He was the secretary of the body and kept its minutes. You will find none of Hamiton's argument to the people of New York in there. Hamilton's was a skillful post facto argument invented for the purpose of selling the Electoral College to those who would not benefit from it - a sales job, nothing more, nothing less. The Constitution was authored by Madison, the Bill of Rights by Jefferson, then Hamilton sold it to the Northers and Jefferson to the Southers.


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post #58 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:33 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Quote:
kvining - 10/17/2004 8:22 PM

That is why it is a ticking time bomb. The court has already shown it has become political in the year 2000, and Scalia and Thomas are radical rightwingers who are more interested in achieving right wing political aims than they are justice. Colorado could be decided anyway that is required to get Bush elected. The right way it should be decided is that all states must use Colorado's model, which will result in the popular vote electing the President, and it will result in all of us being equal before the law as stated in the 14th Amendment. Read the Amendment. There are no buts, no maybes, no "under this condition". The Electoral College is simply in violation.
I hope there are even more strict constructionists like Scalia and natural law folks like Thomas put on the bench. Want legislation? Go to the legislators.

If popularity is paramount, why not get rid of Congress, the president, and the Supremes? We can all just vote via the internet on every issue and bingo-you've got your popular vote instantly.

Constitutionally, the states set the method of selecting electors. It would be 'interesting' to watch the consitution be amended to follow rules proposed in Congress. I doubt you'll get the 2/3 reatification. That would mean the parties ceding power. Oh yeah, that's going to happen willingly.

The popular vote is exactly why this country went to representative democracy/republic. Balance the power of the mob against the ambitions of politicians. It keeps everybody at each other's throats. Better theirs than mine. I love it.
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post #59 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:44 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Quote:
Botnst - 10/17/2004 8:33 PM

Quote:
kvining - 10/17/2004 8:22 PM

That is why it is a ticking time bomb. The court has already shown it has become political in the year 2000, and Scalia and Thomas are radical rightwingers who are more interested in achieving right wing political aims than they are justice. Colorado could be decided anyway that is required to get Bush elected. The right way it should be decided is that all states must use Colorado's model, which will result in the popular vote electing the President, and it will result in all of us being equal before the law as stated in the 14th Amendment. Read the Amendment. There are no buts, no maybes, no "under this condition". The Electoral College is simply in violation.
I hope there are even more strict constructionists like Scalia and natural law folks like Thomas put on the bench. Want legislation? Go to the legislators.

If popularity is paramount, why not get rid of Congress, the president, and the Supremes? We can all just vote via the internet on every issue and bingo-you've got your popular vote instantly.

Constitutionally, the states set the method of selecting electors. It would be 'interesting' to watch the consitution be amended to follow rules proposed in Congress. I doubt you'll get the 2/3 reatification. That would mean the parties ceding power. Oh yeah, that's going to happen willingly.

The popular vote is exactly why this country went to representative democracy/republic. Balance the power of the mob against the ambitions of politicians. It keeps everybody at each other's throats. Better theirs than mine. I love it.
You miss the whole point. Congress would have nothing to do with it. The Supreme Court would do the same thing it did in the 1950s - after decades of ignoring the 14th Amendment, they used it to desegregate schools, strike down Jim Crow laws, enforce voting rights, enforce school busing - all without any consent from Congres or the states. Congress caught up later.

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment. It is the most single revolutionary acheivement of American democracy. Your mob passion stuff, everything else you can dredge up from the colonial past, has all been swept aside by it. The Equal Protection clause supercedes all other law. It is the "all men are created equal" in the Declaration finally put into the Constitution. The question is a simple one - under the current Electoral College system, are we all equal before the law? I certainly am not. My vote counts for nothing. A man in Colorado, Maine and Nebraska's count for something. The 14ht Amendment gives the Federal Government, and the Supreme Court as well, the power to make sweeping changes to right wrongs under the 14th, and it supercedes all state rights. They can and have, enforced it at the point of a bayonet. The Supreme Court would simply order that the vote totals for the state be apportioned among Electors under a scheme where my inequality before the law is corrected. Forget about Congress, 2/3, etc. They can catch up later.
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post #60 of 69 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 06:53 PM
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RE: What SINGLE issue/concern gets you most fired up about this presidential election?

Golly, I'll bet that sucker can heal cancer, too!

I'm kind of familiar with it. All it takes is for zealous folks to invoke it whenever they perceive a need and you can overule any any state gov but curiously, not the federal gov. I think its got potential for great danger If you're a federalist like I am, you like to see the federal gov as a strong partner, not a ruler. This is why I am more enamoured of the Canadian model of gov.

Weaker centralization means greater power devolved to lower levels of gov. That's my goal.
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