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Barbara Boxer Launching Senate Bill To Abolish Electoral College

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theCalamity

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Mar 27, 2016
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And without it you'd encourage people in "non-safe" states not to vote as they'd essentially have no reason to do it. Popular vote isn't bad, but it can lead to stagnation. Why have a vote if you know who is going to win based on knowing who the majority will immediately vote for? At that point, just appoint the person.

I don't follow... Why would it depress their vote?
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
Apr 17, 2007
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Democrats who favor the Electoral College legitimately infuriate me. Not just because their arguments for keeping the Electoral College are irrational and don't reflect the reality of the situation, but also because they irrationally argue for this system against their own interest.

"Look, I know this nail in my head hurts, but I'm not going to pull it out because it helps me get better TV reception".
 

kirblar

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Oct 9, 2010
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The argument seems to assume that Democrats will always get the popular vote. Which is weird for two reasons.

1. It ignores that Democrats have not always gotten the popular vote.
2. It begs the question, if Democrats are now always winning the popular vote, what does that say about Republicans?
The issue the Dems have is that the way the EC is set up benefits the GOP strongly because the population growth is happening in cities and their suburbs.
 

Fades

Banned
Aug 31, 2010
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I think you mean Bronsonia

 

Meowster

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Nov 27, 2013
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It won't ever pass but I hope that it'll bring up a real discussion for the future in how to either adjust it or replace it with a system that works with today and the now.
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
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This is so reactionary. Wait a year. Evaluate. Reflect. Consult with actual constitutional scholars. Stop knee jerking.

We've waited 16 years on this. It has to go.

If you have a rational argument for the Electoral College, let's hear it. Don't just say we're being irrational.
 

dan2026

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Jul 10, 2012
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Why even bother? There's no chance at all this will ever get passed this way.
The typically American attitude everybody.

Why try for gun control? It will never pass.
Why try for police reform? It will never happen.

It's no wonder that orange idiot now rules you.
Americans are so fucking defeatist.
 
Wait how have we just now decided that the electoral college benefits Republicans?

For months I thought we all agreed it benefits the Democrats, as they start with a huge floor and need a small handful of swing states to win, while Republicans have to run the table (which Trump did). Now all of a sudden it's a big unfair system designed to fuck over the Righteous Dems.

In a year where Virginia was solidified as a fairly reliable chunk of electoral votes for them and states like Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico are probably gone for a generation, how on earth is it "favorable" to Republicans? Trump just barely won states that in a typical presidential election are pretty reliably Democratic.

If anything, this election had next to nothing to say about the EC as a system and much more to say about Hillary Clinton as a candidate.
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
Apr 17, 2007
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If you want to consult a constitutional scholar, they will tell you that this system benefited slave states because it allowed slave states to include slaves within the count of their populations that are used to distribute Electoral Votes but then they could turn around and keep their slaves from voting.
 

jjasper

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Jun 7, 2004
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It will never pass. I think if people are serious and want to make a concerted effort it probably needs to be at the state level arguing against the all or nothing allocation of deligates.
 

Keri

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Nov 24, 2011
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Abolishing the EC would mean that every vote counts, which seems like a positive to me. With the system we have now, there are plenty of votes that, in actuality, don't have any chance of effecting the outcome.

If you're a Republican in California or New York, for example, your vote literally means nothing because those states are going blue, no matter what. The same is true for Democrats in heavily Republican states. If the EC were abolished, it's possible that more people would vote. I know plenty of people, for example, in my home state who chose not to bother voting, because our state wasn't a swing state and it was already clear which direction it was going.
 
Aug 8, 2012
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This is so reactionary. Wait a year. Evaluate. Reflect. Consult with actual constitutional scholars. Stop knee jerking.

We are not even using the electoral college as it was intended to be utilized.
The electors were intended to be actual decision makers, a check on the people. That however, does not and cannot happen today, so what we are left with is a bastardized compromise which results in electors being essentially useless middle men and some votes being weighed differently than others.
 

JHoNNy1OoO

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Mar 22, 2015
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This is so reactionary. Wait a year. Evaluate. Reflect. Consult with actual constitutional scholars. Stop knee jerking.

It's not reactionary. Democrats, including Trump himself, have been talking about the need for change since 2000. This is just another instance. So at what point will it be okay? When the Popular Vote Winner wins by 5 Million votes and loses due to EC? 10 Million? 20 Million? Pick a number because it's not going to stop happening.

My thinking is simple for PV, 1 vote should count the same across the entire US when it comes to the Presidency because that person will be EVERYONE'S President.
 

TwoDurans

"Never said I wasn't a hypocrite."
Apr 23, 2011
4,692
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Be interesting to see how many presidents would have lost if the electoral college wasn't around and it was just popular vote.

Is it just W and Trump?
 

tkscz

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Oct 17, 2011
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What does this mean?

A good amount of people are dumb and will assume for their vote to matter would move to where ever the most winning votes came from. They'd feel that it's the only place they can go where their voice mattered.
 

MogCakes

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May 28, 2013
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No need to completely try abolishing it and failing. You just need to gut it. Make it count for only half the final result. The EC votes each candidate gets them a percentage towards their win. The popular vote gets the rest. This means a candidate could win the EC but lose the popular vote and win, but only if the popular vote margin was small and their EC margin was high over the other candidate. And vice versa.

Eventually it would be rendered inept and would fall away from sheer lack of use as a tool to abuse the vote system. Voter suppression will then be fought harder with people knowing their vote isn't neutered by the EC.
 

FyreWulff

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Jan 21, 2010
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The argument seems to assume that Democrats will always get the popular vote. Which is weird for two reasons.

1. It ignores that Democrats have not always gotten the popular vote.
2. It begs the question, if Democrats are now always winning the popular vote, what does that say about Republicans?

Yeah, if your party is not viable, it shouldn't be made artifically viable.
 
D

Deleted member 231381

Unconfirmed Member
The typically American attitude everybody.

Why try for gun control? It will never pass.
Why try for police reform? It will never happen.

It's no wonder that orange idiot now rules you.
Americans are so fucking defeatist.

I'm not American. I'm pointing out that a constitutional amendment needs the support of two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-quarters of state legislatures. No party in post-war American history has ever met those conditions by themselves, which means constitutional change has to be bipartisan. Well, good luck getting that via the Republicans.

The only way I can see this happening is not as a constitutional amendment, but by something like the National Interstate Vote Compact. But even that's a stretch; it requires the Democrats to control the state legislatures of 270 Electoral Votes-worth of states, and to have control of the Supreme Court for when such a bill is inevitably challenged. Given the Democrats just failed to take control of the Supreme Court and might have to wait generations to get another shot at that, and given they control only 5 state legislatures, this seems very unlikely. And even then if the Republicans take back any of those states, they could simply repeal the Compact.

The electoral college is an awful, awful system. But because America has an awful, awful constitution, America is stuck with it. If the Democrats want to make progress, they have to deal with it.
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
Apr 17, 2007
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Be interesting to see how many presidents would have lost if the electoral college wasn't around and it was just popular vote.

Is it just W and Trump?

Samuel Tilden lost the Electoral College to Rutherford B Hayes in 1876.
Grover Cleveland lost the Electoral College to Benjamin Harrison in 1888.
 

Keri

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Nov 24, 2011
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Be interesting to see how many presidents would have lost if the electoral college wasn't around and it was just popular vote.

Is it just W and Trump?

There's really no way of knowing if the outcome of the popular vote would be the same, without the EC, because the existence of the EC discourages certain voters. There's also no way of knowing for sure that Hillary would still win the popular vote, without the EC.
 

finley83

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Dec 10, 2011
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In the US you have the Electoral College leading to Trump, overriding the popular vote.

By contrast in the UK you have the popular vote leading to Brexit, overriding the constitutional representation of Parliament.

The fact of the matter is, either approach can lead to total disasters. Changing the system would have helped this time but the fact is that if the Clinton campaign had focused on 'blue wall' states the election could have swung the other way. I don't think this proposal has a chance in hell of succeeding anyway to be honest.
 

MattKeil

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Aug 4, 2004
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This is so reactionary. Wait a year. Evaluate. Reflect. Consult with actual constitutional scholars. Stop knee jerking.

The electoral college has been roundly criticized for decades. This is the furthest thing from reactionary. Hell, if electing Trump spurs politicians into abolishing this ridiculous system, at least that's some small good to come out of it. Mathematically the whole thing is idiotic. It causes politicians to focus on particular states because of the tilting of the system, and not the lower population states, who are ignored just as much as the high population states.

It's possible to win the electoral college with only 22% of the popular vote, if you win the right states. That alone should automatically lead any reasonable person to oppose it, but maybe also consider that Trump marks the fifth time in 57 elections that the electoral winner lost the popular vote. So, because of this system, about 9% of the time the loser of the contest wins the contest. That's crazy.
 

Moosichu

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Jul 24, 2012
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In the US you have the Electoral College leading to Trump, overriding the popular vote.

By contrast in the UK you have the popular vote leading to Brexit, overriding the constitutional representation of Parliament.

The fact of the matter is, either approach can lead to total disasters. Changing the system would have helped this time but the fact is that if the Clinton campaign had focused on 'blue wall' states the election could have swung the other way. I don't think this proposal has a chance in hell of succeeding anyway to be honest.

Don't forget the reason we had that referendum in the first place was because a completely unrepresentational parliamentary system. The tories have all of the power with only 30% of the vote.
 

Ayato Kanzaki

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Apr 6, 2014
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Biggest issue with just going popular vote...

new york city
LA
chicago


those 3 CITIES combined, -as of 2013 had 15 million people in it.
take out 25% for under 18's 11.25 million 60% of them vote 6+ million voting... say 70% vote for one candidate

5million votes is higher population than the lowest (population wise) 5 STATES combined.

also there is the urban vs rural vote, urban areas overwhelmingly vote liberal/democratic

rural areas overwhelmingly vote conservative/republican.

even blood red republican areas, the urban areas IN those red states vote overwhelmingly liberal/democratic.

if implemented ONLY a liberal democrat (as constituted right now) would ever get elected president- it would be virtually impossible for them to lose the election.(hillary got slightly more votes than trump, however, trump was not a good candidate for repubs and hillary imo was not a good candidate for democrats,, besides being a woman)

look at the make up of the democratic party in the house of reps,,, about 1/3rd of all democrats there are either from MA, CA or NY, democrats have major issues besides just the presidential race.

Are you actually arguing that some votes should matter more than others because they come from rural areas?

And, if only democrats get elected, so what? The GOP has proven in the last 8 years that it was willing to run the country to the ground if it couldn't rule it. Is it really a bad thing if that bunch of manchilds won't get their turn at the helm?
 
Feb 19, 2016
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To add on to what others have said, there are already rural states (e.g. Oklahoma, Idaho) where voters are worth hundreds of times less than voters in swing states. Here's one analysis of it.

Random thought: if we're concerned about politicians not paying attention to smaller groups without the EC, then maybe we should go all out and just give everyone a vote multiplier based on how many minority groups they belong to. If you live in a rural area, x10. If you're black, x8. If you're an immigrant, x8. LGBT, x14. etc.

So being black is worth less than being rural, and LGBT?

Junk idea that reenforces racism.
 
It's possible to win the electoral college with only 22% of the popular vote, if you win the right states. That alone should automatically lead any reasonable person to oppose it, but maybe also consider that Trump marks the fifth time in 57 elections that the electoral winner lost the popular vote. So, because of this system, about 9% of the time the loser of the contest wins the contest. That's crazy.

I don't understand basically all of this. It ignores that in much of the free world, the "winners" who end up controlling government often receive low-ish percentages of the actual total popular vote, because the system is broken up in ways that prioritize smaller geographic regions and award based on FPTP results (see: the U.K.). Most Canadian voters last year didn't vote for the winning party.

And I'm really confused why so many continue to assert that Gore/Clinton would have won the popular vote in the absence of a EC. The entire campaign structure would have been different. In U.S. presidential elections, the national popular vote statistic is a mere curio. For some reason (usually partisan ones) it gets interpreted as biblical truth.
 

finley83

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Dec 10, 2011
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Don't forget the reason we had that referendum in the first place was because a completely unrepresentational parliamentary system. The tories have all of the power with only 30% of the vote.

That's a very good point, and I'd argue the AV proposal a few years back was a complete joke that didn't represent what anyone actually wanted from a reform of the representational system. Proportional representation would lead to a better outcome for everyone except the Conservatives which is of course why it isn't implemented. The fact that UKIP had such a high percentage of the popular vote with only one MP is a good sign of why Brexit was successful in the referendum, and an example of why it's important that those people have a proper representation in Parliament.
 

gutter_trash

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Feb 4, 2005
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I don't understand basically all of this. It ignores that in much of the free world, the "winners" who end up controlling government often receive low-ish percentages of the actual total popular vote, because the system is broken up in ways that prioritize smaller geographic regions and award based on FPTP results (see: the U.K.). Most Canadian voters last year didn't vote for the winning party.

And I'm really confused why so many continue to assert that Gore/Clinton would have won the popular vote in the absence of a EC. The entire campaign structure would have been different. In U.S. presidential elections, the national popular vote statistic is a mere curio. For some reason (usually partisan ones) it gets interpreted as biblical truth.
Liberals won more votes than the Conservatives,
Liberals won more votes than the NDP.

it is apple and oranges with the US EC system dominated by 2 parties.

in 2000 and 2016, the winner of the Popular Vote Lost.
---------

your Canadian example doesn't stand because Liberals whooped the 2nd place Conservatives
 

Aselith

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Mar 17, 2008
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A good amount of people are dumb and will assume for their vote to matter would move to where ever the most winning votes came from. They'd feel that it's the only place they can go where their voice mattered.

So what? Why would that matter to anyone except them?
 
May 15, 2013
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For the past 24 years the only popular vote that Republicans have won was with an incumbent with two wars happening concurrently. You could say that getting rid of the EC wouldn't be "fair" to Republicans, but how are they so noncompetitive on the national stage that they can only get the White House through EC?
 

Laevateinn

Member
Aug 7, 2013
6,511
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Biggest issue with just going popular vote...

new york city
LA
chicago


those 3 CITIES combined, -as of 2013 had 15 million people in it.
take out 25% for under 18's 11.25 million 60% of them vote 6+ million voting... say 70% vote for one candidate

5million votes is higher population than the lowest (population wise) 5 STATES combined.

also there is the urban vs rural vote, urban areas overwhelmingly vote liberal/democratic

rural areas overwhelmingly vote conservative/republican.

even blood red republican areas, the urban areas IN those red states vote overwhelmingly liberal/democratic.

if implemented ONLY a liberal democrat (as constituted right now) would ever get elected president- it would be virtually impossible for them to lose the election.(hillary got slightly more votes than trump, however, trump was not a good candidate for repubs and hillary imo was not a good candidate for democrats,, besides being a woman)

look at the make up of the democratic party in the house of reps,,, about 1/3rd of all democrats there are either from MA, CA or NY, democrats have major issues besides just the presidential race.

People always talk about this but I don't see the issue. The US is driven economically and socially by NY, LA, Chicago and other large cities. We should be the ones who decide the direction that the nation takes politically as well.
 

Regulus Tera

Romanes Eunt Domus
Mar 2, 2008
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The Electoral College is yet another example of how American Exceptionalism hurts everyone, but especially Americans.
This is so reactionary. Wait a year. Evaluate. Reflect. Consult with actual constitutional scholars. Stop knee jerking.
Gore v. Bush was sixteen years ago
 

Korey

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Dec 8, 2008
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Can this be done through a lawsuit?

For example, a voter from CA. They can argue that it's ridiculous that their vote is worth 4x less than a voter in Wyoming.
 

Laevateinn

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Aug 7, 2013
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Can this be done through a lawsuit?

For example, a voter from CA. They can argue that it's ridiculous that their vote is worth 4x less than a voter in Wyoming.

No because it would go to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court would say "Too fucking bad kiddo. Change the Constitution."
 

grumble

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Dec 6, 2008
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So wrong. It gave voice to those outside the cities. That is what it is designed to do.
Don't blame the EC. Blame Hillary for not appealing to those citizens.

The voice comes to sparser districts via congress and sparse states via the senate. The president shouldn't also discount the urban vote. It's undemocratic.
 

Regulus Tera

Romanes Eunt Domus
Mar 2, 2008
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Can this be done through a lawsuit?

For example, a voter from CA. They can argue that it's ridiculous that their vote is worth 4x less than a voter in Wyoming.
It's written in the Constitution. It can't just go through the courts, especially as the courts themselves can only interpret what the Constitution says.
 

Laevateinn

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Aug 7, 2013
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So wrong. It gave voice to those outside the cities. That is what it is designed to do.
Don't blame the EC. Blame Hillary for not appealing to those citizens.

If people aren't interested enough to leave their tiny rural communities of 10,000 or less people, they shouldn't have any say in the direction the world takes outside of their city council and high school football team.
 
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