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Philosophia
January 27th, 2008, 08:01 AM
Between The Lines: Electoral Dropouts

AStanford University computer scientist named John Koza has formulated a compelling and pragmatic alternative to the Electoral College. It's called National Popular Vote (NPV), and has been hailed as "ingenious" in two New York Times editorials. In April, Maryland became the first state to pass it into law. And several other states, including Illinois and New Jersey, are likely to follow suit.

How NPV works is this: instead of a state awarding its electors to the top vote-getter in that state's winner-take-all presidential election, the state would give its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. This would be perfectly legal because the U.S. Constitution grants states the right to determine how to cast their electoral votes. NPV could go into effect nationwide as soon as enough states pass it (enough states to tally 270 electoral votes—the magic number needed to elect a president). In 2008, NPV bills are expected to be introduced in all 50 states. "We'll have it by 2012," says Robert Richie, executive director of the reform group Fair Vote.

From here (http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=5304).

I don't know a lot about the US electoral system but I do know that some people hate the electoral college. Is this a better alternative?

Laisrean
January 27th, 2008, 08:08 AM
I'm not sure popular vote is the best idea, though. I think you yourself pointed out how most Americans still don't believe in evolution. Do we want these ignorant masses to drown out the votes of the more intelligent people?

I say the electors should be chosen by I.Q.. Each state should have a contest to determine who the smartest people are, and these people become the electors of the president. I think that's a much better way of doing it than letting Joe Retard and his redneck buddies decide.

Philosophia
January 27th, 2008, 08:19 AM
I'm not sure popular vote is the best idea, though. I think you yourself pointed out how most Americans still don't believe in evolution. Do we want these ignorant masses to drown out the votes of the more intelligent people?

That would be correct if I thought that only unintelligent people believed in evolution. There are many scientists, doctors, lawyers, etc. who also don't believe in evolution and they are supposedly intelligent.


I say the electors should be chosen by I.Q.. Each state should have a contest to determine who the smartest people are, and these people become the electors of the president. I think that's a much better way of doing it than letting Joe Retard and his redneck buddies decide.

I don't think so. There are too many factors in determining intelligence and I.Q. is just one of them. Leaving the responsibility to people with high I.Q.'s,I believe, will cause the exact same problems as those in the general population.

banondraig
January 27th, 2008, 11:37 AM
It wouldn't do a lot to redress the problem of largely urban states being pandered to while largely rural states such as those in the South and West are largely ignored. It certainly wouldn't prevent demagogues from winning the popular vote, which is why the Electoral College was invented. I think a better solution would be if states had their electors vote proportionately. For example, in a state with ten electoral votes, the popular vote splits 51% for candidate A, and 49% for candidate B. The vote could be split either 5 electors for A and 5 for B, or 6 electors for A and 4 for B.

pawnman
January 31st, 2008, 01:43 AM
I'm with BD. It would be much more fair to democrats in a state like, say, Texas, or Republicans in California to portion out those electoral votes instead of winner-takes-all.

pawnman
January 31st, 2008, 01:44 AM
I'm not sure popular vote is the best idea, though. I think you yourself pointed out how most Americans still don't believe in evolution. Do we want these ignorant masses to drown out the votes of the more intelligent people?

I say the electors should be chosen by I.Q.. Each state should have a contest to determine who the smartest people are, and these people become the electors of the president. I think that's a much better way of doing it than letting Joe Retard and his redneck buddies decide.

Meritocracy? No reason to vote, you dumb civilians, the smart guys will make sure the election turns out the "right" way without you.

Seems ripe for bribery if you ask me.

Wicce
January 31st, 2008, 03:28 AM
I'm not sure popular vote is the best idea, though. I think you yourself pointed out how most Americans still don't believe in evolution. Do we want these ignorant masses to drown out the votes of the more intelligent people?

Define ignorant masses and intelligent people.


It wouldn't do a lot to redress the problem of largely urban states being pandered to while largely rural states such as those in the South and West are largely ignored. It certainly wouldn't prevent demagogues from winning the popular vote, which is why the Electoral College was invented. I think a better solution would be if states had their electors vote proportionately. For example, in a state with ten electoral votes, the popular vote splits 51% for candidate A, and 49% for candidate B. The vote could be split either 5 electors for A and 5 for B, or 6 electors for A and 4 for B.

I like the sound of that system...I think it's also how the delegates are apportioned to the DNC, so there is some precedant and groundwork in place to enact such a thing on a larger scale.

Laisrean
January 31st, 2008, 09:22 AM
Define ignorant masses and intelligent people.

The majority which one time was in favor of slavery and the majority which gave Hitler dictatorial powers in Germany under a DEMOCRACY. My point is, majority rule isn't cool because most people are so stupid.

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” ~ Winston Churchill

banondraig
January 31st, 2008, 09:51 AM
The majority which one time was in favor of slavery and the majority which gave Hitler dictatorial powers in Germany under a DEMOCRACY. My point is, majority rule isn't cool because most people are so stupid.


OK.

How many of those people do you think are still voting?

Laisrean
January 31st, 2008, 10:09 AM
OK.

How many of those people do you think are still voting?

Are you serious? People haven't become inherently more intelligent since the 1800s or 1930s. If anything, people are less intelligent, because look at the way people talk in ebonics and L33t and all that crap. Back then people read Moby Dick and the Iliad, and now they can't even read the menu at a drive-thru. Are these the sorts of people we want deciding who the next president is? This is EXACTLY why we ended up with a retard like Bush running the country.

If a majority thought slavery was "cool" back when they were reading the Iliad, can you help but wonder what they are thinking is "cool" now that they don't read anything at all? And so I rest my case.

banondraig
January 31st, 2008, 10:14 AM
Are you serious? People haven't become inherently more intelligent since the 1800s or 1930s. If anything, people are less intelligent, because look at the way people talk in ebonics and L33t and all that crap. Back then people read Moby Dick and the Iliad, and now they can't even read the menu at a drive-thru. Are these the sorts of people we want deciding who the next president is? This is EXACTLY why we ended up with a retard like Bush running the country.

If a majority thought slavery was "cool" back when they were reading the Iliad, can you help but wonder what they are thinking is "cool" now that they don't read anything at all? And so I rest my case.

I just wanted a definition that is specific, and relevant to this current election.

You would perhaps like to ban everyone who uses leetspeek and ebonics from voting?

Laisrean
January 31st, 2008, 10:29 AM
I just wanted a definition that is specific, and relevant to this current election.

You would perhaps like to ban everyone who uses leetspeek and ebonics from voting?

Or maybe we could do what the Greeks did and only allow landowners to vote. No where in the constitution does it say anyone has a right to vote, so why not? We already forbid criminal felons from voting in most states. Might as well forbid those who think 1/4th is a greater sum than 1/2; or those who think Mt. Rushmore is a natural wonder. Questions like these should be asked when you go to vote, and if you fail then you aren't allowed to vote.

David19
January 31st, 2008, 07:55 PM
Or maybe we could do what the Greeks did and only allow landowners to vote. No where in the constitution does it say anyone has a right to vote, so why not? We already forbid criminal felons from voting in most states. Might as well forbid those who think 1/4th is a greater sum than 1/2; or those who think Mt. Rushmore is a natural wonder. Questions like these should be asked when you go to vote, and if you fail then you aren't allowed to vote.

If you stop people you don't like or think are "dumb" from voting and only let land owners or smart people vote, then you're going back to how it was hundreds of years ago, to the time when aristocrats ruled and the working class suffered and hardly had any rights.

And, the people in charge of slavery were the the "intelligent" ones, they were the ones who made the decisions, they didn't have a vote and decide if the majority wanted it, they'd do it, they just went ahead with it.

Also, how would you define smart, are you defining it as someone who's good at maths, then if that were true, I couldn't vote, or science, etc?, are you saying only people who are Einstein's can vote, which, in that case, the majority of people can't vote (and no offence to anyone on this board, but I doubt any of us are in the same league as Einstein), etc.

Laisrean
January 31st, 2008, 09:14 PM
If you stop people you don't like or think are "dumb" from voting and only let land owners or smart people vote, then you're going back to how it was hundreds of years ago, to the time when aristocrats ruled and the working class suffered and hardly had any rights.

Not really. Everyone would have the same rights as they do now, because voting isn't actually a right, and rights are guaranteed by the constitution which can't be touched by simple majoritarian rule. In fact, I think the working class would actually enjoy even more rights, because as Ben Franklin said; "a democracy votes its rights away". They say a fool and money soon part company, but I think that's also true with rights when the fool is given the right to vote.


And, the people in charge of slavery were the the "intelligent" ones, they were the ones who made the decisions, they didn't have a vote and decide if the majority wanted it, they'd do it, they just went ahead with it.

I'm not sure of that. I think the people in the 1800s who were more opposed to slavery tended to be the more enlightened and educated people. The ones who were for slavery tended to be the dumb inbred hill-folk who are featured in the movie Deliverance.


Also, how would you define smart, are you defining it as someone who's good at maths, then if that were true, I couldn't vote, or science, etc?, are you saying only people who are Einstein's can vote, which, in that case, the majority of people can't vote (and no offence to anyone on this board, but I doubt any of us are in the same league as Einstein), etc.

Maybe not, but I think a basic knowledge of politics and/or U.S. history are essential. Why should someone be allowed to vote when they don't understand what they are voting on? I say the exact same thing should be true of elected officials. They should be required to demonstrate at least a basic modicum of understanding for politics, history, and economics in order to be allowed into office. I think this is a good idea, because that would prevent people like Bush from becoming president again.

So why wouldn't that be a bad idea? We already limit who can be president with age and native status, so why not limit who can be president by intelligence as well? Even Joe Retard who sweeps the floors at Wal-mart enjoys a better world when it is run by intelligent people, even if he himself has no say in it. We wouldn't let the mentally retarded manage nuclear physics, so why should we let them manage politics?

Pagan Warrior
January 31st, 2008, 09:46 PM
From here (http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=5304).

I don't know a lot about the US electoral system but I do know that some people hate the electoral college. Is this a better alternative?

Honestly I've never been fond of the electoral college because it allows for the popular vote of a state to be completely ignored by a faithless Elector. This is very rare (and reversable) but it is possible.

I think this new system might be a nice change but I would challenge the government to review the historical votes based on the new system's mechanics to speculate on the possible outcome variance.

Wicce
February 1st, 2008, 02:21 AM
Or maybe we could do what the Greeks did and only allow landowners to vote. No where in the constitution does it say anyone has a right to vote, so why not? We already forbid criminal felons from voting in most states. Might as well forbid those who think 1/4th is a greater sum than 1/2; or those who think Mt. Rushmore is a natural wonder. Questions like these should be asked when you go to vote, and if you fail then you aren't allowed to vote.

...or not believing in evolution because it's "just a theory"?

You should research Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Hu Nim...some of the bloodiest architects of the Khmer Rouge were educated in elite Paris universities before going back home to destroy the lives of their countrypeople.

banondraig
February 1st, 2008, 12:05 PM
Not really. Everyone would have the same rights as they do now, because voting isn't actually a right, and rights are guaranteed by the constitution which can't be touched by simple majoritarian rule. In fact, I think the working class would actually enjoy even more rights, because as Ben Franklin said; "a democracy votes its rights away". They say a fool and money soon part company, but I think that's also true with rights when the fool is given the right to vote.

You have a point.

Could you provide a source for "Voting isn't actually a right"?




I'm not sure of that. I think the people in the 1800s who were more opposed to slavery tended to be the more enlightened and educated people. The ones who were for slavery tended to be the dumb inbred hill-folk who are featured in the movie Deliverance.


Wow, stereotype much?

Besides, people who couldn't afford slaves didn't enjoy any particular benefit from the continuation of slavery. The landowners you describe as "educated" and "smart" did.

Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 12:39 PM
Could you provide a source for "Voting isn't actually a right"?

Yes, I can. The source I would provide is the U.S. constitution which doesn't list voting as a right.


Besides, people who couldn't afford slaves didn't enjoy any particular benefit from the continuation of slavery. The landowners you describe as "educated" and "smart" did.

Wealthy doesn't necessarily mean intelligent. I would point to some authors during the period who I do consider intelligent and were staunch aboltionists: Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, John Quincy Adams, Louisa May Alcott, and many others.

Here is a more complete list of slavery opponents. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_opponents_of_slavery)

Yes, there were intelligent slavery advocates as well, but I think the balance is shifted to those who oppose it.

pawnman
February 1st, 2008, 07:15 PM
Lais, seriously...doing away with voting for the majority of Americans? Sort of ruins the whole idea of "self-government", doesn't it?

Also, keep in mind...many of the "educated" or "smart" in America's colleges are far-left professor types...people who want socialized medicine, welfare for all, huge taxes on the rich...you know, the sort of things you're always arguing against.

David19
February 1st, 2008, 09:49 PM
Lais, seriously...doing away with voting for the majority of Americans? Sort of ruins the whole idea of "self-government", doesn't it?

I agree with you on this, voting shouldn't be done away with, afterall, think of it this way, a lot of people say the U.S. is the "land of the free" of "equality" (except if you're Native American or LGBT), etc, it would kind of ruin the image if suddenly only a minority had power to vote, and I don't care what anyone says, power corrupts.

People should be equal, inequality is a socially constructed entity.


Also, keep in mind...many of the "educated" or "smart" in America's colleges are far-left professor types...people who want socialized medicine, welfare for all, huge taxes on the rich...you know, the sort of things you're always arguing against.

Could I just ask why you put smart or educated in quote marks?, just 'cause someone is left-wing doesn't make them dumb, and there are dumb people on who are right wing (the most famous is right now president of the U.S.).

Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 10:09 PM
People should be equal, inequality is a socially constructed entity.

In a perfect world, yes. But unfortunately people are not equal in intelligence. Some are smarter than others, and when you have things like nuclear weapons and other things were lives are at stake, I think its better to trust those decisions to the wisest. I would give up my right (it isn't actually a right though) to vote if it meant we had a better government than we do now. The best way to do that is to put the smartest ones in charge... if that doesn't happen to be me, then I'm fine with that. I don't lose any rights by not being able to vote, because rights aren't decided by votes.

pawnman
February 2nd, 2008, 03:39 AM
I agree with you on this, voting shouldn't be done away with, afterall, think of it this way, a lot of people say the U.S. is the "land of the free" of "equality" (except if you're Native American or LGBT), etc, it would kind of ruin the image if suddenly only a minority had power to vote, and I don't care what anyone says, power corrupts.

People should be equal, inequality is a socially constructed entity.



Could I just ask why you put smart or educated in quote marks?, just 'cause someone is left-wing doesn't make them dumb, and there are dumb people on who are right wing (the most famous is right now president of the U.S.).

I put smart and educated in quotes referring to the nebuluous "they" that Lais is advocating to take over for the rest of us.

pawnman
February 2nd, 2008, 03:40 AM
In a perfect world, yes. But unfortunately people are not equal in intelligence. Some are smarter than others, and when you have things like nuclear weapons and other things were lives are at stake, I think its better to trust those decisions to the wisest. I would give up my right (it isn't actually a right though) to vote if it meant we had a better government than we do now. The best way to do that is to put the smartest ones in charge... if that doesn't happen to be me, then I'm fine with that. I don't lose any rights by not being able to vote, because rights aren't decided by votes.

Until the smart people figure out they aren't accountable to you anymore, and so can abuse you any way they like without any fear of consequence. Smart doesn't equal moral, you know.

David19
February 2nd, 2008, 10:28 AM
Until the smart people figure out they aren't accountable to you anymore, and so can abuse you any way they like without any fear of consequence. Smart doesn't equal moral, you know.

That's true, and Hitler and the Nazis were smart, in a way anyway, and look at what they accomplished.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 11:36 AM
That's true, and Hitler and the Nazis were smart, in a way anyway, and look at what they accomplished.

I'm not sure that was necessarily true. Hitler was charismatic, but I've never seen any evidence that he was smart. In fact, he made a lot of mistakes during the war which shows he wasn't very smart.

The German nation was smart, though. They came up with a lot of advanced stuff during this time with rocketry and electron microscopes and so forth, but this wasn't because of the Nazis. The Nazis took over, but the great minds were there before they were. Many great minds (like Einstein) fled and it was a good thing too, because Einstein was a major contributor to the atomic bomb. If Hitler didn't persecute Jews, it is possible Einstein would have stayed and worked for him. But that proves my point that the Nazis weren't very smart. Plus, they burned hundreds of books because they weren't considered Aryan enough. So they weren't willing to accept other ideas or views on things, and that was very close minded and not smart.

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 12:05 PM
Lais, seriously...doing away with voting for the majority of Americans? Sort of ruins the whole idea of "self-government", doesn't it?

Also, keep in mind...many of the "educated" or "smart" in America's colleges are far-left professor types...people who want socialized medicine, welfare for all, huge taxes on the rich...you know, the sort of things you're always arguing against.

QFT!

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 01:14 PM
Until the smart people figure out they aren't accountable to you anymore, and so can abuse you any way they like without any fear of consequence. Smart doesn't equal moral, you know.

That's why you have a constitution to severely limit government power. Smart doesn't necessarily mean moral, but I don't see how stupid is any more moral than smart. Even if smart people are just as immoral as dumb people, then we're still no worse off. Everyone seems so keen on the government taking away their right to privacy or to own firearms and everything else, so I really don't have much faith in mob rule, which is what democracy amounts to. I'd take liberty over democracy any day.

As H.L. Mencken said: "Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage."

punxzen
February 2nd, 2008, 01:44 PM
laisrean, when you say smart, what do you mean? would you count yourself among the them?

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 01:50 PM
laisrean, when you say smart, what do you mean? would you count yourself among the them?

I'll readily admit I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I'm fine with letting whoever that is take on the responsibilities of government. They're far more likely of doing a good job than someone of only average intelligence.

punxzen
February 2nd, 2008, 02:49 PM
I'll readily admit I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I'm fine with letting whoever that is take on the responsibilities of government. They're far more likely of doing a good job than someone of only average intelligence.

the reason i asked is because you seem to make assumptions about what smart people are or how they would make decisions, but you never explicitly stated what kind of qualifications a smart person demonstrates. at various points youve insinuated that a smart person is a wise person, a moral person, and a person who knows that 1/4 is less than 1/2.

you suggested that a constitution which severely limits governmental power would do the trick, but if you are going to elect the smartest person then what makes you think he couldn't find ways around the barriers such a constitution would create?

the concept from the original post sounds like a simple popular majority. i agree with pawnman and banondraig that electors voting proportionally makes the most sense, and i think one or two states do that already.

Marcel
February 2nd, 2008, 02:52 PM
the electorial college is creepy. wonder who invented it? it mostly means your vote doesn't count. the popular vote is often invalidated by the stupid electorial college. what the hell kind of democracy is this any way? why would other peoples want it?????????

not fair

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 11:09 PM
the reason i asked is because you seem to make assumptions about what smart people are or how they would make decisions, but you never explicitly stated what kind of qualifications a smart person demonstrates. at various points youve insinuated that a smart person is a wise person, a moral person, and a person who knows that 1/4 is less than 1/2.

I'm also curious as to Laisrean's definition of people smart enough to vote. Does it begin and end with landowners, or not?


you suggested that a constitution which severely limits governmental power would do the trick, but if you are going to elect the smartest person then what makes you think he couldn't find ways around the barriers such a constitution would create?

An excellent question.

t
he concept from the original post sounds like a simple popular majority. i agree with pawnman and banondraig that electors voting proportionally makes the most sense, and i think one or two states do that already.

Would that it would spread!

Marcel
February 3rd, 2008, 12:05 AM
my mother has a good idea, why not select representatives the that jury people are. we would have better representation from more than just the rich. every year, 1/3 of the senate and of the house would change. people would have to live more WITH the laws they make.

i think most people have better common sense than many of the rich people.

before the war, i emailed each and every senator who took email to vote NO on the Iraq war. told 'em everything kings georgie and dick said was lies lies lies. no one listened. and, their sons and daughters are not getting sacrificed for those lies. nor, are the kings responsible being held responsible. evil evil evil

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 12:39 AM
before the war, i emailed each and every senator who took email to vote NO on the Iraq war. told 'em everything kings georgie and dick said was lies lies lies. no one listened. and, their sons and daughters are not getting sacrificed for those lies. nor, are the kings responsible being held responsible. evil evil evil

To be fair, I don't think they read anything their constituents send them - especially if it is sent over email. You might have some luck with physical letters, but I wouldn't count on that working either. They probably get thousands of them all the time.

sunny.spoone
February 3rd, 2008, 01:20 AM
To be fair, I don't think they read anything their constituents send them - especially if it is sent over email. You might have some luck with physical letters, but I wouldn't count on that working either. They probably get thousands of them all the time.

It's true, if you read what any political cabal--right or left--suggests when writing congress, they always say something along the lines of "here is an email to send, but its better to write them a physical letter, even better to telephone them, and BEST to show up in person."