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Thread: Our election system: is it fair

  1. #1 Our election system: is it fair 
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    Electing the US president; how to

    To simplify the matter, assume there are only 7 states

    State A counts as 5 votes (based on population of that state) Majority voted for X
    State B counts as 4 votes ( based on ...). Majority in that state voted for Y
    State C counts as 9 votes (based on ... ). Majority in that state voted for X
    State D counts as 6 votes (based on ...). Majority in that state voted for Y
    State E counts as 14 votes (based on ...) Majority in that state voted for X
    State F counts as 6 votes ( based on ...) Majority in that state voted for Y
    State G counts as 21 votes (based on ... ) Majority in that state voted for Y

    To summarize:

    X received 5+9+14=28 votes and Y received 4+6+6+21=37 votes. Y is the winner.

    * * *
    I do not know why this system is called "Electoral College." In fact, the word "college" confused me for a long time. What does it have to do with colleges in which we study?

    Suppose the president is elected by the sytem called "popular vote," used in some other countries.

    In that case votes of individual citizens are counted, as illustrated below (this is also a simplification).

    State A ==> 22 million voted for X and 3 million voted for Y.
    State B ==> 4 million voted for X and 5 million voted for Y.
    State C ==> 9 million voted for X and 13 million voted for Y.
    State D ==> 12 million voted for X and 3 million voted for Y.
    State E ==> 8 million voted for X and 23 million voted for Y.
    State F ==> 2 million voted for X and 3 million voted for Y.
    State G ==> 11 million voted for X and 8 million voted for Y.

    To summarize:

    X ==> 22+4+9+12+8+2+11=68 million
    Y ==> 3+5+13+3+23+3+8 =58 million

    In this case X is the winner . . . . . . . . . . . Is this fair or not? See:

    www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/opinion/electoral-college-101.html?ref=opinion

    U. S. Electoral College, Official - What is the Electoral College?


    Ludwik Kowalski,
    http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

    ========================================


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  3. #2  
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    popular vote would throw the weight to the urban/industrial centers

    is that any more fair?


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  4. #3  
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    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but maybe not.


    State A counts as 5 votes, what is the population of state A?
    State B counts as 4 votes, what is the population of state B?
    State C counts as 9 votes, what is the population of state C?

    Is the (actual) population of the state, (highly) accurately used to determine the Electoral College vote number?

    Or are these Electoral College numbers for each state, the same numbers that were used in 1960?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but maybe not.


    State A counts as 5 votes, what is the population of state A?
    State B counts as 4 votes, what is the population of state B?
    State C counts as 9 votes, what is the population of state C?

    Is the (actual) population of the state, (highly) accurately used to determine the Electoral College vote number?

    Or are these Electoral College numbers for each state, the same numbers that were used in 1960?

    one for each representative + 2 senators. This is how Wyoming has 7 time more voting influence as a fraction of its population than California. Two states have decided to split their college votes: Maine and Nebraska. Maine for example has 2 representatives. Each district gets one vote, while the 2 senate votes go with the popular vote for the state overall. So lets say Romney, and Obama had each won a district, but Obama won the state overall...the vote would be 1 for Romney and 3 for Obama.

    I don't think the total house of representative number have changed since 1960...though after every census there's potential for some states to loose representatives to give them to others--along with the hot politics of redistricting.
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  6. #5  
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    The electoral system is not representative because people choose between two preselected candidates without being able to voice their preference on specific policy. If your given the choice between Nikita Krushchev and Leonid Brezhnev is that democratic? Then you dont vote on policy but for mini barons that are unaccountable and can further deflect their resposibility with the aggregation of issues, if you vote for democrats in 2006 that say the will end the occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home, nothing obliges them to do so, and they can even get reelected because they are less worse than the batshit crazy alternative.

    Then, the non representative non accountable mini baron, gets Advertizing budget from big contributors, the campain finance is almost institutionalized bribery. The mainstream media, predominantly owned by one segment of the population, predominantly cover the most pro-establishment (or most corrupt) candidates among the two main parties while virtually not covering 3rd party candidates.

    Next the mini barons you choose, have control of information, they can declare information secret from the people or push one bogus report, theres insufficient transparency for the people that should be in charge here, its as if the owner of the store says "hey i fear an employee might be stealing from the cash register, so how much money is there in the cash register?" and the employee says "thats secret information sir i cant tell you" who is supposed to be in charge the people or the public servants who are there to serve the people. On top of that, the mini barons appoint people in charge of closed hierarchic agencies that may not work for the benefit of the people, an FBI employee that blows the whistle about something the government does can be harassed or fired by his superiors even if the majority of FBI employees or the majority of the general population would want him to get a medal for it and not booted.

    (Lastly, imo the US is a pan continental organization, i think its too large geographically to allow diversity, which could be better achived if this organisation was strickly a voluntary cooperation without jurisdiction to impose anything on the states in the region it covers)

    (somethimes the paragraphs written on my mobile device dont appear)
    Last edited by icewendigo; November 17th, 2012 at 08:31 AM.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    The electoral system is not representative because people choose between two preselected candidates without being able to voice their preference on specific policy. If your given the choice between Nikita Krushchev and Leonid Brezhnev is that democratic? Then you dont vote on policy but for mini barons that are unaccountable and can further deflect their resposibility with the aggregation of issues, if you vote for democrats in 2006 that say the will end the occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home, nothing obliges them to do so, and they can even get reelected because they are less worse than the batshit crazy alternative. Then, the non representative non accountable mini baron, gets Advertizing budget from big contributors, the campain finance is almost institutionalized bribery. The mainstream media, predominantly owned by one segment of the population, predominantly cover the most pro-establishment (or most corrupt) candidates among the two main parties while virtually not covering 3rd party candidates.Next the mini barons you choose, have control of information, they can declare information secret from the people or push one bogus report, theres insufficient transparency for the people that should be in charge here, its as if the owner of the store says "hey i fear an employee might be stealing from the cash register, so how much money is there in the cash register?" and the employee says "thats secret information sir i cant tell you" who is supposed to be in charge the people or the public servants who are there to serve the people. On top of that, the mini barons appoint people in charge of closed hierarchic agencies that may not work for the benefit of the people, an FBI employee that blows the whistle about something the government does can be harassed or fired by his superiors even if the majority of FBI employees or the majority of the general population would want him to get a medal for it and not booted.(Lastly, imo the US is a pan continental organization, i think its too large geographically to allow diversity, which could be better achived if this organisation was strickly a voluntary cooperation without jurisdiction to impose anything on the states in the region it covers)
    This post reminds me of some of the articles written by Dave Spart in the British satirical magazine "Private Eye".
    Altho' I didn't agree with much of what he said Spart did, at least, use paragraphs!
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    This post reminds me of some of the articles written by Dave Spart in the British satirical magazine "Private Eye".
    Altho' I didn't agree with much of what he said Spart did, at least, use paragraphs!

    thanks for your contribution to the discussion
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  9. #8  
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    The United States of America is a coalition/union of states. Popular vote outside of each state is meaningless, unimportant and carries no weight.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post

    * * *
    I do not know why this system is called "Electoral College." In fact, the word "college" confused me for a long time. What does it have to do with colleges in which we study?




    Ludwik Kowalski,
    http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

    ========================================
    Different use of the word "college". It comes from an old usage where it simply means a number of individuals that join together for a common purpose. It is just one of those examples where a particular definition of a word falls into disuse commonly.

    Another example is the word "prove" in the saying:

    "The exception (that) proves the rule."

    When this expression was coined, "prove" meant to "try or test".

    So the actual meaning of the expression was that an exception tests the rule and finds it lacking, rather than how you tend to hear people use it today, where they seem to think that it means that not only does the exception not contradict the rule, but somehow strengthens it.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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  11. #10  
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    No the system is very outdated. Due to the 'United States' part in the USA.

    Here is a very nice video about that:
    Electing a US President in Plain English - YouTube

    All in all, one should wonder how capable the voters are, and what there options are. If you are easily controlled by the media. And have little choice Democracy is deprived and more likely to fail.

    I mean, let's be fair. If America loses just 1 major political party, and voila you'd be a single-party-state. And that is communism. Don't wonder if or why communism is good or bad. But how a country that never liked it, managed to be just one state away from communism itself....
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    I mean, let's be fair. If America loses just 1 major political party, and voila you'd be a single-party-state. And that is communism. Don't wonder if or why communism is good or bad. But how a country that never liked it, managed to be just one state away from communism itself....
    I know that is strictly speaking isn't Marxistic or Leninistic communism, but it is what represented large communistic nation over the past centuries. And fascistic, and despots for that matter. Anyway, I think I made my point.
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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  13. #12  
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    It has lost several major parties in the past and they were replaced. There's nothing fundamentally established to limit it to only two parties. Most states had at least four candidates on the ballets this past election.

    Lastly one party would not necessarily make it communistic, it could be an Ayn Rand party for example, which would be about the opposite of communism.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    It has lost several major parties in the past and they were replaced. There's nothing fundamentally established to limit it to only two parties. Most states had at least four candidates on the ballets this past election.

    Lastly one party would not necessarily make it communistic, it could be an Ayn Rand party for example, which would be about the opposite of communism.
    True, but in general. (and that is my opinion, as I am not a political scientist) I think Democracy would better prevail with more parties.
    In general though I must admit I'd rather see an elected plutocracy. And not elected by 'the people' but by some form of hiring committee.
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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