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Old 08-21-2019, 04:22 AM
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Default The US Presidency - Electoral College

Some of you might remember Queen of Swords. She was big in the early years of IIDB with her Nutwatches. But I recently found a video that reminded me of her legendary snark. Public Citizen on Twitter: "[email protected]: We're coming to you live from the Electoral College - many votes here, as you can see. 😂😂😂 https://t.co/7FVW2H7fZ5" / Twitter
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All right everyone, it's been a minute. We're coming to you live from the Electoral College - many votes here, as you can see. Very efficient way to choose leadership of the country. I mean, I can't think of any other way, can you?
The video is from a car that is going past some flatland with what looks like a wheat field. It was made by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), D-NY of House district NY-14 (Bronx, Queens)
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: The US Presidency - Electoral College

Elizabeth Warren backs plan to get rid of the Electoral College at CNN town hall - CNNPolitics
She also wants a Constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote of every American citizen.

Buttigieg doubles down on scrapping Electoral College: 'It's undemocratic' | TheHill
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"Twice in my young lifetime I've seen the American people overruled by the Electoral College," Buttigieg said. "It's time for that to go because it's undemocratic."
He also wants statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.

Kamala Harris and Beto O'Rourke are willing to consider scrapping the EC.

Donald Trump denounced the Electoral College in 2012 - VICE - When he mistakenly thought that Mitt Romney had won the popular vote, he denounced the election as "a total sham and a travesty" and a "great and disgusting injustice", and he called for "revolution" against it.


Ending the EC would require a Constitutional amendment, and the US Constitution is very difficult to amend. One would need either of:
  1. 2/3 in both houses of Congress, then 3/4 in the states (how every one was adopted)
  2. A Constitutional Convention (the only one ever was for the creation of the Constitution)
But there is a workaround. If enough states agree, they will award their electoral votes to the popular-vote winner: National Popular Vote
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The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ... It has been enacted into law in 16 jurisdictions with 196 electoral votes (CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA). ... The bill will take effect when enacted by states with 74 more electoral votes.
To date, it has had the most success in the reliably Democratic states. But those are not enough.
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: The US Presidency - Electoral College

Now for what the Electoral College is. Most nations do not use anything similar to elect their Chief Executives. Its name uses "college" in an earlier sense, "assembly", as opposed to the present sense of "higher-education institution".

The Founding Fathers considered various ways of electing the President, like state governors or Congress doing the voting. They decided on the EC:

Each state would pick some number of people to serve as electors, the total number being the size of that state's Congressional delegation. They would then vote separately, and their votes would be collected. If the vote was a tie, then the vote would go into the House of Representatives, with each state delegation getting one vote.

Alexander Hamilton advocated the EC in Federalist Paper #68. He expected that the electors would have suitable knowledge and experience for deciding who would be a good President. He proposed voting separately to make the EC resistant to demagogues and foreign meddlers.

In short, the Electoral College was to be a sort of search committee.
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: The US Presidency - Electoral College

The Founding Fathers made no provision for political parties, and those who stated any opinion on the subject deplored political parties - George Washington and Benjamin Franklin IIRC.

But the politicians of this new nation were dividing themselves up into parties in GW's first term, and the EC soon became a rubber-stamp body. The election of Donald Trump was the final failure of the EC: he is a demagogue who gladly accepted the help of foreign meddlers.

Even before that final failure, Presidential candidates have long been concentrating their efforts in a few "swing states", ignoring reliably Democratic and reliably Republican ones.


AOC linked to this article, and she annotated screenshots from it: Why Every Defense of the Electoral College Is Wrong:
Quote:
1. The Electoral College currently exists, therefore it is good.
(A) The founders thought superhard about this, and so we should defer to their judgement.
(B) It would put us on a slippery slope to abolishing the Senate.

2. Abolishing the Electoral College would definitely have this bad effect, for reasons so logically sound I don’t need to provide evidence for them (even though other defenders of the Electoral College insist it would have the opposite effect, which would also be bad).
(A) It would give too little political power to white people.
(B) It would give too much political power to white people.
(C) It would give large states too much power.
(D) It would give small states too much power.

3. Abolishing the Electoral College would plunge our republic into a nightmarish political system identical to the one we currently live under.
(A) Candidates would not campaign much in rural areas.
(B) Third-party candidates would sometimes act as spoilers.
(C) It could lead to a situation where American politics is defined by polarization, and high levels of social animosity.
(D) It would create a political system in which an unqualified “media personality” could win the presidency.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: The US Presidency - Electoral College

There was an interesting Electoral College decision today out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit right here in lolorado.

Hillary Clinton won Colorado back in 2016 and was thereby entitled under state law to all 9 of our electoral votes. One of the electors voted for John Kasich, Ohio's Republican governor, in violation of a state statute that requires electors to vote for the presidential candidate who got the highest number of votes in the general election. The Colorado Secretary of State threw out the vote and appointed a new elector, who voted for Clinton.

The booted elector won his appeal today. The Court held (2-1) that presidential electors have a constitutional right under Article II and the Twelfth Amendment to vote for whoever they goddamn jolly well please for president and vice president. Thus, any state law that purports to allow the state to interfere with or punish that choice is unconstitutional. "Faithless electors" are A-OK.

The dissenting judge didn't disagree with the majority's analysis of the constitutional issues, but wrote that the case should have been dismissed as moot.

The opinion is available here, and features 114 pages of complex legal analysis. The substantive constitutional law stuff starts on page 72, and a quick-'n'-dirty summary starts on page 112.
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