Author Topic: The electoral college, and the NPV Interstate Compact  (Read 367 times)

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Offline SuperColinBlow

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Rutherford B. Hayes and John Quincy Adams were elected in similar "reversals."

I don't think 1824 and 1876 are good examples, the data isn't there for it. In 1824, 1/3 of the electors were appointed by the state legislatures, not by a popular vote in that state, so there is no way to tell who the people of New York for example (36 electoral votes in that election) would have backed had they had the ability to cast a ballot for president, for once. In 1876, a specially-appointed electoral commission decided the election, not the EC or a PV. That's why I used only the most recent three (1888, 2000, 2016) as decent examples.

I think in 2000, the State of Florida did precisely what you mentioned. State law in FL allowed that, if the popular vote doesn't return a winner within x# days after the election, the Legislature may appoint the slate. Which they went ahead and did (they just appointed the already-existing Bush/Cheney slate). I remember them talking about it on CNN, at the time.

A national popular vote wouldn't just **** off the people of small states: it would **** off the people of smaller (less populous) AREAS within a state. The city vs. the rural or even suburban areas. People who call for the abolition of the EC aren't thinking of these things.

Whatever kind of constitution you write, you must take the good with the bad. It's probably why Hamilton said of the electoral college: "if the manner be not perfect, it is at least excellent."
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Offline Boges

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Doesn't that further open the door to gerrymandering?

Could always have a third party organization draw districts like we do here.  :-\

Offline SuperColinBlow

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Could always have a third party organization draw districts like we do here.  :-\

Well redistricting is in the hands of the states. You'd need such an organization in every state with >1 congressman. It's highly unlikely to happen in most states, since members of Congress--and their allies in their states' legislatures--benefit from gerrymandering. a few states have done it, however. But that's a different discussion I think.
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Offline segnosaur

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It's unconstitutional, for one thing.
You are absolutely right and I have posted on other fora on that issue. I knew instinctively that the compact idea just didn't seem right.
First of all, as I have pointed out, whether it is unconstitutional has not been decided. Some legal experts say that it is constitutional, some say it is not. It may require a court case to validate either position, but the assumption that "its unconstitutional" is false.

Secondly, even if there are questions regarding its constitutionality, the main thing that's needed is just congressional approval. It doesn't seem like such a stretch that if a very popular measure is up for a vote and the Democrats take both the house and senate, that they would be willing to vote in favor.

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re: no clear winner....

There would have to be a runoff. People would not like the result.
First of all, there wouldn't necessarily have to be a runoff... it depends on the wording of the compact.

Secondly, is a runnoff really that bad? Other countries use them with no problem. And who are those "people who would not like the result"? Since no candidate in that scenario had a majority, I suspect a lot of people would welcome the runoff as a chance to get "their guy" into power.

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Also the "action" in a presidential campaign would shift from swing states Ohio and Florida to the suburbs of New York City, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Seattle and Chicago. Why? Because voters in those areas "swing" locally but cannot swing their states.  Those areas, in other words are vote-rich but don't dominate their states. Their votes suddenly become important since the popular vote would be determinative.
First of all, I think there are more 'voter rich/swing' areas in the U.S. other than NY/LA/SanFran. Remember, in 2016, even in deeply-conservative Texas, there were many areas that supported Clinton. So, Candidates would have their pick of dozens of cities where they could pick up votes.

Secondly, they wouldn't even necessarily have to campaign in 'swing areas' to make a difference. Even if Trump had no chance of winning urban NY/LA, and Clinton had no chance of losing, it would still make sense to campaign in those areas because, well, every vote would count.
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Could be very annoying where I live, 40 km. from New York City.
Strangely enough, so many people complain about how "politicians ignore us", now you're complaining about unwanted attention.

Offline ?Impact

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Well redistricting is in the hands of the states. You'd need such an organization in every state with >1 congressman. It's highly unlikely to happen in most states, since members of Congress--and their allies in their states' legislatures--benefit from gerrymandering. a few states have done it, however. But that's a different discussion I think.

Certainly the courts have weighed in in recent days

Offline SuperColinBlow

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Well, they weighed in on our 6th congressional district, declaring the whole thing unconstitutional.
War is Peace
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Ignorance is Strength