Electoral College reform

Discussion in 'Politics' started by SpidermanTuba, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. SpidermanTuba
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    SpidermanTuba BANNED

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    The electoral college has almost never worked as originally intended. It was meant as a nominating body to choose candidates for Congress to select from, with exceptions only rarely happening when one candidate has widespread support (aka George Washington)

    Electors are not the independent voters that the Founders envisioned.

    But the decision has only gone to Congress twice (maybe it was 3?)

    I propose the following constitutional amendments:

    1) No state may compel an elector to be contractually obligated to vote for any candidate (as most states do now - you are obligated to vote for the candidate you pledged to vote for)

    2) No elector may state whom he will vote for prior to the actual vote

    3) Presidential "candidates" may not ask people to vote for them - this is dishonest on its face, as you don't vote for Presidential candidates, you vote for electors
     
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  2. ihopehefails
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    ihopehefails BANNED

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    This is different.

    I actually think that the original idea that state governments should be the one to pick the electors that way we will pick a president that represents the interest of those state governments abroad.
     
  3. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Spider, could you provide some information to support that statement? I plead ingnorant in this regard.
     
  4. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    If you read The Federalist papers, you will see where Madison was coming from.
    He noted Machiavelli and Tacitus and designed the system around the Roman model, plus a few changes that he felt would preserve the republic from any future Caesar.

    The electoral college was intended as a safeguard to make sure any victories were obvious.

    It is one of those things were it is badly broken from the get go (It made a mess as early as the third election) but any system of repair would be a great deal worse.
     
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  5. Zander
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    Zander Platinum Member

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    It has worked perfectly fine for over 200 years. I see no reason to change it.
     
  6. ihopehefails
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    I believe you are wrong. The founders believed in strong local governments since those would be small and managable by the people and in keeping with that spirit they wanted to make the fed a small government of state governments only which is why the senate origianll composed of people picked by the state legislatures. I also suspect that was the same reason why the states chose the electors which would then pick someone who represented the state govts interest in foreign affairs.

    I feel that this would be better since any president picked this way would never enact policies that would interfere with the state's own sovriegnty since it would not be natural to pick someone that violates your own power.

    The federal government was never intended to be a government over the people but government of the state governments and the states would then govern the people from there.

    But that is just my opinion.
     
  7. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Ihop, one doesn't preclude the other. The founders were historiographers. They understood human nature, but were practical men of ideas, and looked to the past for needed ‘modern’ solutions.

    Our system or systems came from direct practical application of what they had observed from their study of history’s closest example of what they wanted to create, but without the fatal flaws.

    People still ponder what it was that brought the Fall of the Roman Republic, and finally made it only a vestigial tail, a subsidiary to the Empire. Clearly it had issues which it failed to resolve, which became crises. At the end, because of those crises and because of an imbalance of (and jealousy for) power, the constitution was repeatedly changed by fiat in order to “save” it (the Republic).

    For our modern times the Roman failure speaks to the importance of consulting with the American people to change the constitution, instead of a slow degradation of change by fiat. Thus the importance of citizen education as opposed to indoctrination.
     
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  8. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Go ahead show us a single State Constitution or Law that allows the State legislature to just pick anyone they want regardless of the State popular vote for Elector. States have always been constrained to pick electors based on the Popular vote in that State.

    And in fact the electors themselves are forced to only vote for the top 2 candidates with electors by the Constitution.
     
  9. SpidermanTuba
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    "In a sense, the electoral college was expected to function as a nominating body and the House as the final arbiter."

    Electoral College: West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article) from Answers.com

    "What was here being embodied in the Constitution as the new "Electoral College" was a nominating body, pure and simple: though that body could only function as the sum of its parts."

    WHAT ARE THEY ALL DOING, ANYWAY? an historical analysis of the Electoral College






    The electoral college is what is responsible for this 2 party BS system we have. The only practical way to have a candidate win outright is in a two party system - in a multiple party system the choice would almost always go to the Congress.
     
  10. SpidermanTuba
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    I can't show you a state law, but I can show you the U.S. Constitution.

    Article II Section 1


    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.


    State legislatures have near absolute authority in determining their state's electors, restrictions are few (for instance, if the legislature does decide to hold an election, they can't deny the vote to blacks)

    In fact in 2000 the Florida legislature considered legislation to outright name the Republican slate and put the whole election mess to bed.

    Wrong AGAIN.

    A majority of the states legislatively selected presidential electors in both 1792 and 1800, and half of the states did so in 1812.[32]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)



    That statement doesn't even make sense.


    Didn't you once take an oath to defend the Constitution? Shouldn't you know what's in it?
     

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