Comments Posted By Tlaloc
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"Thank you, it is what we are and it takes 3/4ths of the “states” to change it. While leftists may like the 5 people on the bench to change the Constitution, Bush has done an excellent job of appointing true Constitutional adherents."

So you've replaced ignoring my direct argument to simply spouting talking points. Nice.

"You should be against the Senate. Why California has 20% of the population yet only 2% of the Senators? Even worse, California has the same power as New Hampshire to call a Constitutional convention?"

Here's what I said about the distribution of powers in post #45:
"Naturally the constitution does contain mechanisms for protection of the minority, the method of Senate apportionment being an example, and it should. But election of the Chief Exectuitve was not supposed to be one of those, nor should it. Just as the Judiciary must be insulated from the whims of the majority the Executive must be directly beholden to it (with congress inbetween)."
Was that really so hard to read and understand?

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 30.08.2006 @ 13:27

soccer dad:
"I’d point out in Maryland that a Democrat can win the state by winning only three out of 24 jurisdictions. If there were an electoral college like system in Maryland it would force the Democrat to seek broader appeal for his/her agenda."

Important point here- by "broader" you mean broader GEOGRAPHICALLY but not broader as in representing more people. In fact the system means they would be representing fewer by pandering to low density areas that carry a disproportionate amount of electoral votes. Pretty obviously that system is not optimal since it is people and not acres that vote.

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 30.08.2006 @ 13:22

"That is what you may desire, but this is a Federal Republic where states are given the power to elect Presidents."

Fine, then don't complain when people use "one man one vote" as a rallying cry because you are explicitly saying that is not the case now. You are certainly correct in that regard as I have been laboring to show, but it runs very contrary to the ideology of the country. As Moran mentions the Electoral College was created as a way to disenfranchise the unwashed masses.

Now that the masses have decent access to baths some of us think it's outlived its purpose.

"It is not a matter of “counting” more or less, it is a matter of each state and its citizens an equal place at the table to determine the President of the United States."

Ah, but the choice is between offering an equal place to each state OR to the people. You can't do both unless state boundaries were redrawn based on census data to make each state have precisely equal population. Obviously that is untenable so a choice has to be made as to which it is that actually grants consent to governance: abstract geographical boundaries or actual people?

Naturally the constitution does contain mechanisms for protection of the minority, the method of Senate apportionment being an example, and it should. But election of the Chief Exectuitve was not supposed to be one of those, nor should it. Just as the Judiciary must be insulated from the whims of the majority the Executive must be directly beholden to it (with congress inbetween).

"Are the people of Great Britain disenfranchised because they don’t cast a vote for Prime Minister?"

That depends on whether there is a winner take all step (or other counter-democratic function) inbetween their vote for the MP and the final result of a vote for prime minister. If yes then they have absolutely been disenfranchised. If not then no they haven't.

Consider Congressional leaders. People vote for congressmen and senators who then elect from within their party leaders. Let us take Wyoming as a hypothetical case. They have only one Rep and two Senators as i recall. Naturally that means that anyone who voted against the winning rep has absolutely no say in the matter of who is the House of Representative's leader (for either party as it turns out). If the population was exactly split and got one senator from each party they might be adequately represented in the Senate leadership selection. Such a result is of course highly unlikely and almost certainly a good portion of the people of Wisconsin will be disenfranchised from the selection of the House and Senate majority and minority leaders.

But that's not terribly important because it was never important that the congressional leaderships were directly selected. They already have a mandate as congressmen, their further mandate to lead their particular party in congress can derive easily enough from their peers.

Not so the President of the United States.

" Your #28 Oregon example makes no sense. The election was for Oregon electors, Gore won by 7,000. The will of the people to send Oregon’s slate of electors to vote for Gore was done."

Here is a simple question- would the result be any different AT ALL had every Bush voter in Oregon stayed home? No it wouldn't have. That is precisely the definition of disenfranchisement. For them voting or not voting are exactly the same. Gore would get those seven electoral votes either way. They had no say in the matter at all.

I'm curious what possible definition of disenfranchisement you could use where that doesn't fit the bill?

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 29.08.2006 @ 17:43

"Not liking a law passed by duly elected representatives is not disenfranchisement."

No it isn't, nor have I claimed such. I gave you a simple factual example of disenfranchisement and you have yet to address it in any meaningful way byond saying "nyuh-uh!"

"Winner take all is perfectly acceptable."

For the result, yes, for a middle step, no. Again, I already dealt with this in my original post (#28). There is a very huge difference between the final result being winner take all and a middle step. In the case of a middle step that means you have disenfranchised every vote prior to that step that was not for the eventual winner. Their votes made absolutely no difference to the process which is the DEFINITION of disenfranchisement.

With the elctoral system we do not in fact vote for the president only for the Electors who are the ONLY ones who actually have a say in the selection of the president. If we do not have a say in the selection of electors we do not have a say in the selection of the president. In a system where the Electors are awarded in a winner take all manner the losers have no say at all in the selection of the president. They are, once again by DEFINITION, disenfranchised. Whether they vote or do not vote affects the decision not one whit.

In a direct election the voters for the loser directly affect how large a margin their candidate lost by. While that may be cold comfort that is how democracy works.

"If anything, Electoral College guarantees each state its representation, regardless of turn-out."

States don't matter. People matter. A person in Oregon should count exactly as much as a person in Wyoming. But under the Electoral system they don't. Or more precisely their votes don't.

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 29.08.2006 @ 15:41

"Winner take all rules could be changed by the legislature, there is no disfranchisement from such laws."

There is absolutely disenfranchisment as I demonstrated above. Can you actually dispute the facts I gave there regarding Oregon as an example?

But with regards to the legislature you are right, however that was exactly what Moran was arguing against! He was decrying the use of legislative moves (like California's) as a way of subverting the Electrola College.

"What if there is a major storm in the North East and turn out is low?"

How is that any different than if there is a storm in San Francisco and turn out there is low? You are raising an issue that affects all forms of democracy as if it were peculiar to direct elections- it isn't.

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 29.08.2006 @ 14:55

"The California legislature allows its citizens to vote for those electors, thus every vote counts."

False, since all the electors are awarded as a group. If they were awarded proportionally then you could argue that within the granularity of the apportionment their votes counted. But in a winner takes all votes environment the voters for the loser are literally disenfranchised as above.

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 29.08.2006 @ 14:24

"Hey direct electors, how do you feel that Tony Blair was not elected by popular vote as Prime Minister?"

What am I, british?

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 29.08.2006 @ 14:21

The argument of ditching the EC disenfranchising voters is simply false.

Disenfranchisement means a very specific thing- your vote has no impact on the resolution of the issue.

Currently the EC does in fact disenfranchise tens of millions of voters. Getting rid of it would in fact fix that.

For an example consider my home state of Oregon. In 2000 47% of the population turned out to vote for Bush. That's some 700,000 voters. 47% also turned out for Gore. Gore won the popular vote by less than .5% of the total vote (7,000 votes) and so got Oregon's 7 elctoral votes. Obviously the electorla otes are the only ones that matter which means that 700,000 Bush voters were in fact disenfranchised. Had they stayed home there would have been absolutely no difference, Gore would still have recieved 7 electoral votes.

That is the literal meaning of disenfranchisement, and it does not occur with direct election. Indeed the whole idea of direct election resulting in disenfranchisement is absurdly oxymoronic.

So if we had direct elections would those 700,000 voters have mattered? Yes. That's not to say they would have prevailed, they wouldn't have, Bush lost the popular vote. But had they stayed home it would have made a difference- Bush would have lost the popular vote by over a million rather than by 500,000.

Direct election is the ONLY way for every person;s vote to matter. If we choose to live in big cities on the coast then the elections need to reflect that. Under the current system people are disenfranchised.

Comment Posted By Tlaloc On 29.08.2006 @ 13:12

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