Author Topic: Electoral College: States Matter in a Republic  (Read 258 times)

Offline quadz

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Electoral College: States Matter in a Republic
« on: December 19, 2019, 02:10:23 PM »
Not wishing to derail the other thread, figured this topic might benefit from its own.

Here's what I take to be a principled and succinct digest of the arguments for & against the state-centric electoral mechanism:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPtuxSkXAk4

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Offline Sgt. Dick

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Re: Electoral College: States Matter in a Republic
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2019, 07:09:31 AM »
His videos are always informative without pushing a agenda.
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Offline |iR|Focalor

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Re: Electoral College: States Matter in a Republic
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2019, 03:05:20 AM »
He seems to miss his own point in my opinion. He mentions that Alaska and Rhode Island both get 2 votes... but omits that other states get far more, and it's based on population.

Personally, I don't even care about what the Constitution "intends". The same argument some folks have about the 2nd Amendment, that mass produced death dealing machine guns didn't exist in 1776, is the same argument you could have about "intention". They're DEAD. It doesn't matter what they intended for anyone living now. What matters to me is what they most likely intended for their system at the time, because it's the same system in place now. Self-admittedly, they based their system upon the Roman one... and they too held largely meaningless elections that placated the people whilst congress did as they pleased. They wanted the people to feel like they were being heard... because the alternative was to risk them rising up and murdering them all in the streets (see the reign of Nero for more info).

States should have rights. But the President is not a state official, he's federal.
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Offline quadz

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Re: Electoral College: States Matter in a Republic
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 07:03:37 PM »
He seems to miss his own point in my opinion. He mentions that Alaska and Rhode Island both get 2 votes... but omits that other states get far more, and it's based on population.

Hm, well spotted.


Personally, I don't even care about what the Constitution "intends". The same argument some folks have about the 2nd Amendment, that mass produced death dealing machine guns didn't exist in 1776, is the same argument you could have about "intention". They're DEAD. It doesn't matter what they intended for anyone living now. What matters to me is what they most likely intended for their system at the time, because it's the same system in place now. Self-admittedly, they based their system upon the Roman one... and they too held largely meaningless elections that placated the people whilst congress did as they pleased.

What's important to me is we don't gloss over the details of the problems they were trying to solve.

What struck me about Federalist 68, in which Hamilton lays out the rationale for the Electoral College system, is how focused they were in establishing a firewall—another procedural layer they hoped could offer a bulwark or last line of defense against an utter tyrant (skilled in populist persuasion) being elected to the office of President.

They couldn't see the future, but they had studied previous failures.

While I'm not certain the extra layer works as intended (it was their best attempt), I would argue that before we attempt to dismantle it, we at the very least run some game-theoretical simulations using computation unavailable in their day, to make certain we're not uprooting an essential safety feature.



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