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Texas Republicans propose State Electoral college

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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:40 pm

Fahran wrote:
Cordel One wrote:Cities wouldn't be deciding anything, though. The majority of the people would, and the fact that so many people focus so much attention on where they live is just weird. Votes are only decided by land because we have the Electoral College.

People do not exist in a vacuum. Political outlooks are certainly determined to some extent by the material conditions and social mores that predominate in particular communal subdivisions. We have the Electoral College at the federal level, in part, because the states were unwilling to ratify the Constitution without some acknowledgement of this fact. Nobody wanted to be dominated by Virginia, New York, and South Carolina.

That is not true. The electoral college was created because the founding fathers didn’t trust the people to make an informed decision. They wanted a way to check the people. This isn’t a discussion about the federal electoral college though
Last edited by San Lumen on Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fahran
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Postby Fahran » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:58 pm

San Lumen wrote:That is not true. The electoral college was created because the founding fathers didn’t trust the people to make an informed decision. They wanted a way to check the people. This isn’t a discussion about the federal electoral college though

I was more so referencing the way votes are apportioned by the federal Electoral College. The small states would not have approved the Virginia Plan, which actually is a lot closer to what Texas is proposing at the moment. But the basic point about individuals not existing in a vacuum is more than accurate.
Last edited by Fahran on Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Celritannia
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Postby Celritannia » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:59 pm

What silly billies.

Electoral Colleges don't help democracies.

Sounds like the Texan Republican upper echelon have never lost before and thus now hate democracy because they might not win.

As society advances, people do become more progressive and less conservative, so it is only natural to see a rise in progressive attitudes in once strong red Texas.

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Celritannia
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Postby Celritannia » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:02 pm

Fahran wrote:
San Lumen wrote:That is not true. The electoral college was created because the founding fathers didn’t trust the people to make an informed decision. They wanted a way to check the people. This isn’t a discussion about the federal electoral college though

I was more so referencing the way votes are apportioned by the federal Electoral College. The small states would not have approved the Virginia Plan, which actually is a lot closer to what Texas is proposing at the moment. But the basic point about individuals not existing in a vacuum is more than accurate.


It may have been true then, but not now.

A pretty good video that explains it well.

https://theweek.com/articles/840362/ele ... ven-dumber

https://thelogicalliberal.com/2019/04/0 ... ll-states/

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/artic ... ler-states

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/upsh ... tates.html

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Fahran
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Postby Fahran » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:07 pm

Celritannia wrote:What silly billies.

Electoral Colleges don't help democracies.

It doesn't necessarily hurt them either. Again, it depends on particular circumstances. A country that has an electoral college doesn't suddenly become undemocratic.

Celritannia wrote:Sounds like the Texan Republican upper echelon have never lost before and thus now hate democracy because they might not win.

They're probably going to retain the executive for another decade after Abbott retires unless local Democrats hold their horses a little bit.

Celritannia wrote:As society advances, people do become more progressive and less conservative, so it is only natural to see a rise in progressive attitudes in once strong red Texas.
[/quote]
Society doesn't really "progress" in a uniform way politically. I definitely wouldn't try to base a universal political rule on an observation that doesn't really seem to reflect reality except in a small number of cases.

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Postby Celritannia » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:19 pm

Fahran wrote:
Celritannia wrote:What silly billies.

Electoral Colleges don't help democracies.

It doesn't necessarily hurt them either. Again, it depends on particular circumstances. A country that has an electoral college doesn't suddenly become undemocratic.

Celritannia wrote:Sounds like the Texan Republican upper echelon have never lost before and thus now hate democracy because they might not win.

They're probably going to retain the executive for another decade after Abbott retires unless local Democrats hold their horses a little bit.

Celritannia wrote:As society advances, people do become more progressive and less conservative, so it is only natural to see a rise in progressive attitudes in once strong red Texas.

Society doesn't really "progress" in a uniform way politically. I definitely wouldn't try to base a universal political rule on an observation that doesn't really seem to reflect reality except in a small number of cases.


With the exception of the Holy See, the US is the only First World country that uses an Electoral College system, and it is generally terrible.
Unless the Electoral College was proportional based and not Winner Take All.
Plus, an Electoral college maintains the 2 party system which damages democracy even further, just as FPTP does.

When I say "progressive" I am on about the ideas of welfare, healthcare, workers rights, those sorts of things the Republican party, and cooperate democrats shy away from, but are basic parts of European and Commonwealth Realm Countries.
Last edited by Celritannia on Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Outer Acharet » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:50 pm

Celritannia wrote:As society advances, people do become more progressive and less conservative, so it is only natural to see a rise in progressive attitudes in once strong red Texas.


Sure, because Texas is going progressive because progressive ideals are naturally just, and not because it's had an influx of liberal voters from states with more expensive costs of living like California, and because the immigrants coming from Central America tend to vote Democrat because that party represents them more.

Politics is not a spectrum. Nor does it exist in a vacuum. Though I did enjoy the assessment of conservative ideals as naturally outdated and thus inferior, destined to be gradually replaced by progressive ones, despite historical evidence not supporting that at all.

EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.
Last edited by Outer Acharet on Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fahran » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:01 pm

Outer Acharet wrote:EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.

It's more that FPTP and winner-take-all systems encourage two-party systems in the current political environment. They aren't always going to do that though. We've had functional third parties in the past, generally when big-tent political parties have failed to address salient niche issues.

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Postby Outer Acharet » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:05 pm

Fahran wrote:
Outer Acharet wrote:EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.

It's more that FPTP and winner-take-all systems encourage two-party systems in the current political environment. They aren't always going to do that though. We've had functional third parties in the past, generally when big-tent political parties have failed to address salient niche issues.


Yeah, they would do that.
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Postby Jedi Council » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:13 pm

Fahran wrote:
Outer Acharet wrote:EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.

It's more that FPTP and winner-take-all systems encourage two-party systems in the current political environment. They aren't always going to do that though. We've had functional third parties in the past, generally when big-tent political parties have failed to address salient niche issues.

Functional third parties that rarely last more than a cycle or two.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:19 pm

Fahran wrote:
San Lumen wrote:That is not true. The electoral college was created because the founding fathers didn’t trust the people to make an informed decision. They wanted a way to check the people. This isn’t a discussion about the federal electoral college though

I was more so referencing the way votes are apportioned by the federal Electoral College. The small states would not have approved the Virginia Plan, which actually is a lot closer to what Texas is proposing at the moment. But the basic point about individuals not existing in a vacuum is more than accurate.

Doesn’t make it remotely fair no matter how you spin it

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Postby Outer Acharet » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:24 pm

San Lumen wrote:
Fahran wrote:I was more so referencing the way votes are apportioned by the federal Electoral College. The small states would not have approved the Virginia Plan, which actually is a lot closer to what Texas is proposing at the moment. But the basic point about individuals not existing in a vacuum is more than accurate.

Doesn’t make it remotely fair no matter how you spin it

No, it's a compromise, and that's how functioning societies get made.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:28 pm

Outer Acharet wrote:
San Lumen wrote:Doesn’t make it remotely fair no matter how you spin it

No, it's a compromise, and that's how functioning societies get made.

Not when you give an advantage to one side as Texas Republicans are proposing

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Postby Jedi Council » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:29 pm

Outer Acharet wrote:
San Lumen wrote:Doesn’t make it remotely fair no matter how you spin it

No, it's a compromise, and that's how functioning societies get made.

Yes, but what made sense in the 1780s may not work in the 2020s.

When that compromise, the agreement that helped build said functioning society, begins to drag it down, its time to get rid of it.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:29 pm

Outer Acharet wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
As you say, outside of the cities is pretty red. But if the cities were as blue as you seem to think, not only would a Democrat win, but neither candidate would bother campaigning there. Or speaking to their issues.

As I said, the fact that candidates don't campaign much in certain areas isn't just because there aren't many people there. If that were the only reason, they'd still get visits, though only ... in proportion to their population.

There's a much stronger pattern overlaying that. Candidates visit most, the places where a visit is most likely to change the election result. Swing states. Swing districts. And the best cure for that is for the less-favored party to also get votes (less, obviously). This give BOTH candidates an incentive to visit EVERY state or district. A voter anywhere is just as important as any other. City or country.

Of course you can't expect the candidate to spend most of their time in the country (unless the country has most of the voters, which is true of some districts). It's not possible to meet the same number of voters per hour, when travel time is accounted for. Halls where they can speak are smaller and/or draw a smaller crowd.


This is true, though I feel that "for the less-favored party to also get votes" only raises the importance of visiting every state or district relatively. You said yourself, the reason swing states are campaigned in is that they pose the possibility of allowing candidates to secure a state's votes by only convincing a relatively small portion of the population. In most swing states the same "my team good other team bad" mindset is still there, it's just close enough to a fifty/fifty split that the votes of swing voters matter. Electors voting freely would allow that partisan division to take over, I believe, and the swing states wouldn't hold so much importance.


This goes also to your last point. The Electors are bound more or less strictly depending on State, to vote "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct" ... by State law. The constitution gives states that power to "appoint" and some states take it so far as to remove Electors if they go against the majority of the state's voters. Some only fine them.

I wasn't exactly advocating more discretion for individual electors. More like a change in how States appoint the Electors. If the vote was 60/40 in a state with 5 Electors, the first candidate would get 3 Electors and the second would get 2.

Then we got into the problem of the smallest states with 3 electors, only being able to very roughly approximate the popular vote in the state, with the Electors they get. The problem could be solved, making all the "electors" representative of the popular vote in each state, by creating an enormous number of "virtual" electors. If the smallest state had 100 electors, the voters would be represented to the nearest 1%. However a constitutional amendment would be necessary, as the constitution sets the number of Electors to the number of US Representatives plus the number of Senators. Also that they be actual people.

The biggest problem with dividing each state's Electors according to the vote in the State, is that third parties would get elected in big states (and possibly medium states). Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see third parties in the US House, representing their 3% or whatever, but to win the Electoral College a candidate needs a majority of electors. A third party would sometimes have the casting vote (aka "balance of power") which is power way out of proportion to their number of voters. And if they don't exercise that power by switching to one of the major candidates, the President is chosen by the US House in a contingent election ... which I don't like at all.

I figured what would happen with a "proportional Electors in each State" election using the vote from 2016. Johnson got 5, Stein got 1 and McMullin got 1 elector. So neither Trump not Clinton would have won.

A constitutional amendment would be necessary, and given that the result wouldn't be that great anyway (the small states having 'chunky' representation in the EC, and FPTP having some rather bad failure modes too,) I'm not really for this reform plan after all. I used to think I had a great idea, but better minds than mine have worked on it. I'm pretty sure it's a dud.

I might be wrong, but doesn't the guarantee of two extra seats from a state's senators mean that the votes of states with smaller populations, including rural states, carry more weight proportionally?


I'm not sure small states ARE rural states. It comes down to whether rural people are counted as persons/voters, or whether we just look at a map and see a lot of rural land. The labor-intensive farming of fruit and vegetables has more people, but less land, than huge fields of corn or wheat.

If it was based solely on population they would have much less of an impact on the Electoral College's results. And I wrote "In theory" because I originally had a sentence there bringing up how in practice partisan politics means that those incentives have largely been lost solely by the sheer force of sectionalism in the modern US. I excised it as I felt it wasn't that relevant to the paragraph itself.


We agree on that I think. Partisanship (particularly two-partysanship) is such a strong division it makes the slight advantage in the EC insignificant. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to reduce partisanship to sectionalism, but I need to think about that more. I suppose there are sectional interests that cross party lines.

We disagree then. I think they saw no practical alternative to states collecting the votes, and they just overlooked that states might assign their Electors all to the state winner. Perhaps they also expected Electors to use more of their own initiative (a really bad idea btw, which many states now ban).


Maybe. But the practice was done while they were still alive, unless I'm mistaken. Surely if they found that onerous they would have said otherwise?


It was a difficult compromise, I doubt they wanted to relitigate any of it and particularly not anything to do with state powers. And maybe with fewer states it was less obvious that some were set in their ways while others might swing.

Y'know? Looking over the relevant bits of the Constitution:

Article II, Section 1, US Constitution wrote: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


Right. It doesn't say State must direct all their Electors to the popular vote winner there. Or that they may not. It's left up to the States who have (with only two exceptions) gone with winner-takes-all. States don't exactly "direct" the Electors, but they appoint them from the list provided by the winning candidate. Then some but not all states require the Electors to vote as they are pledged.

Sometime I'll re-run the 2016 electoral college using the Nebraska/Maine system. Just from interest, I expect it will show swing districts influencing the election more than swing states. Which would kinda be worse.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:03 pm

Outer Acharet wrote:EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.


A third party needs to get at least 34% to win the state. That's a high barrier to entry.
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Postby Outer Sparta » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:10 pm

Outer Acharet wrote:
Celritannia wrote:As society advances, people do become more progressive and less conservative, so it is only natural to see a rise in progressive attitudes in once strong red Texas.


Sure, because Texas is going progressive because progressive ideals are naturally just, and not because it's had an influx of liberal voters from states with more expensive costs of living like California, and because the immigrants coming from Central America tend to vote Democrat because that party represents them more.

Politics is not a spectrum. Nor does it exist in a vacuum. Though I did enjoy the assessment of conservative ideals as naturally outdated and thus inferior, destined to be gradually replaced by progressive ones, despite historical evidence not supporting that at all.

EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.

FPTP and the winner-take-all system make it impossible for third parties to win. If the electoral votes were divvied up proportionally, then there's an outside chance for a third party to get a few votes.
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Postby Cordel One » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:20 pm

AltLibertarian wrote:Based texas republicans

I didn't know control by a minority was a libertarian value.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:24 pm

Outer Sparta wrote:
Outer Acharet wrote:
Sure, because Texas is going progressive because progressive ideals are naturally just, and not because it's had an influx of liberal voters from states with more expensive costs of living like California, and because the immigrants coming from Central America tend to vote Democrat because that party represents them more.

Politics is not a spectrum. Nor does it exist in a vacuum. Though I did enjoy the assessment of conservative ideals as naturally outdated and thus inferior, destined to be gradually replaced by progressive ones, despite historical evidence not supporting that at all.

EDIT: Genuinely curious, how does an electoral college encourage a two-party system? I understood that two-party systems tend to emerge naturally unless they are dissuaded from emerging, like in the Parliamentary system.

FPTP and the winner-take-all system make it impossible for third parties to win. If the electoral votes were divvied up proportionally, then there's an outside chance for a third party to get a few votes.


As I said though, third party representation in the Electoral college isn't a good thing at all. It will often lead to No Result and the decision going to the House.
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Postby Cordel One » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:24 pm

AltLibertarian wrote:
Cordel One wrote:I didn't know control by a minority was a libertarian value.

Tyranny by majority was never a libertarian principle, always a liberal/leftist one

I said control by a minority, which kinda goes against individualism and stuff, right? Control is kinda authoritarian.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:26 pm

AltLibertarian wrote:
Cordel One wrote:I didn't know control by a minority was a libertarian value.

Tyranny by majority was never a libertarian principle, always a liberal/leftist one


Tell me, elections if they must be held at all, should give representation to the voters according to their numbers. Right or wrong?
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:45 pm

Owww. Mods took away my chew-toy. I wanted to hear more about this sexist and racist branch of libertarianism :(
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Postby Genivaria » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:46 pm

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:Owww. Mods took away my chew-toy. I wanted to hear more about this sexist and racist branch of libertarianism :(

It's called the CSA.
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Postby Anderr » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:52 pm

Im left leaning....egalitarian libertarianism infact but I support it. There are alot and I mean ALOT of rural Texans who control alot of land and no matter my views I think those who own this land should have a say. Democracy's biggest flaw is its insistence on majority rule....the 51% ability to oppress the 49%.....not really effective governance in fact thats why we have the electoral college....so you either need more political diversity, options and a more dynamic democracy OR you can, if the 49% are lucky enough to exist in a relatively fair capitalist society which they do....use there money and intellectual property to shape the economy. Though i do think Texas republicans need to stop bitching. Commies control and manipulate the political process...China conservative!....they can take that shit ova der. lol Make America Great Again!!!! HAH REPUBLICANS!!!! WHERE DID YOU GO WRONG. They didn't even let Obama pass shit...its yall country...yall must have f'd it up. I think its those damn Monopolist at the top who got a bag and left yall high and dry or your inability to realize Suburbanism and sprawl invites socialism. Who knew that your biggest love affair...the country and open land might spell your demise. So yeah I support It go ahead Texas....It doesnt change the fact that there are 4 or 5 places we shop and 4 or 5 companies I can get a car.... and thats already half the economy

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Postby Punished UMN » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:53 pm

Celritannia wrote:What silly billies.

Electoral Colleges don't help democracies.

Sounds like the Texan Republican upper echelon have never lost before and thus now hate democracy because they might not win.

As society advances, people do become more progressive and less conservative, so it is only natural to see a rise in progressive attitudes in once strong red Texas.

What comes first, the chicken, or the egg?
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