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> Revisiting the Electoral College, More options than constitutional amendment
AuthorMusician
post Nov 14 2016, 12:01 PM
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The video linked to below lays out arguments for and against the EC, its history, and what can be done to bring the vote for POTUS closer to the popular vote.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HA1i6NqZJ4

Should the EC be modified at the state level?

More on what can be done about the EC on the state level:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG0ILuZMTzA

CAUTION: PBS and college professor
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akaCG
post Nov 18 2016, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 18 2016, 08:57 AM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 18 2016, 05:48 AM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 17 2016, 10:35 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 17 2016, 09:01 PM) *
1.
How you go about differentiating among the original 13 states (in ALL of which, of course, slavery was both legal and practiced) in regards to which of them where "slave states" and which weren't? IOW, what's your demarkation line between "large amounts" and non-"large amounts" in said context?

Slavery was only legal in 8 of the states at the time.

I have to correct myself:

Slavery was legal and practiced in 12 of the original 13 states at the time that the U.S. Constitution (and thus, the Electoral College) came into effect (March 1789). Massachusetts had declared it unconstitutional in 1783, and all slaves there were freed. Other than that, ...
QUOTE
...
... New York did not fully free its last ex-slaves until 1827, Rhode Island had seven slaves still listed in the 1840 census. Pennsylvania's last ex-slaves were freed in 1847, Connecticut's in 1848, and New Hampshire and New Jersey in 1865.[47]
...

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_th...on_in_the_North


By 1784, five states had policies that either instantly or gradually ended slavery - gradually meaning no new slaves from that point on: Pennsylvania (1780), New Hampshire and Massachusetts (1783), Connecticut and Rhode Island (1784).
...

Of the 5, only Massachusetts did so instantly. That's why I made the self-correction earlier.

QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 18 2016, 08:57 AM) *
...
But the important point is that there were significantly more slaves in the "Southern" states. Virginia had one of the largest populations at the time, roughly one third of which was slaves.
...

Why is that the important point in terms of defining which state is a "slave state" and which is a "free state"? Especially from the point of view of those who remained slaves until their deaths in CT, DE, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA and RI? In 1790, there were about 152,000 slaves in those states (more than in GA and SC, combined). Maryland had about as many slaves as North Carolina at the time.

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entspeak
post Nov 18 2016, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 18 2016, 09:41 AM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 18 2016, 08:57 AM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 18 2016, 05:48 AM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 17 2016, 10:35 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 17 2016, 09:01 PM) *
1.
How you go about differentiating among the original 13 states (in ALL of which, of course, slavery was both legal and practiced) in regards to which of them where "slave states" and which weren't? IOW, what's your demarkation line between "large amounts" and non-"large amounts" in said context?

Slavery was only legal in 8 of the states at the time.

I have to correct myself:

Slavery was legal and practiced in 12 of the original 13 states at the time that the U.S. Constitution (and thus, the Electoral College) came into effect (March 1789). Massachusetts had declared it unconstitutional in 1783, and all slaves there were freed. Other than that, ...
QUOTE
...
... New York did not fully free its last ex-slaves until 1827, Rhode Island had seven slaves still listed in the 1840 census. Pennsylvania's last ex-slaves were freed in 1847, Connecticut's in 1848, and New Hampshire and New Jersey in 1865.[47]
...

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_th...on_in_the_North


By 1784, five states had policies that either instantly or gradually ended slavery - gradually meaning no new slaves from that point on: Pennsylvania (1780), New Hampshire and Massachusetts (1783), Connecticut and Rhode Island (1784).
...

Of the 5, only Massachusetts did so instantly. That's why I made the self-correction earlier.

QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 18 2016, 08:57 AM) *
...
But the important point is that there were significantly more slaves in the "Southern" states. Virginia had one of the largest populations at the time, roughly one third of which was slaves.
...

Why is that the important point in terms of defining which state is a "slave state" and which is a "free state"? Especially from the point of view of those who remained slaves until their deaths in CT, DE, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA and RI? In 1790, there were about 152,000 slaves in those states (more than in GA and SC, combined). Maryland had about as many slaves as North Carolina at the time.

A definition for the terms you are referring to was given - a free state was one that had abolished or was in the process of abolishing slavery. Yes, those figures are accurate, but those at the convention were also quite aware that these 5 States had abolished or were abolishing slavery at the time. They would have known that slave populations in those states would decrease and, so long as slavery was not abolished in the other states, the slave population would rise in slave states. These were not stupid people and they were forming a government for the future as they saw it... not simply for the present moment.

As to your second point, the proposal was to ignore slaves when it came to apportionment of Congressional seats and electors. The slave states wanted them included even though they couldn't vote. The compromise gave the slave states greater influence because they got more congressional seats and electors than they would have if only free people were considered with regard to apportionment. As slave populations grew in these states, so did their influence.

This post has been edited by entspeak: Nov 18 2016, 08:45 PM
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LoneWisdom
post Nov 18 2016, 09:59 PM
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Which group is trying to benefit by exploiting large concentrated populations today, and wouldn't the current results imposed by the EC be valid?
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entspeak
post Nov 18 2016, 10:18 PM
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QUOTE(LoneWisdom @ Nov 18 2016, 04:59 PM) *
Which group is trying to benefit by exploiting large concentrated populations today, and wouldn't the current results imposed by the EC be valid?

Yes, the current results are valid. But, what happens on Dec 19th is up to the electors. There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent them from changing their vote... Of course, the electors Trump gets for those states he won are Republican and given the fact that this will give the party control of two branches of government and the mostly unfettered ability to shape the third, it's unlikely they will change their vote. Some may, but I don't expect many will.
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akaCG
post Nov 19 2016, 12:48 AM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 18 2016, 03:38 PM) *
...
A definition for the terms you are referring to was given - a free state was one that had abolished or was in the process of abolishing slavery. Yes, those figures are accurate, but those at the convention were also quite aware that these 5 States had abolished or were abolishing slavery at the time. They would have known that slave populations in those states would decrease and, so long as slavery was not abolished in the other states, the slave population would rise in slave states. These were not stupid people and they were forming a government for the future as they saw it... not simply for the present moment.
...

I certainly agree with you that the people who drafted the Constitution were pretty darn smart. They were not, however, prescient. There is no way for them to have actually known (i.e. been certain about) how things would pan out.

The only state about which they could have had a degree of confidence that even approached certainty would have been Massachusetts, since that state's abolition of slavery had been achieved by amending its constitution. The rest of the states in question, however, had simply implemented their intentions/aspirations via legislation (e.g. Pennsylvania's 1780 Act).

It's a heck of a lot easier, I'm pretty sure you would agree, for legislation to be overturned than for an constitutional amendment to be. And that, basically, is why I just can't get to a point where I can put the other states in question in the same "basket" as Massachusetts. IOW, definitely "slave free" is not the same as aspirationally "slave free", from my point of view. The demarkation line between what constituted a "free state" and a "slave state" at the time is not one that I agree with, I'm afraid, because I think it is based on 20/20 hindsight (e.g. "Well, since it eventually turned out that those states did actually manage to become slave-free, we might as well retroactively include them in the 'basket' of 'slave-free' states as of 1790.").

Anyway, let me leave it at that, at least for now.

ps:
I'm really glad that you jumped in and replied to my post directed at "turnea". I've really enjoyed our discussion on this sub-topic. Reasonable people making reasonable and substantive arguments and substantive counter-arguments, 'far as I'm concerned. Thank you, "enstpeak".

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entspeak
post Nov 19 2016, 02:57 AM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 18 2016, 07:48 PM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 18 2016, 03:38 PM) *
...
A definition for the terms you are referring to was given - a free state was one that had abolished or was in the process of abolishing slavery. Yes, those figures are accurate, but those at the convention were also quite aware that these 5 States had abolished or were abolishing slavery at the time. They would have known that slave populations in those states would decrease and, so long as slavery was not abolished in the other states, the slave population would rise in slave states. These were not stupid people and they were forming a government for the future as they saw it... not simply for the present moment.
...

I certainly agree with you that the people who drafted the Constitution were pretty darn smart. They were not, however, prescient. There is no way for them to have actually known (i.e. been certain about) how things would pan out.

The only state about which they could have had a degree of confidence that even approached certainty would have been Massachusetts, since that state's abolition of slavery had been achieved by amending its constitution. The rest of the states in question, however, had simply implemented their intentions/aspirations via legislation (e.g. Pennsylvania's 1780 Act).

It's a heck of a lot easier, I'm pretty sure you would agree, for legislation to be overturned than for an constitutional amendment to be. And that, basically, is why I just can't get to a point where I can put the other states in question in the same "basket" as Massachusetts. IOW, definitely "slave free" is not the same as aspirationally "slave free", from my point of view. The demarkation line between what constituted a "free state" and a "slave state" at the time is not one that I agree with, I'm afraid, because I think it is based on 20/20 hindsight (e.g. "Well, since it eventually turned out that those states did actually manage to become slave-free, we might as well retroactively include them in the 'basket' of 'slave-free' states as of 1790.").

Anyway, let me leave it at that, at least for now.

ps:
I'm really glad that you jumped in and replied to my post directed at "turnea". I've really enjoyed our discussion on this sub-topic. Reasonable people making reasonable and substantive arguments and substantive counter-arguments, 'far as I'm concerned. Thank you, "enstpeak".


I think it is less prescience and more basic deductive reasoning. A state with a policy that banned trading slaves and automatically freed children born to slaves would, over time, reduce the slave population. It isn't difficult to see that as a logical outcome of the policy. The fact that a state could change the law would only mean that the particular state would then be in a position to gain more representation based on an increasing slave population. In other words, Pennsylvania would have simply become a state with more electors and congressional representation.

All this said, the more I read the debates at the convention, the more I come to believe that - while the apportionment of representation and electors was definitely related to slavery - the decision to use electors rather than a national popular vote had to do with other considerations. In fact, I could find no mention of slaves at all in the debates about who should choose the Executive and decidedly anti-slavery delegates also opposed a national popular vote. It's fascinating to read some of what they said because this election appears to be the poster-child for why we need an electoral college.

But, it also argues against the notion that the electors should align themselves with the popular vote. Based on what I've read, their job is to make the right decision... not necessarily follow the popular vote.
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akaCG
post Nov 23 2016, 11:21 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Nov 15 2016, 10:26 PM) *
...
The electoral college doesn't prevent an extremely unwanted candidate from being President because it's possible to win the Presidency in the Electoral College with roughly 20% of the popular vote.

That may be theoretically possible, under a combination of circumstances the likelihood of which is similar to the likelihood of my winning the Powerball lottery, even if I played it every single time for the rest of my life. But I don't see how that would happen in real life, however.

For instance, ...

The populations of our 2 most populous states (CA and TX) amount to about 21% of the U.S. population. Their combined EC votes, however: only 93.

For another instance, ...

The populations of our 29 least populous states (not going to bother to list them) also amount to about 21% of the U.S. population. Their combined EC votes, however: only 150.

See what I mean?



Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._...and_territories

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net2007
post Dec 8 2016, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Nov 14 2016, 07:01 AM) *
The video linked to below lays out arguments for and against the EC, its history, and what can be done to bring the vote for POTUS closer to the popular vote.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HA1i6NqZJ4

Should the EC be modified at the state level?

More on what can be done about the EC on the state level:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG0ILuZMTzA

CAUTION: PBS and college professor


Personally, I don't believe it would be a good idea to change the Electorial College in any drastic way which would remove its purpose. The EC was put in place to strike some sort of balance between the popular vote and giving representation to areas which wouldn't have it otherwise. Look at the county by county electoral map of the U.S.......

http://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives...ction-unfolded/

Here what you see is a sea of red, so much so that I read where a Donald Trump supporter said... "Trump has better coverage than Verizon, can you hear us now?"

With the pun aside, the popular vote alone can be a bit deceiving in that it doesn't take into consideration who's winning geographically, with the thoughts and beliefs of those within each region considered. The problem with this is that one small but highly populated area tends to vote the same, our founding fathers understood this and to prevent elections from being dominated by such areas the EC was born.

Republicans are winning with the EC because the Democrats need more appeal outside of (often isolated) liberal hotspots. If county by county results were the only consideration the Democrats wouldn't have won an election in a long time. However the popular vote is important, that's why it's incorporated into the EC. Every election where a candidate won the EV but lost the popular vote, the vote count was extremely close.

In short both are important, the popular vote and county by county support so I think leaving it alone is fine.

This post has been edited by net2007: Dec 8 2016, 10:13 PM
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akaCG
post Dec 18 2016, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 8 2016, 05:08 PM) *
... Look at the county by county electoral map of the U.S.......

http://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives...ction-unfolded/

Here what you see is a sea of red, so much so that I read where a Donald Trump supporter said... "Trump has better coverage than Verizon, can you hear us now?"

With the pun aside, the popular vote alone can be a bit deceiving in that it doesn't take into consideration who's winning geographically, with the thoughts and beliefs of those within each region considered. The problem with this is that one small but highly populated area tends to vote the same, our founding fathers understood this and to prevent elections from being dominated by such areas the EC was born.

Republicans are winning with the EC because the Democrats need more appeal outside of (often isolated) liberal hotspots. ...
...

The above points, illustrated:

TrumpLand

Clinton Archipelago

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net2007
post Dec 20 2016, 01:40 AM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Dec 18 2016, 04:07 PM) *
QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 8 2016, 05:08 PM) *
... Look at the county by county electoral map of the U.S.......

http://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives...ction-unfolded/

Here what you see is a sea of red, so much so that I read where a Donald Trump supporter said... "Trump has better coverage than Verizon, can you hear us now?"

With the pun aside, the popular vote alone can be a bit deceiving in that it doesn't take into consideration who's winning geographically, with the thoughts and beliefs of those within each region considered. The problem with this is that one small but highly populated area tends to vote the same, our founding fathers understood this and to prevent elections from being dominated by such areas the EC was born.

Republicans are winning with the EC because the Democrats need more appeal outside of (often isolated) liberal hotspots. ...
...

The above points, illustrated:

TrumpLand

Clinton Archipelago


That's interesting as well, maps like that demonstrate to me why we have the EC. Those who live in cities shouldn't be able to dominate elections. In some areas, you have to drive several hundred miles to find areas where Democrats are in the majority. Also, it's much easier for a student attending a liberal dominate college to go tell their friend in a low-income apartment two blocks away why voting for conservatives could affect their way of life, than it is for a conservative to visit their friend in a town 30 miles away. I know this because I live in a low-income apartment near a college that's two blocks away tongue.gif The atmosphere in highly populated areas can, at times, feel dogmatic and information spreads fast in cities like this one. Is that an unfair advantage? Is an important question.

This post has been edited by net2007: Dec 20 2016, 01:48 AM
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