Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2012

Popular vote

September 20, 2012

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To the editor:

Unfortunately, the votes of the 70 percent of Lawrence voters who will mark their ballots this November for Barack Obama or Green Party candidate Jill Stein will not count. Their votes won’t count because the U.S. doesn’t have direct popular election of the president. Over the past 75 years, Kansas’ electoral votes have always gone for the Republican candidate (excluding 1964). So, voters who don’t vote for Mitt Romney this November will be essentially disenfranchised.

The 2000 election proved that the Electoral College system is fatally flawed as Al Gore won the popular vote, but failed to become president. To remedy this, nine states possessing 132 electoral votes have already passed legislation (the National Popular Vote bill) which would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally. This system will be activated once a sufficient number of states (possessing a total of 270 electoral votes) pass enabling legislation. Will the Kansas Legislature enfranchise the approximately 40 percent of the electorate who don’t vote for Republican candidates?  

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

The former republican party has been subverted by a right wing coup over the past 30 years.

The Rt Wing Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party for Economic Terrorism now controls the republican party name handily. Sam Brownback is a member of this new party that bought the GOP name. This is the party that has successfully wrecked the real estate value of homes leaving so many with a home that is worth less than the mortgage that which is attached.

Neither republicans,democrats nor the Green Party can afford to vote republican simply because the party is basically non existent.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

A bit odd maybe, but spot on in facts. The Republican party of my youth is currently the Democratic party.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

The only clown is you, and yes, the current Democrats are more like the Republicans of even the mid 1990's..

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 6 months ago

Unless you're from another country Obama is your president too--richard cranium.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

I see that you have no argument or evidence to dispute the underlying fact that the Republican party, over the past 30 years, has been taken over by a group of extremist zealots.

No surprise.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

The founding fathers were protecting slavery. There is nothing wrong with deviating from that course of history. I have read plenty, but tend to see through the misinformation spread by your primary sources, Faux, NewsMax, and other similar trash.

JohnBrown 2 years, 6 months ago

My name for the so-called Republican Party is the American Taliban Party...but you could also call then RINO's too.

JohnBrown

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

The Electoral College system is fatally flawed to which I subscribe. There are choices which will need to be put on the ballot so democracy can prevail.

First off why do we Americans vote in the rich which are supported by the rich to make decisions for the entire upper middle class, middle class and low income? Hey republicans you too are getting screwed make no mistake about it.

Too many of the 1% rich are destroying the middle class. They have sent tens of millions of middle class jobs abroad with no job replacement in sight.

Isn't their something wrong with this picture?

Ask yourself why do we voters tend to vote for the largest spending candidates?

What good has this choice been for a president, for congress or our local governments?

America deserves a new system and Fair Vote America is that system absolutely. http://www.fairvote.org/irv/

Let's remove corporate control of our election system.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out in the cold. In the name of democracy let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"If it isn't broke, why try to fix it?"

Your premise is wrong-- it is broke, and the founding fathers (who also seemed to think slavery was hunky dory) have all been dead for nearly 2 centuries.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

If you think it's broke, then fix it. There is a way. The Constitution has been amended many times since the days of the founding fathers. It was fixed when it dealt with the slavery issue. So if there is enough support for your position to eliminate the electoral college, it can be changed.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

The National Popular Vote compact is perfectly constitutional, and a legitimate way to end the ill effects of the electoral college. The constitution leaves to the state the decision how electoral votes will be apportioned, and states may choose to apportion them to the candidate with the most popular votes. There is no need for a constitutional amendment. The states can take charge of this one.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I have no problem with that either. I just don't think there is enough support for that position. But if I'm wrong, that's fine too.

bevy 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes, we do want reasoned and disciplined representatives. Got any idea where we can get some?

Phil Minkin 2 years, 6 months ago

They were very smart, but not able to see into the future. That's why there is an amendment process.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

The electoral college is badly broken. As it stands, the minority votes, regardless of political affiliation, are meaningless in all except 9 [now down to 7] swing states. Presidential elections should not be decided in 7 states, they should be decided by nationwide referendum. As it currently stands, presidential candidates have no motivation to respect the concerns of voters in any of the non-swing states, leaving the vast majority of the electorate without representation at the executive level.

The founding fathers never envisioned "winner take all" states, nor did they envision a two-party system. Abolishing the electoral college supports the will of the people, and encourages third parties to challenge

The National Popular Vote Compact, according to recent Gallup polls, is supported by 62% of Americans as opposed to 35% who continue to support the electoral college. The most recent polls even showed 53% of Republicans in support of the national popular vote.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"The founding fathers never envisioned "winner take all" states, nor did they envision a two-party system."

Actually, what they envisioned was a government controlled by wealthy white aristocratic men, and the electoral college was just one of the means they chose to accomplish that.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

Actually,. it was designed to protect slavery as an institution.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

US Constitution, Section 1, clause 2:

"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.."

At the time of the constitutional convention of 1787, a compromise was struck providing that 3/5 of the slaves in slave states would be counted for the purpose of determining the number of representatives and ultimately, electors, for each state. The electoral college was a means to give weight to the presence of slaves in slave states, but at the same time denying those slaves any hint of representation. http://www.america.gov/st/educ-english/2008/April/20080422132926eaifas0.4029047.html

It was interesting to hear the clown avatar so guilty of continual "hot and gaseous expulsions [which] do little to enlighten" asking for facts and enlightenment.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

It was to protect the institution of slavery. The 3/5 compromise gave a disproportional increase in the number of representative and elector votes for the Southern states, and placed the means for choosing the electors in the hands of the land owning [read: slave owning] few. Yes, women were not allowed to vote, and neither were those who did not own property [slaves] as the states determined eligibility to vote, with property ownership being a typical qualification. The issue was keeping the means to enact laws and select electors in the hands of those who had a vested interest in keeping slavery alive and legal.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

If they never envisioned winner take all states, then they were strangely blind on the issue.

When you let states apportion the electoral votes, they can do whatever they like in that regard.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

As I said, presidential elections are not about the will of the people. They are designed to represent the will of the states. This is how the constitution set this up. We are a republic for a lot of good reasons, not a democracy.

As I have also said, if you don't like this and believe the constitution is wrong, there is a way to change it. This has been done 27 times in the history of our country and there is nothing stopping someone from engaging in the process to do this again. If there is so much popular support for this change, it should be easy to get two-thirds of congress and three-forths of the states to ratify the idea.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Cow-eyed mooning on the interwebs won't change the Constitution. If you want to pass an amendment to change the way we vote, start working to that end.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

The National Popular Vote compact will do the trick, without the federal obstructionism that would be predictable from both parties.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

You may well be correct. There are some prediction models out there that place the current election to be tight enough that Obama may lose the popular vote, but win the electoral vote.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Nate Silver of 538 has a 76% chance that he wins the popular vote and only a 3% chance he loses the popular vote but still takes the electoral college. His predictions have been pretty spot on in the past, so I tend to give them more weight.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

Actually, the result would be that state lines would have little meaning to candidates. A candidate might adopt the strategy of focusing on high population urban areas, but they would then risk losing votes to a candidate who made a concerted "public air-wave" appeal to rural areas. This scenario would give more importance to new political parties who would draw votes from the current two parties, should the current two parties continue to ignore the wishes of the majority of voters.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Do you seriously think a republican would waste time in Kansas?"

They're not going to be going to Sabetha or Hays, but they would go to KC or Topeka or Wichita.

John Hamm 2 years, 6 months ago

It's interesting that a few months ago a friend in California said he was tired of his vote being washed out by all the Liberals in other parts of the state..........

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

This thread needs a post by Sven to complete the trifecta of dim bulb.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 6 months ago

I need a program to follow all of these alien invaders.

deec 2 years, 6 months ago

You also have to check in really frequently to catch the incarnation's one or two posts before they get disappeareded. Heck, there was one this morning that posted twice, and by the time I clicked the name to check when the user joined, they were gone.

It's kind of like hunting for rabbits during duck season.

paulveer 2 years, 6 months ago

S.Page, it's obvious that many here find your continued use of that clown picture as repulsive, insulting, immature, mean-spirited, and yes, absolutely disrespectful to President Obama, which is clearly your intent. It's the equivalent of drawing horns and a mustache on a portrait and thinking it's clever. Geez, how old are you?

Since it clearly hurts your credibility, it appears that your intention here has little to do with debate and information, but more to do with wanting to insult your president, and all those here who appreciate a little civility.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

ClownOnPage is hereby nominated for the best rendition of Faux Snooze trash-talking nonsense.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

I think you should change your icon to a picture of Chlorpromazine. Wow.

Corey Williams 2 years, 6 months ago

It's all a matter of opinion. As small as it is, it looks like romney to me. The ultra whitey whiteness of the face, big red clown nose...yep, gotta be mittens.

Corey Williams 2 years, 6 months ago

You're right. Apparently he's not white.

At least his face isn't.

At least his face isn't. by Corey Williams

Corey Williams 2 years, 6 months ago

Then why the tan face in front of the univision crowd?

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

Have you ever stood next to a person in stage makeup?

Corey Williams 2 years, 6 months ago

Nevermind. It's mitt "middle income is $200-250k" romney. Intelligence doesn't factor in.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

To start with, Mr. Coan makes the mistake of assuming that Presidential elections are about the will of the “people.” They are not. The way our constitution is set up, Presidential elections are about the will of the “states.” Evidently Mr. Coan thinks we should change this.

If he has his way, the winner of the national popular vote would receive all of the Kansas Electoral College votes regardless of the winner of the state's popular vote. Does that sound OK to you? It didn’t sound OK to the people who wrote the constitution.

Had the system he calls for been in place in 2004, President Bush would have won all 55 of California's Electoral College votes -- despite the fact he lost the state by more than 1 million popular votes. How do you think the people of California would have felt if their state’s Electoral College votes were all cast for George W. Bush in that instance? Do you think that would have been a good way to represent the wishes of the people of California (the will of the state) or that of any other state?

The founders saw this as the “tyranny of the (simple) majority” which is why we do not have a democracy in the United States. We have a republic instead. That’s why Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from entering into interstate compacts without the consent of Congress, like this bill Mr. Coan advocates clearly calls for. The reason that the Constitution created the Electoral College instead of a simple majority direct election of the president is because the founders were afraid of a pure democracy. James Madison worried about "factions" - groups of people with a common interest in something that they wanted badly enough they were willing to either violate the rights of other citizens or harm the country a whole. Madison’s fear was the faction could grow large enough to become at least 51 percent of the vote in a two-candidate election, or a much smaller percentage in a multiple-candidate election. He said it would "sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens."

Preventing this is why we have the Electoral College. So far it’s the best way we have come up with to elect a candidate for president who best represents the will of the states.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

The constitutional argument regarding compacts will not carry any water in a court challenge because of the exclusive power of the states to award their electoral votes as they see fit. Article 1, section 10 would apply to states entering into agreements regarding matters not otherwise the exclusive power of the state.

The "tyranny of the majority" that Madison complained about was no more than code for his desire to protect slavery.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

Slavery was "one" faction of many at that time. The constitution wasn't written for just that time, or for just that one faction. It was constructed in a way it could be changed (amended) as it has been 27 times. Your point is moot.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 6 months ago

Slavery was one of the biggest sticking points of the constitutional convention. I would expect someone who holds up Quantrill as their hero to minimize its impact.

The point of slavery leading to our system in terms of apportionment and electoral votes is far from moot.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 6 months ago

I think the Electoral College would be more representative of the will of Kansas if our six votes were apportioned between Republican, Democrat, and third parties depending upon actual votes cast in Kansas. As it stands now, absolutely no Democrat votes for national office make it past the state border. That is unjust and does not reflect the reality of votes cast in Kansas.

Clark Coan 2 years, 6 months ago

The electoral college is undemocratic any way you look at it. End of debate.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

"...The 2000 election proved that the Electoral College system is fatally flawed as Al Gore won the popular vote, but failed to become president..." Actually that proved the system worked exactly as designed. BTW, how do you know when disappointed progressives are losing an argument? They declare the debate is over.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

I think a more interesting idea is for states to apportion their electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote in their state.

Then third party candidates mean more, we retain more of the popular vote influence, but states also have a little equalization as well.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

That is an interesting idea I have never considered. It deserves further study for sure.

A quick search reveals candiates from 18 different political parties and an additional 7 more independants who can be written in. Since you can't have a fraction of an electoral college vote, how would you apportion 5 electoral college votes among all these candidates?

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you!

The math question is a good one - I'd have to think about that for a while.

But, the point would be to apportion the electoral votes according to popular voting, so one wouldn't necessarily have to include all those folks, if they don't get any votes.

I get the problem, though - if it splits 50-50, you can't give each candidate 2.5 votes.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 6 months ago

Why not? Other states apportion their electoral college votes and have figured out how to do so equitably. Why can't we? I would like to have my Democratic vote COUNTED and applied to the presidential election. The electoral college reflects the will of each state honestly only if it is reflects all of the votes cast in each state, and not a 'winner take all' result legislated by the majority party.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

I thought of that as well.

Other states do it - they must have found a way to deal with the math. How do they do it?

I agree - that's why I've been saying this for a while now.

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

Write in L275 for president. I want an electoral vote!

beatrice 2 years, 6 months ago

The voters for Obama in Lawrence may not win the battle, but likely will win the war, as the saying goes.

Think global, act local. Voting makes sure you have representation at home as well as Washington.

lunacydetector 2 years, 6 months ago

the south lawrence trafficway was passed by the majority of voters 20 years ago, but a small group of people who forced the issue to a public vote, did not want the will of the people to be carried out so they tied up the SLT in court with frivolous lawsuits.......i guess the popular vote for the SLT did not matter

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Irrelevant to the subject at hand, especially given that the wording on the ballot issue that was voted on had almost nothing to do with the highway that's now apparently going to be built, and certainly made no attempt to give voters the background information necessary for a truly informed choice. Even the courts ruled it essentially a scam, but that the county government could run a scam election if they wanted.

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

"To remedy this, nine states possessing 132 electoral votes have already passed legislation (the National Popular Vote bill) which would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally."

So the people vote, but there vote really doesn't matter because the other 41 states and a handful of territories can choose for them.

We have an election system. If you don't like it, start a campaign to amend the constitution. I'd vote for instant run-offs.

classclown 2 years, 6 months ago

Ironically the electoral college is popular.

classclown 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm more concerned about people that don't live in this state sticking their big fat Gladys Kravitz noses in our town and state business. They should try commenting in the papers in their own hometowns if they want to talk about local politics.

But it's hard to be a busybody that way I suppose when one is so bent on concerning themselves with that which does not concern them.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

The SLT was approved by popular vote. The whining and moaning over that will last until the end of time.

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