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Offline honk

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Re: Trump
« Reply #620 on: February 11, 2017, 05:34:59 PM »
That's not what the EC was made for at all. It adds weight to voters in less populated states.

It wasn't even made for that reason, actually. The Founders believed that a small group of electors would be able to make a more informed, rational choice than the overall population, a concern that's rendered somewhat moot by how rare and frowned-upon faithless voting is nowadays.
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Re: Trump
« Reply #621 on: February 11, 2017, 05:37:05 PM »
To give you some idea: the population of Indiana (6.5M in 2012) and Minnesota (5.4M) are roughly comparable. In 2012, 76.1% of Minnesotans and 56% of Indianans voted. Looking at the "popular vote", the voice of Minnesota would have to count as more, purely because more people turned up to represent it.

this only really matters if indiana and minnesota are culturally and politically distinct.  if the interests of minnesotans and indianans don't diverge along state lines, then the location of the voter doesn't need to be accounted for.  the two voting blocks can be demographically equal.
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Re: Trump
« Reply #622 on: February 11, 2017, 06:01:06 PM »
That's not what the EC was made for at all. It adds weight to voters in less populated states.

It wasn't even made for that reason, actually. The Founders believed that a small group of electors would be able to make a more informed, rational choice than the overall population, a concern that's rendered somewhat moot by how rare and frowned-upon faithless voting is nowadays.

That too.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Trump
« Reply #623 on: February 11, 2017, 06:17:19 PM »
Yes, I too passed high school history.
I know that answering it boils down to high school stats and early junior high world history (I guess the schooling system where you lived must have been a bit slower than that of my backwater second-world home nation), but you wanted it explained. Don't complain that I'm giving you the information you explicitly requested.

Who do you think is advocating assigning the number of representatives based on the number of voters?
The voter, in this case, is the representative. Tautologies don't really need advocates, they remain tautologies nonetheless.

That would be an awful idea, and has nothing to do with whether the EC represents the general populace more than a straight popular vote.
It sounds like you misunderstood my use of "representative", even though I stated it explicitly in my post.

It adds weight to voters in less populated states.
That is simply mathematically incorrect. The weights were applied proportionally to the populations, if only indirectly.

It has nothing to do with making up for voter turnout. In fact, the three most populous states (CA, TX, NY) had some of the worst voter turnouts, which means it is doing the exact opposite of what you are giving it credit for.
I deliberately picked examples of two states of similar populations, and explained how using a popular vote would unbalance the power between them based on their wealth and privilege. I'm not sure why you're bringing more populous states into it, but the same comparison can be made between any pair of states of similar populations. The point is that the voting populace of a certain state is the best representation of the views of the entire state that we can currently produce.

I understand that there are pros and cons to the EC.
So far you've demonstrated the opposite.

But it certainly does not represent the general populace more accurately than a straight popular vote.
We'll have to agree to disagree. Luckily, the people that actually need to understand the benefits understand them well enough not to mess with the system.

If you ask 0.1% of each state what they think about an issue, you might have a (weak) claim to having an answer that's representative for the USA. If you ask 0.1% of the USA's population about the same issue, but you source all your respondents from Texas, your claim will be close to non-existent. This principle remains true, although to a lesser extent, if you adjust the numbers to be more akin to a general election.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 06:34:19 PM by SexWarrior »
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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Trump
« Reply #624 on: February 11, 2017, 06:23:49 PM »
this only really matters if indiana and minnesota are culturally and politically distinct.  if the interests of minnesotans and indianans don't diverge along state lines, then the location of the voter doesn't need to be accounted for.  the two voting blocks can be demographically equal.
Yes, this is why I presented these facts in the introduction to my post. And unless you make the case that none of the states are culturally and politically distinct (which I believe not even you would do), then your point boils down to "SexWarrior might not have picked the best states for his example case"
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 06:30:20 PM by SexWarrior »
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Online Lord Dave

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Re: Trump
« Reply #625 on: February 11, 2017, 06:36:38 PM »
Well, the EC had a good role but it assumed that there would be more than 2 candidates.  And that the VP was elected separate.

Neither is really true these days.  Most people (and states) vote one party or the other.(  Those in states who vote different from their state's normal voting pattern (NY, TX, CA, UT, etc...) are going to feel disenfranchised.  Why bother voting Republican in NY when you'll never get the state to go Red?

The big downside isn't disenfranchised states who get crowded out (cause that already happens) but candidates would have to campaign in EVERY state.  Instead of the 11 that swing, they'd have to be more national in their approach, which could be more diluting and make winning harder.

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Re: Trump
« Reply #626 on: February 11, 2017, 06:40:34 PM »
Why bother voting Republican in NY when you'll never get the state to go Red?
I agree. I'm firmly opposed to the "winner takes all" rule. It would be much better if the votes were distributed proportionally.
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Online Lord Dave

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Re: Trump
« Reply #627 on: February 11, 2017, 06:45:59 PM »
Why bother voting Republican in NY when you'll never get the state to go Red?
I agree. I'm firmly opposed to the "winner takes all" rule. It would be much better if the votes were distributed proportionally.
Well, part of that is also gerrymandering.  If ya win enough, you can make sure you always win.

Re: Trump
« Reply #628 on: February 11, 2017, 07:01:38 PM »
Who do you think is advocating assigning the number of representatives based on the number of voters?
The voter, in this case, is the representative. Tautologies don't really need advocates, they remain tautologies nonetheless.

Oh, I thought you were arguing against some type of winner-takes-all system with electors proportional to the number of voters instead of population. Your wording was confusing, especially with the odd use of the word "representative".

Quote
It adds weight to voters in less populated states.
That is simply mathematically incorrect. The weights were applied proportionally to the populations, if only indirectly.

The number of EC's a state gets are based on population + 2, which favors voters in less populous states and in states with lower voter turnout, although the effect on less populous states is much more significant. However, the electoral college does absolutely nothing to promote the representation of those not turning out to vote. There is no reason to suspect that those non-voters are accurately represented by the majority of voters in their state, ESPECIALLY if they are being unfairly pressured into not voting. Who else has the power to pressure them into not voting except the majority party in that state?

Quote
The point is that the voting populace of a certain state is the best representation of the views of the entire state that we can currently produce.

And the voting populace of the nation as a whole is the best representation of the views of the entire nation that we can currently produce. Artificially breaking the voters up into blocks does not make it more reliable. If you want to weight the votes based on known demographic and geographic spread, fine. The EC does not do that effectively.

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Re: Trump
« Reply #629 on: February 11, 2017, 07:14:11 PM »
However, the electoral college does absolutely nothing to promote the representation of those not turning out to vote.
It provides us with the best approximation currently available, as opposed to your proposal, which is to provide us with no approximation at all.

There is no reason to suspect that those non-voters are accurately represented by the majority of voters in their state
Agreed, it's just much more likely to be accurate than your alternative.

ESPECIALLY if they are being unfairly pressured into not voting. Who else has the power to pressure them into not voting except the majority party in that state?
Free markets.

And the voting populace of the nation as a whole is the best representation of the views of the entire nation that we can currently produce.
This is incorrect, it provides you with a locally skewed representation, something that can be easily avoided.

Artificially breaking the voters up into blocks does not make it more reliable. If you want to weight the votes based on known demographic and geographic spread, fine. The EC does not do that effectively.
I am not claiming that the EC is effective. I'm claiming that it's a world of improvement over your proposal. I already pointed out a few factors that I'd prefer to see refined, so trying to convince me that the system isn't perfect as-is is a bit of a trivial task.

If you were advocating for anything else than the "popular vote", you'd have an easy time steamrolling over the arguments for EC. But you chose to back the worst of all options.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 07:16:01 PM by SexWarrior »
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Re: Trump
« Reply #630 on: February 11, 2017, 07:32:37 PM »
However, the electoral college does absolutely nothing to promote the representation of those not turning out to vote.
It provides us with the best approximation currently available, as opposed to your proposal, which is to provide us with no approximation at all.

There is no reason to suspect that those non-voters are accurately represented by the majority of voters in their state
Agreed, it's just much more likely to be accurate than your alternative.

ESPECIALLY if they are being unfairly pressured into not voting. Who else has the power to pressure them into not voting except the majority party in that state?
Free markets.

And the voting populace of the nation as a whole is the best representation of the views of the entire nation that we can currently produce.
This is incorrect, it provides you with a locally skewed representation, something that can be easily avoided.

Every single one of these statements is incorrect. I'm not going to bother arguing them further though, since your short, blunt, responses devoid of reasoning indicates that it would be tedious and fruitless process.

Quote
Artificially breaking the voters up into blocks does not make it more reliable. If you want to weight the votes based on known demographic and geographic spread, fine. The EC does not do that effectively.
I am not claiming that the EC is effective. I'm claiming that it's a world of improvement over your proposal. I already pointed out a few factors that I'd prefer to see refined, so trying to convince me that the system isn't perfect as-is is a bit of a trivial task.

If you were advocating for anything else than the "popular vote", you'd have an easy time steamrolling over the arguments for EC. But you chose to back the worst of all options.

I didn't propose/advocate anything. You were the one who stated "EC results are likely more representative of the general populace". Since you didn't specify what it was more representative than, I assumed you meant a straight popular vote. I wouldn't advocate a straight popular vote either, but at least it is "more representative of the general populace" than the EC. Yes, I agree that removing the "winner-takes-all" rule is at least a step in the right direction.

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Re: Trump
« Reply #631 on: February 11, 2017, 07:42:45 PM »
Since you didn't specify what it was more representative than
Have you ever tried reading posts before responding to them? It's a revolutionary step away from constant embarrassment!

Apparently a good enough product to get a majority of votes.
Are you one of those anti-electoral-college people, or do you acknowledge that EC results are likely more representative of the general populace?

I assumed you meant a straight popular vote
At least you managed to guess correctly, but seriously, reading your opponents' points is a much better way to debate than guessing them.

Every single one of these statements is incorrect. I'm not going to bother arguing them further though, since your short, blunt, responses devoid of reasoning indicates that it would be tedious and fruitless process.
I presented my reasoning. You didn't present yours because you don't have any. That's why throughout this discussion you had to go from "explain!" to "haha, I knew all this, I went to school!" to "I agree that distributing the vote is a good idea, but EC isn't the best way of doing this" (i.e. a complete agreement with my position), to "you're wrong but UHHH I WON'T TELL YOU WHY!"

Yes, I agree that removing the "winner-takes-all" rule is at least a step in the right direction.
Yes, at this stage you've pretty much forced yourself to concede this.
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Re: Trump
« Reply #632 on: February 11, 2017, 07:43:57 PM »
this only really matters if indiana and minnesota are culturally and politically distinct.  if the interests of minnesotans and indianans don't diverge along state lines, then the location of the voter doesn't need to be accounted for.  the two voting blocks can be demographically equal.
Yes, this is why I presented these facts in the introduction to my post. And unless you make the case that none of the states are culturally and politically distinct (which I believe not even you would do), then your point boils down to "SexWarrior might not have picked the best states for his example case"

i named those two states only because they were in your example.  the principle applies generally, though.  i wouldn't say that there are no states that are politically and culturally distinct; but, i would say that there aren't very many of them, and the distinctions divide along much larger regions than those encompassed by a single state border.  california isn't very distinct from oregon or washington, nor is texas from oklahoma or louisiana.  i'm not saying you picked the wrong states to use as an example; i'm saying that most states are pretty much just like their neighbors.  i don't think we have anywhere close to 50 distinct cultural/political reservoirs.
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Re: Trump
« Reply #633 on: February 11, 2017, 07:47:39 PM »
[...] i don't think we have anywhere close to 50 distinct cultural/political reservoirs.
While I don't disagree, I do not see how that affects the discussion at hand. Whether we're looking at 2 states, say, one with 30 votes and one with 40, or a two-state arbitrary unit with 70 votes, if they're not distinct, the result will be identical either way; if they are distinct, the result may change depending on scenario picked. This, if anything, does a great job at illustrating the difference between a popular vote (the assumption that it's just one giant arbitrary block) and the EC (a large number of somewhat arbitrary blocks)
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Re: Trump
« Reply #634 on: February 11, 2017, 07:55:14 PM »
<words>

Meh. I don't really feel like further engaging your troll bait into a never ending argument right now. Maybe some other time.

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Re: Trump
« Reply #635 on: February 11, 2017, 08:02:07 PM »
"It's not that I don't have any arguments to present, it's just that it would be so much effort to present them when you're saying words at me."

10/10, keep going.
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Trump
« Reply #636 on: February 11, 2017, 08:03:48 PM »
I think this thread is about Trump.  He must have done something more interesting than this today.

EDIT: Here we go!  Apparently Trump is convinced he will bring the price of the wall down because he is an amazing negotiator and deal maker.  We all know the truth is he will use Chinese steel to drive the price down.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/11/trump-insists-he-can-bring-the-cost-of-21-6-billion-border-wall-way-down/?utm_term=.4f7a50ccd6d3
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 08:06:07 PM by Rama Set »
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Re: Trump
« Reply #637 on: February 11, 2017, 08:11:27 PM »
I think this thread is about Trump.  He must have done something more interesting than this today.

EDIT: Here we go!  Apparently Trump is convinced he will bring the price of the wall down because he is an amazing negotiator and deal maker.  We all know the truth is he will use Chinese steel to drive the price down.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/11/trump-insists-he-can-bring-the-cost-of-21-6-billion-border-wall-way-down/?utm_term=.4f7a50ccd6d3
Chineese steel and Illegal immigrants.


There we go. 
"Work on the wall or I'll deport you."






But why does he care?  Mexico will pay for it.

Re: Trump
« Reply #638 on: February 11, 2017, 09:49:39 PM »
And the voting populace of the nation as a whole is the best representation of the views of the entire nation that we can currently produce.
This is incorrect, it provides you with a locally skewed representation, something that can be easily avoided.

Artificially breaking the voters up into blocks does not make it more reliable. If you want to weight the votes based on known demographic and geographic spread, fine. The EC does not do that effectively.
I am not claiming that the EC is effective. I'm claiming that it's a world of improvement over your proposal. I already pointed out a few factors that I'd prefer to see refined, so trying to convince me that the system isn't perfect as-is is a bit of a trivial task.

If you were advocating for anything else than the "popular vote", you'd have an easy time steamrolling over the arguments for EC. But you chose to back the worst of all options.

Literally everything you said about the electoral college in this thread has been wrong. It does not take into account anything about active voters or percentage of the population who voted. It only gives more representation to people who live in states that are less populous. None of this other stuff matters at all.

And objectively, it is worse than the popular vote at representing the people as a whole fairly. It does not meet the majority criterion, so a candidate liked by more than 50% of the populace is not guaranteed to win. The popular vote does meet this criteria, a criteria used by voting theorists to measure the fairness in a voting system. In fact, the electoral college meets none of the criterion used to evaluate a fair voting method. And I don't think I've heard any proponent say that it does, either. Most concede that it represents small states more, and then proceed to defend that. It does not ensure that most Americans support the president, obviously; it does not equalize representation among states, since they are still based on population, and because of the current winner-take-all system, it causes candidates to focus on swing states; it does not ensure diverse support for the president.

I can't see anywhere where it would do better than a first-past-the-post voting system, and this weird argument about representing states with less active voters more is crazy. And this:

Quote
That is simply mathematically incorrect. The weights were applied proportionally to the populations, if only indirectly.

is the craziest of all the claims. No, mathematically, it DOES represent voters in small states more by giving every state 2 votes, then distributing votes proportionally. The total votes represent a fewer amount of voters in small states, and therefore mathematically weights voters in small states more. The only thing I think you are trying to claim is that it gives equal representation to states of equal population regardless of how many of them actually voted, but I do not know why that should be considered a good thing, nor does that address the issue of disproportionate representation among the states.

As it stands, a majority of states can support a candidate and he would not win, and a majority of people can support a candidate and he would not win. I fail to see how that system is in any way a fair voting system, whether you value the U.S. as a collection of states or as a collection of people.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 10:16:24 PM by trekky0623 »

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Re: Trump
« Reply #639 on: February 12, 2017, 12:50:34 AM »
As it stands, a majority of states can support a candidate and he would not win, and a majority of people can support a candidate and he would not win.
Well, yes, if you go out of your way to ask the wrong questions, you're going to get the wrong answer. Neither the majority of states nor the majority of voters should be the relevant metric. That's why the metric actually used is a sum of weights of states.

It does not take into account anything about active voters or percentage of the population who voted. It only gives more representation to people who live in states that are less populous. None of this other stuff matters at all.
If you think I said anything even remotely to this effect (hint: I absolutely didn't), you need to take a step back and ask me to clarify the things that I didn't already make sufficiently clear. You're doing the thing again.

I'll ignore your claims of "objective truth", since they're not rooted in anything remotely objective. You've voiced a very emphatic opinion, which essentially boils down to you being a majoritarian (to my surprise), while I'm a utilitarian. You also chose to double-down on criticising the same parts of EC as me. I really don't know what people try to achieve when they do that. "What? You said you support this system but with changes X, Y and Z? That's terrible, this system would only work if X, Y and Z were considered!!!!" Like, yes, I'm glad we agree.

As to why balancing voter turnout is a good thing: I sincerely hope you're never poor enough to not be able to vote. The lack of empathy from Democrats on this issue is absolutely shocking.

Also, not trying to attack you over this, but I think you're the kind of person who would like to know: "criteria" is the plural of "criterion". Don't use them interchangeably.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 01:08:31 AM by SexWarrior »
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