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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 2/22 (373 comments)

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  •  The problem is (4+ / 0-)

    the EC does not force candidates to appeal to a wide coalition of interests.  Because of the arbitrary boundaries and sizes of the states, it's only forced candidates to appeal to a handful of states.  An outsized number of them are demographically similar states clumped in the midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Iowa).  Is this representative of the country?  There are no northeast states anymore, no west coast states, no Deep South states.  California, Texas, and New York are irrelevant.

    Someone can easily sweep the EC by winning the midwest swing states, without appealing to anywhere else.  If anything, the EC has fostered more regionalism than it has averted.

    States just don't go 90%+ for one candidate anymore, like they did in the days of the Jim Crow South.  There is no danger of a candidate winning the national popular vote by only running up the vote in one area, it just can't happen anymore.

    You bring up the idea of Romney running up the vote in the South, but he really can't with so many African-Americans there.

    •  Distinguish between does (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, MichaelNY

      and can happen. It certainly could happen, just not in today's world.

      The problem is that we structure our electoral college in a way that does not just emerge with a disparity between the actual winner and the popular vote winner only when that popular vote winner is a regional or regional-esque candidate. It happens in more cases than that, such as when Bush defeated Gore despite both candidates having broad coalitions.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:44:45 PM PST

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    •  Maybe it's too obvious a point to make (0+ / 0-)

      But I would say, YES, those Midwestern swing states ARE representative of the county, politically at least, because they ARE swing states. The proof is in the pudding. If New England was 50/50 politically, then New England would be the most representative of the country. Texas clearly isn't representative of the country as a whole, or else it would be a swing state.

      I like to think of the goal of multi-party democracy as being to find the average point of view of all the citizens, a sort of balancing act of all available opinions. By definition, there has to be a fulcrum somewhere, and it's only understandable that most of the action would be right at that fulcrum.

      •  But that's just it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        the electoral college doesn't produce multi-party democracy. It produces a two-party system and in presidential elections the vast majority of the electorate has no chance of having their vote for the minority party in their state affect the outcome. It is effectively disenfranchisement.

        •  Part of this is true (0+ / 0-)

          The big on how the electoral college produces two parties.

          But do you even know why?

          And do you realize that path dependence practically removes the possibility that if we remove the electoral college that suddenly independent candidacies would be successful?

          23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

          by wwmiv on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:06:44 PM PST

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          •  No I realize all of that (0+ / 0-)

            You need some form of preference voting, or rapidly changing political coalitions to produce a genuine multiparty presidential election, both of which we absolutely do not have. But that doesn't make the electoral college any better; I'm just saying that it's one more thing that reinforces the two party system which I'd wager that the majority of Americans would be opposed to if they knew of the alternatives other countries use.

            •  I was actually looking for an answer to the (0+ / 0-)

              "do you know why":

              Duverger's Law, in a way, applies here because the states effectively operate as "districts" in a Presidential election.

              23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

              by wwmiv on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:58:08 PM PST

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              •  Oh sure, but it is only reinforcing what's already (0+ / 0-)

                there. Namely that we have plurality elections so you're already going to have the pressure that embodies Duverger's law in places like Canada and the UK, except it's going to be pushed on a national scale thanks to presidentialism and the electoral college. You can certainly look at particular ridings in Canada or seats in the UK where they're effectively two party seats, but the parties that are the main two differ by region.

      •  The people of the country are representative of (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wwmiv, Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY, pademocrat

        the people in the country.

        It makes no sense to think some smaller group of swing states better represents the country than the country is illogical in the extreme.

        And yes, Texas is representative of the country, part of it anyway, and is certainly more representative of the country overall than Iowa or NH are.

        And the smallish number of middle of the road or swingish folks are not representative of the country.  That's pure fiction.  The country is substantially very polarized, and if anything those polarized interests should have an impact that relates to their numbers.

        Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

        by tommypaine on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:06:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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