tbar220
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Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:42 pm

Ok, it is of my opinion that it is time for some serious election reform in this country. I don't believe we have had a truly and fully free election in a while. There is enough corruption and piss poor election legislation that we are suffering on both sides. I even believe that this should be THE most important thing our country is looking at because as long as we don't have free elections, our citizens suffer and so does our government.

Here's what I feel needs to be done.

***

1. Voting must have a paper trail. There should be no such thing as an electric voting machine without a paper trail. Without a paper trail, there is no way to investigate corruption or voter fraud.

2. Seriously limit campaign contributions from individuals, PACs, and corporations. The hand that they have in our government is sickening, and I feel its gotten to a point where its dictating our legislation.

3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

4. Eliminate the caucus system. Along with getting rid of the electoral college, getting rid of this will simplify the election and take the pressure off politicans to win certain states for their party's nomination. Once again, I feel this system causes the majority of states to be ignored, and that is a travesty.

5. Introduce instant runoff voting (IRV). Instnat runoff voting allows voters to rank their choices of candidates. If no candidate emerges with a majority, the lowest vote-getter is dropped, and the second choices of his or her voters are assigned to the appropriate candidates. This continues until there's a majority winner. IRV not only eliminates the need for seperate runoff elections (which are also suspect to corruption), but forces candidates to endorse others so they can get their second-choice votes. I feel this will help put a kink in the two party system which is strangling our government.

6. Make any sort of voter fraud or voter corruption a serious felony with jail time a minimum. No probation, but instant jail time. This is our voter rights, the very foundation of our democracy, and when they are tampered with that is very serious.

***

Its about time that we demand free and fair elections. The people of the United States literally own our government and country. Our tax dollars pay for everything that our country does. Sadly I see it slipping away to the politicians and corporations and leaving the hands of the people. The government is by us and for us, not for the politicians. Its time we got our rights as citizens.
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texan
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:57 pm

AMEN!

One problem I have is this:

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

I agree it would be best to do this, but it is hard to change this particular rule because it would require a Constitutional Amendment to do away with it.

How about amending it to where the winner receives a percentage of the electoral college votes based on the percentage of the popular vote per state? Colorado put this on the ballot in 2004. All states should, and we should fight to pass it.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
tbar220
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:05 pm

Quoting Texan (Reply 1):
How about amending it to where the winner receives a percentage of the electoral college votes based on the percentage of the popular vote per state?

Its a decent idea, but why not just simplify it by eliminating the system alltogether? Sure it would be tough with it being a constitutional amendment and all, but amendments have been passed before.
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Superfly
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:13 pm

Tbar220:
I am with you 100% on this!
Also, election day should be a holiday and polls should be open for 24 hours.
Polls should open at 12:00 AM (midnight) eastern time, 9:00 PM Pacific time, 6:00 PM Alaska & Hawaii.
Then on the polls should be open for 24 hours.
That way the polls open & close the exact second around the entire country. No more projections or announcments of election results from the east to influence the outcome in the west.
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bigphilnyc
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:34 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college.

"....because it didn't work in my favor last time around."

Ha.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
If no candidate emerges with a majority...

Maybe I'm missing somethign, but how would the winner not have the majority?

Why are we trying to fix something that isn't broken? Because Bush one and you didn't liek him? Get a grip.
Phil Derner Jr.
 
Superfly
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:44 pm

BigPhilNYC:
Hey, hows it going man?
Had a great time last weekend.

Anyhow, what Tbar220 means is that if no candidate wins with 50% or more of the vote, the two top vote getters go in to a runoff. The New York mayors race and most other mayoral races are like that.

In 2000, Gore won 48.8% of the vote
Bush won 48.6% of the vote. The remaining 4% went to Nader, Buchanon and other minor candidates.

In a runoff, Gore & Bush would have had to compete without the other candidates on the ticket. One of the two would have to get more than 50% in a two way race.
If that law were in place in 2000, Gore would have won 51 or 52% of the popular vote.
Bush in 2000, Clinton, Nixon in 1968 and Harry Truman won in pluralities.



Goodnight folks.
More argueing tomorrow.  Smile
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bigphilnyc
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:48 pm

Why require more than 50%? It's a lead thing. Who do more of the people want?

Again, this is a liberal demand because the last election didn't go their way. Votes that went to other candidates could have gone to defeat Bush....so therefore the process must be rejected and blame placed anywhere that it can.....anywhere except to the possibility that Kerry sucked ass.
Phil Derner Jr.
 
SRQCrosscheck
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:41 pm

Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 6):
Again, this is a liberal demand because the last election didn't go their way. Votes that went to other candidates could have gone to defeat Bush....so therefore the process must be rejected and blame placed anywhere that it can.....anywhere except to the possibility that Kerry sucked ass.

oh please, people from large solid blue or red states whose votes don't really count (Massachusetts, New York, Texas) have wanted to reconsider the the electoral college since before 2000.
 
bigphilnyc
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:49 pm

Massachusetts' votes shouldn't count anyway. They're a bunch of fuckin idiots. (kidding)

The electoral college is theidea of what the United States is all about. Fifty states...almost acitng as separate countries themselves, joined together.

That is why each one should be worth the votes that they are allowed in the electoral college. So each state can fare the same as the others regardless of size. It levels the playing field where it is needed.

If there are fifty people, should one person's vote count more over someone else's becuase he is bigger or smarter or richer? No. Same here.
Phil Derner Jr.
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:52 pm

Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 4):
Maybe I'm missing somethign, but how would the winner not have the majority?

Why are we trying to fix something that isn't broken? Because Bush one and you didn't liek him? Get a grip.

Someone should make it evident that he also won the popular vote too in 2004. So even if the electoral college wasnt there hed still be here.

Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 6):
Again, this is a liberal demand because the last election didn't go their way. Votes that went to other candidates could have gone to defeat Bush....so therefore the process must be rejected and blame placed anywhere that it can.....anywhere except to the possibility that Kerry sucked ass.

This is ALMOST as funny as liberals crying about Florida in 2000. The funny part is that they made the the freaking voting system and wanted those machines in Dade Co. and everywhere else but of course, it didnt favor them so the Republicans must have cheated...hehehe yea cheated on the democrats own freaking system.
 
tbar220
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:21 pm

Superfly,

I'm going to add yours to the list.

7. Election day is a national holiday, and polls are open 24 hours a day.

p.s. Can I call you Leisure Suit Larry?

Phil,

For once in your freakin life, try not to make this a liberal/conservative issues. If you remain completely blind to all the corruption in elections and all the whittling away of our voter rights, I feel sorry for you. There's more out there than simple democrats and republicans, there's political parties eating away at our rights. There's politicans in the hands of the major U.S. corporations. There's entire blocs of votes that simply do not count or have any influence. What kind of democracy is it if our vote doesn't mean anything? Not one that I'm proud of.
What about the fact that if you're not in the two major parties, your voice and opinion means shit? Why are we just tossing all those votes out (they basically mean nothing)?

Of course, you have to turn this into a red/blue, liberal/conservative whine fest. Why don't you try and give something productive to the discussion.

Since you did try and discuss my point about the electoral college, lets start there.

Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 8):

If there are fifty people, should one person's vote count more over someone else's becuase he is bigger or smarter or richer? No. Same here.

Your argument bascially proves my point. With the electoral college, certain votes count for more than others. Can you agree to that? Why do you think that the presidential candidates only catered to so many people during the election? Because certain votes are simply worth more. Votes from Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, etc. are worth more than votes from Texas, California, New York, and the deep South.

Your question makes no sense to me. Why would eliminating the electoral college and moving to a system where one vote equals one vote, make a smarter/richer person's vote equal more?

Your quote is empty rhetoric to me.
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tbar220
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:34 pm

Phil,

I'm going to take it another step. You didn't give me a decent argument. So...

Are you against making election day a national holiday?
Are you against making it law that there be a paper voting trail?
Are you against lowering campaign contributions?
Are you against eliminating the caucas system?
Are you against instant runoff voting?
Are you against making voter fraud a seirious felony?

I understand that it seems you're against eliminating the electoral college. Fine, but why don't you give me discussion and debate on those other points rather than just paint me as another "whiny liberal".
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b757300
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:44 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
2. Seriously limit campaign contributions from individuals, PACs, and corporations. The hand that they have in our government is sickening, and I feel its gotten to a point where its dictating our legislation.

Sure, take away the people's right to give money to candidates of their choice. Typical Democrat way of thinking. Of course nothing about people like George Soros and all of his groups that attack Republicans.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

Don't count on it. No state except for ones like New York, California, and such would ever vote for this. Getting the required 3/4 of the states to ratify such an amendment will never happen. Without the electoral college, all it would take is for a candidate to win a few large cities and thus the election. (Of course this is why liberals want the electoral college gone, it would ensure they'd nearly win every election.) Had John Kerry not won cities like L.A., N.Y.C., Chicago, Detroit, Philly, and a few others with 60%-90% of the vote, he wouldn't have come with 15% of the so called "popular vote".

The electoral college helps to negate (mostly Democrat) voter fraud which is will known in cities like Chicago, Philly, and Milwaukee.
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Logan22L
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:01 am

Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 8):
Massachusetts' votes shouldn't count anyway. They're a bunch of fuckin idiots.

See, I told you you were a dick.  Wink

Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 4):
Why are we trying to fix something that isn't broken?

That's incredibly disturbing. If you see corruption and think of lemondrops, waterlilies, and teddy bears, I'd suggest a trip to Mirrodie's office.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
Superfly
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:07 am

....and B757300 gives another reason why he is one of my favorite comedians!
Give us more. Your silly post are cracking me up!  Silly  rotfl 
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LeanOfPeak
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:15 am

The very condition of ignoring the interests of particular states is what the electoral college is all about.

As it stands, California has 55 electoral votes. Negating the 2 for the Senate and making its representation solely proportional to population would result in 53 electoral votes, which, if countered by the votes of the least populous states, would require winning:

AK: 1
MT: 1
WY: 1
SD: 1
ND: 1
VT: 1
DE: 1
DC: 1
ME: 2
NH: 2
RI: 2
ID: 2
HI: 2
NV: 3
UT: 3
NM: 3
NE: 3
WV: 3
KS: 4
AR: 4
MS: 4
Plus two of OR, OK, IA, CT: 5

When it would take a sweep of the least-populous 46% of states to negate California, do you think for a minute the interests of any of the states on that list would be on the minds of the politicians in the least?

Any proposal to eliminate the electoral college amounts to gerrymandering.
 
soyuzavia
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:48 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Anyhow, what Tbar220 means is that if no candidate wins with 50% or more of the vote, the two top vote getters go in to a runoff. The New York mayors race and most other mayoral races are like that.

You realise that by doing that instead of the election process costing say $100 million, it would cost double that?

If you wanted to go with a 50.1% majority needed to win office, wouldn't it be much easier to simply ban anyone who is not a Republican or Democrat? The US is already a two party state in practice, so why not make it official?

[Edited 2005-08-12 18:02:25]
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:02 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Also, election day should be a holiday and polls should be open for 24 hours.

 yes 

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Polls should open at 12:00 AM (midnight) eastern time, 9:00 PM Pacific time, 6:00 PM Alaska & Hawaii.

Only 4 Hour difference between Alaska and East Coast time, why the 6 hour difference in your times 'Fly?

Want the polls to open and close all at the same time, open the East Coast at 0400 East Coast Time and 0800 Alaska/Hawaii Time.

I think voting ought to be mandatory . . . don't care who you vote for, just get off your asses and vote. Furthermore, as lnog as it isn't mandatory, if you don't vote, don't bitch (please refer to MD-90s usual left field out of the ball park posts).

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
Voting must have a paper trail. There should be no such thing as an electric voting machine without a paper trail. Without a paper trail, there is no way to investigate corruption or voter fraud.

Good call . . .

Time to be rid of the punch card ballot, the fill in the circle ballot, and all other antiquated forms of polling . . . computerized, with a paper trail for the voter . . . only way to go . . .

I would however, like to see the PAPER RECEIPT for the polling place disabled until the polls close . . . nothing can be printed, except the receipt for the voter, and test pages, until AFTER the polls close . . . it will reduce the "projection"  redflag  by the media and everyone else.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Superfly
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:28 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
Only 4 Hour difference between Alaska and East Coast time, why the 6 hour difference in your times 'Fly?

Are you in Juneu?
Isn't the rest of the state is in a different time zone?
Hawaii is 3 hours behind us here in the Pacific time zone.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
Time to be rid of the punch card ballot, the fill in the circle ballot, and all other antiquated forms of polling . . . computerized, with a paper trail for the voter . . . only way to go . . .

Agreed!
Our great senator Barbara Boxer made this proposal to the Senate. CHeny & Frist wasn't having it. Bastards!


Nevada has a 'none of the above' option on there ballots.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:34 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
Isn't the rest of the state is in a different time zone?



Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
Hawaii is 3 hours behind us here in the Pacific time zone.

Many years back the whole state (save the most remote Aleutian Islands; Attu, Kiska, etc) were placed under Alaska time . . . we used to have 3-4 time zones here, not any longer.

Hawaii is on the same time as a) The Aleutians in the winter, b) Alaska in the summer. It's either 1 or 2 hours different than the Pacific Coast . . . not three, unless they dragged the Islands closer to the Date Line  wink 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
eaglekeeper101
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:24 am

Greetings to all...

I would be perfectly happy with civil, polite election adverts that stuck with issues...especially ones that discussed what candidates were FOR as opposed to what they are AGAINST. I am not interested in hearing a candidate tell me how much BETTER they would be than somebody else. I defy 95% of our current crop of "professional" politicians (as though being a politician was ever supposed to be a profession in the first place - term limits are waaaay overdue, IMHO) to run an entire campaign without smearing opposing candidates. Perhaps this isn't the type of technical idea sought in this thread, but I am entitled to dream, methinks.

Lets see...equal prime-time network advertising time for any other political party that has managed to place a candidate on all 50 state ballots would be nice. Hard to accomplish for many grass-root parties, but it might be a serious incentive for parties like the Libertarians and etc. to step up election operations. I know that this could make for some contentious elections and even more crazy Congressional sessions (Knesset coalitions come to mind), but if there is one thing that I have seen in my time here on our spinning blue orb, it is that there are far too many points of view out there to be represented by only 2 major political parties. Therefore, better dissemination of other platforms to the masses could be a good first step to changing this. Knowledge is power, after all.

Finally, electing politicans with some expertise in the civilian world (and I don't mean just lawyers) might be a good thing. Placing them on committees where their expertise might best be put to use might be even better. This, however, is one election reform that is solely on us, the electorate. It's our fault that the current batch are there in the first place...after all, "garbage in, garbage out..."

Tbar makes good points about donation reform.

Be well  Smile
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
B744F
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:49 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 1):
I agree it would be best to do this, but it is hard to change this particular rule because it would require a Constitutional Amendment to do away with it.

You don't have to change the Constitution around, the electoral college can be decided by each state based on their own choices. So they can instead give the same points based on percentage points that the cadidates won. For example, if Bush won 60% of the New York vote and Gore 40%, Bush would get 60% of the electoral college points, and Gore 40%. This will get rid of the winner take all system that has ruined our politcs from day one.

Also redistricting needs to be outlawed as well
 
FDXmech
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:13 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
4. Eliminate the caucus system. Along with getting rid of the electoral college, getting rid of this will simplify the election and take the pressure off politicans to win certain states for their party's nomination. Once again, I feel this system causes the majority of states to be ignored, and that is a travesty.

5. Introduce instant runoff voting (IRV). Instnat runoff voting allows voters to rank their choices of candidates. If no candidate emerges with a majority, the lowest vote-getter is dropped, and the second choices of his or her voters are assigned to the appropriate candidates. This continues until there's a majority winner. IRV not only eliminates the need for seperate runoff elections (which are also suspect to corruption), but forces candidates to endorse others so they can get their second-choice votes. I feel this will help put a kink in the two party system which is strangling our government.

I was thinking about this recently and I think eliminating the Primary System altogether and returning to the parties actually nominating the ticket at the convention (smoky back room) is the way to go, no kidding. I think the respective party would nominate a much more viable candidate.
If we retain the Primary system I propose the entire nation hold its Primary the same day. Much of the nation is eliminated from the process as the candidate usually has a numerical lock on the nomination before many states even hold their primary.

I think the electoral college system is a good time tested saystem which prevents a few metropolitan areas from controlling the elections.
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searpqx
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:13 pm

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 22):
I think the electoral college system is a good time tested saystem which prevents a few metropolitan areas from controlling the elections.

I agree - despite the occasional instances where the electoral college winner isn't the popular vote winner, totally eliminating the electoral college skewes the weight of voting to the heavily populated states and specifically cities.

Something needs to be done to break the two party grip. As a start I'd recommend that procedures for putting a third party/independent candidate on the ballot for presidential elections be simplified and standardized, so that a candidate has to qualify once, vs. the current 50 times.

Limit the time allowed to campaign - filings are 180 days from the election, and no one is allowed to campaign prior to filing. Nominating conventions are no later than 90 days prior to the election. Compress the whole process and you reduce the amount of money needed to run.

Oh and ANC, hate to contradict you but. . .

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 19):
It's either 1 or 2 hours different than the Pacific Coast . . . not three, unless they dragged the Islands closer to the Date Line

I don't know about any dragging, but we are 3 hours (summer) and 2 hours (winter) earlier than Pacific Time. Currently it's 5:11PM here (Maui), 7:11PM in Anchorage and 8:11PM on the West Coast.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
tbar220
Posts: 6706
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 12:08 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:17 pm

Quoting B757300 (Reply 12):
Sure, take away the people's right to give money to candidates of their choice. Typical Democrat way of thinking. Of course nothing about people like George Soros and all of his groups that attack Republicans.

I know you're not going to come back, since you post and run with your tail between your legs. But... do you care to tell me ANYWHERE in my post where I made it a democrat/republican issue? Anywhere? You can't.

Quoting Soyuzavia (Reply 16):
If you wanted to go with a 50.1% majority needed to win office, wouldn't it be much easier to simply ban anyone who is not a Republican or Democrat? The US is already a two party state in practice, so why not make it official?

Are you serious??

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 22):
I think the electoral college system is a good time tested saystem which prevents a few metropolitan areas from controlling the elections.

I hear the argument that the electoral college prevents metropolitan areas from controlling elections, and I just don't buy it. What is your logic behind it?

Just as many people live outside metropolitan areas than live in them. Also, Metropolitan areas don't lean towards one party or another (hard to believe). Certain cities do, but a statement like "Big cities go democrat/republican" doesn't really work.

My biggest problem with the electoral college is the amount of votes that simply go to waste. I live in a state that is pretty heavy Democrat (Illinois). I voted for Kerry in the last election, but my vote really didn't have any influence on the national level, and the presidential election is a national election. Same is true for a Republican voter in Texas for example, votes should have an equal influence everywhere. My vote should be worth the same as a vote from somebody from a "swing state".

There's another problem I have, since it concentrates so much on the states rather than the individuals, certain states get way too much attention compared to others. Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and others have clearly gotten nearly all the election attention in 2000 and 2004. I didn't see a single election advertisement on the national level for the 2004 election. If the electoral college was eliminated, the candidates would have to focus their attention on a national level and take it to the entire population! They would have to focus their issues to cater to everybody in the country, rather than just a select few in a select few states. I just don't think its fair. I don't think its a democracy if each person doesn't get an equal vote.

I'll continue this discussion tomorrow. I admire the people who are keeping this a non-partisan issue (which it is) and discussing this civilly.
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SRQCrosscheck
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:01 pm

Quoting B757300 (Reply 12):
Don't count on it. No state except for ones like New York, California, and such would ever vote for this. Getting the required 3/4 of the states to ratify such an amendment will never happen. Without the electoral college, all it would take is for a candidate to win a few large cities and thus the election. (Of course this is why liberals want the electoral college gone, it would ensure they'd nearly win every election.) Had John Kerry not won cities like L.A., N.Y.C., Chicago, Detroit, Philly, and a few others with 60%-90% of the vote, he wouldn't have come with 15% of the so called "popular vote".

The electoral college helps to negate (mostly Democrat) voter fraud which is will known in cities like Chicago, Philly, and Milwaukee.

Did you take a bong hit before you wrote this?

John Kerry wouldn't have won last time around if there were no electoral college. I also just don't understand how the cities would control the elections. It seems to me that you want to disenfranchise people in cities.

Quoting LeanOfPeak (Reply 15):
Any proposal to eliminate the electoral college amounts to gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is segmenting people together based on their voting tendencies to favor one candidate. If anything, segmenting the popular vote into the electoral college, and giving states disproportional weights (Wyoming has fewer people per electoral college delegate than California, thus, their votes weigh more) is gerrymandering.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
I think voting ought to be mandatory . . . don't care who you vote for, just get off your asses and vote. Furthermore, as lnog as it isn't mandatory, if you don't vote, don't bitch (please refer to MD-90s usual left field out of the ball park posts).

Big Brother is always watching!

My roommate is from Singapore, and not voting is illegal. You must show your National ID at the polls, so they know everyone who doesn't show up.

Isn't part of being free deciding not to participate? It's unfortunate, but that's freedom.

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 22):
I think the electoral college system is a good time tested saystem which prevents a few metropolitan areas from controlling the elections.

See above. That's disenfranchising people who live in cities. The electoral college also disenfranchises people in the minority party of states with "winner takes all" systems.

People go nuts thinking that if we eliminate the electoral college, rural america will loose it's say in Washington. This is just not the case, as every state, regardless of population still, and will unarguably ALWAYS, will have the same number of senators. So New Yorkers will always have the same representation in the Senate as Nevadans, Wyoming-ers, etc. This is good, because it ensures no state's interests are diluted in the federal system.
On the other hand, in a national election everyone should have equal voting power in picking the president. Right now, Republicans in Massachusetts have no say in the presidential election, just like Democrats in Wyoming have no say.

[Edited 2005-08-13 06:12:15]
 
GuitrThree
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:54 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:16 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 24):
There's another problem I have, since it concentrates so much on the states rather than the individuals, certain states get way too much attention compared to others. Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and others have clearly gotten nearly all the election attention in 2000 and 2004. I didn't see a single election advertisement on the national level for the 2004 election. If the electoral college was eliminated, the candidates would have to focus their attention on a national level and take it to the entire population! They would have to focus their issues to cater to everybody in the country, rather than just a select few in a select few states. I just don't think its fair. I don't think its a democracy if each person doesn't get an equal vote.

So what you are saying is that you think it is better for the voting public to rely on slanted ads from both sides saying the great things each did. I guess your saying that because you live in a heavily slanted liberal state, you didn't hear enough conservative ads to maybe even swing your vote to the right? Is that what your saying? Of course, the opposite can be true for a conservative in Texas...

I say screw the ads. I'm smart enough to do things that will tell me how a candidate might actually perform in that office, and not decide because of what I seen/heard on a TV or radio ad.. So, I look at things that can be measured, like prior voting history in past offices held, and performance of that body. For instance, if a former Governor is running for President, how did his state do? Run in the black? Any scandals? Any laws he/she signed that I didn't like??
Thats how I vote, and I certainly don't cry when my state doesn't get as many fictional ads plastered all over TV/Radio that attempt to pull the votes from the (1)Uneducated, (2) Uninformed, (3) Lazy voters.

Another final note, "voting reform." Utter BS. I find it funny that for over 200 years, this country had election after election with very little fraud ever happening. Did it? Sure it did, probably even more in the early years, but the ONLY people claiming fraud are the same Rhandi Rhodes idiotic theory chasers that continue to claim the only states that have fraud are the ones that just happen to end up being "the" swing state that elected Bush.

New Hampshire? Nope.. no fraud there.
New York? Nope... never
California? Nope, them illegals know how to vote there, even if the ballets are in English! (Which, I'm sure will change soon...)
Illinois, the most corrupt state in the nation? Nope.. all good there..

Mass? PA? New Jersey?? Never.. they are all grand...

Just Florida and Ohio.. THE two states that John Kerry had the vast majority of his lawyers stationed, like he knew fraud was going to happen there. If he was so damned smart, he would have done something before the election, and not cry about it later, like many still are doing. What I can suggest is that if your party sees a close "swing" state, why not actually do something to win there... like, run a candidate that actually can win there.
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SRQCrosscheck
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:08 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:42 pm

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 26):
this country had election after election with very little fraud ever happening. Did it? Sure it did, probably even more in the early years, but the ONLY people claiming fraud are the same Rhandi Rhodes idiotic theory chasers that continue to claim the only states that have fraud are the ones that just happen to end up being "the" swing state that elected Bush.

There's always been voter fraud in the United States, and more than just during 1960 in Chicago. Before the 1830s, there were no secret ballots. Without secret ballots, fraud is always unavoidable and rampant. The election of 1840 is considered to be the first modern American presidential election ("Tippicanoe and Tyler too" was Harrison's 1840 slogan). It was replete with fraud and fishy business, the least of which being wooing voters with alcohol during the campaign -- though probably lots of A.neters would love that.

Quote:
New Hampshire? Nope.. no fraud there.
New York? Nope... never
California? Nope, them illegals know how to vote there, even if the ballets are in English! (Which, I'm sure will change soon...)
Illinois, the most corrupt state in the nation? Nope.. all good there..

Mass? PA? New Jersey?? Never.. they are all grand...

Just Florida and Ohio.. THE two states that John Kerry had the vast majority of his lawyers stationed, like he knew fraud was going to happen there. If he was so damned smart, he would have done something before the election, and not cry about it later, like many still are doing. What I can suggest is that if your party sees a close "swing" state, why not actually do something to win there... like, run a candidate that actually can win there.

I don't think anyone thinks there's no voter fraud in these other states, the extent is just less. But when you have voter fraud in close swing states, OF COURSE it's going to be an issue if the election in that state is going to be close. Second of all, a close "swing" state IS probably more likely to experience fraud and to a higher degree. I mean, I think everyone would figure out if something were fishy if Massachusetts went for Bush.  sarcastic 

[Edited 2005-08-13 07:47:02]
 
soyuzavia
Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:21 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 5:17 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 24):
Are you serious??

Am I serious about what? The US being a two-party state? It can't be that because you already said as much yourself. So you must mean about banning anyone who isn't a Republican or Democrat? Of course I am serious. Everyone knows that a vote in the presidential election is totally wasted unless you vote for a Republican or Democrat. Sure you might want to vote for the 'other' guy, but in all seriousness does anyone ever expect him to get anything more than 10% of the vote? How many did Nader get in 2004? Less than 1% wasn't it? As it currently stands in the US, voting for the 'other' guy isn't going to prove anything, because the Rep/Dem have written the rule book, and of course it is written in their favour.

You know what I think would be best for 'election reform'? Not the actual election process itself, but a splitting up of the Rep and Dem parties. Break them up into, say, 4 parties -- left wing Dem, right wing Dem, left wing Rep, right wing Rep. This will lessen their strangehold on the electorate, and will give the chance for other parties (for example the Green Party) to grow and flourish. In time, this will eventually give people real choice come election time, and would get rid of the polarisation of the electorate. It would make the political process in the US more vibrant, and more representative of the wants of the community in general.

Then the majority/run-off could become a real option.  Wink

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
5. Introduce instant runoff voting (IRV). Instnat runoff voting allows voters to rank their choices of candidates. If no candidate emerges with a majority, the lowest vote-getter is dropped, and the second choices of his or her voters are assigned to the appropriate candidates. This continues until there's a majority winner. IRV not only eliminates the need for seperate runoff elections (which are also suspect to corruption), but forces candidates to endorse others so they can get their second-choice votes. I feel this will help put a kink in the two party system which is strangling our government.

This is how it works here, it's called here preferential voting. I believe that Australia and New Zealand are the only countries which use this system, and it's a good system, not only for the reasons you mention, but it actually gives the voter a chance to have a say. It also often forces parties the two major parties (Liberal/Nationals and Labor) to amending their own platforms to include minor (and unrelated) party's agendas in their own campaign packages, as these major parties want the preferences of the minor parties. Preferences often determine the outcome of parliamentary seats. Examples are the part adoption of the Greens agenda on Tasmanian forest policy by the Labor party, and the part adoption of the Family First agenda by the Liberals.

Of course preferential voting works as the parties would like it to work, only if the electorate en-masse votes as the parties want you to vote, i.e. via how-to-vote cards, which the public generally does. But the individual voter ultimately determines how those preferences are directed, as they can direct their preferences anyway they see fit.

http://www.australianpolitics.com/voting/systems/preferential.shtml
http://www.abc.net.au/elections/fede.../2004/guide/howpreferenceswork.htm

But one of the big disadvantages is that it still only promotes that two-party state, at least it does here. In other countries, say such as Germany, such a system would still give them that vibrant number of parties with a chance.

How big is the push over there for preferential voting?

The other thing which could be changed is the county election board system? We here have a hard time understanding why would anyone allow this all-important function to be politicised. Isn't the whole system determined by those two above mentioned parties ? i.e. they each stack each county board with their own 'officials'? I couldn't imagine a system which was anything but totally independent.
 
GuitrThree
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:54 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:52 pm

Quoting SRQCrosscheck (Reply 27):
Second of all, a close "swing" state IS probably more likely to experience fraud and to a higher degree. I mean, I think everyone would figure out if something were fishy if Massachusetts went for Bush.

Are you sure? I don't agree. Don't you think a close "swing" state would be watched more closely? I guess what I'm saying is that a state that is far one way or the other never gets looked at, and while the cats playing in a certain swing state, that's known somehow in advance (John Kerry, 2004 election) that its going to have fraud, the mice will be playing in other states.

Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, for example. He's supposed to win by 70% and does. Anyone ever check that out? Nope.. just as you said because its a "liberal" state where he's expected to win. So no one blinks an eye or looks twice. I'm not picking on left states here, by the way, the same thing can be said about a red state.

But maybe this explains how Robert "KKK" Byrd keeps getting elected...

I'm just finding it very hard to believe that the only states that the left and all their conspiracy theorist claim that there is voter fraud is Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, which, once again, decided the election outcome. Tell me, how do you explain that? I'll explain it. Two year old cry baby whining, led by its its clown's in the Randi Rhodes traveling circus otherwise known as Air Enron, I mean Air America Radio.

I'll say it now, when Hillary wins in 2008 you won't hear one word about voter fraud or the need to reform anything....
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tbar220
Posts: 6706
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 12:08 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:19 am

GuitrThree,

First off, stop assuming stuff. I never said anything in my posts about Republicans/Democrats, etc. etc. If you want to turn this into a discussion of that sort, take it somewhere else. This is a much bigger problem than just black or white, red or blue, liberal or conservative. I feel that our very basic rights as citizens are being infringed upon.

Now, you bring up advertisements. What if we banned TV advertisements as we know them now, and change them to simply show what one candidate HAS done as opposed to what one candidate has done better than the other, or what the opposing candidate has done wrong. I say get rid of all negative or attack ads. Make advertisements focus on real issues and real platforms that the candidates are running on. We're finding out that half these attack ads are either lies or grievious twisiting of fact to suit a candidates plans.

Now I'm going to challenge you to make an intelligent post rather than throw around generalizations of what you THINK I meant. I want you to address my ideas for election reform, tell me how you agree or even disagree with them. Heck, why don't you tell me if you have ideas for reforming our voting system. So I refer you to my original post and post #10 (point 7 at the top) for my ideas for election reform. Do you have any comments on those?
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ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:59 am

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 23):
Oh and ANC, hate to contradict you but. . .

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 19):
It's either 1 or 2 hours different than the Pacific Coast . . . not three, unless they dragged the Islands closer to the Date Line

I don't know about any dragging, but we are 3 hours (summer) and 2 hours (winter) earlier than Pacific Time. Currently it's 5:11PM here (Maui), 7:11PM in Anchorage and 8:11PM on the West Coast.

Yeah - my bad - I was calculating time from ANC, not West Coast  Embarrassment

Quoting SRQCrosscheck (Reply 25):
My roommate is from Singapore, and not voting is illegal. You must show your National ID at the polls, so they know everyone who doesn't show up.

Isn't part of being free deciding not to participate? It's unfortunate, but that's freedom.

Of course I agree, being free also mean freedom of choice to not cast a ballot. But I reiterate . . . .no vote, no bitch. Period.

I have a younger brother that didn't vote. After my initial shock - and his subsequent ass chewing (mostly based on the lame ass, sorry excuse that he didn't have time to register  sarcastic  ) I told him to never bitch about to me about anything the Administration does or fails to do . . . no vote, no bitch.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
moose1226
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:54 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:32 am

Beyond the simple problem with the fact that anyone voting in a non-swing state doesn't realy make a difference, the problem that SRQ mentioned above is also a problem...

Because of the way electoral votes are assigned to each state, votes in small states are substantially more significant, as the link below shows...

http://www.electoral-vote.com/2004/info/states.html

It doesn't seem fair that a person in Wyoming can cast a ballot that counts for almost four times as much as a person in California.
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:57 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
2. Seriously limit campaign contributions from individuals, PACs, and corporations. The hand that they have in our government is sickening, and I feel its gotten to a point where its dictating our legislation.

Good luck coming up with a system for doing so that is both effective and will withstand First Amendment scrutiny.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

If the electoral college were eliminated, you could just about guarantee that a candidate would never visit the less populous states, because they wouldn't matter. The EC makes a candidate run in all 50 states, which is a good thing.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
6. Make any sort of voter fraud or voter corruption a serious felony with jail time a minimum. No probation, but instant jail time. This is our voter rights, the very foundation of our democracy, and when they are tampered with that is very serious.

I agree with you here. OTOH, had we not had vote fraud in 1960, Richard Nixon would have been president that much earlier. Not a very pleasant thought.... Wink
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:12 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 10):
Quoting BigPhilNYC (Reply 8):

If there are fifty people, should one person's vote count more over someone else's becuase he is bigger or smarter or richer? No. Same here.

Your argument bascially proves my point. With the electoral college, certain votes count for more than others. Can you agree to that? Why do you think that the presidential candidates only catered to so many people during the election? Because certain votes are simply worth more. Votes from Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, etc. are worth more than votes from Texas, California, New York, and the deep South.

Your question makes no sense to me. Why would eliminating the electoral college and moving to a system where one vote equals one vote, make a smarter/richer person's vote equal more?

Elimination of the EC will mean that candidates will spend most of their time and money in the states that have the largest populations. Small states will be disregarded. Based on your logic, we should set up the Senate on the same terms as the House, on population.

Like it or not, the framers of the Constitution recognized that some states would eventually grow larger than the others. The EC, and 2 senators per state, regardless of population, was the solution to ensuring that each state had an equal say in the operation of the federal government.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 30):
Now, you bring up advertisements. What if we banned TV advertisements as we know them now, and change them to simply show what one candidate HAS done as opposed to what one candidate has done better than the other, or what the opposing candidate has done wrong. I say get rid of all negative or attack ads. Make advertisements focus on real issues and real platforms that the candidates are running on. We're finding out that half these attack ads are either lies or grievious twisiting of fact to suit a candidates plans.

Ever heard of the First Amendment?

Quoting Moose1226 (Reply 32):
It doesn't seem fair that a person in Wyoming can cast a ballot that counts for almost four times as much as a person in California.

While it might not be "fair," it is what the framers of the Constitution intended.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
B744F
Posts: 2927
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:52 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:57 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 34):
Elimination of the EC will mean that candidates will spend most of their time and money in the states that have the largest populations. Small states will be disregarded.

Wouldn't that be a shame? No more voter welfare for those smaller states. Maybe we can get rid of the 2 representatives per state no matter the population also.

And candidates pick and choose what states they go to anyway, based on what voters control them and how many points they would get for winning. Using the Electoral College you will always have these problems, but changing it to the way I suggested but noone responded to, you give the losing party that percentage of the points. So if I won 30% of a states EC votes, I would get 30% of that states points. This would make candidates pay attention to all states.
 
GuitrThree
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:54 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:10 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 30):
Now I'm going to challenge you to make an intelligent post rather than throw around generalizations of what you THINK I meant. I want you to address my ideas for election reform, tell me how you agree or even disagree with them. Heck, why don't you tell me if you have ideas for reforming our voting system. So I refer you to my original post and post #10 (point 7 at the top) for my ideas for election reform. Do you have any comments on those?

Ok, I'll address your ideas on election reform.

They suck. Their stupid. They reak of a crybaby who can't understand why his candidate lost when he "thinks" that the country "thinks" the way he does, when in actuality, they are leaning right at this present time.

The election process has worked in this country for the last 200 years. And in the last 8 years, a bunch of liberal theory throwing whackos doesn't like the outcome and they cry out for a total reform.

But, I'm sure that being said you still might be in a daze to whether or not I agree with you.. so, on the points

(1) Paper trail... rubbish.. if you, as you say, can program an electronic machine to throw an election, how hard is it to program something that spits out a "receipt" that says you voted for X and it really added for Y? If you believe in one theory, you must believe in the other being true.

(2) Campaign contributions? Haven't the Dems already tried this and it just lead to PAC's? If a person of the government accepts a lot of money from a company and votes for something they are pushing in reward, and the people don't like that, well, then they have the power to not vote for them next time, do they not?

(3) Electoral college elimination. Again, it's worked for 200 years, and I think, if I remember correctly, its only happened, what, twice where the popular vote getter didn't win? Again, this is the United STATES of America, and the EC gives smaller states some say in who wins... if you believe that the EC college must go, you must also be saying that we must change the Senate make up to something more along the lines of the House of Representatives, where instead of 2 per state, you get a number based on your population. I don't hear your "crying" for reform here, now do I? Of course not, it doesn't fit your agenda.

(4) Caucus system, Ummmm if this goes away, whats going to replace it?? A nationwide vote on who should get the nomination?? At the same time, same day, and 24 hour polling places, and yet another holiday for Union Workers to get off??????

(5) Instant Runoff Voting, another title for "we lost in 2000 because of third party candidates." If someone else is running that takes votes away from your candidate, I once again suggest you run a stronger candidate. And by the way, in 2004, withOUT a third party candidate, let me remind you and your lefty buddies lost by EVEN MORE than you did in 2000. Humm, Gore won the popular vote in 2000, and Kerry lost it by 4 MILLION votes in 2004, when the third party candidate that caused the loss in 2000 of the democrats wasn't even to be found in 2004. You might want to rethink this one.....

(6) Voter fraud is already a crime. But that isn't good enough for you. "No probation, instant jail time." Are you saying that people who commit manslaughter or even murder who sometimes are eligible for probation are less of a criminal than someone who commits voter fraud? Really, someone who doesn't change their address after moving, votes in the wrong precinct, which he/she has committed voter fraud, automatically gets no probation jail time, instantly without a trial?

I know you still don't understand if I agree or not...

So, read slowly,

your election reform ideas are stupid, illogical, and are unneeded.

And, no, I don't agree with you.

[Edited 2005-08-15 22:13:43]
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Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:17 am

GuitrThree:
Are you serious with these comments?
In 1994, Senator Kennedy was re-elected with 58%.
Byron Dorgan (D-ND) won 74% of the popular vote despite North Dakota being a Republican state.
George Pataki and William Weld won in landslides in New York and Massachusettes.

[Edited 2005-08-15 22:17:32]
Bring back the Concorde
 
dvk
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 12:18 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:43 am

Quoting FDXMECH (Reply 22):
If we retain the Primary system I propose the entire nation hold its Primary the same day.

This is the first reform that should be made. It would force the candidates to consider more states, rather than focusing all their efforts only in swing states and those with huge numbers of electoral votes. It would also prevent more candidates from being eliminated before the majority of states held their primaries. The current system largely negates the vote of anyone in a state with one of the later primaries, at which point the candidates are already determined. To be a truly representative vote for all, the primaries should be on the same day.

I do think that a candidate who gets a majority should be the winner, but that the electoral college is a good means for determining a winner when nobody has a 50%+1 majority. Recent problems with the electoral college have been much more due to corruption on state/local levels (e.g., that hag Katherine Harris declaring huge numbers of Florida voters ineligible under the felon laws, only to reveal after the election that most of the barred voters were indeed eligible to vote.). Switching to an allotment of electoral votes based on percentage of votes cast within each state is seeming more and more reasonable to me. Why? Because everyone's vote for President should count, not just the votes of the majority party in each state. Whether you're red in a blue state or vice versa, your vote should count just as much for the President as anyone else's, and the current application of the Electoral College prevents that.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:43 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
1. Voting must have a paper trail. There should be no such thing as an electric voting machine without a paper trail. Without a paper trail, there is no way to investigate corruption or voter fraud.

The paper system is also susceptable to erroneous handling and "creative counting techniques", as evidenced by Florida 2000 - neither system is tamper-proof. The speed and accuracy of computer counting is a far superior method - it's just a question of certifying the coding contained as tamper-free, and then effectively sealing it. Considering the computer's job is simply one of addition, if you limit the rest to the bare essentials (like no fancy graphics), and extra code should be easy to spot.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
2. Seriously limit campaign contributions from individuals, PACs, and corporations. The hand that they have in our government is sickening, and I feel its gotten to a point where its dictating our legislation.

Agreed, but the question is how to do it without restricting the freedom of speech? How do you prevent Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, and Swiftboat Vets from laying out their constitutionally granted freedom of political expression? I don't know. But I agree they need to get shut out of the process, somehow. They are poison.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

The electoral college was designed to give a slight advantage to the smaller states, in order to prevent the bigger states from walking all over them. As the smaller states far outnumber the big ones (Texas, California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania), you'll never get that through the constitutional amendment process required to get rid of the electoral college.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
4. Eliminate the caucus system. Along with getting rid of the electoral college, getting rid of this will simplify the election and take the pressure off politicans to win certain states for their party's nomination. Once again, I feel this system causes the majority of states to be ignored, and that is a travesty.

Agreed. But how does a party choose its candidates without the caucuses? Smoke-filled rooms?

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
5. Introduce instant runoff voting (IRV). Instnat runoff voting allows voters to rank their choices of candidates. If no candidate emerges with a majority, the lowest vote-getter is dropped, and the second choices of his or her voters are assigned to the appropriate candidates. This continues until there's a majority winner. IRV not only eliminates the need for seperate runoff elections (which are also suspect to corruption), but forces candidates to endorse others so they can get their second-choice votes. I feel this will help put a kink in the two party system which is strangling our government.

Worth a good look. Although runoffs have their own dangers. Look what happened in the last French presidential elections.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
6. Make any sort of voter fraud or voter corruption a serious felony with jail time a minimum. No probation, but instant jail time. This is our voter rights, the very foundation of our democracy, and when they are tampered with that is very serious.

I think that is already the case. But I agree that the sky should fall on the head of whoever commits any kind of voter fraud.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
GuitrThree
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:54 pm

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:28 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 37):
GuitrThree:
Are you serious with these comments?
In 1994, Senator Kennedy was re-elected with 58%.
Byron Dorgan (D-ND) won 74% of the popular vote despite North Dakota being a Republican state.
George Pataki and William Weld won in landslides in New York and Massachusettes.

Superfly,
are YOU serious with these comments? Are you saying that these are examples of Fraud????

Senator Kennedy only having 58%?? Yea, soon he's going to lose... one drink too many for that dude....

Dorgan winning with 74%??? Why not??? Tennessee which voted Reagan 1980, 1984, Bush Sr. 1988, Bush Jr 2000, and 2004, Voted in a Democratic Governor last time, and looks to vote him back in 2006. Weird things happen, and I don't go around claiming fraud every time my guy doesn't win...
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Logan22L
Posts: 4464
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:59 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:06 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 40):
Senator Kennedy only having 58%?? Yea, soon he's going to lose... one drink too many for that dude....

Ah, GT, a chance to argy bargy...Ted will be a senator from MA until he decides not to be. And because we want him, not through any fraud.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
bushpilot
Posts: 1674
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:37 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:14 am

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

I agree to a point but I think before eliminating it all together we try out the suggestion below raised by texan to split electoral votes based on the percentage of votes received in a particular state.

Quoting Texan (Reply 1):
How about amending it to where the winner receives a percentage of the electoral college votes based on the percentage of the popular vote per state? Colorado put this on the ballot in 2004. All states should, and we should fight to pass it

Something truely isnt right when it does come to this. Between Bush and Kerry they both raised $360m and $317m respectively. The total of $677m being a greater GDP than %14 of the rest of the world. This doesnt include the incumbent being able to fly AF1 around on the tax payers dollars. This doesnt include the millions of extra dollars spent by local and state governments for additional security at campaign events etc. There should be a truely solid limit on what individuals, unions, corporations, organizations can give etc. What I get tired of is the campaign not being about the issues. Im not talking a true mudslinging campaign, but one not being about the issues that the country faces at hand.
Another problem that I see is the two party system. What a bucket of sh*t that is. Either open them up to more parties or get rid of them all together. All of this partisan stuff isnt getting this country anywhere. Being a part of one party or the other can turn an otherwise good free thinking elected official into a real solid ass.
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:18 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
1. Voting must have a paper trail. There should be no such thing as an electric voting machine without a paper trail. Without a paper trail, there is no way to investigate corruption or voter fraud.

Paper trails can also be forged.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
2. Seriously limit campaign contributions from individuals, PACs, and corporations. The hand that they have in our government is sickening, and I feel its gotten to a point where its dictating our legislation.

This has been tried - people are too creative for this to work. Beyond this, it's a bad idea. MoveOn nauseates me but they have a right to piss away as much of Soros' money as he likes.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
3. Eliminate the electoral college. The presidential election is a national election, not a state or local one. The electoral college causes politicians to focus only on certain states and basically makes states that are solid red or blue states throw away states. If you are a voter in the minority in that state, your vote is wasted. The winner should be simply whoever has the highest popular vote.

........

5. Introduce instant runoff voting (IRV). Instnat runoff voting allows voters to rank their choices of candidates. If no candidate emerges with a majority, the lowest vote-getter is dropped, and the second choices of his or her voters are assigned to the appropriate candidates. This continues until there's a majority winner. IRV not only eliminates the need for seperate runoff elections (which are also suspect to corruption), but forces candidates to endorse others so they can get their second-choice votes. I feel this will help put a kink in the two party system which is strangling our government.

These are essentially joint wishes and bad ideas on a national level. One of the advantages of the electoral college is that it eliminates the possible need for a national recount. Imagine FL x 50 = chaos.

OTOH, dividing electoral votes by state proportionally to vote received with rounding error favoring the winner might be doable if and only if all states adopt it. This would result in a situation where the GOP has a stake in CA and the Dems have something to work for in the South, etc. Either way, a good thing.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
4. Eliminate the caucus system. Along with getting rid of the electoral college, getting rid of this will simplify the election and take the pressure off politicans to win certain states for their party's nomination. Once again, I feel this system causes the majority of states to be ignored, and that is a travesty.

I think caucauses are silly as well, but if the few states that have them want to use them - then so be it.

Quoting Tbar220 (Thread starter):
6. Make any sort of voter fraud or voter corruption a serious felony with jail time a minimum. No probation, but instant jail time. This is our voter rights, the very foundation of our democracy, and when they are tampered with that is very serious.

Agreed, let's start with requiring ID to vote. Unfortunately, this seems to be a big hot button problem for the left. We finally got this in AL but it's so watered down as to mean absolutely zero.
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GuitrThree
Posts: 1940
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:49 pm

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 41):
Ah, GT, a chance to argy bargy...Ted will be a senator from MA until he decides not to be. And because we want him, not through any fraud.

yea... your state keeps electing someone who was drunk one night and left some women for dead after wrecking his car.....

That even beats WV voting in Robert "KKK" Byrd every year. At least he didn't kill anyone, that we know of.

That says a lot about your state and the way they think up there... No, you're right, fraud won't be needed. Just a bunch of liberals to keep voting this fool in...
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tbar220
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:03 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 33):
The EC makes a candidate run in all 50 states, which is a good thing.

The EC might on paper make a candidate run in all fifty states, but elections focus on swing states. Candidates simply completely ignore states that aren't swing states. Is that fair? Perhaps then states should give a percentage of those electoral votes so that a Republican's vote won't go to waste in California and a Democrat's vote won't go to waste in Texas.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 34):
Elimination of the EC will mean that candidates will spend most of their time and money in the states that have the largest populations. Small states will be disregarded. Based on your logic, we should set up the Senate on the same terms as the House, on population.

Don't assume anything. I never said anything about the Senate, I'm talking about ELECTION reform not Congress reform. I have no problem with the setup of the House and Senate. Also, I don't agree that that small states will be disregarded. I think that because the Presidential election is on the national level, the cadidates will have to cater to all corners of the U.S., catering to people who hold a variety of issues at heart.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 34):
While it might not be "fair," it is what the framers of the Constitution intended.

Well then I would have to disagree with the framer's of the constitution. Perhaps it was appropriate at the time, but if we're trying to make it fair to the smaller states, why ignore the larger states. I believe that the minority of the population ultimately decides the election, as evidenced by the candidates only catering to swing states. Its not fair to the majority of the population, even if the electoral college protects the minority of the population. Perhaps rather than eliminating the electoral college, the states will give a percentage of electoral votes to each candidate. I'm beginning to like that idea better than eliminating the system all together.

Quoting B744F (Reply 35):
Wouldn't that be a shame? No more voter welfare for those smaller states. Maybe we can get rid of the 2 representatives per state no matter the population also.

I didn't make any assumption of this sort. I'm talking about election reform and not congressional setup reform. I'm fine with the house and senate.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
They suck. Their stupid. They reak of a crybaby who can't understand why his candidate lost when he "thinks" that the country "thinks" the way he does, when in actuality, they are leaning right at this present time.

The election process has worked in this country for the last 200 years. And in the last 8 years, a bunch of liberal theory throwing whackos doesn't like the outcome and they cry out for a total reform.



Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
your election reform ideas are stupid, illogical, and are unneeded.

I'm glad you can have honest debate, rather than insult and belittle me (sarcasm).

What ever happened to decent disagreement and debate? Oh I forgot, you have to insult me.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 39):

Worth a good look. Although runoffs have their own dangers. Look what happened in the last French presidential elections.

The IRV is instant and it eliminates runoff votes, so you don't have the ridiculous mess you had in the Washington governer race for example. Reread it and you see that there are no runoff elections with this system.

Quoting Bhmbaglock (Reply 43):
Paper trails can also be forged

True, its impossible to eliminate all forgery and corruption. But would you agree that with a paper trail it lessens the amount of forgery or lowers the chance of fraud? (mind you, you don't have to agree)
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GuitrThree
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:45 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 45):
Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
They suck. Their stupid. They reak of a crybaby who can't understand why his candidate lost when he "thinks" that the country "thinks" the way he does, when in actuality, they are leaning right at this present time.

The election process has worked in this country for the last 200 years. And in the last 8 years, a bunch of liberal theory throwing whackos doesn't like the outcome and they cry out for a total reform.



Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
your election reform ideas are stupid, illogical, and are unneeded.

I'm glad you can have honest debate, rather than insult and belittle me (sarcasm).

What ever happened to decent disagreement and debate? Oh I forgot, you have to insult me.

Yea... typical of you leftist...

I wrote paragraphs about your points.. you just happened to forget that??? You responded to others, which, if you read mine, are just on par....

I said, among other posts, which you totally refused to answer:

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 36):
(3) Electoral college elimination. Again, it's worked for 200 years, and I think, if I remember correctly, its only happened, what, twice where the popular vote getter didn't win? Again, this is the United STATES of America, and the EC gives smaller states some say in who wins... if you believe that the EC college must go, you must also be saying that we must change the Senate make up to something more along the lines of the House of Representatives, where instead of 2 per state, you get a number based on your population. I don't hear your "crying" for reform here, now do I? Of course not, it doesn't fit your agenda.

Just before that, Halls said:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 34):
Elimination of the EC will mean that candidates will spend most of their time and money in the states that have the largest populations. Small states will be disregarded. Based on your logic, we should set up the Senate on the same terms as the House, on population.

Like it or not, the framers of the Constitution recognized that some states would eventually grow larger than the others. The EC, and 2 senators per state, regardless of population, was the solution to ensuring that each state had an equal say in the operation of the federal government.

Which you responded to..

I'll just chalk that up to you can't argue my points, since you take the two sentences out of my post that relate to my opinion and ignore everything else I back up... Try something new, try to debate MY points. I guess they make too much sense for you to try...

What is it with you?? I'll make this statement now. If, in 2008, Hillary gets elected, which there is a good chance, no one, and I mean NO ONE will be crying "election fraud." Why? Because the only ones that do it now, the liberals, will be more than happy, and the conservatives will not worry about this whacko theory stuff. Do you know what they will do instead? Yea, go back and find a candidate to beat her in 2012.

Again, an election process that has worked for over 200 years, and you want to change it from top to bottom just because your candidate didn't win. Really? 200 years of successful elections should be changed because Al Gore and John Kerry, who you think should have won, lost, and you really think the election process is so screwed that it should be totally rewritten.
Maybe you Terrell Owens should go cry together in a corner.
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bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: Election Reform Now!

Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:48 am

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 44):
your state keeps electing someone who was drunk one night

I have it on good authority that he has been drunk more than one night! However, he is a light-weight by MA standards when compared to Tip in his prime. Other than this nit, I generally agree with what you are saying.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 45):
True, its impossible to eliminate all forgery and corruption. But would you agree that with a paper trail it lessens the amount of forgery or lowers the chance of fraud? (mind you, you don't have to agree)

I don't agree at all. Absentee ballots are the one area where paper trail is guaranteed and where fraud is most common.

btw Tbar, forgot to mention it earlier but if we had IRV as you request we would likely have never seen Bill Clinton as president. Much as I would approve of this result, I still don't think it would be a good idea for reasons I detailed earlier.

If you want meaningful election reforms without FUBARing the constitution, here are a few ideas:

1. Mandate removal of dead people from election rolls.
2. Picture ID required to vote, no exceptions.
3. Cross reference voter registrations to other voter registration databases, lists of convicted felons, non-citizens, etc. and remove duplicate/fraudulent registrations.
4. Require statewide OBJECTIVE standards for recounts, challenges, etc. in order to receive federal election funding. Eliminate any squishy, easily manipulated/mangled concepts from these standards.
5. REQUIRE all states to participate in a federal sponsored program to allow all deployed service members the opportunity to vote in all elections without making this overly difficult. The best way to do this would be to use a secure and isolated computer system dedicated to this task using a standard format for sending/receiving data for all states/localities. This same system could be installed in embassies and consulates for other ex-pats use as well.
6. Prosecute all fraud to the maximum extent of the law. Period. I don't care if it's an old lady whose husband died two days before the election and she "knows" he would have voted x way. Slam her in jail if she cheats! - Hey tbar, we at least agree on one!
7. Require isolation and audit of provisional ballots to eliminate "unintentional" mingling of these ballots with standard ballots.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but these are a start.

Quoting Dvk (Reply 38):
Recent problems with the electoral college have been much more due to corruption on state/local levels (e.g., that hag Katherine Harris declaring huge numbers of Florida voters ineligible under the felon laws, only to reveal after the election that most of the barred voters were indeed eligible to vote.)

I hope that Kool-Aid tasted good.
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dvk
Posts: 1017
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:48 am

Quoting Bhmbaglock (Reply 47):
I hope that Kool-Aid tasted good.

I don't drink Kool-Aid. What I said has been reported and documented extensively.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
 
tbar220
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RE: Election Reform Now!

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:57 am

GuitrThree,

Until you drop the liberal, leftist mumbo jumbo, then I will have honest debate with you. While you base your arguments and assume that my arguments are based on any political leaning, I will not discuss this with you. I can't hold honest debate with somebody who opens their post by insulting me, and ASSuming that my argument is based on liberal/conservative, red/blue, or democrat/republican crap. Once you get off your high horse and stop talking down to me as a "typical leftist" or saying I'm spewing "liberal crap", then I'll discuss it with you. Notice, Halls disagreed with me but didn't do that, thus I discussed his points. With you, I won't.

Quoting Bhmbaglock (Reply 47):
btw Tbar, forgot to mention it earlier but if we had IRV as you request we would likely have never seen Bill Clinton as president. Much as I would approve of this result, I still don't think it would be a good idea for reasons I detailed earlier.

Probably so. Maybe with IRV the results would have better reflected what the voters wanted. I don't remember which election it was or if the number is correct, but didn't Ross Perot capture 22% of the vote? Imagine how the numbers would have changed with IRV.
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