American politics

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Re: American politics

Postby Sacchi » 19 Nov 2016, 16:34

As a percentage of eligible voters, he got about 25%, which is terrible enough, but far from representing the country as a whole. And he's pretty far behind on the popular vote rather than the electoral. There's movement to eliminate the electoral college, or to persuade existing electors to vote against how their states went, but it would be a dangerous precedent that could come back to bite us.
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Re: American politics

Postby Proofrdr » 20 Nov 2016, 03:12

With Clinton currently ahead by more than 1.3 million votes, this will be the second presidential election in modern times that the loser will have won the popular vote. First, Al Gore's loss in the 2000 election, and now with Clinton, the electoral college is proving to be a problem and makes the old saw of "one man, one vote" rather meaningless. With the computerization of voting and the concomitant accuracy of the count, there seems to be no reason for an electoral college.

I've read some articles on the electoral college and it seems it was put in the Constitution because our founding fathers didn't quite trust democracy to work. James Madison worried about "factions" taking control of the vote—what Alexis de Tocqueville called “the tyranny of the majority.”

This is a problem that really needs to be solved. If a candidate wins a state by even a narrow margin, he or she wins all of the state’s electoral votes. But this winner-take-all method isn't federal law. Each state can allot the electoral votes however they want. Some have laws binding them to the winner-take-all policy, but the laws are feckless—some with no penalty; others with a light fine. Only Maine and Nebraska have laws that require that electors vote according to the vote of their district.

There are a lot of people who want to do away with the Electoral College. Unfortunately, it would take an amendment to the Constitution to do that—and years, if not decades, to get it ratified if at all. There is, however, a work-around that 10 states have already signed on to. It's called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

The states that sign on to the Compact will pledge all their electors to the winner of the national popular vote. It will only take effect if states controlling 270 or more electoral votes have agreed to the Compact. If they do, whoever wins the popular vote will then automatically win the electoral vote. Currently, only 10 states have signed on to this. Their total electoral votes total 165—only 105 to go.
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Re: American politics

Postby FranW » 20 Nov 2016, 06:20

The electoral system is...odd. While it may have worked well in the past, particularly when there weren't fast communication or travel methods, it seems quite outdated now. The way US districts are gerrymandered is also so incredibly skewed that it's clear there is no intention to uphold the value of 'one man, one vote'.
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Re: American politics

Postby Proofrdr » 20 Nov 2016, 08:39

True on all 3 counts—it is very odd, outdated, and further screwed up by the gerrymandering.

I'd like to see a law that forbids gerrymandering. Voting districts should be apportioned by the number of people and those people should be living in as close an approximation to a square of land as can be drawn. There are some voting districts that are elongated narrow strips of land or in pieces separated by other voting districts—mainly to separate and defuse the voting strength of the minorities living there.
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Re: American politics

Postby FranW » 21 Nov 2016, 06:25

Our prime minister said at the trade summit today that he bet if they renamed the Trans pacific trade agreement something like the Trump pacific trade agreement, Trump would change his mind and support it. It's no secret that other world leaders know Trump is that shallow and stupid and easily manipulated. I'm not a huge fan our our current PM, but I have to admire his willingness to mock Trump publicly.
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Re: American politics

Postby Proofrdr » 21 Nov 2016, 07:47

Spot on observation by your PM. Narcissus should be Trump's middle name.
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Re: American politics

Postby FranW » 24 Nov 2016, 06:51

I am guessing that family Thanksgiving dinners tomorrow will have some....interesting conversation. (NB: my mother voted for Trump. Sigh.)
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Re: American politics

Postby Proofrdr » 24 Nov 2016, 09:19

My sister-in-law voted for him. They're family; we love them—it's just best not to talk politics. ;)

We're having Thanksgiving at niece Linda's. I'm bringing the candied sweet potatoes and, as a surprise for Linda who can't eat the bread stuffing, Athena's mother's Greek stuffing. It's made with hamburg, a little onion, rice, chestnuts, sultana raisins, Bell seasoning, and a dash of cumin. For 15 years since her mother passed away, I have tried to replicate that damned recipe, but I always got a response like "it's good, but just not the same." This year, I put in a dash of cumin and it hit the bull's-eye. When she took a taste, she started to cry. Food is a damned powerful memory.
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Re: American politics

Postby ElaineB » 25 Nov 2016, 01:02

Love that you nailed the Greek stuffing. :-)

I too have a sister-in-law who voted for Trump. Luckily not spending T-day with her. I also have a niece (her daughter) who recently came out and is incredulous that her mother voted for Trump. Her mother is also not handling the coming out well (though happy to say my brother is fine with it). So things still need to get better.

I think there are many more surprises in store for us regarding Trump. Like how many of his campaign promises he'll flip flop on (like all of them?) and how his supporters will react to that. A real good-news/bad-news scenario.

But none of that for today. Happy Thanksgiving, or day of mourning, or eat-whatever-you-want day!
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Re: American politics

Postby Proofrdr » 25 Nov 2016, 03:30

Now married, out, and old enough not to give a damn who is offended, I still worry about the young gays.

On the one hand they now have the legal right to be open and out, but, on the other hand, they still have to contend with disapproval and rejection. It's most hurtful from family members who should love them enough to accept them as they are. Your niece is lucky to have an accepting dad and aunts who can support her.

It still ain't easy, dammit.
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