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Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:46 PM Dec 2016

An argument for the Electoral College

I've been active in unions for most of my adult life, so I'm going to make my argument using unions as an analogy.

Suppose there is a union work site that employs 20 carpenters, 10 plumbers, and 8 electricians. It's now contract time. Under a simple one person, one vote system, management only needs to make the carpenters happy.

Of course, that's not the way it works. Management must make the carpenters happy, and the plumbers happy, and the electricians happy. Management must offer something to each of the three unions.

The Electoral College system operates much the same way. And yes, it sometimes leads to very some unpleasant results. But it does make some sense.

The main problem with the EC, as I see it, is that it gives the smaller states too many EC votes. This can be remedied by giving each state an EC total based on its House of Representative membership only. Not likely that will happen, I know.

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An argument for the Electoral College (Original Post) Shemp Howard Dec 2016 OP
Dont you still end up with the same problem Travis_0004 Dec 2016 #1
Yes and no. Shemp Howard Dec 2016 #3
isn't this the reason we have Senators (states) and Represenatives (districts)? TuslaUltra Dec 2016 #2
That is a fair counter-argument. (nt) Shemp Howard Dec 2016 #4
if... the Electoral College worked handmade34 Dec 2016 #5
In reality the popular vote caters to more different groups than the EC does Stargleamer Dec 2016 #6


(5,417 posts)
1. Dont you still end up with the same problem
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:55 PM
Dec 2016

lets say in your above example, you might have

5 carpenter representatives, 2 plumber representatives, and 2 electrical representatives.

Just make the carpenter's happy, and you can pass anything you want.

Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
3. Yes and no.
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:06 PM
Dec 2016

At the union work site, the majority of carpenters must vote for the new contract, and so must the majority of the plumbers, and so must the majority of the electricians. Any one of the three unions can stop the work, so management must try make them all happy.

Same goes with presidential candidates. He/she must work to address the concerns of as many different groups as possible. And that's a good thing. It's better when both the farmer and the factory worker are listened to.

I freely admit that my analogy is not perfect. And that's because the Electoral College system is so weird.



(75 posts)
2. isn't this the reason we have Senators (states) and Represenatives (districts)?
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:59 PM
Dec 2016

so shouldn't there be an office for the bigger superset of people?


(22,753 posts)
5. if... the Electoral College worked
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:13 PM
Dec 2016

the way it is supposed to... until I see it in action... I say get rid of it


The Federalist Papers #68

"...the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice....

....The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: "For forms of government let fools contest That which is best administered is best,'' yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration..."



(1,962 posts)
6. In reality the popular vote caters to more different groups than the EC does
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:14 PM
Dec 2016

Diversity flocked more to the cities than to the rural areas, which were more homogenous. Just look at Hillary's popular vote win--which groups comprised that majority?? Now compare it with Trump's. Look at this:


Now consider what groups are served by the popular vote. If you think well, Idahoans, Utahns, Alabamans aren't served by the popular vote then it think you are seeing more diversity than there actually is among where a person resides, and discounting/minimizing the diversity among urban dwellers. Also where have lesbians and gays flocked to? I venture a lot of them flocked to the cities and tended to vote for Hillary.

In short those who voted in the popular vote majority (whether in 2016 or 2000) tended to be a much more diverse group of people. So I don't think your analogy about carpenters, electrians, etc. holds. A Hillary win would have been more in accordance with more different groups of people than any EC victory by a Republican would be.

A Kerry win in Ohio in 2004 would have resulted in an EC win for Kerry while (most likely) losing the popular vote , and Kerry would have had a more diverse group of voters supporting him than Bush did. But it didn't go down that way, and I have my doubts that it actually could have.

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