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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #82)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 03:20 PM

83. Again... that's specifically covered in the Supreme Court ruling.

And it doesn't matter one bit. They were created by a union of states to be states themselves. Not just subsets of the national whole.

being unfair to some citizens because of history is not 'democracy';

No point in arguing that... since it is in no sense "unfair". In fact, the definition of "fair" in this case is specifically that they do come in on an equal footing with the other states.

But why should that mean they get different power in electing a post for the whole country?

They don't. They each get an equal power with their neighbors to elect Senators to represent their state...and each state gets the same representation in the Senate. The selection of President blends both the more direct (and roughly - though not absolutely - proportional) representation of the House and the indirect representation of their corporate political body (the state) in the Senate.

The rules about vetoes are indeed a straw man (thanks for drawing attention to that), because they're not about the influence that different US citizens have in electing a nationwide leader.

But they are about the differing influence of the electorate from two years ago compared to the representatives that they elect in the current election. It doesn't matter if a substantial majority vote one way... the President can still overrule a majority of voters (that could actually be greater than 2:1).

In practice, the existing system means that swing states get all the attention in presidential contests, and huge parts of the country have no effective say in choosing the president. Even with your claim that different regions have different needs and priorities, I can't see how you think the current set-up benefits states that are a foregone conclusion.

Because foundational principals don't change with the whims of politics. The current swing states have not always been swing states. Any system you devise will have those kinds of weaknesses. A pure majoritarian rule (for house/senate and the WH) would result in "all the attention" going to large media markets. That would increase the influence of some people at the expense of others (and probably increase the role of money in the outcome). Retail politics would be dead.

wanting to keep an old system, not on its merits, but because it's how it was set up by people you've never met

That's an error deserving of it's own reply. It isn't because of some sort of societal momentum. It isn't that "it's always been that way"... it's that it IS that way. The states were (and remain) sovereign entities that at one point joined together (but not into mere geographic divisions of a single whole). It simply isn't a matter of "well... I think there's a better way"... you literally need a different country in order to switch. A new constitution (by both meanings of the word). I don't think that even an amendment would suffice... we would need a new constitutional convention.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply Again... that's specifically covered in the Supreme Court ruling.
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