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-   -   Decision 2016 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=53250)

Swamper December 3rd, 2016 10:18 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2123733)
1.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Swamper (Post 2123705)
Agreeing with a liberal has nothing to do with this. You said that there would be no cost for Michigan to do the audit. From what I've read, that's not true, and that's all I was pointing out, along with the possibility of not getting the recount done by the deadline.

Of course it does. These reasons you're offering are weak. Why not audit the election? These aren't serious answers. I didn't see where Michigan is on the hook for anything, regardless of money. Why are you assuming that the state does work it won't get paid for? Most importantly, in all 3 states, why are Trump surrogates (or his campaign itself) fighting?

I linked to the article that said Michigan would be on the hook for paying for at least part of the recount. That by itself is a perfectly valid reason to not want to do a recount, especially if the recount is for a candidate that came in at 1% of the vote.

EDIT: Here's the relevant quote from the Yahoo article: "Schuette also criticized Stein for the potential expense of a recount, although Stein said last week that she had raised $3.5 million to cover some costs. A Schuette spokeswoman said on Friday that Stein had contributed $787,500, but the recount would cost some $5 million."

I imagine Trump doesn't want the results to be audited because he knows that his claim of illegal votes is ridiculous and doesn't want it to actually be investigated. As far as I can tell, the only people that are actually taking his claim seriously are the far far right conspiracy people and those that are looking for any and all reasons to get after Trump. Even if the recount goes ahead, neither side will change in any way. The conspiracy guys will believe that the liberals somehow tampered with things, and everyone else will know what they already knew: Trump is full of it.

I don't buy the argument that this recount is about the integrity of the system. No one, other than the media pushing this storyline, has any doubt about the veracity of the election. Trump said something about it, but Trump will be saying a lot of things for the next four years, and we're just gonna have to get used to filtering what he says through a bs filter. So what if he said there were thousands of illegal voters? I know it's not true. You know it's not true. The vast majority of Americans know it's not true, and those that believe it are unlikely to change their minds. We should be focusing on more important things.

Dad_Scaper December 3rd, 2016 11:03 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I do not accept that we can blithely ignore the words of the President of the United States. If he says it, it's important. I'm not saying it's *credible*, but it should be taken seriously.

This is how we ended up here. People knew he was full of BS, didn't care what he said, now he's President of the United States, next month. Strange world.

edit: Look, here's what I'm talking about. Words matter. It's not amateur hour, and we've elected a President who will blithely talk to any head of state, and say god-knows-what, without the benefit of an intelligence briefing. We should not act as if he's some sort of clown in a circus and the things he says don't make a difference.

This stuff matters, it matters who is President, competence matters, and this is what we've done. La, hopefully we will be ok.

Hahma December 3rd, 2016 02:37 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I agree with D.S., I don't think you can just have to use a bs filter every time our President says something, regardless of how outrageous it is. This isn't a reality show, his words now can have some pretty impactful consequences.

I continue to be amazed at how during his campaign, Trump got his followers in a lather about Clinton's lies, yet he pretty much lies non-stop. Now it's to the point where some people don't even care about his lies, as if saying, "well that's Donald being Donald, no harm".

It's also amazing how people would bash Obama for taking vacations and how much it cost the taxpayers, yet they don't seem to have a problem with how much it's costing for keeping the royal family safe at Trump Tower, nevermind how much it's impacting other tenants there.

Also, for all those sharing or liking those memes or posts of Facebook about making people on welfare take drug tests or other things ripping on those collecting welfare or even unemployment. Well if you voted for Trump, you voted for a person that takes every singe advantage of the system, whether it's not paying taxes or bankruptcy. So I don't think they can comment any anyone else taking advantage of any system.

Dad_Scaper December 3rd, 2016 06:28 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I just posted about his stumble in the conversation with the President of Taiwan. Turns out that if you scrape away the surface foolishness, underneath there is a story behind it. Turns out that the tete-a-tete was pushed by the Trump side, and, by the way, he's trying to expand into the Taiwan luxury real estate market. The Washington Post account of the call, including a link to a Reuters article, for further reading, is consistent.

So, yeah. Words matter. His words should be taken seriously, because there is calculation behind the BS, too.

On a related note, expect to see litigation involving the emoluments clause soon enough. You can't use the Presidency to line your pockets. It's foul, which may not bother him, but it's unconstitutional, which will likely lead to court.

Hahma December 3rd, 2016 07:19 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
By golly, a fellow can't be blamed for being a good business man. ;)

Hahma December 4th, 2016 11:18 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Wow, this woman really let Trump have it!

http://news.groopspeak.com/a-woman-j...eering-her-on/

Ixe December 5th, 2016 10:55 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
The conversation has moved on from it but I wanted to return to a discussion of the electoral college system vs. the popular vote for a moment.

One possible challenge of a popular vote is, while it gets rid of issues with swing states, it creates a new system for politicians to game. In a popular vote your goal is to get the most people voting for you as possible and you can reach these people most efficiently in large population centers. While people in rural settings' vote counts the same as someone anywhere else, it is so much harder to reach them for events so political focus could end up tipping towards the cities (just like they are tip towards battle ground states right now). This is not to say it definitely would happen, but it is something to be aware of.

I'm personally intrigued by proportional allocation of electors by state like we see in many of the primaries. That isn't to say that it won't have it's own host of problems, but frankly I don't think there are any perfect solutions out there.

Ranior December 5th, 2016 12:39 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I let the issue go a while ago, but I will continue to champion a national popular vote as the most sensible system.

I think this for a variety of reasons still. One, if I was devising a systme in the modern day that is what I would do. It is what we do for all other elections. You do not see any city or state hold their elections involving some arcane system of electors instead of just a simple popular vote. If you truly believe some other voting system is better for the president, then logically shouldn't that system apply to other elections as a superior option as well?

As for the idea that politicians might switch the way they campaign, well of course they will. But the concern seems misplaced to me. For everyone is still making their votes and having their voices heard, but now everyone's vote will matter the same if we have a popular vote. Rural voters will still matter and politicians will do well to pay attention to them. But the larger number of urban voters will also matter and may be easier to reach. Either way though everyone's vote matters the same and presidential candidates will need to figure a way to reach as many people total as possible.

Right now we have a distorted view where many people's votes for president are truly pretty much meaningless while certain states have almost all the power.

As for proportional allocation of electors by states, well sure you could do that. But it too will still have the base issue where voters in certain states/districts will have more power than other voters for now good reason.


Essentially the argument most used against a national popular vote seems to be that politicians would game the system and large cities would have disproportionate say in who gets elected. However every voting system will have the politicians gaming the system--it is simply what a logical politician should be do. If you want to win the game, you have to play the game in the most optimized way possible.

Therefore the question should be do we want to make some voters voices matter more than others or should we make it so every person has equal say? I personally think it clearly should be equal say as it is in every other election in this and most other modern democracies. I cannot see a reason why we should purposefully make some voters matter more than others just because they happen to live in a certain area with the right mix of demographics or what not.

vegietarian18 December 5th, 2016 01:16 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
The country is a lot bigger and a lot more diversely populated than a city. That comparison you keep using is really bad.

You also keep getting confused with voter power to swing an election with actual electoral power. Obviously the massive amounts of strongly blue or red people in California or Texas are being heard and those voters are still "determining" an election even if many of their votes are already decided. The representation from all states is still equal, determined by a formula, even if the outcome was decided by the swing states. This is identical to popular vote elections being decided by "swing voters", there's no way to become a "swing voter", it's just the uncertainty of the election.

I think the consequences, the "gaming the system" that you talk about, results in worse policies for the country under a national popular vote than the electoral college.

Regardless I do not think this is a productive, relevant, or important debate. The Republicans will keep the electoral college for the next four years because it just won them the election. And more broadly, I think discussing this kind of election reform distracts from the real issues. We should expect/demand that our politicians serve the best interests of the people, no matter what system we use to choose them.

Ranior December 5th, 2016 03:00 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vegietarian18 (Post 2123983)
The country is a lot bigger and a lot more diversely populated than a city. That comparison you keep using is really bad.

I'd love for you to expand on this line of argument for I'm not following it. I'll agree that most cities are smaller and less diversely populated than most cities. I will state that some counties or states or districts however have blends that are not that dissimialir from the US at large, or at the very least other countries that use modern democracies. And yet in almost every case the winner of elections is by popular vote.

If there is a superior voting system and the electoral college is in some fashion that, then why is no one arguing for reform of elections at different levels? I am arguing this because I believe it is evident that popular vote simply makes the most sense if you are setting up a voting system. That is why it is used in almost every election.

As Dok pointed out a while back, let's analyze why our founders decided that the electoral college was needed compared to pure popular vote. Well, after a bit of digging it becomes clear--it was because the wealthy slave holders wanted the large populations of slaves to count for their political influence without having those slaves vote. Therefore the infamous 3/5 compromise was born. Those slave states would get some standing for their large population of slaves in the House of Representatives and in presidential elections through the use of the electoral college. This allowed the slave states to wield and outsized political influence for the early part of this country's history.

Now at this point in time, it seems foolish that we would need the electoral college as the "issue" it "fixed" is no longer needed. Therefore the rest of the rationalizations people are using to defend the electoral college are firmly post hoc rationalizations. It does not have to do with our founders original intentions. I personally do not think any of the arguments hold water for why we should hold the election in any other way. That is why I continue to comment here debating the reasons I think a national popular vote makes sense, and trying to debunk the arguments for why the electoral college (or some other system) would be better.

Quote:

You also keep getting confused with voter power to swing an election with actual electoral power. Obviously the massive amounts of strongly blue or red people in California or Texas are being heard and those voters are still "determining" an election even if many of their votes are already decided. The representation from all states is still equal, determined by a formula, even if the outcome was decided by the swing states. This is identical to popular vote elections being decided by "swing voters", there's no way to become a "swing voter", it's just the uncertainty of the election.
To begin with, the representation is not equal. Washington DC has many more electors per person than California. The electoral college distorts the number of voters in different parts of the country which is part of my point.

Perhaps this paper would help: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15220.pdf

You don't have to read it if you don't want to. The crux of it is that there is a strong mathematical backing that shows the probability that an individual voter in a state like Colorado determining the presidential election is somewhere around 1 in 10 million. The probability for someone in Hawaii is less than 1 in 1 billion. The average American vote is somewhere around 1 in 60 million. There are further mathematical arguments in there about how bringing 1000 more voters to your side matters far more in certain states, etc, etc. The entire thing shows that with the rules of the electoral college in place, the power of voters is dramatically different.

So I hope we at least agree that voter power is significantly different across different states and that means some states and some voters matter much more than others.

I personally think this is bad for a variety of reasons. First off it potentially advantages the voters in those states by enticing political parties to give them preferential treatment in terms of funding or other benefits so that the voters in those states are more likely to vote for said party. I'm not sure there is much evidence that this is occurring, but I think it is troubling that the incentives line up in that regard.

Further though, I just cannot find any good reason to rationalize why voter power in California should be so much less than those voters in Ohio. It is a very true statement that turning out 100 more democrats in Ohio matters far more than turning out 1000 more democrats in California. Why should I continue to support such nonense when a simple solution exists? Make everyone's vote count the same through a national popular vote and the differences between voter's power to impact the election is evened out so everyone matters an equal amount. This encourages politicians to treat all people the same and gets them to focus on turning out every voter in every state they can and reach as many people as possible. In a representative democracy I personally think this should be a goal-- to get in contact with the most people possible.

Finally, perhaps looking at it in one other way will help make my point clearer. Imagine a Democratic committee was able to redraw the state lines for the fifty states to whatever they wanted. Based on the populations for each of these new states, the 435 US representatives would be allocated as equitably as possible. In this scenario it is not at all hard to imagine that if these people were nefarious that they could easily redraw the map such that there would be say 20 deeply red rural states. The other 30 are all mixed but are democratic leaning. The populations work out such that there are say 200 electoral votes tied up in those 20 super solidly Republican states that the Republicans cannot lose. But the other 338 electoral votes in the other 30 states are highly likely to go Democratic. Essentially they could create a map that highly favors the Democrats to control the presidency.

Now in reality the electoral college is not gerrymandered, and it does not in aggregate seem to better support the Republicans or the Democrats. HOWEVER in each individual election cycle it does help support one side or the other. In 2000 and 2016 the Republicans happened to benefit. In 2004, 2008, and 2012 the map helped the Democrats. The votes just didn't quite manage to work out, but we weren't that far off from a president Kerry losing the popular vote but winning the electoral college in 2004.

I would argue that this is just clearly silly. There is no good reason we should continue to keep this arcane system that sometimes advantages the different parties when we could simply get rid of it. The electoral college distorts the voices of the voters making some matter more than others and making it more difficult for a plurality of American's to be represented based on how they vote. A national popular vote does not have these issues.


Quote:

I think the consequences, the "gaming the system" that you talk about, results in worse policies for the country under a national popular vote than the electoral college.
There is zero evidence for this and is purely theory on your part. Until you present good reason and can show why switching to a national popular vote would cause congress and presidents to enact policies that would be worse on average than under our current system, I shall reject this argument.

Quote:

Regardless I do not think this is a productive, relevant, or important debate. The Republicans will keep the electoral college for the next four years because it just won them the election. And more broadly, I think discussing this kind of election reform distracts from the real issues. We should expect/demand that our politicians serve the best interests of the people, no matter what system we use to choose them.
We should encourage our politicians to do what is in the best interests of the people indeed. I will continue to argue that a system that makes every voter's voice heard equally will make the incentives for politicians to better line up with that ideal, rather than the current system that encourages politicians to pander to a subset of Americans.

However, I reject the idea that this isn't important. I happen to think that election reform is an important issue for a democracy, particularly ours. I think that we have an issue with gerrymandered districts in many states that causes disproportionate allocation of state representatives and senators compared to the voters stated preferences which leads to the representation not matching the voters wills as closely as it could. I think we have two recent presidential elections where a plurality of voters chose one candidate but another actually wins. If we are in a system where some voters voices matter less than others and where some parties are purposefully disadvantaged by the political maps the other party draws, then we should have serious discussions about what we can do to make our elections more fair and equitable so that all voices are heard and representative in a more fair fashion.

There are of course many other important issues. There is plenty else to discuss. But we can spend time on many things and I think there is plenty of reason to think discussing voting reform is important as well.

Swamper December 5th, 2016 05:02 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vegietarian18 (Post 2123983)
The country is a lot bigger and a lot more diversely populated than a city. That comparison you keep using is really bad.

I agree.

Dad_Scaper December 5th, 2016 06:51 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
My own feeling about the Electoral College is that it isn't going anywhere, and plainly any discussion of it reinforces the bunker mentality among some of us. So my own preference is to accept it as a quirky thing and move on.


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