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  1. #11
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    You need something very specific to allocate such powers.
    I know, which is why I said it's not even a plausible method (unfortunately).

  2. #12
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    I know, which is why I said it's not even a plausible method (unfortunately).
    I know of no one that doesn't want a meritocracy. All politics comes down to the fact that a true meritocracy is impossible and we cannot agree on what best approximates one.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #13
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    For some background information and summary of pros and cons of the electoral college, see:

    LWVUS Study on the National Popular Vote Compact

    Who will elect the president?

    The electoral college made more sense in the early days of the nation, when both communication and voting rights were much more limited than today. Now it is straightforward to count every vote in an expeditious manner, and elect the president directly. I agree with the LWV position, and find the most compelling part of the case to be the negative effect on "third" parties, essentially reinforcing the current two-party system.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #14
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    I agree that the electoral college is an antiquated system that served the early days of the republic (democratic republic), but is no longer necessary or beneficial. However, direct voting would only be practical if the entire voting system was done electronically. Otherwise, since every vote really WOULD matter, you could easily get into problems when the race gets very close (ala Gore and Bush), necessitating all manner of long and arduous vote recounts. Unfortunately, computers are too easily tampered with as well. The entire fate of the nation could be changed by one skilled hacker.

  5. #15
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I know of no one that doesn't want a meritocracy.
    I don't....I want a liberal democratic federal republic with Constitutional safeguards precisely because I have no delusions about a political 'meritocracy'.

  6. #16
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Oh, a meritocracy is awesome... IF you are the one who controls the definition of "merit."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #17
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I don't....I want a liberal democratic federal republic with Constitutional safeguards precisely because I have no delusions about a political 'meritocracy'.
    Yes, but you're saying that from a point of already resigning to the apparent reality. In concept, would you not desire a meritocracy if it were achievable? Basically, a meritocracy is ideal, both in the sense that it is the best and in the sense that it can't exist as more than an idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Oh, a meritocracy is awesome... IF you are the one who controls the definition of "merit."
    Exactly my point. Hell, there might be a few other people on earth who comfortably agree with your definition of merit, too. It'll fall a tad short of 7 billion, though, or even 300 million.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #18
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    I think that there was a reason back in the early days of the US, to ensure that smaller, more remote states had a say in the matter, but this is one of those things where technological advances have rendered the reasoning for such things more or less moot. Communication is essentially instantaneous now, and although we still have areas of the country that are physically remote, candidates can get their messages to those communities with *vastly* less effort and time-commitment than when the college was instantiated. Fast train/air travel, telegraph, broadcast communication, and now internet access have eroded the need for such separation.

    But honestly, like Jennifer suggests... either with or without the electoral college, you're still going to have populations of voters who are considered irrelevant, and those that are considered important when it comes to the allocation of political effort and power. Under the electoral college, the concerns of voters in Ohio, Florida (etc.) come out on the important side, and those of voters in Utah, New York (etc.) don't. In a popular vote, highly populated cities would come out ahead. One could argue that would be more democratic (one person, one vote), but I think that's too simple.

    The most important thing is, I think, to get rid of the system where a candidate gets *all* votes from that state for winning the state. Split'em up within the state. I live in Missouri -- so although Missouri used to be a "swing" state, it's now considered Republican. Which basically means that my vote for Obama meant nothing. Same goes on the other side for Zarathustra and his (presumed, based on his post) vote for Romney in California.

    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Unfortunately, computers are too easily tampered with as well. The entire fate of the nation could be changed by one skilled hacker.
    This is why electronic voting is a bad idea (especially with the "no paper trail" versions that are amazingly, legal). Paper voting is more tedious, sure. But the goal here isn't "easy", or "fast". It's to get it right, and minimize the risk of anyone being able to cheat. Paper voting wins that contest hands-down - especially as the number of voters increases.
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  9. #19
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    I think the most important thing that can be done for the whole campaign process is to reduce the media spectacle its become, in whatever way possible. Sure, the whole purpose of the year long campaign run is to inform voters of the opinions of the candidates, allowing them to become acquainted with their choices. But, it gets taken to the extent of becoming prime time theater, funded by various organizations that have extreme views and interests not aligned with the public. Then you get voters who, even after the year of constant media coverage, know next to nothing about the candidates except what they've heard in an ad or two, or whichever channel's bias portrayal of the candidates. And moreover, the way this election process is designed makes it impossible for any truly good candidate WITHOUT the money and donations to make it to the final 2.

    I think the entire election process needs to be changed. Something that significantly shortens the campaign season, thereby reducing the amount of campaign funding needed, and significantly reduces the media's role in the election\ (thereby reducing the stupidity and lies we are all subjected to). Instead, there needs to be an objective system of quickly disseminating accurate information about the candidates, likely one that basically lists their entire political voting record in a detailed, succinct summary to be made available to all voters. Then information about how the candidates claim they will govern in the future can be handled some other way.

    Just brainstorming...

  10. #20
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    You could just literally limit the amount of campaign funding one can even get. Have something like matching funds that the candidates are bound to. I'd love to overturn the Citizens United ruling, but the fact is we could spend all day blacklisting sources of funding. It's much easier to make a white list of funding instead.
    That alone might make the difference, but if it doesn't, we could actually adopt serious airtime controls. If this is done at every level, it would even somewhat lower to power of lobbyists.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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