Electoral College: the disenfranchisement of Californians

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Submitted by ocrenter on November 9, 2016 - 10:28pm

We have yet another election where the winner got less popular vote compared to the loser. This of course is secondary to the electoral college that places much more weight toward the smaller states compared to the much larger states.

One could say that under this system, 3.6 Californians are equivalent to 1 Wyomian. This is very similar to the slavery days when 1 black slave was counted as 2/5 of a person. Except the slave was actually weighted more than a modern day Californian.

We are essentially disenfranchised and deprived of our right of equal and fair representation.

The founding fathers revolted because they were being taxed without proper representation. We are essentially in the same boat here.

While ultimately I don't want to see a breakup of the Union, the initiation of an independence movement for California maybe the only way to force a rectification of our disenfranchisement.

Submitted by an on November 9, 2016 - 10:43pm.

Can we split up CA into two first before cessation?

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 9, 2016 - 10:57pm.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.newyorker...

the case against democracy.

"roughly a third of American voters think that the Marxist slogan “From each according to his ability to each according to his need” appears in the Constitution. About as many are incapable of naming even one of the three branches of the United States government. Fewer than a quarter know who their senators are, and only half are aware that their state has two of them.

Democracy is other people, and the ignorance of the many has long galled the few, especially the few who consider themselves intellectuals. Plato, one of the earliest to see democracy as a problem, saw its typical citizen as shiftless and flighty:

Sometimes he drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times, he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he’s idle and neglects everything; and sometimes he even occupies himself with what he takes to be philosophy...."

we dont want equal voting power. we need to distribute more votes to smarter people, some argue.

Submitted by flyer on November 9, 2016 - 11:08pm.

Here's what some are proposing:

http://fusion.net/story/368445/shervin-c...

Might sound like a great idea until tech and other bubble industries burst again, and they are all out on the street, leaving the rest of us holding their bag. No thanks.

Submitted by outtamojo on November 9, 2016 - 11:28pm.

flyer wrote:
Here's what some are proposing:

http://fusion.net/story/368445/shervin-c...

Might sound like a great idea until tech and other bubble industries burst again, and they are all out on the street, leaving the rest of us holding their bag. No thanks.

Like the bags we already hold for the red moocher states?

Submitted by flyer on November 10, 2016 - 12:02am.

Could be, but I don't live in those states.

If people decide to move forward with secession, I hope they realize a lot could go wrong with this plan, and they could find themselves in a far worse situation than merely despising a particular politician.

I'll carefully watch the progress of this proposal to see how things go, so we can cash out of all of our real estate holdings well ahead of any potential consequences (read watch your property values plummet) and live happily ever after regardless of what happens. Hope those who buy into this can do the same, just in case things don't work out as planned.

In addition to plummeting property values, here's another little primer on the consequences of secession:

http://www.toptenz.net/10-things-happen-...

Submitted by outtamojo on November 10, 2016 - 12:06am.

flyer wrote:
Could be, but I don't live in those states.

If people decide to move forward with secession, I hope they realize a lot could go wrong with this plan, and they could find themselves in a far worse situation than merely despising a particular politician.

I'll carefully watch the progress of this proposal to see how things go, so we can cash out of all of our real estate holdings well ahead of any potential consequences (read watch your property values plummet) and live happily ever after regardless of what happens. Hope those who buy into this can do the same, just in case things don't work out as planned.

In addition to plummeting property values, here's another little primer on the consequences of secession:

http://www.toptenz.net/10-things-happen-california-seceded.php

Not advocating secession but the irony of ironies more local control of our tax dollars. Why should I be forced to send tax dollars to areas where people like to fly the confederate flag for example.

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-le...

Submitted by njtosd on November 10, 2016 - 12:15am.

scaredyclassic wrote:
https://www.google.com/amp/www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/07/the-case-against-democracy/amp?client=ms-android-verizon

the case against democracy.

"roughly a third of American voters think that the Marxist slogan “From each according to his ability to each according to his need” appears in the Constitution. About as many are incapable of naming even one of the three branches of the United States government. Fewer than a quarter know who their senators are, and only half are aware that their state has two of them.

Democracy is other people, and the ignorance of the many has long galled the few, especially the few who consider themselves intellectuals. Plato, one of the earliest to see democracy as a problem, saw its typical citizen as shiftless and flighty:

Sometimes he drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times, he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he’s idle and neglects everything; and sometimes he even occupies himself with what he takes to be philosophy...."

we dont want equal voting power. we need to distribute more votes to smarter people, some argue.

People also forget that the founding fathers did not want it to simply be one great big country. They wanted the power to be decentralized. The states were considered much more independent, separate and significant. So the electoral votes were not supposed to represent a certain number of people - they were (in part) supposed to represent the significance of statehood.. By the way, you never saw the DNC lift a finger after Gore lost in spite of having the popular vote. The pols like it this way.

And it still bugs me when Americans talk about our right to a "jury of ones peers" (Magna Carta ensuring that nobles were tried by nobles).

Submitted by flyer on November 10, 2016 - 12:23am.

That, I can understand to some degree, outtaomojo, but, imo, the secession movement is not about the common good, and is as dangerous as any politician could ever possibly be.

It is comprised primarily of people who are selfishly willing to derail the entire state, just so they can prove their point, even if it ends in disaster--which it most certainly will.

Submitted by an on November 10, 2016 - 12:20am.

outtamojo wrote:
Not advocating secession but the irony of ironies more local control of our tax dollars. Why should I be forced to send tax dollars to areas where people like to fly the confederate flag for example.

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/


Isn't that the whole point of small federal government, so that most of the $ states make will stay in the state? Don't you see some of the irony there as well? You can't complain that CA send too much to other states, but then want a bigger federal government. I see irony all around on both side :-D.

Submitted by an on November 10, 2016 - 12:30am.

flyer wrote:
That, I can understand to some degree, outtaomojo, but, imo, the secession movement is not about the common good, and is as dangerous as any politician could ever possibly be.

It is comprised primarily of people who are selfishly willing to derail the entire state, just so they can prove their point, even if it ends in disaster--which it most certainly will.

When Brexit happen, it took the whole world market down and Britain still hasn't recovered. Just look at where the pound is today. This is a country that's leaving a union. They already have all of the infrastructure in place to be an autonomous country. CA doesn't have that and would have to spend a lot of $ to get that. What would happen to the tech economy when the world goes into recession because of it? At the same time, they have to spend a lot of $ to create the infrastructure to be its own country. I don't see most of the tech company would be around long enough to see CA be its own country. Would CA economy still be as big as it is with the tech industry the size it is today? Coming back from it won't be easy IMHO.

Submitted by outtamojo on November 10, 2016 - 12:32am.

AN wrote:
outtamojo wrote:
Not advocating secession but the irony of ironies more local control of our tax dollars. Why should I be forced to send tax dollars to areas where people like to fly the confederate flag for example.

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/


Isn't that the whole point of small federal government, so that most of the $ states make will stay in the state? Don't you see some of the irony there as well? You can't complain that CA send too much to other states, but then want a bigger federal government. I see irony all around on both side :-D.

Yah it's so difficult to identify with just one political party these days

Submitted by an on November 10, 2016 - 12:54am.

outtamojo wrote:
Yah it's so difficult to identify with just one political party these days
Yep, with Trump, the line between the two is even more blurred. But definitely, it seems like small government and free trade is dead. Yay for populism.

Submitted by Coronita on November 10, 2016 - 7:02am.

CalExit is a non-start, don't even bother.

First of all, CA as a state is not as "blue" as people make it to be. Yes, it's typically deep blue near large metro areas, but if you head inland and/or remote areas, it's pretty red.

https://www.google.com/search?q=californ...

Second of all, as large CA's economy is, a lot of the businesses in CA enjoys some of the benefits from federal government. Pretty much most of the green energy based companies are all subsidized with federal grants, and a lot of a research and development comes from federal grants.

Then there's the issue of defense. As a standalone "nation", we will not have the protection of a standing military, army, navy, air force, or the threat of a nuke weapon. If folks want to entertain the crazy idea of CA being separate nation, then they need to entertain the idea that CA needs a standing military. And that's just one of many other things each state enjoys as benefit belonging to this country.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 10, 2016 - 7:03am.

AN wrote:
Can we split up CA into two first before cessation?

splitting the state at least gives us twice the senators for representation. if we have N.Cal and S.Cal, the democrats would have the senate.

question is which is harder, breaking up the state or getting rid of the electoral college.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 10, 2016 - 7:13am.

scaredyclassic wrote:

we dont want equal voting power. we need to distribute more votes to smarter people, some argue.

I would argue that a typical silicon valley engineer would be smarter than an oil drill worker in North Dakota. In fact, overwhelmingly the big cities draw in far more talent and educated than other parts of the country.

yet when it comes to representation, we decides the rural working class should have a greater voice, in fact more than 3 times our voice.

rather than a system that favors less educated, I just want equal representation.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 10, 2016 - 7:15am.

flyer wrote:
Here's what some are proposing:

http://fusion.net/story/368445/shervin-c...

Might sound like a great idea until tech and other bubble industries burst again, and they are all out on the street, leaving the rest of us holding their bag. No thanks.

we should support these movements just to make the rest of the country recognize our disenfranchisement. I agree with flu, independence will be a lose-lose for CA and the US. But a call for a constitutional amendment without any teeth (threat of secession) will just be brushed aside.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 10, 2016 - 7:20am.

njtosd wrote:

People also forget that the founding fathers did not want it to simply be one great big country. They wanted the power to be decentralized. The states were considered much more independent, separate and significant. So the electoral votes were not supposed to represent a certain number of people - they were (in part) supposed to represent the significance of statehood.. By the way, you never saw the DNC lift a finger after Gore lost in spite of having the popular vote. The pols like it this way.

And it still bugs me when Americans talk about our right to a "jury of ones peers" (Magna Carta ensuring that nobles were tried by nobles).

I think the first time around everyone were just focused on the "hanging chads". Now that this has happened for the second time in less than 2 decades, they'll need to take this more seriously.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 10, 2016 - 7:21am.

AN wrote:
When Brexit happen, it took the whole world market down and Britain still hasn't recovered. Just look at where the pound is today. This is a country that's leaving a union. They already have all of the infrastructure in place to be an autonomous country. CA doesn't have that and would have to spend a lot of $ to get that. What would happen to the tech economy when the world goes into recession because of it? At the same time, they have to spend a lot of $ to create the infrastructure to be its own country. I don't see most of the tech company would be around long enough to see CA be its own country. Would CA economy still be as big as it is with the tech industry the size it is today? Coming back from it won't be easy IMHO.

secession is not going to happen. we just need a strong secessionist voice to be the teeth to force change to the electoral college.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 10, 2016 - 7:25am.

flu wrote:
CalExit is a non-start, don't even bother.

First of all, CA as a state is not as "blue" as people make it to be. Yes, it's typically deep blue near large metro areas, but if you head inland and/or remote areas, it's pretty red.

https://www.google.com/search?q=californ...

Second of all, as large CA's economy is, a lot of the businesses in CA enjoys some of the benefits from federal government. Pretty much most of the green energy based companies are all subsidized with federal grants, and a lot of a research and development comes from federal grants.

Then there's the issue of defense. As a standalone "nation", we will not have the protection of a standing military, army, navy, air force, or the threat of a nuke weapon. If folks want to entertain the crazy idea of CA being separate nation, then they need to entertain the idea that CA needs a standing military. And that's just one of many other things each state enjoys as benefit belonging to this country.

the stronger the voice of secession, the more likely that the calls for electoral college reform and perhaps senate representation reform will be taken more seriously.

as electoral college and senate representation reforms or perhaps breakup of CA all take amendment to the constitution, ratification by the smaller states with disproportional representation would be a nonstarter. if CA shows it is serious about leaving the union, that would force the reform.

Submitted by harvey on November 10, 2016 - 7:59am.

AN wrote:
Can we split up CA into two first before cessation?

This is an interesting idea, and actually doable.

Secession has been ruled to be unconstitutional. It's also been tried before, the outcome wasn't so good.

Splitting a state has happened under extreme circumstances, although what we got out of it was West Virginia.

Submitted by moneymaker on November 10, 2016 - 8:10am.

The only real way to get rid of the electoral college would probably involve a national ID system, which I think Trump would be in favor of. However there is the risk of the government carrying it too far and asking for your papers every time you want to cross a state line. I think voting from home will be in the future and would be more efficient, no more dead people getting elected.

Submitted by harvey on November 10, 2016 - 8:16am.

moneymaker wrote:
The only real way to get rid of the electoral college would probably involve a national ID system, which I think Trump would be in favor of. However there is the risk of the government carrying it too far and asking for your papers every time you want to cross a state line. I think voting from home will be in the future and would be more efficient, no more dead people getting elected.

Or you could simply have states run the elections as they do now, but report popular vote counts instead of sending electoral representatives.

Practically speaking, a popular vote system would be easier than what we have.

But it will never change. The party in power is never going to have the will to change the process that put them there.

Submitted by NotCranky on November 10, 2016 - 9:34am.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/...

I love Mexicans and Mexican Americans but I'd rather have the checks and balances of the united states. Flu made a lot of good points too.

Submitted by pencilneck on November 10, 2016 - 9:38am.

Am I the only one that likes our electoral college system?

Yeah, I get frustrated when it works against what I feel are my best interests or what my view is the best course for the country. But long term, by somewhat balancing the power between states, the electoral college system works pretty well to give each of our states some voice at the table. Long term, this IS in the best interest of our union.

Submitted by NotCranky on November 10, 2016 - 9:46am.

I like it and I agree. The tensions between the states creates a more balanced country and I would say even more balances states. Its good for the citizens of every state.

Submitted by spdrun on November 10, 2016 - 9:59am.

Smaller states already have more representation in the Senate and Congress. The Electoral College made sense ... in the 1700s.

Also, it's undemocratic, because many states don't even bind their electors to follow the popular vote.

Submitted by harvey on November 10, 2016 - 10:17am.

pencilneck wrote:
Am I the only one that likes our electoral college system?

Yeah, I get frustrated when it works against what I feel are my best interests or what my view is the best course for the country. But long term, by somewhat balancing the power between states, the electoral college system works pretty well to give each of our states some voice at the table. Long term, this IS in the best interest of our union.

The Senate is the primary mechanism that gives smaller states influence.

But it will be interesting to see how the "states rights" advocates respond to DC's request for statehood. There will be plenty of absurd contradictions in that short debate.

The electoral college doesn't help small states as much as some think. It doesn't always help rural voters either (e.g. California's central valley) The flaw in the electoral college process as it exists today is the winner take all system that most states use.

The biggest issue with the system is that it causes the "swing state" effect and gives certain states dramatically more attention during elections, It probably has some small influence on presidential decisions as well. It doesn't create a balance at all.

It's really silly that a few states, especially Florida, become the center of attention every four years.

The system doesn't accomplish what it was intended to do anymore, but it's not going away either. We're stuck with it.

Submitted by moneymaker on November 10, 2016 - 10:18am.

harvey wrote:
pencilneck wrote:
Am I the only one that likes our electoral college system?

Yeah, I get frustrated when it works against what I feel are my best interests or what my view is the best course for the country. But long term, by somewhat balancing the power between states, the electoral college system works pretty well to give each of our states some voice at the table. Long term, this IS in the best interest of our union.

It probably has some small influence on presidential decisions as well.


Yeah I'd say it had an influence on this last election. I'm not gonna say the system is rigged as everyone knew the rules and Trump won because he ran a better campaign based on those rules. But technically the electoral college system takes us farther away from being a true Democracy. As spdrun said it made perfect sense back then but not now.

Submitted by livinincali on November 10, 2016 - 11:48am.

moneymaker wrote:

Yeah I'd say it had an influence on this last election. I'm not gonna say the system is rigged as everyone knew the rules and Trump won because he ran a better campaign based on those rules. But technically the electoral college system takes us farther away from being a true Democracy. As spdrun said it made perfect sense back then but not now.

We never were a true democracy. The US form of government is a constitutional republic. True democracy is actually a pretty poor government as it allows the majority to oppress the minority. A constitutional republic places a bunch of checks and balances to restrict the majority from doing exactly that.

In 2008 the majority in CA did vote to ban Gay Marriage. In true democracy that vote would still stand and we'd continue to oppress the rights of the gay minority. In took courts and interpretation of the constitution to override that majority rule.

Submitted by Hobie on November 10, 2016 - 3:00pm.

Quote:
I would argue that a typical silicon valley engineer would be smarter than an oil drill worker in North Dakota.

Seriously? The dripping arrogance and elitism of this post makes me ill.

By the way, there is no such thing as an 'oil drill'.

Another positive vote with the electoral college system as the founding fathers designed and how njtosd correctly expanded upon up thread.

I am humbled by the brilliance of the depth and foresight of our founding fathers.

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