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Author Topic: Impeaching Donald Trump  (Read 136889 times)

JoeKitchen

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2720 on: January 04, 2020, 03:03:43 pm »

Yes, "we" had a choice of whom to vote for. And almost 3 million more of us voted for Clinton. Yet thanks to the idiotic electoral college we are saddled with Trump, who is busy screwing up the country and the world.

This whole argument against the electoral college and that it is antiquated really annoys me. 

First off, the idea that it is old and need to be replaced with the popular vote, an idea that has existed since the dawn civilization, is absurd.  If you truly feel it is outdated, dont suggest replacing it with something that is older then it is by an extremely large margin because your argument makes no sense what so ever. 

Second, nearly everyone that proposes the popular votes seems to think there still would only be two major candidates.  This is just not the case.  The electoral college is what makes our country a two party system, because most likely any third party candidate would not get a single electoral vote on election day.  It is within the best interest of a party to consolidate national representation to ensure getting to most electoral votes, which is why we are a two party system.  This then decreases the choices we have, which means national elections become a binary situation.  In a popular vote system, there would be more then two viable candidates increasing the likelihood no single person would get more then 50% of the vote.  This would create dissidents within the country.

Third, these same people also seem to think (along with many others) that in most elections a single charismatic leader would arise and capture the majority.  But this is not how it works.  In most elections it is the opposite; you have a bunch of weak candidates who end up splitting the electorate.  Just look at the current candidates in the Democratic primary.  This, combined with the change in the rules the DNC made in the primary (bringing the primary very close to a popular vote) means there is a good chance the convention is going to be contested.  If this happens without an obvious FDR like figure (FDR was the result of a contested convention), this will more then likely create a larger amount of dissidents within the party then the nonsense complaints of the Bernie Bros in 2016.  In real time, we are seeing why popular votes are so bad. 

Considering these points, in a national election run by a popular vote, most elections would result in having many candidates all getting less than 50% and with (a good possibility) that the vote would be split regionally.  The majority of the country would not except a result like this more then a couple times in a row.  It would be a recipe for breaking up the country. 

The electoral college mitigates all of this.  It does completely eliminate it, but greatly reduces it.  It gives us only two real choices, making the result excepted by the majority nearly every time, and forces candidates to campaign throughout the country, not just in a few states. 

The fact is the popular vote has been around for eons, and history shows just how bad of an idea it is. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 03:13:54 pm by JoeKitchen »
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RSL

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2721 on: January 04, 2020, 03:20:58 pm »

If you want to see what happens when the "majority" rules, look at the French revolution.

But the argument is academic. In order to get rid of the Electoral College you'd have to get three-fourths of the states to vote for a Constitutional amendment. New York and California don't add up to three-fourths of the states.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2722 on: January 04, 2020, 03:22:31 pm »

The problem with this is that, by and large, “states” are arbitrarily drawn and aren’t individuals of singular mind and concern.  To say that “California” would determine national elections is irrelevant - the national concerns of one person in San Francisco vs one person in Lancaster CA are as different in some as they are mine, in Austin, Tx and Alan’s in NJ, or some other person in Wyoming.  What actually ends up happening is that rural communities aren’t given equal footing in the sense that a farmer in Idaho has the same impact as a tech magnate in San Jose, but rather that farmer has an impact that is proportionally *greater* than the man or woman in CA.

Why are we to value milk over silicon?  Wheat over fruit?  Just because 40 million people live within the geographical division we call “California” is no reason for them to have less representation when choosing a national leader than the good folks of North Dakota, is there?   

James you're missing the fact that we are a Federal republic made up of 50 EQUAL states.  Just like the General Assembly in the UN gives each nation 1 vote regardless of their population or geographic size, some allowance was given in our constitution for similar concerns when the nation was United.  Otherwise you could also argue that the entire Senate is unrepresentative.  After all, it has two Senators for each state also regardless of population or geographic size.  Not only would you have to change the electoral process for Presidents.  You'd have to do away with the Senate in its current form because people would use the same argument for Sneators as they now do for the president. 

The other issue is that electoral voting gives one person a majority.  In the last election neither CLinton who got 48% and Trump who got 46% of the popular vote had a majority.  So the argument would change that neither has a mandate from the country.  But with the electoral vote, it came out 324 to 227.  Trump won with a 58% to 42% majority, a very comfortable win.  Ofm course the losing side always argues we should do away with the electoral college until it;s their guy who wins because of it.  So next time when the situation changes, we can both argue these points from the opposite side of the table.  :)

James Clark

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2723 on: January 04, 2020, 04:11:42 pm »

James you're missing the fact that we are a Federal republic made up of 50 EQUAL states.  Just like the General Assembly in the UN gives each nation 1 vote regardless of their population or geographic size, some allowance was given in our constitution for similar concerns when the nation was United.  Otherwise you could also argue that the entire Senate is unrepresentative.  After all, it has two Senators for each state also regardless of population or geographic size.  Not only would you have to change the electoral process for Presidents.  You'd have to do away with the Senate in its current form because people would use the same argument for Senators as they now do for the president.

Not at all.  I'm not arguing for a mob rule scenario where every aspect of the government is subject to the whim of a popular vote at some random point in time.  To the contrary, I think the bicameral legislature the founders created is a work of inspired genius.  In the place where federal law is made, protections to ensure that a large group cannot "vote away" the rights of a smaller group is both appropriate and essential.  Creating a system whereby a law must pass a body created both by proportional representation AND by a body of equals is about the best solution I can think of.

BUT... were not talking about laws that impact individual entities - we're talking about the election of a person to an office.  A person whose job is to represent the entirety of the people equally and to execute his/her duties to the benefit of the nation.  Why, in that scenario, would someone who lives in one physical space, whatever it is, be awarded disproportionate weight in that decision? 

The other issue is that electoral voting gives one person a majority.  In the last election neither CLinton who got 48% and Trump who got 46% of the popular vote had a majority.  So the argument would change that neither has a mandate from the country.  But with the electoral vote, it came out 324 to 227.  Trump won with a 58% to 42% majority, a very comfortable win.  Ofm course the losing side always argues we should do away with the electoral college until it;s their guy who wins because of it.  So next time when the situation changes, we can both argue these points from the opposite side of the table.  :)

I'm more sympathetic to this argument, I suppose, but it's hard to argue a "mandate" when 3 people vote for one guy, two others vote for the other guy, but because the first three people live 800 miles apart (but inside an arbitrary boundary), and the other two live 20 yards apart but across an invisible "state line" they carry the day, y'know?
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PeterAit

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2724 on: January 04, 2020, 04:19:05 pm »

This whole argument against the electoral college and that it is antiquated really annoys me. 

First off, the idea that it is old and need to be replaced with the popular vote, an idea that has existed since the dawn civilization, is absurd.  If you truly feel it is outdated, dont suggest replacing it with something that is older then it is by an extremely large margin because your argument makes no sense what so ever. 

Second, nearly everyone that proposes the popular votes seems to think there still would only be two major candidates.  This is just not the case.  The electoral college is what makes our country a two party system, because most likely any third party candidate would not get a single electoral vote on election day.  It is within the best interest of a party to consolidate national representation to ensure getting to most electoral votes, which is why we are a two party system.  This then decreases the choices we have, which means national elections become a binary situation.  In a popular vote system, there would be more then two viable candidates increasing the likelihood no single person would get more then 50% of the vote.  This would create dissidents within the country.

Third, these same people also seem to think (along with many others) that in most elections a single charismatic leader would arise and capture the majority.  But this is not how it works.  In most elections it is the opposite; you have a bunch of weak candidates who end up splitting the electorate.  Just look at the current candidates in the Democratic primary.  This, combined with the change in the rules the DNC made in the primary (bringing the primary very close to a popular vote) means there is a good chance the convention is going to be contested.  If this happens without an obvious FDR like figure (FDR was the result of a contested convention), this will more then likely create a larger amount of dissidents within the party then the nonsense complaints of the Bernie Bros in 2016.  In real time, we are seeing why popular votes are so bad. 

Considering these points, in a national election run by a popular vote, most elections would result in having many candidates all getting less than 50% and with (a good possibility) that the vote would be split regionally.  The majority of the country would not except a result like this more then a couple times in a row.  It would be a recipe for breaking up the country. 

The electoral college mitigates all of this.  It does completely eliminate it, but greatly reduces it.  It gives us only two real choices, making the result excepted by the majority nearly every time, and forces candidates to campaign throughout the country, not just in a few states. 

The fact is the popular vote has been around for eons, and history shows just how bad of an idea it is.

Alan, your arguments hold no water.

1) We elect governors, senators, representatives, some judges, insurance commissioners, some state attorneys general, sheriffs, and so on by popular vote. None of the issues you describe have come up.

2) Your idea that the EC encourages candidates to campaign in every state is exactly opposite to the truth. If a state is sure to go for the other guy, why bother? And if it is sure to go for you, why bother? But if every vote counts, then 10,000 more Dem votes in Alabama, or 10,000 more GOP votes in NY, can make a difference. Hence it is actually a popular vote that would encourage candidates to campaign in more places.

3) California has ~285,000 eligible voters for each of its electoral votes. Alaska has ~112,000. This means that a voter in Alaska has two and a half times as much say in a presidential election. Please explain to me how this is democracy, fair, or right.

4) If the popular vote did lead to multiple candidates, it is easily handled by ranked choice voting. Look it up.

So, your arguments are nonsense. Please think about it.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2725 on: January 04, 2020, 04:30:46 pm »

Alan, your arguments hold no water.

1) We elect governors, senators, representatives, some judges, insurance commissioners, some state attorneys general, sheriffs, and so on by popular vote. None of the issues you describe have come up.

2) Your idea that the EC encourages candidates to campaign in every state is exactly opposite to the truth. If a state is sure to go for the other guy, why bother? And if it is sure to go for you, why bother? But if every vote counts, then 10,000 more Dem votes in Alabama, or 10,000 more GOP votes in NY, can make a difference. Hence it is actually a popular vote that would encourage candidates to campaign in more places.

3) California has ~285,000 eligible voters for each of its electoral votes. Alaska has ~112,000. This means that a voter in Alaska has two and a half times as much say in a presidential election. Please explain to me how this is democracy, fair, or right.

4) If the popular vote did lead to multiple candidates, it is easily handled by ranked choice voting. Look it up.

So, your arguments are nonsense. Please think about it.

First, I have not, to the best of my knowledge, changed my name to Alan.  It is still Joseph.   ;)

1.  You are talking about small regional elections, with the exception of the governor.  Small political issue are easier to handle than larger issues.  People largely except the results or move; you cant as easily move out of the country.  Now, for the governors, those elections are almost always between two people picked by either the Dem and Republican party.  Only two candidates, because even on a state level, the electoral college still influences having only two parties, and another binary choice.  So, the reason the issues I presented do not show up is because it is still a binary election influenced by the electoral college.  Plus, even in this case, you can move if you dont like it. 

2.  This is just flat out wrong; the short history of this country tells us so.  If you feel this way, then it is a sure fire process of not getting elected.  HRC felt this way about WI, PA and MI, but Trump did not.  He got those states to switch and vote for him even though everyone said he was crazy to campaign there.  Same thing was true with TX when Reagan ran.  TX was a reliable blue state, until Reagan.  WV was a reliable blue state until Bush got them to switch in 2000 (and that is actually what won him the election).  CA use to be a deep red state.  Fact is states have changed color several times over from politicians recognizing an opening and it is not going to stop.  History completely disproves your notion here.  I would not be surprised if CA voted red in 2024.  I think there is too much hate for Trump in CA for it to happen now.  However if the homeless issues do not get fixed by 2024 (and it does not look like it will), CA could be wide open for Republicans. 

3.  There is a census every ten years that addresses this issue.  In 2021, guess what, CA is getting more electoral votes due to population changes.  Other states are getting less. 

4.  Rank voting choices without a majority leader would not be a better option then a binary vote.  A 4 person election with each candidate not getting any more then 30% of the vote and then picking a ranked choice would not be excepted by the majority of the country.  With a binary election, in almost all cases, the majority gets it way and the election is excepted.  There are flukes, but better to live with those flukes (that get close to the majority) then deal with far below majority leaders who will be rejected by the majority of peopler. 

It really appears as if you need to think about it your arguments and do a little research too.  As I said, there are plenty of examples throughout history to show us just how bad popular votes are over a large geography. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 04:56:13 pm by JoeKitchen »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2726 on: January 04, 2020, 04:36:48 pm »

Not at all.  I'm not arguing for a mob rule scenario where every aspect of the government is subject to the whim of a popular vote at some random point in time.  To the contrary, I think the bicameral legislature the founders created is a work of inspired genius.  In the place where federal law is made, protections to ensure that a large group cannot "vote away" the rights of a smaller group is both appropriate and essential.  Creating a system whereby a law must pass a body created both by proportional representation AND by a body of equals is about the best solution I can think of.

BUT... were not talking about laws that impact individual entities - we're talking about the election of a person to an office.  A person whose job is to represent the entirety of the people equally and to execute his/her duties to the benefit of the nation.  Why, in that scenario, would someone who lives in one physical space, whatever it is, be awarded disproportionate weight in that decision? 

I'm more sympathetic to this argument, I suppose, but it's hard to argue a "mandate" when 3 people vote for one guy, two others vote for the other guy, but because the first three people live 800 miles apart (but inside an arbitrary boundary), and the other two live 20 yards apart but across an invisible "state line" they carry the day, y'know?
Never mind 800 miles across state lines.  How is it fair that my next door neighbor vote counts because he voted for CLinton while vote doesn't because all the electoral votes in my state of New Jersey went to Clinton?  Heck it could e my wife.  :)  But that's how states decides to handle the vote that in almost all state, the majority vote get ALL electors to vote for the president.

Also what you're not including is that the electoral vote give weight to the State to provide some equality so it can;t be only by popular vote.  In any case, it would require a constitutional change, something the smaller states won;t vote for.

Alan Klein

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2727 on: January 04, 2020, 04:39:29 pm »

Thanks Joe for answering Peter.  I have to leave to go see a magic comedy show with my wife.

PeterAit

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2728 on: January 04, 2020, 04:42:42 pm »

Never mind 800 miles across state lines.  How is it fair that my next door neighbor vote counts because he voted for CLinton while vote doesn't because all the electoral votes in my state of New Jersey went to Clinton?  Heck it could e my wife.  :)  But that's how states decides to handle the vote that in almost all state, the majority vote get ALL electors to vote for the president.

Also what you're not including is that the electoral vote give weight to the State to provide some equality so it can;t be only by popular vote.  In any case, it would require a constitutional change, something the smaller states won;t vote for.

Alan, I *think* I agree with you on this, that each person's vote should count the same. But if I may make a suggestion, proofread your messages before sending.
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James Clark

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2729 on: January 04, 2020, 04:55:30 pm »

Never mind 800 miles across state lines.  How is it fair that my next door neighbor vote counts because he voted for CLinton while vote doesn't because all the electoral votes in my state of New Jersey went to Clinton?  Heck it could e my wife.  :)  But that's how states decides to handle the vote that in almost all state, the majority vote get ALL electors to vote for the president.

Exactly right - it's not fair at all.    A few states do do proportional assignment of electors, but then you basically have a representation of the popular vote, so...
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2730 on: January 04, 2020, 05:05:31 pm »

... In 2021, guess what, CA is getting more electoral votes due to population changes...

What population changes? People are leaving CA in droves. The only explanation is - illegals. 

JoeKitchen

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2731 on: January 04, 2020, 05:07:28 pm »

Exactly right - it's not fair at all.    A few states do do proportional assignment of electors, but then you basically have a representation of the popular vote, so...

As I said before, if you really think the popular vote is so great, just sit back and watch Dem primary this year.  The rule changes in 2016 pretty much make it a popular vote amongst nothing but weak candidates, which is going to lead to a contested convention. 

Frankly, I dont know of any FDR figure in the background that will come in and unite the party, then the country, which is what the Dems will need if this happens. 

With a once in a lifetime politician like Obama (note I wrote politician and not leader  ;)), it would not matter.  But with nothing but weak candidates, it becomes a big issue.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 05:14:00 pm by JoeKitchen »
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2732 on: January 04, 2020, 05:12:07 pm »

What population changes? People are leaving CA in droves. The only explanation is - illegals.

I thought of this initially as well, especially considering the state has had a net loss of population in the last 5 years.  Could be one of the reason the Dems fought so hard to keep the citizen question off of the census, even though for a large part of our history it was on there. 

By the way, the UN even states countries should do a census of citizens. 

Plus, the official changes are not out yet; what I read was a good calculation showing CA getting more votes in 2021.  My point though was that the amount of electoral votes a state gets changes, just like with redistricting. 
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James Clark

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2733 on: January 04, 2020, 05:17:45 pm »

What population changes? People are leaving CA in droves. The only explanation is - illegals.

There's a net loss of people leaving vs. moving in, but apparently babies make up for the difference, and then some.
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PeterAit

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2734 on: January 04, 2020, 05:41:01 pm »

First, I have not, to the best of my knowledge, changed my name to Alan.  It is still Joseph.   ;)

1.  You are talking about small regional elections, with the exception of the governor.  Small political issue are easier to handle than larger issues.  People largely except the results or move; you cant as easily move out of the country.  Now, for the governors, those elections are almost always between two people picked by either the Dem and Republican party.  Only two candidates, because even on a state level, the electoral college still influences having only two parties, and another binary choice.  So, the reason the issues I presented do not show up is because it is still a binary election influenced by the electoral college.  Plus, even in this case, you can move if you dont like it. 

2.  This is just flat out wrong; the short history of this country tells us so.  If you feel this way, then it is a sure fire process of not getting elected.  HRC felt this way about WI, PA and MI, but Trump did not.  He got those states to switch and vote for him even though everyone said he was crazy to campaign there.  Same thing was true with TX when Reagan ran.  TX was a reliable blue state, until Reagan.  WV was a reliable blue state until Bush got them to switch in 2000 (and that is actually what won him the election).  CA use to be a deep red state.  Fact is states have changed color several times over from politicians recognizing an opening and it is not going to stop.  History completely disproves your notion here.  I would not be surprised if CA voted red in 2024.  I think there is too much hate for Trump in CA for it to happen now.  However if the homeless issues do not get fixed by 2024 (and it does not look like it will), CA could be wide open for Republicans. 

3.  There is a census every ten years that addresses this issue.  In 2021, guess what, CA is getting more electoral votes due to population changes.  Other states are getting less. 

4.  Rank voting choices without a majority leader would not be a better option then a binary vote.  A 4 person election with each candidate not getting any more then 30% of the vote and then picking a ranked choice would not be excepted by the majority of the country.  With a binary election, in almost all cases, the majority gets it way and the election is excepted.  There are flukes, but better to live with those flukes (that get close to the majority) then deal with far below majority leaders who will be rejected by the majority of peopler. 

It really appears as if you need to think about it your arguments and do a little research too.  As I said, there are plenty of examples throughout history to show us just how bad popular votes are over a large geography.

Sorry about the name error. But really, you seem to live in an alternate universe as regards facts and logic, so...
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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2735 on: January 04, 2020, 06:16:20 pm »

There's a net loss of people leaving vs. moving in, but apparently babies make up for the difference, and then some.

And whose babies are those? The culture that multiplies like rabbits? Natality of non-immigrant Americans (well, at least those here for several generations) continues to be in decline, below reproduction rate. Norwegian immigrants don’t multiply like rabbits either.

JoeKitchen

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2736 on: January 04, 2020, 06:18:41 pm »

Sorry about the name error. But really, you seem to live in an alternate universe as regards facts and logic, so...

And yet you cant refute a single point I made.

LOL

You claimed that we have popular votes on a local level, but leave out the fact that with major local races they are still binary elections between only two major candidates.  Those two candidate almost always come from the Democrat and Republican party, the two major parties in our country.  The only two parties due to the electoral college. 

Perhaps with city councilmen and judges, things are different, but do people pay nearly as much attention to those as mayor and governor?  No, or at least I know I dont.  Those elections, the major ones, are almost always binary due to our two party system brought on by the electoral college.  In Philly in last year's election there were like 12 people running for city council, with only the top 4 getting the spots.  The mayor had only two running, a Dem and a Republican.  I can tell you both who ran for mayor, but cant name any of my councilmen.  (But most importantly , I thought Krasner was up for election, and was annoyed when I found out I could not vote against him!)

You then complain that with the electoral college if a state is sure to vote for you or the other person, it makes no sense to campaign in those states.  Sorry, but that is the very reason Trump won.  WI, MI and PA were suppose to vote for Hillary, so (under your logic) HRC choose not to campaign there.  Trump (under my logic) did even though many said it was pointless.  That is what won the election, and it is the reason for several wins in the past. 

Like I said, look at WV in 2000.  Before the 2000 election, WV was very blue and only had 4 electoral votes in that election.  There was no reason for Bush to campaign there, under your logic.  However, he did, and won the state along with the 4 votes with an electoral win of 271 to 266.  If Bush did what you suggested, he would have lost the election to Gore with Gore getting 270 votes and Bush getting 267. 

You then ignore the census, which, reallocated electoral votes every 10 years, and complain that it is not fait because it does not take population into account.  This is false; it may not be even, perfectly, but the electoral votes are changed every 10 years to keep it as fair as possible. 

Last, rank voting does not work, which is why no country uses the popular vote to elect their national leader.  Having a president that only got 30% of the popular vote because the other 3 all got ~26% would never be fully excepted.  To say otherwise means you are not really thinking about it.  You are just using your sour grapes of loosing in 2016 to justify a bad idea that has failed repeatably throughout history. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 06:26:24 pm by JoeKitchen »
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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2737 on: January 04, 2020, 06:24:38 pm »

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2738 on: January 04, 2020, 06:27:41 pm »

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Re: Impeaching Donald Trump
« Reply #2739 on: January 04, 2020, 07:49:09 pm »

Why are you all even arguing about getting rid of the electoral college? First tell us which 38 states you think are going to vote in favor of that proposition.
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