Electoral College

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Re: Electoral College

Post by bennyonesix » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:05 pm

Agreed. The argument that the more direct elections become the "better" they become depends on a facile definition of "better".

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Re: Electoral College

Post by milosz » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:52 pm

Blaidd Drwg wrote: I don't think he's saying that.
He literally did, though, admitting that the EC privileges small-population states/rural areas at the expense of where people live and cannot defend that ("whether I like that idea or not is irrelevant").
There is inherent merit in tiered voting.
What are these? All "inherent merits" I've seen are essentially attacks on the wisdom of democracy, but once you start down that path the greatest inherent merit is for mythical utopian wise oligarchies or benevolent dictatorships.
Compared to Parliamentary systems the EC is a far more direct read of the will of the people WRT the executive.
Western parliamentary systems are incredibly more direct. Rather than voting for a specific persona, you vote for a party's program and its local representative charged with carrying out that program and thanks to confidence requirements, you're not stuck with that party (or even just its leader) for 2/4/6 years of failure.
If anything the current EC angst, (theTRUMP problem if you will) tells us why populism is so dangerous and why tiered voting is so important. The very last thing this country needs is MORE direct influence on governance by an ignorant and overbusy self loathing electorate.
Tying back into the "inherent merit of tiered voting" most defenses trotted out are nonsense - anti-democratic bodies and functions PROTECT minority views and opinions, natural rights, yada yada yada.

That's not the way it's ever worked - no matter how many checks and balances you want to put on the books, laws and regulations are of men and follow the basic rules of power. Write about 'natural law and rights' all you want, but if enough people (or the right people, with money and/or weapons) decide you're wrong, those natural laws cease to exist and whatever was supposed to stop them can safely be ignored. The idea of anti-democratic institutions protecting anyone are a farce.

4 sheep and 5 wolves deciding dinner is the ultimate cliche on democracy, but the converse is that anti-democratic solutions ensure that those 4 wolves can decide dinner with the right connections.

To go with a current popular issue - drug reform. The only way the drug war has been curtailed has been through direct democracy. All the representative bodies that could do so are beholden to special interests (pharmaceuticals, booze, private prisons, cop unions, et al. on down to district attorneys' offices) with a vested interest in maintaining prohibition. No amount of public support for reform makes a dent, until you actually put the issue in the hands of the people.

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Re: Electoral College

Post by milosz » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:56 pm

bennyonesix wrote:Agreed. The argument that the more direct elections become the "better" they become depends on a facile definition of "better".
There's only one election we're talking about making more direct here. No one, that I'm aware of, has advocated abandoning representative democracy.

The superiority of direct Presidential elections rests on the assumption that you believe fundamentally in equitable democracy as a concept - one person, one vote and that you want a President of both Montana and California, Texas and Vermont.

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Re: Electoral College

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:03 pm

There's too much to parse and I can tell already you've no interest in being convinced so I'll cherry pick.

Your MJ reform point is a good one. I don't think it's a fair one, of course because I think there are far more examples of the initiative process going horribly awry rather than it resulting in a public good that is WIDELY supported across demographics. Keep in mind, it only barely touches on one aspect of the WOD that is egregious and wrong but it's still a strong point. This is a place where direct voting ON A STATE LEVEL paid off for everyone.

As for PM system...Oi...Clearly we're talking from very different points of view here. You'll have to work much harder to convince me that voting for a rep, who subscribed to a platform, who peddles influence WITHIN his party so that this party can vote on one member to serve as Exec. is more direct than the EC. The Parliamentary system is at least two steps removed from a direct one man one vote. Your point just falls flat as fuck here...keep in mind, I think there are inherent benefits to the parliamentary system as well; similar, in fact, to balancing of state's voices in the election process, but we're not discussing a PM system.

As for the sound bite blurb of one person/one vote is cute ..but it's an incomplete and discussed out of context.
"He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." JS Mill

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