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Comment term limits? elections (Score 1) 1081

Less freedom is not the way to fix the problem.

If elections aren't throwing the bums out, then fix the way we do elections so that they work right. The mathematics of the system ensure that we self-limit our own freedom by looking at only two candidates as real possibilities. Isn't that foolish?

How to fix? Condorcet voting, for one. Proportional representation in one chamber of state legislatures, for another.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

One chamber of state legislatures should be chosen by proportional representation. Vote for a party, get your political philosophy represented.

The other chamber can be chosen by districted races. Vote for a person, get your local concerns represented.

There's a balance in the Congress between competing views. Bicameralism is great, unless you throw out the main reason for having two houses. Then it's just redundancy.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

Spoken like a true big city/state resident

Those who live in rural areas like their lifestyle the way it is. They don't want law dictated to them by people far away, from a completely different environment, who don't understand them.

America is a live-and-let-live country. That's the nature of freedom.

By dumping the EC, rural folks have less voice to be "left alone" to live they way they want to. Why would they want to remain a part of the United States if they can't get their wishes respected?

Even rural folks from different parts of the country have different cultures, and the EC helps enforce a respect for that. You don't have to merely earn a majority of the votes, but you have to earn that majority from geographically and culturally diverse segments of the population. I think that's a good thing! A president has to be president of ALL the people.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

That's part of the current problem. The 17th Amendment should be repealed. Senators ought not to be merely super-Representatives. With larger districts and longer terms than Representatives, they are even less responsive to the will of the voters than Reps are, and riper pickings for special interests to buy off. Removing the state legislature from having a role in choosing them means they have less incentive in fighting against centralization of power, so the federal model which is a safeguard of citizens' liberty is threatened.

Comment proportional EC (Score 2) 1081

I currently live in NE, one of the two states that allocates EC votes proportionally. I completely agree with you. Regardless of your political stripe, this is the right way to go, if you want election results to reflect the will of the voters. However, in the last legislative term, there was a bill to switch to winner-take-all. The only reason to do this is to benefit the dominant political party. Unfortunately, the pols that introduce these things fail to realize that going this road may be a good idea for them today, but a bad idea for them if the political winds change tomorrow. Better to stick to the principle of reflecting the will of the electorate.

It is interesting to me that when the disenfranchised groups in CA have called for secession (e.g. Cascadia) in the previous 10-20 years, the liberal majority responded with disparaging comments like, "What is this, the 1860s?" Now, when faced with results they don't like, they call for their own secession movement. I wonder if anyone has ever realized that splitting CA into several smaller states would actually improve things for all concerned? Each new smaller state would have more local control, disenfranchised groups would be less frustrated, and as a whole the people of what is currently CA would have more voice in the Senate and EC. Of course, the liberal majority of current-CA would not be in control of all that new influence, but as far as benefiting the people it would be a win. And that's who our state policy-makers are supposed to be helping, right?

Direct democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. That's why we have an EC. It's a system to protect our collective selves from ourselves. The US of A are a federal system. The design of Congress is a compromise - brush up on the VA/NJ plans. The design of the EC is the same compromise directed toward a singular office rather than a body. The implementation is very well thought out - brush up on the Federalist Papers. Sometimes I think we should actually vote for the Electors rather than for president, and have their meeting in December actually be a meaningful debate and vote. This would make the EC what it was intended to be: a specially-convened single-purpose one-time convention.

What else might we change to fix our system meaningfully? Glad you asked. Specially note #4, which is most relevant to this story.

1) Condorcet voting. Duverger's Law is the suck. 2) Lower the thresholds to get on the ballot. The major parties don't like competition. High filing fees and petitioning requirements only benefit the entrenched establishment. They may say it's to keep "joke" candidates off the ballot, but...just take a look at the presidential race. Both the Ds and Rs are jokes, so obviously that doesn't work. 3) Proportional representation in the lower chamber of your state legislature. Bicameralism is great, if the two houses serve to balance differing points of view. Having both chambers allocated by district is pointless. There are Libertarians/Greens/Constitutionalists who are perpetually disenfranchised. They should have a voice somewhere commensurate to their size. 4) Increase the size of the (federal) House to 1000 (without increasing the total size of support staff). This solves two problems. First, small districts makes reps more responsive to citizenry. Second, it makes the EC distribution more equitable, so that calls to remove it (which would be disastrous) hopefully subside. 5) Repeal the 17th Amendment. Making senators into super-representatives through popular election makes them unaccountable to their states, and thus more beholden to special interests. Senate elections are insanely expensive because of this. If your motto is "get money out of politics" this should be a no-brainer.

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