The slow agonising death of the right

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Balbus, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. lode

    lode One Man Orgy

    Madison, a slave owner and the architect of the electoral college said:

    “Southern States could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes”

    Protecting the smaller states simply meant protecting the institution of slavery to the founder of our nation.

    Every presidential election year, there are millions of votes not cast for both candidates because people don't think their vote will make a difference. And in the case of the presidential election, they're usually right.
     
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  2. WritersPanic

    WritersPanic Greasing up my Staff Member Super Moderator

    Yea, not many liked the 3/5 compromise, but the country was still fragile and new. So slavery, a relic from colonial control, spilled into US history for about 80 years (I realize it's fashionable to blame the US for many centuries of slavery, but the US didn't come into being until the late 18th century). The concern was that the southern states would secede and then trade as a sovereign nation with Europe. So they caved on the 3/5ths compromise to avoid this.

    Naturally it didn't last. The civil war was the ultimate decider. Ultimately it didn't matter if it was over slaves or the rights of states. The civil war became, as most civil wars, a chance to settle old scores and maybe grab some territory at the same time. The hatred was as intense as any other war even though both sides were Americans. It became an all about the killing kind of war. Even Sherman's march accomplished this by destroying infrastructure which caused many lives to be lost as well.

    When you say "smaller states" do you include places like Delaware, Vermont or New Hampshire?
     
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  3. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    It's really the "winner take all" method for apportioning electors that's the problem, and that is strictly a matter of state law. It makes no sense today, and is out of keeping with democracy, which was a dirty word to the Founders but caught on later. I'm one of those unfortunate voters in a red state who is forever disenfranchised by "winner take al"l. However I may rail against Trump on Hip Forums, I know all of the electors in Oklahoma will go for him in 2020, so as far as the presidency is concerned, I might as well stay home and rearrange my sock drawer. It seems absurd to "protect" underpopulated rural states by allowing them to wag the dog. What's so special about them?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
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  4. WritersPanic

    WritersPanic Greasing up my Staff Member Super Moderator

    They're Americans. So they deserve equal voting, same as the rest of us.

    I agree that the idea of "winner take all" states (and I'd like to know how that even got started) can only lead to unfair advantages. I'd prefer to see district-level voting as default granularity.

    In some cases I see democracy as very important, such as jury voting. But as a form of government for over 300 million people I think it would be uncontrollable and lead to its own ruin faster than any nation's constitution might.

    Uruguay is an interesting case since they were founded with a copy of the US constitution. What they don't have are the subsequent amendments and such because they created their own. One of the first things I noticed, aside from the smell (diesel fuel, burning hardwood and marijuana) was that a 50 seat restaurant has 12 staff members on the floor. In the US you'd see maybe 5 at best. It's pretty clear the US social contract was rolled up and smoked long ago.
     
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  5. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Yes, they deserve equal voting, same as the rest of us, not votes that count more than those of the rest of us. Because the electoral votes are based on territory as well as population, folks in underpopulated states, in effect, get a bonus. But as we seem to agree, 'winner take all' is the real problem. It effectively disenfranchises people who have the misfortune of living in states dominated by the opposing party.
     
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  6. stormountainman

    stormountainman Soy Un Truckero

    And the Republicans are trying to use the census questions for redistricting, which leads them to Gerrymandering. In Red Indiana an unarmed Muslim just got shot twice in the back on an Indianapolis road. In Red West Virginia the GOP had a banner at an event which associated Ilhan Omar with 911 and the World Trade Center.
     
  7. unfocusedanakin

    unfocusedanakin The Archaic Revival Lifetime Supporter


    You don't find that this works against democracy? To say that since you live here your vote counts for more. No matter where you live one person= one vote that counts the same in America. I think that's fair.

    The electrical college just feeds into the us vs them mentality. We in the fly over states really matter we are American. Those big coast cites are not like us. I gurentee a Republican would have wanted to end it if it had elected Obama for example. Then it would be unfair. Then it would the victimization of white rural farmers by a force undermining democracy. 51% of us don't like Obama or Clinton so why is he there!?

    When it elects a Republican it's totally fair since we count more even though we are less.
     
  8. WritersPanic

    WritersPanic Greasing up my Staff Member Super Moderator

    Oh there's plenty of black rural farmers as well. Farming isn't a race issue.
     
  9. unfocusedanakin

    unfocusedanakin The Archaic Revival Lifetime Supporter

    I looked it up and more then I thought but still a white man's world.

    https://www.alternet.org/2016/07/number-black-farmers-us-growing-thanks-part-new-policies-usda/

    Some of them are black and Latin no doubt. Most of the examples of small town life I see supporting Trump now is white men saying things like "I can't run the farm" or "my factory closed". Small town life can often be very racist. I'm sure many of these people have dealt with that. The Republicans are strongly associated with racism compared to Democrats to independent voters. Each party says the other is the home of the KKK.

    Race is a central issue to Republicans now. It's not small goverment and low tax it is the protection of the English language, Christian religion, and white race. They might loose some of the rural minority vote that way. American Mexicans are already converting to Islam in large numbers since they feel unwelcome in Christian churches in Republican states for example. They see the racial tension.
     
  10. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    If you research the amount of Christian followers that are in Asia alone it's ludicrous to even state that Christianity is a predominant white religion lol.
     
  11. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Proportional Representation could change the political landscape, it did before when it was used in the US.

    Here are extracts from - A Brief History of Proportional Representation in the United States, [my bold]

    “The most extensive research to date has been produced by Kathleen Barber and several colleagues. Their study, Proportional Representation and Electoral Reform in Ohio, systematically analyzed the political effects of PR in five Ohio cities. In many cases their findings were also confirmed by results in other PR cities. For example, Barber found that choice voting produced fairer and more proportional representation of political parties. In particular, it eliminated the tendency of winner-take-all systems to exaggerate the seats given to the largest party and to underrepresent the smaller parties. In the election before the adoption of PR in Cincinnati, the Republicans won only 55% of the vote, but received 97% of the seats on the council. In the first PR election, the results were much more proportional, with the Republicans winning 33.3% of the seats based on 27.8% of the vote, and the rival Charter party winning 66.7% of the seats on 63.8% of the vote.

    Similarly, in the last pre-PR election in New York City, the Democrats won 95.3% of the seats on the Board of Alderman with only 66.5% of the vote. During the use of PR, the Democrats still had a majority of the seats, but it was a much smaller one that reflected more accurately their strength in the electorate. In 1941, proportional representation gave the Democrats 65.5% of the seats on 64% of the vote. Moreover, it also produced representation for the Republicans and three smaller parties in proportion to their voting strength. Similar results occurred in the other PR cities, demonstrating that this system greatly improved the accuracy of partisan representation.

    Proportional representation also encouraged fairer racial and ethnic representation. It produced the first Irish Catholics elected in Ashtabula, and the first Polish-Americans elected in Toledo. In Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Toledo, African-Americans had never been able to win city office until the coming of PR. Significantly, after these cities abandoned PR, African-Americans again found it almost impossible to get elected.”

    What scuppered PR movement was money and fear - doesn’t that sound familiar in todays America.

    “In Cleveland, well-financed opponents sponsored five repeal referendums in the first ten years of PR, with the final one succeeding. Similarly, PR opponents in Hamilton finally won their repeal effort after four failed referendums in 12 years.

    Many Americans in the early twentieth century were hostile to political and racial minorities--the very groups aided by PR... They warned whites that PR was helping to increase black power in the city and asked them whether they wanted a "Negro mayor." Their appeal to white anxieties succeeded, with whites supporting repeal by a two to one margin..

    In New York City, fear of communism proved the undoing of proportional representation. Although one or two Communists had served on the PR-elected city council since 1941, it was not until the coming of the Cold War that Democratic party leaders were able to effectively exploit this issue. As historian Robert Kolesar discovered, the Democrats made every effort in their repeal campaign to link PR with Soviet Communism, describing the single transferable vote as "the political importation from the Kremlin," "the first beachhead of Communist infiltration in this country," and "an un-American practice which has helped the cause of communism and does not belong in the American way of life."(3) This "red scare" campaign resulted in the repeal of PR by an overwhelming margin.”

    As the piece concludes -

    “While the repeal of proportional representation in these American cities is taken by opponents as evidence that this voting system failed, proponents argue that it is more accurate to conclude that this system was rejected because it worked too well. They note that PR worked well in throwing party bosses out of government--bosses who never relented in their attempts to regain power--and it worked well in promoting the representation of racial, ethnic, and ideological minorities that were previously shut out by the winner-take-all system”
     
  12. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Super Moderator

    To me America needs more than a ‘third party’ it needs other parties, a third party of the right, helps the Democrats and a third party of the left gives victory to the Republicans.

    But what if there were four parties or more covering any number of views from Christian democrats to right wing libertarians to greens to communists to...well you name it.

    And once you are out of the winner takes all yoke that is possible

    You’d just need to get all those that are feel unrepresented by the two major parties (from both left and right) to join together to push for the passing of proportional representation legislation.

    It wouldn't happen overnight and could be started at the local level first, town, city and district before going state and eventually federal.

    *

    BUT if this was tried I’d imagine the full strength of the political establishment would be thrown against it and wealth would try and drown it in gold.
     
  13. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Super Moderator

    A few musings on the US electoral system

    It was set up at a time when the US consisted of 13 states hugging the eastern seaboard of North America before the expansion of the American Empire into territories of its vast hinterland.

    *

    When it was set up the US was an agricultural society often consisting of smallholding subsistence farmers. According to the 1790 census, 95 percent of the population lived in the countryside. Agricultural practices have change farms have become bigger and can be worked with fewer people.

    The US has become increasingly an urban (rather than rural) society with the change over happening in the Midwestern and Western United States around the 1910’s and in the South after World War II.

    Many moved away from agricultural states to the cities of the eastern and western seaboards as part of this urbanisation process

    This got so out of hand in the Britain of the 1800’s that some rural boroughs, created in the Middle Ages and been important back then had by the 1800's less than 100 voters in them but could elect members of parliament but big cites with hundreds of thousands of people in them (but had been nothing in the Middle ages) could vote in none.

    Now while not been as bad when you have a situation where Wyoming has as many senatorial seats as California, despite the latter having more than 60 times the population that is beginning to seem out of kilter. I read somewhere that if trends continue as they are by 2040 only 30% of senator with represent over half of the American population

    *

    The people who created the electoral system were mainly from the propertied gentleman classes and in large part disliked, distrusted and even feared ‘the mob’ this was why at the beginning of the US only some 10% of the population actually had a vote. But for good measure they put in other checks to hinder ‘mob rule’ such as the Electoral College and the Supreme Court, which they though would always be in the hands of ‘good gentlemen’ like themselves.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019

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