Breaking Up the United States

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Liri
Healthy non-floating pooper reporting for doodie.
Posts: 851
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:11 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Liri » Sat May 06, 2017 1:08 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I'm not sure how that's a useful analogy. For starters, as I already mentioned, only 15% of the US population lives in rural areas, not 48%.

Again - what's so special about rural communities? Why not give more voting power to the poor? To racial and ethnic minorities? To women? To LGBTQ people? To people whose name start with a C? What's so unique about rural areas?

They're the Real America, obviously. Woe to them that deny this.

The losing with the EC breaks both ways, too - rural voters in states with big liberal metro areas and voters smaller liberal metro areas in large, mostly rural states are both underrepresented. The status quo in "safe states" is largely dependent on the minority party going into each election knowing it's a lost cause. The EC discourages voting in those situations.
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

morriswalters
Posts: 6885
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 06, 2017 2:11 pm UTC

What's so unique about rural areas?
Even with population concentrated in large urban areas most states are overwhelmingly rural. In the State I know best the urban population is mostly spread over perhaps 10 counties out of 120. Most of the State is sparsely populated. And this is true throughout the country. That gives the rural areas power that is greater than their populations might seem to indicate.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Sat May 06, 2017 3:31 pm UTC

Other than "there are lots of rural areas" I still don't get why people in rural areas should have more of a say in who gets voted for office. Senate is a built-it mechanism to provide that extra power, as well.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Sat May 06, 2017 3:38 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I'm not sure how that's a useful analogy. For starters, as I already mentioned, only 15% of the US population lives in rural areas, not 48%.
What percentage of the states are mostly rural? What percentage of the population is Democrat? What percentage of the population is self-employed?

If an voting method doesn't work for spherical cows, it's fundamentally broken.

Majority rule sounds good on paper, but if it's the same majority every time, it becomes a tyranny. That is what's wrong with a simple "one man one vote" system. Fixing it though depends on what shape the outcome ought to be, irrespective of what side of it you're on. Thus my question.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Liri
Healthy non-floating pooper reporting for doodie.
Posts: 851
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:11 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Liri » Sat May 06, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Majority rule sounds good on paper, but if it's the same majority every time, it becomes a tyranny. That is what's wrong with a simple "one man one vote" system.

That might be true if there was only a single issue voters care about, but that is very far from the case.

And like Zohar said, the Senate already provides a huge amount of sway to small, rural states.
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Sat May 06, 2017 5:05 pm UTC

Liri wrote:That might be true if there was only a single issue voters care about, but that is very far from the case.
But often the multiple issues voters care about align with each other. Cows aren't spherical, true, but they are a good starting point.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Sat May 06, 2017 8:08 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Majority rule sounds good on paper, but if it's the same majority every time, it becomes a tyranny.

So what, every other democracy on earth is a tyrannical regime? I'm still not clear what your argument here is, physics analogies aside. Why is it that that group should get more power, and not others?
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Sat May 06, 2017 8:46 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Why is it that that group should get more power, and not others?
It's not that that group should get more power, it's just that that group may end up with no power; completely disenfranchised. Is that what we want?

The answer might be "yes". I don't know. Thus the idealized illustration. And it's not like this doesn't come up - it's the whole point of Gerrymandering. And disenfranchised groups are all around; it doesn't take a 52/48 split to squash an entire group of people. See blacks, gays, Muslims, women, and many others. They remained squashed because it's not the case that 48% isn't enough 48% of the time. It's not enough 100% of the time.

My question still stands: Which outcome best reflects the "will of the people"? If you have no answer to the idealized question, then your answer by default is might makes right. And that's not right.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

dg61
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby dg61 » Sun May 07, 2017 2:40 am UTC

How do people feel about either a non-majority but non-current EC system? Say the various systems where state's electors are divvied up proprortionately, or going for IRV?

There's also the issue of balance. If you push too far in one direction, you get straight majoritarianism with no veto or checks or complicating factors and wind up with a tyranny of the majority. If you go too far the other way, you wind up with small and possibly unrepresentative minorities able to control policy. If we had an elected dictator with straight popular vote or a straight parliamentary system without the checks the UK has devised we would veer too far in the first direction, if we say required that all legislation pass with a 3/4th majority(or somehow wound up with a sort of Liberum Veto) in both houses in an identical fashion we would wind up with possibly narrow minorities finding it possible to either block anything and everything or generally hold everyone else hostage.

EDIT: Rereading the earlier arguments, I think people were misconstruing them a bit. The EC isn't being cited as the only reason for two-party dominance, but as an aggravating factor in combining with FPTP to make non-top-two parties even more wasted votes, or at least feel like it. At a bare minimum, you might wind up with parties needing to appeal more to people who might otherwise vote third party. I don't think this argument is terribly strong(it works better for say a situation where you're deciding between a single-district and a PR legislature) but i can see it. A bigger factor is probably the combination of a strong executive and FPTP.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Sun May 07, 2017 3:51 am UTC

It's premature to choose between systems if we don't know how to answer the idealized case. You have to first decide what kind of outcome best represents the will of the people, and only then does it make sense to examine the voting systems that get you there. If you don't say where you're going, arguments about which route to take are disingenuous.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

the apprentice
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:26 pm UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby the apprentice » Sun May 07, 2017 10:18 am UTC

What of the idea of the new mega cities that are in the pipeline, and already mentioned by the swamp master himself.

The UN's own website pushing their Agenda 21 and 2030 models being unleashed as we speak.

http://247wallst.com/special-report/201 ... ga-cities/

Concentration of mixed nationalities into larger city states is hardly East versus West versus South versus North, unless you go down the mega city hunting Olympicso.

http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/ ... ar-future/

The reflection of Huxley's talks to the campus all those years ago is slowly coming true, the will and resolve of the people is slowly being undermined and it seems they can no longer think for themselves is coming true by the day.

What program did he know about way back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WaUkZXKA30

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Sun May 07, 2017 1:27 pm UTC

ucim wrote:It's not that that group should get more power, it's just that that group may end up with no power; completely disenfranchised. Is that what we want?
I see zero proof that this would actually happen. As mentioned, multiple times - people in rural areas have more than enough voting power to overturn election results. Any candidate that ignores them completely stands to lose.

My question still stands: Which outcome best reflects the "will of the people"? If you have no answer to the idealized question, then your answer by default is might makes right. And that's not right.

WTF? If I don't have the perfect solution then I'm supporting tyranny? That's a pretty useless view of discussions. What's your solution, if you don't support "might makes right"?
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Sun May 07, 2017 3:27 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I see zero proof that this would actually happen.
In my personal experience (with other groups, committees, clubs, etc.), this is not uncommon. And let's get off the urban/rural thing - the issue is more general.

Zohar wrote:What's your solution, if you don't support "might makes right"?
It's premature to talk about solutions if we don't agree on the problem. Do you not see minorities being repressed? Do you see this and not think it's a problem? Because if you don't think that's a problem, then there's no need for a solution.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Sun May 07, 2017 6:03 pm UTC

Right now I'm seeing a small group that doesn't suffer oppression and that substantially supports republicans get a major increase in power compared to minorities that do suffer oppression, are generally aligned with democrats, and are decreased in power. So yes, of course it's an issue. But switching a popular national vote would be a step in the right direction.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Sun May 07, 2017 11:33 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:But switching a popular national vote would be a step in the right direction.
Would it be a step in the right direction if you switched "Republicans" for "Democrats", and the numbers were switched to complement? You're looking for solutions before examining the problem, and thus your solution is just a partisan thing, not a solution to an underlying problem.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

morriswalters
Posts: 6885
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 08, 2017 3:01 am UTC

Most states elect everyone by popular vote and they are increasingly Republican. My state has a Donald Trump clone as Governor, supported by both houses which are also Republican. The first time that has occurred since 1922(control of the legislature that is). They made a power grab in an attempt to punish the urban area I live in for having the temerity to vote Democrat.

the apprentice
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:26 pm UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby the apprentice » Mon May 08, 2017 10:38 am UTC

ucim wrote:
Zohar wrote:But switching a popular national vote would be a step in the right direction.
Would it be a step in the right direction if you switched "Republicans" for "Democrats", and the numbers were switched to complement? You're looking for solutions before examining the problem, and thus your solution is just a partisan thing, not a solution to an underlying problem.

Jose


No it would not make any difference because both sides are governed by the deep state who use their term in plain sight aloft the White House, e pluribus unum.

The common narrative is Problem, Reaction, Solution.

Chen
Posts: 5214
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Chen » Mon May 08, 2017 12:02 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Right now I'm seeing a small group that doesn't suffer oppression and that substantially supports republicans get a major increase in power compared to minorities that do suffer oppression, are generally aligned with democrats, and are decreased in power. So yes, of course it's an issue. But switching a popular national vote would be a step in the right direction.


Maybe not oppression, but political apathy. Consider one of the big reasons for this latest Trump win (and electoral college/popular vote mismatch) is due to these rural areas not feeling supported and them buying into Trump's lies about bringing jobs and the like back.

Now, the argument that the senate and house already provide disproportionate benefits to smaller states I can buy. Realistically most other democratic countries tend to have their heads of state determined by the legislature rather than directly electing them (France being the only other one I can think of that similar to the US). As such I'm more used to having regional representatives who then determine the head of state. This is already removed from a popular vote contest (as I had mentioned above with Canada's example) so I'm not seeing the immediate benefit to switching to a popular vote.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Mon May 08, 2017 12:39 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Zohar wrote:But switching a popular national vote would be a step in the right direction.
Would it be a step in the right direction if you switched "Republicans" for "Democrats", and the numbers were switched to complement? You're looking for solutions before examining the problem, and thus your solution is just a partisan thing, not a solution to an underlying problem.

I don't know what I would do in this hypothetical world where voting is rigged in the democrats' favor, that's not the world we live in. Again - this is an actual issue that's happening now and has been going on for decades. If you have a better solution - let's hear it. Voting systems can be adjusted, we don't have to find a perfect solution right now, but we're better off improving matters.

Chen wrote:Maybe not oppression, but political apathy. Consider one of the big reasons for this latest Trump win (and electoral college/popular vote mismatch) is due to these rural areas not feeling supported and them buying into Trump's lies about bringing jobs and the like back.

Further proof of the increased power these citizens have over those in urban areas.

Realistically most other democratic countries tend to have their heads of state determined by the legislature rather than directly electing them
...
This is already removed from a popular vote contest (as I had mentioned above with Canada's example) so I'm not seeing the immediate benefit to switching to a popular vote.

Except in the vast majority of these cases, the party who wins the majority of votes gets to choose the leader of the executive branch. It is a popular vote, but one that avoids the issue of opposing legislative and executive branches. Israel is an unusual case since we have so many different parties (about ten in the legislative house right now), but even there, people are very conscious that their vote will lead directly to whoever's prime minister.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

Chen
Posts: 5214
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Chen » Mon May 08, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Except in the vast majority of these cases, the party who wins the majority of votes gets to choose the leader of the executive branch. It is a popular vote, but one that avoids the issue of opposing legislative and executive branches. Israel is an unusual case since we have so many different parties (about ten in the legislative house right now), but even there, people are very conscious that their vote will lead directly to whoever's prime minister.


I already gave the example of Canada's ruling party (and Prime minister) getting 40% of the popular vote yet having a majority in parliament. This is not abnormal in parliamentary systems. I'm not sure how getting the majority of seats in parliament without winning the popular vote is any different than becoming president without winning the popular vote. And in both cases the reason is regional representation.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Mon May 08, 2017 1:22 pm UTC

I'm not sure I understand your point. There's an example of a a country chosen by the legislative branch that also has this issue? I didn't say we need to copy Canada's system - I honestly don't know enough about it to say.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
HES
Posts: 4761
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 7:13 pm UTC
Location: England

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby HES » Mon May 08, 2017 1:30 pm UTC

There's a difference between winning the popular vote, and getting an absolute majority. In a multi-party system, that 40% is still the largest share.
He/Him/His Image

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Mon May 08, 2017 2:00 pm UTC

True, sorry about my misuse of language, I realized that after I posted the response. I was trying to say the party with the largest share of votes should get to be the ruling one.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
Ranbot
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:39 pm UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Ranbot » Mon May 08, 2017 3:31 pm UTC

There's a relatively easy way to reform the EC to make it more democratic and retain some protection for rural voters, completely within the bounds of the US constitution. It's called the "Congressional District Method" which is currently used by Maine and Nebraska. EC votes derived from seats in the House of Representatives are awarded based on the popular vote in the district represented by each seat; and EC votes derived from Senate seats are awarded based on whoever wins the state popular vote. Rural states still get the benefit [over-representation] of their extra 2 EC votes to the winner. Minority populations within a state can still have an impact on the presidential EC vote, which can swing in favor of rural or urban areas depending on the state. States can make this change independently of Washington as Maine and Nebraska did in 1972 and 1996, respectively. The really tricky part is getting states with large numbers of EC votes to split them and the political power that comes with those EC votes.
Last edited by Ranbot on Mon May 08, 2017 3:36 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Mon May 08, 2017 3:46 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
ucim wrote:
Zohar wrote:But switching a popular national vote would be a step in the right direction.
Would it be a step in the right direction if you switched "Republicans" for "Democrats", and the numbers were switched to complement? You're looking for solutions before examining the problem, and thus your solution is just a partisan thing, not a solution to an underlying problem.

I don't know what I would do in this hypothetical world where voting is rigged in the democrats' favor, that's not the world we live in. Again - this is an actual issue that's happening now and has been going on for decades. If you have a better solution - let's hear it. Voting systems can be adjusted, we don't have to find a perfect solution right now, but we're better off improving matters.


You're looking at the wrong "problem". What you want is a partisan solution to "The party I disagree with is in power." The obvious answer is to rig elections in favor of democrats. The way to push this through is to note that, in this case the Democrats won the popular vote but not the electoral college. But this is as flawed a reasoning as upending the world series, because the team with the most home runs didn't win the title. It's flawed in the sense that you justify the logic based on the (desired) result, and not the result based on the logic.

I'm trying to separate the "will of the people" from the "will of this person".

Back to the spherical cow:

ucim wrote:The population is split 52% green, 48% yellow. There are five major issues to be decided each year, and on each of them greens want (100%) high, and yellows want (100%) low. Without considering voting systems, gerrymandering, electoral colleges, and any other methods of allocating voting power, what outcome would best match the overall will of the populace?

a: 100% of the time, on every issue, high wins.
b: 52% of the time, on every issue, high wins.
c: 100% of the time, on 52% of the issues, high wins.
If you try to answer the question based on whether you prefer yellow or green, you're answering the wrong question, and that's what happens if you don't answer the question, preferring instead to answer "real" situations, where you know whether green or yellow is better.

A pure one-man-one-vote system yields result (a). It guarantees that women never get the vote, that gays remain oppressed, and that blacks know their place. It's only noise in the system that allowed these things to happen; that is, changing the minds of those in power and convincing them to voluntarily yield their power to others by voting against "their own best interests" in the name of "fairness".

I would argue that (b) or (c) better represents the "will of the people". How to achieve this however is irrelevant if we don't agree that this should be achieved in the first place, which is why I'm posing the question in the idealized sense.

So... what do you-all think best represents the will of the people in the above ideal situation?

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Mon May 08, 2017 4:16 pm UTC

ucim wrote:You're looking at the wrong "problem". What you want is a partisan solution to "The party I disagree with is in power."

You seem to be assigning intent that I'm not sure I've expressed. Democrats have made use of gerrymandering as well, and I don't approve of that, either. Moreover, this is not an issue that's partisan - yes, democrats are losing because of this, but it's still a skewed system that randomly favors a specific group of people without justification, a group of people are already over represented.

ucim wrote:A pure one-man-one-vote system yields result (a). It guarantees that women never get the vote, that gays remain oppressed, and that blacks know their place. It's only noise in the system that allowed these things to happen; that is, changing the minds of those in power and convincing them to voluntarily yield their power to others by voting against "their own best interests" in the name of "fairness".

First, you seem to assume people only cater to those in their own demographic group. If that were the case, women would have never gotten a vote - after all there were no women voting for them! Same is true for people of color. So the idea that if I win I'll never take care of anyone else is flawed. Republicans believe this too - they voted for an obnoxiously rich "city" man because they believe he will support poor rural farmers.
Second, that's not how elections work. Referendums work that way, sure. But voters vote on people, and those people end up making decisions. And due to the low number of candidates (i.e. not 300 million of them), no one candidate will 100% agree with what I think. And again - Republicans are pro this as well - many of them chose Trump because they figured he'll nominate someone they like to the supreme court, they didn't particularly care who.
Third, you're conveniently trying to suggest a presidential election is the same as any other vote or decision done by government - it's not. It's not "52% of the time, high wins". In this case we had the opposite, "The 52% of people lose". And this has happened three times in history already, always supporting one side and not the other.
But fourth, I will contest your question is irrelevant - there are checks and balances in government, and there is no direct democracy. People aren't choosing the president over and over again with each decision the government makes. They choose once, and whoever's elected has power in the next four years, and they can ignore whatever they said on the campaign trail or not. The situation you describe is just not what we're faced with here, not even close, no matter how spherical you make your cow.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

Chen
Posts: 5214
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Chen » Mon May 08, 2017 4:19 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:True, sorry about my misuse of language, I realized that after I posted the response. I was trying to say the party with the largest share of votes should get to be the ruling one.


Ah that makes it more clear, I took majority the other way in your post.

Now, that said, I'm not sure how much of a difference the distinction makes. If the largest share of votes gets to run things, you can still run into situations where the majority (50%+1) of the people in the country want one thing but the legislation goes the other way. This is also present often in parliamentary systems where the liberal or conservative sides split their votes and the opposing party ends up with a majority.

Overall I'm trying to determine why a national popular vote would be a better thing here. The examples I had given for the parliamentary systems was more to show that there are plenty of systems out there that are working "reasonably" that don't involve using a national popular vote for their head of state. In fact there seem to be very few, like France, that do actually have a national popular vote. France is a bit odd too since you have both a prime minister and a president.

I mean, before going to a national popular vote, why not let the Senate and House vote in the president? This still gives low population states an advantage due to the minimum number of representatives rule, but it would run less risk of disenfranchising low population states/areas that could come from a national popular vote.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7451
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Zohar » Mon May 08, 2017 4:31 pm UTC

I wouldn't mind doing what you suggest, though we have a similar issue in congress as well due to gerrymandering. Thinking out loud here, I would prefer to have a system where there are no districts for the national congress (I think it still makes sense to have districts for the state legislative bodies), and instead people just vote for a specific party. You could say each party needs to present a list of, say, 50 possible congresspeople, and then they get to congress depending on what % their party got.

So if a state has 10 congresspeople and democrats got 50% of the vote, they would get the first five people in their list in congress.

Obviously you lose a personal level of interaction with elected officials, but on the other hand you eliminate gerrymandering, and it would be much easier for a third-party candidate to get elected.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

arbiteroftruth
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:44 am UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby arbiteroftruth » Mon May 08, 2017 5:02 pm UTC

ucim wrote:The population is split 52% green, 48% yellow. There are five major issues to be decided each year, and on each of them greens want (100%) high, and yellows want (100%) low. Without considering voting systems, gerrymandering, electoral colleges, and any other methods of allocating voting power, what outcome would best match the overall will of the populace?

a: 100% of the time, on every issue, high wins.
b: 52% of the time, on every issue, high wins.
c: 100% of the time, on 52% of the issues, high wins.


d: Not having a supermajority, there is no definitive will of the people, and the government in question has no business legislating anything whatsoever on any of these 5 issues, and leaves it up to the next layer down. If we're talking about the federal government, leave it up to the states. If they still don't have a supermajority, the states leave it up to the counties. If they still don't have a supermajority, leave it up to the cities. Then leave it up to individual neighborhoods, and finally leave it up to individuals, who by definition have a 100% majority on any given issue.

Chen
Posts: 5214
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Chen » Mon May 08, 2017 5:21 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I wouldn't mind doing what you suggest, though we have a similar issue in congress as well due to gerrymandering. Thinking out loud here, I would prefer to have a system where there are no districts for the national congress (I think it still makes sense to have districts for the state legislative bodies), and instead people just vote for a specific party. You could say each party needs to present a list of, say, 50 possible congresspeople, and then they get to congress depending on what % their party got.

So if a state has 10 congresspeople and democrats got 50% of the vote, they would get the first five people in their list in congress.

Obviously you lose a personal level of interaction with elected officials, but on the other hand you eliminate gerrymandering, and it would be much easier for a third-party candidate to get elected.


Yeah I didn't mention gerrymandering since it's a separate issue that has separate solutions. Third party districting boards being a fairly simple one. That said, I do like the idea you presented. Unfortunately I doubt it'll ever happen. Trying to get people to be the last half of the list, give or take, would be extremely difficult. It'd also be confusing as hell to voters to try and determine the best grouping of people, especially for those who don't swing one way or another too strongly. Where do I stop putting my effort into determining if the candidates are reasonable or not? For some states it wouldn't be an issue (say the ones with a single house seat), but California for example, you're going to have 52 names per party on the lists. That would be daunting as fuck to try to get informed about.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 5436
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Thesh » Mon May 08, 2017 5:45 pm UTC

There are two big problems in both American and parliamentary systems, and until you address them how you vote doesn't matter much:

1) They are designed to be ran by a single ruling party - this is inherently undemocratic since views cannot expected to be uniform across any subset of the representatives. For this reason, no representative should be granted more power than any other representative if each representative is expected to represent an equal portion of the population.
2) It usually takes a lot of wealth and connections to be able to get enough support to win an election, meaning your politicians are less representative of the population

The more you have the election at the national level and the fewer politicians you have, the more problems you cause with #2, and the less representative your politicians are of the population, the more #1 is a problem as minorities can be granted even more disproportionate power. Elections at a local level are a lot easier to win if you have less money, especially with multi-winner elections with many seats. This leads to a much more representative legislature to begin with.

Other than making things more democratic and proportionally representative, and limiting the power of executive roles that must be single seat, I see no real argument for giving any arbitrary group of indivudals more power.
Honesty replaced by greed, they gave us the reason to fight and bleed
They try to torch our faith and hope, spit at our presence and detest our goals

Chen
Posts: 5214
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Chen » Mon May 08, 2017 6:32 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:There are two big problems in both American and parliamentary systems, and until you address them how you vote doesn't matter much:

1) They are designed to be ran by a single ruling party - this is inherently undemocratic since views cannot expected to be uniform across any subset of the representatives. For this reason, no representative should be granted more power than any other representative if each representative is expected to represent an equal portion of the population.
2) It usually takes a lot of wealth and connections to be able to get enough support to win an election, meaning your politicians are less representative of the population

The more you have the election at the national level and the fewer politicians you have, the more problems you cause with #2, and the less representative your politicians are of the population, the more #1 is a problem as minorities can be granted even more disproportionate power. Elections at a local level are a lot easier to win if you have less money, especially with multi-winner elections with many seats. This leads to a much more representative legislature to begin with.


I'm having real trouble parsing that last paragraph of yours. Could you try that again? I get the first part where the higher the level the election the more money plays a role. But I'm not getting what you're saying about item 1. I'm also not sure how #1 applies. I mean for the head of state's position I get it, those are by definition only going to be a single person. The rest of parliament or Congress though isn't inherently built to be run by one party. Granted the whole two party system in the US makes it come out that the majority party tends to get its way, but even then there are congresspeople who will defect one side or another. In parliamentary systems, minority governments are quite common and require coalitions to pass laws.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 5436
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Thesh » Mon May 08, 2017 7:13 pm UTC

I'm having real trouble parsing that last paragraph of yours. Could you try that again?


With regards to #1, what I mean is that there are two things to look at: the relative power of the individual representatives, and the proportionality of the representatives as a whole. Since the representatives in the majority party get disproportionate power (i.e. it's much more difficult for an individual in the minority party to influence legislation), and since the majority party might represent a minority of the public, the two problems compound to further allow the minority to go against the will of the majority.

The rest of parliament or Congress though isn't inherently built to be run by one party.


See Belgium - it failed to function because it was designed to expect a ruling party, and without a majority they needed a coalition which failed to form. All of the structure in the US, from positions like Speaker of the House, committee chairs, etc. is designed to be chosen by the single ruling party. In fact, the unity of the government was even cited here as a reason for having a parliamentary system - because it gives even more power to a ruling party.

Direct democracy is the most democratic system possible. The more structure you have, the more you necessarily give disproportionate power to some groups or individuals. Ideally, we would have proportionally elected representatives, and then a legislature where there are no official positions of power, just procedures for introducing legislation through petitions and the like.
Honesty replaced by greed, they gave us the reason to fight and bleed
They try to torch our faith and hope, spit at our presence and detest our goals

jello34543
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:08 pm UTC
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby jello34543 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:16 pm UTC

ucim wrote:To illustrate, consider a spherical cow.

The population is split 52% green, 48% yellow. There are five major issues to be decided each year, and on each of them greens want (100%) high, and yellows want (100%) low. Without considering voting systems, gerrymandering, electoral colleges, and any other methods of allocating voting power, what outcome would best match the overall will of the populace?

a: 100% of the time, on every issue, high wins.
b: 52% of the time, on every issue, high wins.
c: 100% of the time, on 52% of the issues, high wins.

Jose


Your example is subtly, but deeply flawed. I want a system where red, orange, blue, purple, brown, white, and black are also viable options. (the key here being viable) The two party system IS the problem.

I do not 100% agree with the Democratic party. I do not 100% disagree with the Democratic party.
I do not 100% agree with the Republican party. I do not 100% disagree with the Republican party.

Right now, the parties are controlled by the partisans. Primaries ensure that moderate politicians don't make it to the general election because moderates are less likely to vote in primaries, so the winning candidate primarily has to please extremists in the party. There has been great talk since 2010 (maybe earlier, but that's when I first remember hearing much about it) about "primarying" a politician who is insufficiently pure according to the most extreme partisans. The majority in the middle are the ones who are unrepresented.

If I vote for a third party, I know they won't win, and I increase the chances that the candidate that I dislike more will win. I'm tired of voting for the lesser evil. This past presidential election was an especially good example of how terrible the two party system is. Both major parties nominated deeply flawed candidates, but there was no reasonable alternative. Vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein? Congratulations, you just wasted your vote and increased the chances of the greater evil winning.

My method: Some variety of multiple winner system for the House (so that Democrats in Wyoming and Republicans in Vermont have someone to represent their interests, and some variety of Condorcet method for the senate and presidency. I'd also stop using state boundaries when creating house and senate districts.

No, I have no illusions of my plans surviving contact with the enemy (the entrenched political parties/establishment). Still, it's nice to dream sometimes.

ObsessoMom
Nespresso Bomb
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue May 09, 2017 12:21 am UTC

On the subject of the Electoral College, are people familiar with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact? It has been creeping along for several years now, and is more than half of the way to having enough participating states to take effect. It's supported by the League of Women Voters and several other organizations. Worth reading up on if you haven't already.

The compact has already been passed by these legislatures:

Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Vermont, California, Rhode Island, New York

Action is pending in the current legislative session (as of March 2017) by these:

Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5485
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby ucim » Tue May 09, 2017 12:43 am UTC

arbiteroftruth wrote:d: Not having a supermajority, there is no definitive will of the people, and the government in question has no business legislating anything whatsoever...
That's a good way to never get anything done. Which arguably might be better than destroying the country, but that's not the choice we usually face. (Besides, what's a "supermajority"? The term has no definition; it means whatever any group using it says it means.)

jello34543 wrote:Your example is subtly, but deeply flawed.
It's not an example, it's an idealized illustration meant to elicit thought on what it means to be the "will of the people", which is what voting systems are supposed to reflect. I contend that the system that gives the right answer for any given question isn't the system that gives the right answer for an era of questions. The will of the majority is not the same as the will of the people.

Consider a related question: There are two groups: Yellow and green. Yellow has a 48% share, green has 52%. It's strict one man one vote, so green always wins. You are injected into this society as either yellow or green, with probability 48:52. So, there's a slightly less than 50% chance that you will always be on the losing end, and a slightly greater than 50% chance you'll always end up on top.

Before rolling the die, you can change the rules to this (one and only) alternative. You can set it up so that, for each issue that comes up, a vote is taken, and then a die is cast with the probabilities equal to the vote outcome. The result of the die being cast becomes the decision. In that system, yellow will most likely prevail 48% of the time, which is a ton better than the probably 0% yellow would have gotten.

Do you change the rules to this before entering the society?

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1686
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in the mirror.

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby eran_rathan » Tue May 09, 2017 2:58 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:On the subject of the Electoral College, are people familiar with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact? It has been creeping along for several years now, and is more than half of the way to having enough participating states to take effect. It's supported by the League of Women Voters and several other organizations. Worth reading up on if you haven't already.

The compact has already been passed by these legislatures:

Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Vermont, California, Rhode Island, New York

Action is pending in the current legislative session (as of March 2017) by these:

Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas



I hate this idea, for the very reason Jose is illustrating. Its such a monumentally terrible idea, it is "winner take all" amplified to the Nth degree. The only people it helps are those who are already entrenched in power.
"Trying to build a proper foundation for knowledge is blippery."
"Squirrels are crazy enough to be test pilots."
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

arbiteroftruth
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:44 am UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby arbiteroftruth » Tue May 09, 2017 3:07 am UTC

ucim wrote:
arbiteroftruth wrote:d: Not having a supermajority, there is no definitive will of the people, and the government in question has no business legislating anything whatsoever...
That's a good way to never get anything done. Which arguably might be better than destroying the country, but that's not the choice we usually face. (Besides, what's a "supermajority"? The term has no definition; it means whatever any group using it says it means.)


Fair enough. In the spirit of spherical cows then: on all five issues, 'high' is the official policy, but is enforced only 4% of the time (the difference in support between the two positions), and is left up to the states the remaining 96% of the time.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 5436
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby Thesh » Tue May 09, 2017 4:29 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:I hate this idea, for the very reason Jose is illustrating. Its such a monumentally terrible idea, it is "winner take all" amplified to the Nth degree. The only people it helps are those who are already entrenched in power.

The President is a winner-take-all position, so that's completely unavoidable. All you can do is change the relative power of the voters, in which popular vote should be the default unless you can find a very good reason not to give every voter equal power.

I also don't see how it helps the people in power, it would have resulted in a completely different President!
Honesty replaced by greed, they gave us the reason to fight and bleed
They try to torch our faith and hope, spit at our presence and detest our goals

morriswalters
Posts: 6885
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Breaking Up the United States

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 09, 2017 9:59 am UTC

How many elections since the founding have resulted in outcomes where the popular vote wasn't the net result in any case? And the Voting Rights Act of 1965 suggests that power has never been equal when the majority doesn't want it to be.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests