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A Deeply Fractured US

Brad Sallows

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>In a two party electoral college the only way that you can win without the popular vote is that some of the states votes are worth more than others.

No.  You can win simply by having a more efficient vote distribution for the district electors.  Landslide (90%+ victories in single districts simply spike the popular vote count without adding any EC votes.
 

Brad Sallows

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>but there is a difference between individual riding first past the post and the electoral college.

Not much of one.  They elect electors, who choose the president; we elect MPs, who effectively choose the PM (and can change their choice if they wish).  Aside from the fact that the US has state-wide electors, both systems are rooted in the election of "electors" in districts/ridings.
 

Brad Sallows

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>I expect that Trump will win re-election.

That is looking a lot less likely.  The betting odds shown at RCP now favour Biden, and the RCP National Average has favoured Biden for a while.

This protest crisis could have been a golden opportunity for a savvy campaigner to admonish states and cities to re-establish control while pledging federal resources and making uplifting noises about bringing all Americans into the circle of privilege and protecting the essential liberties of all.  But Trump has put his foot in it as usual, and boosted it so strongly into an election issue that the usual secondary effect will apply: the spotlight has moved away from the people responsible for the problems and it will be hard to move it back; it is now all about Trump.

On 8 Nov 2016, Nate Silver's odds of Trump becoming president were 28.6%.  The US got the (approximately) 3-out-of-10 result.  No-one should be complacent even if Trump's odds are sliding down to 40%.  A strong economic recovery will pitch his odds up.  An absence of severe consequences for relaxing COVID-related mobility restrictions may pitch his odds up.  A "long hot summer" in which Democrats make the mistake of standing with the hooligans as well as the protestors, and Trump manages however ham-fistedly to look like the man for order, may pitch his odds up.  A weak performance by Joe Biden will pitch Trump's odds up.

Conversely, if Biden picks a compelling VP candidate, Trump's odds might slide catastrophically.  (There is an understandable, if odd, discussion going around that Biden could be used as some sort of breaching device for a person Democrats would really like to succeed Biden as president.)
 

Baz

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Brad Sallows said:
>In a two party electoral college the only way that you can win without the popular vote is that some of the states votes are worth more than others.

No.  You can win simply by having a more efficient vote distribution for the district electors.  Landslide (90%+ victories in single districts simply spike the popular vote count without adding any EC votes.

Agreed.  I over simplified.  But the fact is there are areas where a single vote is worth more than in other's inside the electoral college. California has three times the population per electoral vote than Wyoming. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Electoral_College#/media/File:US_2010_Census_State_Population_Per_Electoral_Vote.png

Brad Sallows said:
>but there is a difference between individual riding first past the post and the electoral college.

Not much of one.  They elect electors, who choose the president; we elect MPs, who effectively choose the PM (and can change their choice if they wish).  Aside from the fact that the US has state-wide electors, both systems are rooted in the election of "electors" in districts/ridings.

Except I referred directly to the electoral college.  It is in effect a two party system. If votes were distributed equally then it would statistically represent the entire population, but they aren't.

And yes, that is also an oversimplification as the riding size is not consistent in Canada (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_of_Canadian_federal_ridings).  The amin skew being over representation of the Atlantic and the North.

Edited to add: which comes back to the other question I asked, is it the states, the population or some of each being represented.  As the senate is two per state it seems the intent was for the senate to represent the state, and the house the people, but since we can't trust the people *too* much we'll have the electoral college as a somber second look.

Oh, and add into that that the deep reluctance of states to move away from winner takes all, which are more impacting for larger states...
 

jacksparrow

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It's fair to say that some Americans aren't under any illusions that Trump might win again ( a travesty on its own). However, there are a lot of people who are hoping he is a one and done. It should be interesting to see what role the 40 million plus unemployment figures, COVID-19 deaths and the handling of the protests plays come the election.

The only line at the end of the tunnel could be looking past 2024. He can't run for a 3rd term, and by then he will be older, more angrier and start to contemplate what life is going to be like the day he wakes up with no power to his name i.e. using executive orders.

Melania might see the light to and do what Ivana Trump did and walk away with a huge pay day.
 

Brad Sallows

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>But the fact is there are areas where a single vote is worth more than in other's inside the electoral college.

Yes.  And of course the elephant, which is the 2-per-state regardless of population.  But with all the attention on the popular vote, it's also worth noting that Clinton's popular vote margin was bigger in CA than her net margin for all of the US.  CA is heavily Democratic, but it doesn't mean the rest of the country is.

Add: Wyoming has 1 district and a population a little under 580,000; California has 53 districts and about 30.5 million people (roughly 575,000 people per district).  We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the skew is because of the 2-per-state.
 

Kat Stevens

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I just find it amusing that people in Canada were bleating repetitively about Trump not winning the popular vote.  Then our minority government gets elected and strangely the popular vote is a non issue.
 

Brad Sallows

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Same reason the provincial NDP in BC get cold feet about reform.  They can occasionally win a majority under FPTP; under anything else, they probably never will again.  They'd rather have a few chances to pursue their aims without have to compromise with a fractional party.

And, as repeated noted, the LPC probably still has the most efficient distribution of votes among federal parties.  A transferable vote would benefit them the same way "anybody-but-conservative" does, but a proportional scheme would not.
 

mariomike

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Target Up said:
I just find it amusing that people in Canada were bleating repetitively about Trump not winning the popular vote.  Then our minority government gets elected and strangely the popular vote is a non issue.

Should make for some interesting "bleating repetitively" in Canadian Politics if / when Canada Team Red or Canada Team Blue loses the popular vote in six out of the last seven consecutive federal elections.

Until then Canadian Politics will have to settle for the repetitive barrage of hilarious blackface / brownface memes.  :)


 

Baz

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Brad Sallows said:
And of course the elephant, which is the 2-per-state regardless of population.

Not for the electoral college.  It is the total of senators plus representatives.  So Wyoming is 2 + 1; California is 53 + 1.

Brad Sallows said:
CA is heavily Democratic, but it doesn't mean the rest of the country is.

Which is back to my question: does the electoral college represent the people or the state?
 

jacksparrow

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Mr Baz...here is one way to look at it and a potential flaw of the electoral college

A President would no longer be elected by the collective will of the fifty states. Small states like Delaware might be wholly ignored. Candidates would tend to campaign in urban areas, no longer seeking to “win statewide.” This might alienate millions in small towns and rural states such as Iowa, Wyoming, and Alaska

Baz said:
Which is back to my question: does the electoral college represent the people or the state?
 

mariomike

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tomahawk6 said:
The entire 82d is available to assist civil authorities.

https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN23B35N

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several hundred active-duty troops from the 82nd Airborne Division who were sent to the Washington D.C. area to potentially respond to civil unrest are expected to start heading back to their home base in North Carolina, a U.S. official said on Thursday.



 

Jarnhamar

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Looters don't appear to like robbing stores where the store owners have guns.

https://warisboring.com/as-the-country-burns-americans-are-embracing-their-inner-roof-koreans/
 

Brad Sallows

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>It is the total of senators plus representatives.

Yes, by 2-per-state I meant because of senators.  A nit: CA is 53+2.

>does the electoral college represent the people or the state?

Both, designed (as noted above) to secure the consent of small states to enter into a federation of equals.
 

Baz

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jacksparrow said:
Mr Baz...here is one way to look at it and a potential flaw of the electoral college

A President would no longer be elected by the collective will of the fifty states. Small states like Delaware might be wholly ignored. Candidates would tend to campaign in urban areas, no longer seeking to “win statewide.” This might alienate millions in small towns and rural states such as Iowa, Wyoming, and Alaska

OK... but could the argument be made that those in the inner cities are already alienated?
 

jacksparrow

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Hmmmm....that's will be one hell of an argument with no traction.


Baz said:
OK... but could the argument be made that those in the inner cities are already alienated?
 

Kilted

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Brad Sallows said:
>It is the total of senators plus representatives.

Yes, by 2-per-state I meant because of senators.  A nit: CA is 53+2.

>does the electoral college represent the people or the state?

Both, designed (as noted above) to secure the consent of small states to enter into a federation of equals.

Everytime I try and wrap my head around their political system I feel very thankful for our relatively simple Westminster system. Trump currently is President without holding the confidence of the house. In our system he would have lost his job after the last bi-election.
 

Baz

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Brad Sallows said:
Yes, by 2-per-state I meant because of senators.  A nit: CA is 53+2.

Both, designed (as noted above) to secure the consent of small states to enter into a federation of equals.

I checked my facts but failed to ensure they we transcribed correctly... I'll never be a staff officer again :)

Absolutely,  but now that the federation has become deeply polarized, fed by a media who panders to their chosen audience for profit (the MSM includes Fox et al) and manipulated by a master tactician (but arguably self serving) is it still working.

Do the US and Canada need to have federal institutions that are somehow forced by the process to be representative of the nation?

Are systems that were set up 1 or 2 hundred years ago still sufficient for our world?
 

Baz

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jacksparrow said:
Hmmmm....that's will be one hell of an argument with no traction.

I lived in Colorado.  The tension between inner city Denver and the rest of the state was evident.  It wasn't thr inner city that flocked up the I-70 every weekend.  The fight over the propositions re highways vs mass transit were obvious.  The inner city certainly felt alienated.
 

jacksparrow

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I also lived there for 2yrs as a Civilian.

Baz said:
I lived in Colorado.  The tension between inner city Denver and the rest of the state was evident.  It wasn't thr inner city that flocked up the I-70 every weekend.  The fight over the propositions re highways vs mass transit were obvious.  The inner city certainly felt alienated.
 
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