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US 50 states redrawn as equal population (2012) (fakeisthenewreal.org)
60 points by cryptozeus 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 114 comments





I feel like the bigger problem than the electoral college is the senate. I think it’s pretty crazy California and Texas have the same number of senate votes as Rhode Island. It made sense at the time and we do have a house to nominally balance that out. But nowadays it just makes some people’s votes count for a lot more than others.

Why is it crazy? Do you know the UN? Is it weird that countries like Benin or Qatar or Moldova have same vote in the UN general assembly as China or India or USA?

Why choose the UN whose story is one of inefficacy and being propped up by US power and money? The UN’s relevance has faded and nobody is optimistic for its resurgence. From that context we speak of sensible organizational practices?

The fact is the idea that somebody born somewhere else has way more power has a smell, and people are talking about that smell now and whether they like it.


> UN whose story is one of inefficacy and being propped up by US power and money

And yet, it exists and nobody is in a rush to disband it. Despite the fact that it's propped by US money but San Marino (population 33,344) has the same number of votes in UN GA as US.

> The fact is the idea that somebody born somewhere else has way more power has a smell

The only way all people can have exactly the same power if they all have no power at all. Otherwise there would always be somebody richer, smarter, more charismatic, more eloquent, born in better family with better education, etc. etc. which will give them more power. Absolute equality is possible only as equality in being destitute and powerless.

Other aspect of it - I appreciate that somebody living in LA wants to have power over somebody living in rural Appalachia, because there's a lot of people in LA so obviously they should be ruling the whole country. But that's not how US as a country works, and I don't see why people in rural Appalachia would agree to such arrangement. So you have to either conquer them by force (and risk that they would conquer you by force instead) or come to a mutually agreeable arrangement, even if it deprives the LA people of their birthright powers of ruling Appalachia. That's the way it works.


Yet in the EU parliament each country gets representatives proportionate to their size and the positions in the EU commission are filled basically how the larger countries decide? So your analogue doesn't really hold and frankly, just because UN (which gives their largest members veto-power), has one country one vote system, it's quite a stretch to extrapolate that to mean it would be a good fit for national governments too.

Or how would you feel if some rural area in your home country got the same amount of votes than the whole capital? Would make perfect sense, right? But all in all, they are so different organizations serving very different purposes that comparing them isn't even that useful.


The EU is more complex than that, there's the European Council, which is not proportional to population (made up of the heads of state, like the original US Senate). The Council is involved in foreign affairs, particularly trade agreements.

This is why Belgium had a veto over the Canada/EU trade agreement. In particular, it was Wallonia's PM who held the veto because Belgium devolved that power.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/24/eu-trade-deal-...


> So your analogue doesn't really hold

I think you miss the idea of how analogies work. If I say "the Moon is affected by Earth gravity just like an apple that falls down is" then if you way "but if I put an apple underwater then it'd flow up instead!" that doesn't mean my analogy didn't work. That means you are talking about different things that are outside of what analogy is about.

The fact that EU didn't choose equal representation for member countries and as the result minor countries are powerless is exactly why minor states in the US do not want such arrangement. Just as with an example above about the apple, your counter-example does not disprove existence of gravity - or flaws in proportional representation between sovereign states - it in fact supports it, you just fail to see how.

> Or how would you feel if some rural area in your home country got the same amount of votes than the whole capital?

If that's the arrangement that is the condition of the union between the rural area and the capital - perfectly normal. I know Bill Gates has much more shares of Microsoft than I do and I don't feel bad about it. Why should I feel bad about those things?


Remember as well that the Senate was intended as a sort of administrative body, with each states senators being selected by the state government...not via popular election. In my estimation, the removal of that aspect diluted the original concept to some degree.

<del>Given our current status as a superpower,</del> I’m not so quick to judge federalism as an “obviously bad idea”. The balance between the House and Senate is a compromise that prevents the federal government from running roughshod over individual states, while still giving the larger states more of a voice. Federalism, in theory, improves the ability of local people to govern their local affairs, and treats states as semi-sovereign. The Senate is essential as a check on federal power over statehood.

> Given our current status as a superpower, I’m not so quick to judge federalism as an “obviously bad idea”.

This is going to make one hell of an argument for Chinese communism in a few years.


Touché. I still like federalism, though.

People like all sorts of things that aren't good for them.

It could be done like in Germany without the spirit of the Senate being lost. Something like 2 representatives plus some number that depends on the population.

Neat idea. Maybe we could give it a name depicting its function, like say, a house of representatives...

It's not the same. The House of Representatives is intended to represent the people. The point of the upper house is to represent the States. There's no reason why there shouldn't be some weight thrown in based on some objective criteria like population.

The way it works in Germany is every Lander has 3 seats; they then add up to 3 extra seats based on the population. This over-represents the smaller states too, but not to the point where small states can block the whole country like in the US Senate.


So, of course my comment was tongue in cheek, but not completely. In order to get states to agree to unify, they had to give them incentive in representation. Remember that Germany is the size of a US state. It would be more akin to trying to unify all of west Europe as a country. Would Denmark join if they knew they'd get zero representation based of population?

The European Parliament assigns seats to member states based on population, but the European Council gives one vote per state. So the answer is kind of -- they basically did join, in spite of odd representation mechanics. And FWIW I think the Council (and its majority voting rules) is as much in need for reform in this respect as the US Senate.

Germany lost free speech long ago, along with many other things we take for granted. If they are a model, it's what not to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZhVq1M3bhs


As a German, this makes me wanna cry. The eastern part has taken over the published opinion and political culture after the reunuification, even though formally the eastern republic dissolved while its states joined the western federal government

The 17th amendment completely diluted the intent and blew open the doors to the special interest play field. It will likely be one of the primary reasons we collapse.

The Constitution is/was a governing document amongst how multiple States would collectively operate. The republic has been lost. State governments no longer have representation in the federal government.

> I think it’s pretty crazy California and Texas have the same number of senate votes as Rhode Island.

A statistic that has stuck in my head is the prediction [0] that in 2040, 70% of the US population will be represented by 30 Senators, while 30% of the population will be represented by 70 Senators.

0: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/28/b...


The senate is for the states. If we changed it, some states will have less say. It's also a problem since for example in the west the vast majority of the land is federally owned. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_lands#/media/File:Map_...

How do you think Nevada would react if nuclear testing was being conducted again. How do think Montana or Idaho would react if the federal government gave logging rights to companies outside of local communities. If you reduce the states power and say over federal polices that effect them the most why even have states. Why even have tiered levels governance.

Local governments exist for a reason. Federal laws and polices can effect certain areas more or exclusively. Ignoring those people who reside in that area because the majority outside the area wish to do something is just tyranny by the majority. Therefore areas which people reside also need to voice their concerns. What we currently have is a blend.

The senate and house have to agree on things to get bills passed. The house is already based off population. Having the two houses ensures that states and peoples concerns are voiced through their representatives. States with a larger population already get more say in the house. The senate ensures that each states government is represented equally.

It's also sad that less people vote in state and local elections than federal ones since local government a lot times is much more important.


I think it would be even better if in order for bills to pass, a majority of the House must pass and a majority of States, via both Senators from a given State, must pass the bill too.

We shouldn't talk about Senator John For voted for or against bill Y, but rather California voted for or against bill Y. The individuals ought not matter except to their State's governments/legislatures.


How did it make sense at the time but not now? The entire point of the senate is to treat each state as an equal entity regardless of population. What changed?

slavery.

It affected literally every design decision of this nation between founding and the civil war.


You should look up the Virginia plan and the New Jersey plan

Don’t forget about the house of representatives

They didn’t.

  I think it’s pretty crazy California and Texas have the same number of senate votes as Rhode Island
When CA was admitted to the Union, it had a lower population than RI.

CA had the third-lowest population of all US states, yet nobody was saying CA didn't "deserve" two Senate seats because of that.

(Source: 1850 Census)


Actually, people did say that. Even the founding fathers disagreed on the composition of Congress. It’s been argued for/against since day 0.

I feel the entire opposite, this distribution ensures that all states are dealt in a equal manner by the federal government. India the seats in the upper legislature are distributed unequally between the States, causing smaller states to be marginalized, which could also cause issues. Bigger states could align together and push measures that are detrimental to the intesests of the smaller states.

Which is another way to say that smaller state want a way to undemocratically leech out things from more populous areas.

Bigger states aligning and pushing measures that are in their interests rather than in smaller states interests is called democracy.

The opposite is called privilege based on state of residence.


Will it be acceptable to the member states of the EU, any configuration that makes some members more equal than others?

Also in countries like India, this could offer a perverse incentive for states to refrain from population control policies.

Also some states having larger populations than others is a historical accident.


There are 500 million members to the EU. I am in favor of all of them being equal, yes. We still have to quelch local nationalisms so there are some compromises being made to give state some kind of sovereignty, like the US used to need 200 years ago, but once the reasons for these are removed, remove these privileges.

India: You assume states work against each other and populations automatically favor their states over the federation they belong to. If that's the case, you have a cultural problem to solve first. I doubt this is the case in the US right now.

And yes, there are various reasons for some state to be populous. It is irrelevant with the question on whether all the peoples' vote should have equal weight.


The problem with the electoral college isn't unequal size of states, it's that deeply blue or red states get hardly any attention from presidential candidates, and any individual's vote in such states doesn't matter much.

Btw check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Intersta... for an interesting hack: not likely to happen, but still 100x more likely than redrawing all state lines


The problem is the very existence of the electoral college. If the president was elected by totaling all the votes 1 per person in the nation, then there would be no red state and blue state issues.

But in that case the real national divide, rural vs cities, would be won in favor of the blues.

It would be won in favor of whoever wins the people's votes.

This compact is a bad idea for implementing said goal.

First an amending the constitution requires 3/4ths of states to agree to an amendment. This would make a fundamental change with less than half of the states.

Secondly, it also possibly unconstitutional.

Third, it's unenforceable a state can join and if they fail to follow the agreement other members can't do anything.

Fourth, due to the questions of constitutionality when this takes effect it's going to leave the result of an election in legal limbo for possibly years. This is a big problem since the president is inaugurated only a few months after the election.

Fifth, it easy for other states who are not a member to make it useless. For instances lets say Idaho decides only to publish their their electoral votes, and keep the actually number of votes secret for six months. It is no longer possible to determine who won the popular vote (in a timely manner).


Could someone respond instead of down voting. There is a reason the legal section is largest section on the Wikipedia article.

The states don't get attention because that's their choice. They could switch to a per-district method like Maine or proportional representation, then it doesn't matter how blue or red they are.

The incentives of the EC lead states to make votes winner take all. You’re gonna have a hard time reversing this without a process that looks a lot like a constitutional amendment.


Oops. Wrong URL. CGP Grey The Sneaky Plan to Subvert the Electoral College for the Next Election: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUX-frlNBJY

It's kind of a shame that it doesn't include the US territories, since it does say 'the United States', and not just 'the states of the United States' as the headline.

Also, can we get (2012) added to the end of the headline?


Love the state names. Far more varied and vivid than current state names.

The current state names are pretty diverse, tbh. My home state's name's etymolygy (probably) comes from Basque!

Wouldn't it be more fair, possibly if we divided each state into 6 roughly equal districts by population and made each district have it's own senator? This would still give each state equal representation but it would diversify the voices by making each senator cover a smaller area, and each would have less constituents to answer to, and presumably could listen to those in their area more and deliver on what they value as priorities.

I think this person is mistaken on Orange. Orange County in New York is named after Orange in the Netherlands. Orange County in California is named after Oranges to sound tropical.

I like how this map shows the density of different areas, specifically SoCal, as compared to state lines of today.

However, the map seems (possibly intentionally) to ignore geographical boundaries that are super important. Like the Mississippi River.

I know you can modify Voronoi diagrams in multiple dimensions to account for population and geography. Does anyone know of a map that has done so?


I'm curious how Rainier's capitol ended up as Tacoma, instead of Olympia (current capitol of Washington) or Seattle (largest city)

It didn't. State capitals are underlined, the capital's still Olympia.

Ah. The key's a bit confusing.

As an outsider, the easiest hack to me seems to break down states in your team’s colors to multiple states. Fight fire with fire.

This idea is about as realistic as breaking up Germany into its constituent Länder so they'd get more EU commissioners.

Illegal without 100% consent which renders the idea moot - except just maybe in the case of Texas, which had a special clause during accession to allow division into up to 5 states. It's not entirely clear though whether the clause still allows that (or did it apply only for that particular congress).

Well states don’t have the power to do that. So not a very “easy hack”.


Not American just a student of its politics.

As you are free to move, the argument some get more influence due to geographical distribution of vote seems a weak argument.

And the original intent is really to let the small state to come in as they would not come (or fight against it). The 17th amendment is too complicated to talk here.


This is neato. I wonder where the name Firelands comes from. Is it from Lake Erie catching fire in the 70s...

There's links for most of the names at the bottom.

Firelands are much older than that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firelands


The names are definitely my favorite part. They really express America’s mythic quality

> Ends the over-representation of small states and under-representation of large states in presidential voting and in the US Senate by eliminating small and large states.

States are not regions of a larger nation. In Federalism they have a different history and different statuses, and the US has never been built as a direct democratic system. It's a Republic. Not sure what this list of bullet points is all about: changing everything about US politics?


I'm always confused by statements like "a republic, not a democracy." These words don't have clear, practical meanings.

Words like republicanism, democracy, liberal democracy, democratic republic, etc are pretty abstract... and they were a lot more abstract 250 years ago.

No nation state today is a "direct democracy," afaik. All of them are "representative democracies" with a congress/parliament. You can call that system a democracy, republic or whatever.

Point taken about the historical (and current) reasons for federalism.

That said, I don't see how/why redrawing states, electorates, changing how voting works, congress works or such has any bearing on a "democracy or republic" question.

If you're into European history during the reformations/schisms, people of that period were obsessed with extremely abstract, theology/epistemology.

Eucharistic metaphysics seemed important to them att, in retrospect it seems (literally) meaningless.


> These words don't have clear, practical meanings.

They do. They mean in the US, not everything is decided by simple majority of votes of everybody living in the federated republic. Rather, there are more complex power structures where different states (note they are named states, not electoral districts or census areas) retain significant sovereignty not subject to either federal control or that of other states. It is very practical thing without which it is impossible to understand how US politics works.

> All of them are "representative democracies" with a congress/parliament.

Yes, but the USA is not that either. Or, rather, not only that. People thinking it's only that misunderstand how things are.

> has any bearing on a "democracy or republic" question.

Imagine there's a town where mayor decides to redistribute people between families to optimize housing arrangement - so if you have too many kids, your kid is going to me moved to a family with no kids, and if you live alone, you may be assigned a partner to live with you. For efficiency. Let's even assume this all done by proper vote of the city council and all legal formalities are in place. Would you think it's an important change which totally changes your opinion about what's going on in the city and how it is ruled, or it's a minor adjustment that is of interest only to philosophy geeks dwelling on deep meanings of abstractions? If you can appreciate answer to that question, you probably also can appreciate why "democracy or republic" is not as abstract a question as you think.


What "everything is decided by simple majority of votes" mean.

The only things that are usually decided by voting are the people elected to various positions. Some systems (eg us electorates) elect by district, political unit (eg us states), parties (eg netherlands), ethnic affiliation (eg Lebanon)... All these are typically known as democratic voting, democratically elected parliaments/governments, presidents, etc.

In The context of "spreading democracy" these systems are/were generally known as "liberal democracies."

"More complex power structures" where different states/polities act as units have their political powers reserved are generally called federalism. You can have democracy/republic with or without federation. Nothing about republic implies federalism, except that they both apply to the US.

Historically, "republic," has generally been used to mean kingless nation and "liberal" to highlight mean that the people "are sovereign." Highly overlapping. Republic means something in this context, but not what people mean when they contrast to democracy.

"Republic" or "democracy" are much more laden with ideal & philosophy connotations than anything concrete enough to be part of a system of government.

It's like the words "rational" and "logical."

Sure, you can say "in a US context.. " but that gets meaningless fast. You can't derive any meaning from "The US is republic" are synonyms. You could just say "this is the US."


> You could just say "this is the US."

I could. The best model of any thing is the thing itself. It's also the most useless model because the point of modeling is reduction of complexity for better understanding. Reducing US complexity to democracy, however, misses important aspects, namely federated sovereignty and complex power sharing arrangements between states and federal government. This gives people misleading impression that the system was supposed to work as majoritarian democracy and the fact it doesn't work that way is some kind of flaw that needs to be fixed. On the contrary, the system was explicitly designed to include elements of majoritarian democracy, but only as a limited part of it, counterbalanced by other arrangements as to protect from the deficiencies of such model. Thus, saying "it's not a democracy" highlights the deficiency of modeling the US as a simple majoritarian democracy.


> I'm always confused by statements like "a republic, not a democracy."

You're clipping the idea too short to maintain its meaning here. Let's look at what was actually said

> the US has never been built as a direct democratic system. It's a Republic.

The key word you've missed here is "direct". People say that the US is a republic and not a direct democracy. These have clear meanings. A (democratic) republic has elected representatives while a direct democracy puts everything up to a popular vote. This is the key feature people are distinguishing, electing representatives versus putting all decisions directly up for voting by citizens.

The meaning only gets lost when people try to use this idea to smuggle in other related ideas like voting power in national elections being based on geography. That's a specific choice, not a necessary feature of a republican form of government.


> I'm always confused by statements like "a republic, not a democracy." These words don't have clear, practical meanings.

Erm, they do. A democracy is "just anything goes along as more than 50% of voters approve of it" (and you can end up with fascism this way if you don't pay attention), while a Republic puts a central document (in the US the Constitution) as the supreme guide that even voters will have a very hard time to change by themselves.


Merely having a constitution and being a republic is in no way sufficient to prevent such outcomes; see for example the end of the Weimar Republic, substantially expedited by its own constitution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_48_(Weimar_Constitutio...


Republic, in the sense that we do not use majority rule; as it's inherently less stable and easier to break and cant protect inalienable rights and equal protection.

Ok... take non-republics with similar political cultures: Australia, UK Canada...

You will find very similar "we do not use majority rule." they have states/state-like governments. Senates (for state reps), and lower houses (for district reps).

There are some differences at the symbolic sovereignty level (queens, governor general's, etc.) Where does their lack of "unrepublic" differ to the US' republic, at the point where their voting, counting majorities, etc.


Aus has no free speech. UK is a class system where only one class gets to perserve life with effective tools. They dont due have process. Got stabbed? Here's a mandatory class:

https://dailycaller.com/2019/07/01/london-bridge-hero-deradi...


> Keep in mind that this is an art project, not a serious proposal, so take it easy with the emails about the sacred soil of Texas.

The whole point of the Electoral College is that it gives smaller states an advantage over larger ones.

Imagining other scenarios is great fun, but the point needs to be stated - the Electoral College isn't failing when someone loses the popular vote and wins the election. That outcome is the sole purpose of having an electoral college. "Preserves the historic structure and function of the Electoral College." is almost precisely wrong.

Equal-population states is a very fundamental change to the system. The advantages and disadvantages columns aren't engaging with the actual issues surrounding the electoral college.


>The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/...

I don't think the statement above means the electoral college was about giving smaller states an advantage over larger ones. For one, the electoral college was developed during a time when communication was very difficult, and education and literacy was not as widespread. Conditions have changed, and it is possible the system is now too far skewed in one direction such that it no longer represents the people's wishes.


Ok sure, but without having analysed electors vs. senator numbers that is probably tending towards a more extreme power differential than what I suggested. Instead of [other party voters] it would be [other party leadership figures]. And the outcome would be largely similar.

The point is that it is a mechanism for overriding the popular vote. Ergo, whenever it swings into action it will be making a decision other than the popular one. They knew that when it was set up.


  a mechanism for overriding the popular vote
So is CA's and NY's practice of awarding all electors to the plurality winner instead of proportionately.

The President is supposed to faithfully execute the laws and abide by the Constitution. The States have a greater concern over who the arbiter and executor of their pact is than the general populace.

This is a good writeup on why “it’s a republic not a democracy” is a meaningless argument:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/11/durr-its-a-repub...

It also explains just how terrifying the Electoral College, where technically Electors and not voters have all the power, really is.

> But a move by the electors to override the Electoral College and elect Clinton would be a disaster. Her presidency would be fatally hobbled from Day One. The potential for violence would be terrifying, and the presidential election system would be permanently broken—and the Republicans would declare any future Democratic winner an unqualified demagogue. The cure would be worse than the disease.


[flagged]


Please don't cross into personal attack. This thread is bad enough without that.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


The Electoral College's intention was to balance large states' power with small states' desire to not let large states run everything. The college had nothing to do with slavery or the Three Fifths Compromise. Slave states gained more power in the Electoral College from the extra 3/5 votes, but a) the compromise itself had nothing to do with the Electoral College's creation or design, and b) 3/5 of a vote gave less power to slave states than their preference, a full vote for each slave.

> The Electoral College's intention was to balance large states' power with small states' desire to not let large states run everything.

To pretend this is the only factor the designers had in mind it absurd. To ignore tensions between the north and south in the design of the system is equally so.

> Slave states gained more power in the Electoral College from the extra 3/5 votes,

You cannot look at something with massive implications and pretend they are accidental. Unless you want to admit it's poorly designed.

> 3/5 of a vote gave less power to slave states than their preference, a full vote for each slave.

Is there a point to this statement, other than to complain the North did not fully capitulate to slave power?

-e- From Madison’s notes on the constitutional convention:

> There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llfr&fileName=00...


My point is that the alternatives to a slave being worth 3/5 of a vote for apportionment purposes were a) a slave being worth a full vote, giving the slave states that much more power, or b) possibly no United States at all. Having slave not being counted as a vote at all for apportionment was never going to happen.

And no, the Electoral College wasn't something that the slave states wanted and the free states opposed. As I said, it was a compromise between big states like Virginia (slave) and Pennsylvania (free) versus small states like New Jersey (free) and Delaware (slave). Virginia (and several small but fast-growing southern states) wanted completely proportional representation (benefiting from its large slave population); Delaware and New Jersey wanted each state to be equal; the Connecticut compromise gave one chamber of Congress to each method, and in turn became the method by which the Electoral College apportions votes for the presidency.

Let me repeat:

* The Electoral College was not created or designed to protect slavery, or somehow enshrine it in the Constitution.

* It, and the composition of the two chambers of Congress, were created to give both large and small states a say in governance.

* To the extent the three fifths rule affected the Electoral College, it reduced the slave states' power versus what they wanted, which was a purely proportional system including slave populations.


The idea of getting people from Tucson to accept living in a state called "Phoenix" is hilarious to me.

Pretty cool art project. I love the names given to the new states, lots of care went into this.

It's a fun thought exercise. I often wonder why Americans seem so set on having 50 states, so this was a useful basis to mock up a what-if scenario of fewer states.

E.g. if there were 10: https://imgur.com/a/gNvP9mC


>The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence.

No, that is the problem that the electoral college solves. In any federation you must curb the power of the most powerful and boost the weakest for it to work.

Instead of blaming with the institutions that are working as intended, start the dialog to convert the US from federation to something else.


The problem that the Electoral College solves is that the constitution guaranteed the slave holding states that their political influence at the federal level would take into account the number of people they enslaved.

For the legislative branch, this was done by counting a slave as 3/5 of a person for allocating seats in the House of Representatives. For the executive branch, there is only one president, and of course the slaves did not have the right to vote themselves, so an indirection was needed, i.e., the Electoral College.

https://time.com/4558510/electoral-college-history-slavery/# https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Fifths_Compromise


The Electoral College's intention was to balance large states' power with small states' desire to not let large states run everything. The college had nothing to do with slavery or the Three Fifths Compromise. Slave states gained more power in the Electoral College from the extra 3/5 votes, but a) the compromise itself had nothing to do with the Electoral College's creation or design, and b) 3/5 of a vote gave less power to slave states than their preference, a full vote for each slave.

Trump, November 13, 2016, on “60 Minutes” “ I would rather see it, where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes, and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this. Because it brings all the states into play.”

In 2012, the night Romney lost, Trump tweeted. "The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. . . . The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."

In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin.

Presidential candidates who supported direct election of the President in the form of a constitutional amendment, before the National Popular Vote bill was introduced: George H.W. Bush (R-TX-1969), Bob Dole (R-KS-1969), Gerald Ford (R-MI-1969), Richard Nixon (R-CA-1969), Jimmy Carter (D-GA-1977), and Hillary Clinton (D-NY-2001).

Past presidential candidates with a public record of support, before November 2016, for the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes: Bob Barr (Libertarian- GA), U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN),


Hey, everyone is wrong sometimes.

Romney was a designated loser between two "global gov" sponsored candidates. Like Jeb!


> In any federation you must curb the power of the most powerful and boost the weakest for it to work.

This is a very Americocentric view. There is in fact no such requirement in general.

The US in particular has a problem of being pulled by some small, fringe groups.


That statement is a corollary to “A federation must make some attempt to treat its members as equals.” While not necessarily true, deviating too far from it starts to stretch the definition of a federation.

Do you have any examples of federations that don't work that way, i.e., that have purely proportional representation of all the constituent entities?

Australia uses a highly proportional electoral process for its lower house.

The constitution requires that electorates be apportioned among the states in proportion to their respective populations; provided that each original state has at least 5 members in the House of Representatives.

Districts are decided and managed by a politically independent federal commission (ie: not by politicians).

The Australian senate is still a state house modelled in the US fashion. And is therefore not proportional to the population.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divisions_of_the_Australian_Ho...


> This is a very Americocentric view.

Well it’s how the European Union works as well. Think of each US state as an individual State in the EU of that helps you understand it.


Very important point. Democracy can destroy the Republic, the law must always be above the will of the masses. Electoral college is key to preserving the freedoms individuals enjoy. Whats wrong with a Federation?

I wonder if people understand how powerful the American Constitution is? Pure Democracies is essentially mob rule and has been tried and failed since ancient times

How very fortunate that nobody is talking about "pure Democracy", but rather a more balanced representative republic that does not make land more powerful than the citizenry.

Then stop using the wrong term. Democracy -is- majority rule. It's endlessely parroted by the groups that specialize in nation-breaking.

Nobody in this reply chain used the term "democracy" as a descriptor, so why is your trilby so tipped?

We've got borderline lizard people--sorry, globalist--conspiracy from you elsewhere in the thread, so to be frank I'm not expecting much, but the words are right there for you to read.


Ah lizard people. Paradoxically you fell for that, it's a confirmation bias hack. Note the reflexive grasp for the conspiracy blanky.

Try holding the idea that some people are for open borders, and that there are power centers behind nation breaking in your head at the same time.

CF hacks: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21057230


Representative republic sounds good. Land is important though, probably at least as important as the citizenry.

No, it's not. People take primacy over either corporate interests or empty dirt.

The insistence that this not be the case always, in every case, comes from some sewage-tier political pseudophilosophy.


Well I guess we disagree on that. If we take Zimbabwe as a example of a democracy by the people we get the majority taking the possessions of minority groups. Now there are no jobs and no food. People are starving. Its not as simple as you say.

There are many countries that are not federations and are functioning fine, in practice. (E.g.: France, UK, Japan, many others...)

UK is not functioning quite well at the moment. And is something of a federation IIRC.

The UK is functioning okay, actually. Not being able to agree on what Brexit means is quite a minor problem by world standards. It doesn't change the fact that the UK is a highly developed country both in terms of GDP and HDI, has excellent infrastructure, plenty of food, etc.

And the UK is not a federation, at all. The central Parliament in London wields all power and the devolved legislatures (in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) only have whatever authority the central state chooses to allow them to.


Sure, there are but in larger countries federations might make more sense.

I am sorry every state changing their border every census would be insane as proposed in the bullet points. States are more than voting bodies. They have their own laws and locally governed territory with shared jurisdiction on some things with the federal government.

Secondly, there is nothing wrong with electoral college it's working as intended. It's like a lot people forget we have states for reason. For instance a lot of the small states with a low population contain the vast majority of federal land. So any federal policy regarding that land effects them more than anyone else. How do think Nevada would react if the federal government decided to start nuclear testing again and their say in politics is reduced even more.

A lot of this I think boils down how you view the US. Are you citizen/resident of your state which is a member of the united states or are you are citizen of the unites states that happens to reside in a state? (A better/clearer way to phrase this would be appreciated)


Seeing things from outside, US citizens generally refer to themselves as coming from a city/state combination much more often than the country.

I mean when they think of how US is the politically structured. Sadly, less Americans vote in local elections than federal.



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