Rich Curren

North Vancouver, Bc, Canada

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Comments & conversations

176377
Rich Curren
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eliminating electoral college in the United States
1) Weird. Good addition by you and good point re: 538. The FEC stats say there was one abstention. WTF? http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/2000presgeresults.htm 2) Agreed. 3) Mostly agree. Abolishing the EC won't wipe out apathy but I think it would help. While I don't have any sympathy for those that don't vote, I'd also like to encourage voting in any way. I don't think that's the job of the Government, but at the same time if Gov can do something to help, why not? Conversely, the Gov should not be making it harder for people to vote either (see recent "voter ID" laws). I'm a little torn here. How about making it a crime to not vote? What about making election day Saturday? What about automatic registration when you get a drivers license? What about vote by mail in every state? What about same-day registration? The last three have been done and do lead to better turnout ...
176377
Rich Curren
Posted almost 2 years ago
What is Bernanke's end game?
The opening to this article leads one to believe this could be right wing nuttery. "In a recent screed masquerading as the thoughts of a Nobel prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman excoriates those who speak of..." Doesn't exactly seem terribly objective to me. Those on the far far right, the ones that believe fluoride and the UN are plots against them, love to hate Krugman. I'd call that, and the subject-a worldwide currency (an favorite ongoing wing-nut conspiracy) "tells" that this theory shouldn't be taken seriously. Just my 2 cents.
176377
Rich Curren
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eliminating electoral college in the United States
Thanks for entertaining my questions Ed! (*Can I call you "Ed"?) 1) I have to admit, you lost me with the math, but what I believe you're arguing is that if EV's are connected to population (which is true) than it's mathematically impossible to have an EV/EC split? Or is it more of an interesting fact that the 11 largest states can overpower the other 39? Regardless, in 2000 GW Bush got 50,456,002 vote and Gore received 50,999,897 for an PV advantage of approximately 1/2 a million votes, yet Bush won the EC 271/266 and with it the Presidency. The SCOTUS actions aside, I personally don't think that's acceptable (*and that goes for D or R). 2) I'm sure there's some tongue-in-cheek with the "treason" part but you might be surprised to know that it's already happened and has for years. Maine and Nebraska both award their EV's by Congressional District. It hasn't been an issue because historically these are not swing states and they don't carry a lot of EV's. In 2008 Obama, for the first time in modern history, carried one of NE's 5 EV's (CD2/Omaha). Now, Pennsylvania GOP Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi wants to follow that same model. If that happens in other heavy EV swing states that normally swing Democratic (Ex: MI), and does not happen in other swing states that normally go red (Ex: Georgia) you have a rigged system. And we agree states are fully within their Constitutional rights to award their EV's however they please so nothing is stopping them. Michigan has already done the CD gerrymandering, now they just need to attach EV's to the CD's. http://www.thenation.com/blog/171690/gops-new-voter-suppression-strategy-gerrymander-electoral-college 3) I agree people normally cast a vote to promote an agenda, but it's pretty hard to ascertain why people DON'T vote. I believe the reasons you noted have merit, but I have a hard time believing voter turnout wouldn't go up with a PV system. Thank you for your thoughts.
176377
Rich Curren
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eliminating electoral college in the United States
My point wasn't that the will of the people was subverted in this election, but that it could be in the future with the state-based CD-driven EV allocation example I mentioned above. We've seen Republican-controlled state governments pass crazy laws in the past couple of years (from anti-Sharia law laws, to forced ultrasound) so I wouldn't put anything past them. I realize this sounds partisan, but it's fact-based. I will also add that Al Gore won 500,000 more votes nationally than Bush in 2000. Regardless of how you judge the quality of Bush's leadership (or prognosticate on how well Gore might have governed) you don't see a "problem" with that? Lastly, the current numbers are actually "better" (higher turnout/more clear winner) than you stated: The winning margin is actually closer to 5M votes, Obama is sitting at 50.97% to Romney at 47.29% and 128M people voted. Could that be even higher with a straight PV model? Given all this I'll boil it down and ask three questions: 1-Do you think a President should be elected with a smaller share of the popular vote, as happened in 2000? 2-Would you be happy with some states allocating their EV's in a manner inconsistant with the rest of the nation? Knowing that doing so would skew the EV count and potentially the outcome of the election. 3-There are currently 7-10 (swing) states where each vote is effectively more "valuable" because the margin of victory is low. This inevitably leads voters (red and blue) to believe that their votes "don't matter". Do you believe more people would vote if they knew each vote would truly be counted? (Please table for a moment the notion that people SHOULD feel compelled to vote in any circumstance, consider actual human behavior, be it personally acceptable or not). *And yes, that last one is subjective, speculative and maybe even leading. Respond as you will!
176377
Rich Curren
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eliminating electoral college in the United States
My first reaction would be "Yes! Things would be better!", but if that's my answer I think I have to pinpoint what problem the EC elimination would solve. The EC is far from perfect, and by all accounts is not operating the way the framers intended (and even if it did, that might be even worse). It leads Presidential candidates to focus on a handful of states while campaigning (because not acting that way would likely lead to defeat), and has in the past handed victory to the candidate that didn't not carry the most votes nationwide (see Gore V Bush). On top of that it unnecessarily complicates the process while also leading voters to believe, because in many cases they are correct, that their vote "doesn't count" (because the direction of the their state electors is a foregone conclusion: Utah, California ...). But my biggest fear is with the ever-expanding partisan divide coupled with the fact that states manage how their electors are assigned. What happens when states start getting "creative"? This is already happening in Ohio where a Republican-controlled state house is trying to have EV's apportioned by congressional district (not PV), and those CD's have already been gerrymandered by the same R-controlled body. It may sound crazy, but gerrymandering does have an impact, in 2012 Dems won 2M more votes than Republicans in house races, yet won fewer house seats. Had Presidential votes been assigned that way the "will of the people" could have easily been subverted and chaos would ensue. So in short, I say buh-bye to the EC. But bigger problems (in order) are the money in politics that has perverts the process (or, campaign finance reform) and voter suppression and voting practices that need a national overhaul.