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If you can't win, twist the rules

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:58 am

The Republicans have concluded that they can't win elections on a level playing field. Rather than try to fix their own flaws, or convince the public of the merits of their position, the Party's response is to ... rig elections.

Yes, they're still trying to depress turnout and make it harder for people to vote.

But now they're also trying to game the Electoral College. In states that reliably vote Republican, they're sticking with a winner-take-all system for allocating electoral college votes. But in states where the popular vote goes Democratic, they're trying to switch to a proportional allocation of Electoral College votes.

Now, I would have no problem with either of those methods of picking electors -- as long as it's consistently applied.

But demanding rule for "red" states and another rule for "blue" states? Come on!

What a bunch of losers. They want to rig the rules so that they can rule over people who won't vote for them.

BOSTON (AP) — After back-to-back presidential losses, Republicans in key states want to change the rules to make it easier for them to win.

From Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, GOP officials who control legislatures in states that supported President Barack Obama are considering changing state laws that give the winner of a state's popular vote all of its Electoral College votes, too. Instead, these officials want Electoral College votes to be divided proportionally, a move that could transform the way the country elects its president.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the idea this week, and other Republican leaders support it, too, suggesting that the effort may be gaining momentum. There are other signs that Republican state legislators, governors and veteran political strategists are seriously considering making the shift as the GOP looks to rebound from presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Electoral College shellacking and the demographic changes that threaten the party's long-term political prospects.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby minicat » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:23 am

Redistricting is also being used. Here in Wisconsin they gerrymandered districts so harshly that even though Republicans lost the popular vote in both houses of the legislature they actually gained seats and took complete control.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:26 am

I might be OK with this if it were done nationally but at the point why do we even need the electoral college and just go with the popular vote. But yes it sounds like this plan is only applicable to blue states and reeks of electioneering.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby pjbogart » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:56 am

I guess what bothers me most about this story is that Republicans have seemed to abandon even the pretense of fairness. Their goal is to win. If that includes gerrymandering, voter suppression, or electoral reform for some States but not others, then so be it. Do the math and figure out if you benefit.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Crockett » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:21 am

fisticuffs wrote:...why do we even need the electoral college and just go with the popular vote.


Because the US is not a democracy, its a democratic republic. And there are very good reasons for this structure.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby wack wack » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:30 am

Crockett wrote:
fisticuffs wrote:...why do we even need the electoral college and just go with the popular vote.


Because the US is not a democracy, its a democratic republic. And there are very good reasons for this structure.


Are they still good reasons?
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:55 pm

kurt_w wrote:The Republicans have concluded ...

It's really only some Republicans, it's not as if they are a hive-mind on this issue. The article you linked quotes several Republicans who seem at least superficially skeptical of this plan:
Roger Villere wrote:"This is coming from states where it might be an advantage, but I'm worried about what it means down the road. This is a system that has worked. That doesn't mean we can't talk about changes, but we have to be very careful about any actions we might take."

Robin Vos wrote:"I am open to that idea ...But I would have to hear all the arguments."
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:21 pm

Crockett wrote:Because the US is not a democracy, its a democratic republic. And there are very good reasons for this structure.


I think those reasons become eroded once you start allocated electoral votes instead of winner take all.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:50 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:It's really only some Republicans, it's not as if they are a hive-mind on this issue. The article you linked quotes several Republicans who seem at least superficially skeptical of this plan


You cited quotes from two people who were "skeptical". One is Robin Vos, who is not particularly skeptical about it, and who actually already introduced a proposal to adopt this change.

The other is from a Republican in Louisiana. And that there is part of the problem: Republicans in states where the popular vote tends Democratic are talking about making this change, while Republicans in states (like Louisiana) are not.

It's the combination of those two different approaches to the "rules" that is pernicious. If all states adopted one, or the other approach, it would be fine. If the states chose one or the other randomly, it would be confusing but still basically OK.

The problem is that people are trying to change the rules selectively, in certain states, to maximize the benefit of the Party.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:55 pm

Crockett wrote:
fisticuffs wrote:...why do we even need the electoral college and just go with the popular vote.


Because the US is not a democracy, its a democratic republic. And there are very good reasons for this structure.


There might or might not be good reasons for adopting an electoral college, rather than having the president elected by nationwide popular vote.

But are there any good reasons for maintaining an electoral college when one party rewrites the rules in order to game the system to its own advantage? Such a system is neither small-d "democratic" nor small-r "republican". It's a cynical attempt by the Party to cling to power against the will of the American people.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:20 pm

kurt_w wrote:But are there any good reasons for maintaining an electoral college when one party rewrites the rules in order to game the system to its own advantage?
Whether there are any good reasons or not depends entirely on your perspective. I don't believe that there is some objective, scientific truth or ideal in electoral politics, so it's really all a matter of opinion.
kurt_w wrote:Such a system is neither small-d "democratic" nor small-r "republican".
I wouldn't say that it necessarily isn't democratic or republican either, more like an orthogonal concept altogether. Fiddling with procedural rules seems like behavior that could fit into any political philosophy.
kurt_w wrote:It's a cynical attempt by the Party to cling to power against the will of the American people.
You mean, the statistical majority of people who vote. There is no single "will of The People".
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:29 pm

Oh, come on, Arturo. Drop the annoying contrarian act, please. If you can't understand that this:

    selective re-writing of the rules in an effort to keep one party in power against the expressed will of the electorate
is obviously incompatible with the generally accepted values of American democracy, then you're not competent to participate in this conversation.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:02 pm

kurt_w wrote:If you can't understand that this:

    selective re-writing of the rules in an effort to keep one party in power against the expressed will of the electorate
is obviously incompatible with the generally accepted values of American democracy, then you're not competent to participate in this conversation.
I accept that statement as true as written, but I don't have any particular fondness toward the generally-accepted values of American democracy, so I don't really care if those values are challenged politically.

And anyway, these rule changes swing both ways. If the GOP manages to get them changed in some red states, the Democratic Party could do the same in blue states. And the plan could backfire on the GOP anyway in future elections when demographics or voting patterns shift somewhat.
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Galoot » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Ah, there's libertarianism in a nutshell--"why should I care about whether one side completely fucks up our political system? The other side can fuck it up too, so it's all good in the end!"

Actually, that sounds more like anarchism. Are you shifting even farther into loony-land, Arturo?
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Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:28 pm

Arturo's like the vegan who tries to stop people from discussing the pros and cons of a newly opened steakhouse, on the grounds that what they really ought to be discussing is the moral crime of enslaving and killing cows for our delectation.
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