RE: NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral College

From: Arnold Urken <aurken_at_stevens_dot_edu>
Date: Sun Aug 29 2004 - 17:52:40 CDT

The electoral college problem is an interesting issue because there are
so many paradoxes. For example, with direct election, there would be an
incentive for multiple parties to run. This sets up a high probability
of producing a tie or a paradox of voting (in which there is no
transitive consensus. Attempting to compromise, the Century Foundation
proposed a Bonus Plan discussed at
http://www.digitalnpq.org/archive/2001_winter/how_to_reform.html

The winner-take-all rule, even at the district level in the states, is
the main distorter of the process.

Arnie

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-voting-project@afterburner.sonic.net
[mailto:owner-voting-project@afterburner.sonic.net] On Behalf Of Joseph
Lorenzo Hall
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2004 4:13 PM
To: voting-project@lists.sonic.net
Subject: Re: [voting-project] NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral
College

I've never understood the basis for the electoral college... I see
what you're saying Alan with states rights, but the fact that a
president can be elected despite the loss of the popular vote (by a
remarkable margin) and then act ignorant of the fact that they have
nothing even close to a mandate, seems to point out clearly that
something is broken. If it's not the electoral college, it must be
the mechanism that keeps the president accountable to the people,
right?

In reading the Economist this weekend, they cite a poll that seems to
show that the president has polarized our nation to an extreme never
seen before... that is, amongst members of his own party, the
President enjoys a near 80% level of approval where as amongst members
of the Democratic party this figure is more like 8%. I'm confident
that the last number would be even lower still if they polled all
non-members of the President's party.

One neat site, that might have been mentioned before on this list, is
the Electoral Vote Predictor which uses polls and statistics to ask,
"If the election were today (which it is not) how would the electoral
votes be cast based on a reduction of all available polling data."
They publish their data so that you can do your own calculations
(exclude certain polling firms, etc.).

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

Note that common generalizations don't currently seem to be holding
up... like the fact that California is close to tied instead of being
heavily pro-Kerry.

-Joe
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:19 2004

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