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samiam5211

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I think we can all agree that there are quite a few problems in our system. The influence of money and political parties are two where I think most people on both sides at least agree about the existence of a problem.

I hope that this thread ends up being a place where we discuss potential tweaks or comprehensive reform without partisan bickering. Neither side is less responsible than the other, so any bickering about who is at fault is a hypocrite’s game.

My suggestion:

We replace the current Presidential primary process for a “jungle primary” system similar to Louisiana’s.

We could (and should) still use the elongated timeline that we do now, and allocate delegates at a similar ratio as electoral votes. This would still give us two general election candidates by summer, and the rest of the process would be the same.

We could determine the order every four years by lottery with each state having equal chance. Iowa and New Hampshire use early primaries to get influence over the process despite their small size, but states like Louisiana and Mississippi always get left out.

If an incumbent president can’t get enough support to make a runoff, we shouldn’t be stuck with wasting one of our choices on them.

This would do a great deal towards reducing the influence of political parties. It will get rid of the purity tests. For example, the current system would exclude a candidate who is pro life, pro gun control, pro socialized health care, but didn’t think business owners should have to bake a cake for a wedding they feel is an abomination.

The parties have set up artificial lines that our views have to align with.
 
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FullMonte

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My two suggestions:

--Get rid of political parties. Every candidate runs on their own merits, and the voters can't simply pick whichever candidate has the right letter in parenthesis after their name on the ballot.

--Every state distributes their electoral votes to match the percentage of the popular vote. A candidate who gets 1 vote more than their opponent in California shouldn't automatically get almost 1/4 of the Electoral Votes they need to win while their opponent gets 0.
 

V Chip

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The biggest problem with the EC isn’t the disproportionality of overall votes — while that can be problematic, it is also what the process was designed for as a protection against just campaigning and promising things to a few populous areas.

The problem is that in 1929, the number of Representatives was artificially fixed at 435. Every year since, the power has shifted towards the least populous states as the overall population grows. The number of representatives needs to be able to grow as the country grows, so that those states that have a large populace don’t lose voting power to the smaller states and so that representation of districts is more equal. Additionally, districts need to be decided and drawn by a non-partisan body instead of whichever group dominates the state legislatures. Doing away with gerrymandering and a stale number of total representatives would move the EC closer to what was originally intended.
 
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samiam5211

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My two suggestions:

--Get rid of political parties. Every candidate runs on their own merits, and the voters can't simply pick whichever candidate has the right letter in parenthesis after their name on the ballot.

--Every state distributes their electoral votes to match the percentage of the popular vote. A candidate who gets 1 vote more than their opponent in California shouldn't automatically get almost 1/4 of the Electoral Votes they need to win while their opponent gets 0.
I wonder what would happen if a state started removing party affiliation from the ballot. If we had just names without the D or the R, would the results of elections be different?

I think allocating electoral votes proportionally would improve turnout. If you are in a deep blue or red state and you support the minority party, it feels like your vote for president is meaningless right now.

The biggest problem with the EC isn’t the disproportionality of overall votes — while that can be problematic, it is also what the process was designed for as a protection against just campaigning and promising things to a few populous areas.

The problem is that in 1929, the number of Representatives was artificially fixed at 435. Every year since, the power has shifted towards the least populous states as the overall population grows. The number of representatives needs to be able to grow as the country grows, so that those states that have a large populace don’t lose voting power to the smaller states and so that representation of districts is more equal. Additionally, districts need to be decided and drawn by a non-partisan body instead of whichever group dominates the state legislatures. Doing away with gerrymandering and a stale number of total representatives would move the EC closer to what was originally intended.
I wonder how many congressmen there would be if we hadn’t fixed the number of representatives? The population is almost 3x what it was in 1929, so would that mean we’d have 1300 congressmen? We already get some pretty crazy people in there.

We could allocate electoral votes as if there was no limit, but keep the actual number of house members the same.

We definitely need some sort of standardization of how congressional districts are drawn.
 
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V Chip

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I wonder how many congressmen there would be if we hadn’t fixed the number of representatives? The population is almost 3x what it was in 1929, so would that mean we’d have 1300 congressmen? We already get done pretty crazy people in there.
If the number were the same as the original Congress (30,000 per rep) we’d have over 11,000 representatives. That’s obviously way too high, but an increase is needed. Some countries have a formula of the number of representatives is the cube root of the population. That would make the US number at 689; that could be a good number of reps in general, but subtracting the 100 of the Senate gives 589 — 154 more representatives than we currently have. This would allow a fairer representation for all states — for instance Wyoming has 1 rep for 579,000 people; Montana has nearly double at 1,050,000 but still only 1 representative; Rhode Island has 1,060,000 but has 2 representatives; California has 39,540,000 with 52 representatives (760,385). Those are disparities that can easily be fixed by getting rid of the artificial cap of 435. And if the new districts were drawn by a bipartisan commission instead of gerrymandered, then that’s a lot of new districts to come into play for all the parties, making each election more likely to represent the actual voting populace rather than which party had control at the redistricting time.
 

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The biggest problem with the EC isn’t the disproportionality of overall votes — while that can be problematic, it is also what the process was designed for as a protection against just campaigning and promising things to a few populous areas.
The problem is that it doesn't actually do that. In reality, if the electoral college didn't exist, and a candidate promised the world to California, that candidate would still not get 100% of the votes. In 2016, it took around 64 million votes to win the popular vote. If that candidate had gotten 80% of the votes in California, they would have received about 16.5% of the votes needed to win the election, and their opponent would have received around 4.1% of the votes needed to win the election.

But, because of the way the electoral college works, a candidate who gets 1 vote over 50% in California gets 20% of the votes they need to win the electoral college, and their opponent gets 0.
 

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I wonder what would happen if a state started removing party affiliation from the ballot. If we had just names without the D or the R, would the results of elections be different?
My thinking on that is that the uninformed voters out there would (statistically) be evenly split amongst all of the candidates, which would essentially nullify them. That would lead to those people who are more informed about their votes being the ones who decide the winner.
 

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But, because of the way the electoral college works, a candidate who gets 1 vote over 50% in California gets 20% of the votes they need to win the electoral college, and their opponent gets 0.
That’s actually not the way the EC works — that’s the way a state determines to assign its EC delegates. Some states don’t have winner-take-all presidential elections/EC votes.

That would be another way to improve the process — have more states assign the 2 senate EC votes to the winner of their states and each district’s vote go to the winner of that district; or divide the representative EC votes by the popular vote results. Winner-take-all doesn’t help with the way the country votes or is represented and leads to many millions of people having their vote for president not count for anything if they’re in a state of a different color.
 

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That’s actually not the way the EC works — that’s the way a state determines to assign its EC delegates. Some states don’t have winner-take-all presidential elections/EC votes.

That would be another way to improve the process — have more states assign the 2 senate EC votes to the winner of their states and each district’s vote go to the winner of that district; or divide the representative EC votes by the popular vote results. Winner-take-all doesn’t help with the way the country votes or is represented and leads to many millions of people having their vote for president not count for anything if they’re in a state of a different color.
It also leads some to the wrong interpretation of the election results...and they end up showing the electoral college map, all covered in red...and use that as some example that the overwhelming majority of the country chose them.
 
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It also leads some to the wrong interpretation of the election results...and they end up showing the electoral college map, all covered in red...and use that as some example that the overwhelming majority of the country chose them.
Yea, the worst one is the map that has the states split up by county. Dirt, rocks, and trees don't vote, so those maps are irrelevant except as a propaganda tool.
 
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samiam5211

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If the number were the same as the original Congress (30,000 per rep) we’d have over 11,000 representatives. That’s obviously way too high, but an increase is needed. Some countries have a formula of the number of representatives is the cube root of the population. That would make the US number at 689; that could be a good number of reps in general, but subtracting the 100 of the Senate gives 589 — 154 more representatives than we currently have. This would allow a fairer representation for all states — for instance Wyoming has 1 rep for 579,000 people; Montana has nearly double at 1,050,000 but still only 1 representative; Rhode Island has 1,060,000 but has 2 representatives; California has 39,540,000 with 52 representatives (760,385). Those are disparities that can easily be fixed by getting rid of the artificial cap of 435. And if the new districts were drawn by a bipartisan commission instead of gerrymandered, then that’s a lot of new districts to come into play for all the parties, making each election more likely to represent the actual voting populace rather than which party had control at the redistricting time.
If we added congressional seats, do you think we should do it all at once?

Even 100 new seats up for grabs at once seems like it could be chaotic, but maybe it’d be better to get the chaos over all at once.
 

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Yea, the worst one is the map that has the states split up by county. Dirt, rocks, and trees don't vote, so those maps are irrelevant except as a propaganda tool.
I saw one where someone took it county by county, and set it to a shade of purple based on the mix of red/blue votes....it really changes how you see the election.
 
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samiam5211

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I saw one where someone took it county by county, and set it to a shade of purple based on the mix of red/blue votes....it really changes how you see the election.
Yea I’ve seen that one.

If we could get our government to represent that map we’d be set.
 

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If we added congressional seats, do you think we should do it all at once?

Even 100 new seats up for grabs at once seems like it could be chaotic, but maybe it’d be better to get the chaos over all at once.
All representative seats are up every 2 years anyway, so why not? Would be fun seeing how the House changes with new districts.
 
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samiam5211

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There's also this one.
The red areas on that map are all places that where the voting population is disproportionately (probably 85%+) white. Places like the Mississippi Delta, Black Belt in Alabama, Near the Mexico border, the Piedmont, and of course Urban areas are blue.

Anywhere with any meaningful diversity is blue.
 

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