20 April 2012


Some relevant comments from the Reddit thread:
Its shit like this that creates such a low voter turnout. Voting does have an impact, look at the Pirate Party in Germany. 9% voters that vote in a block against something or for something can have a massive effect. Even in a two party system. Look how close Obama and McCain were.
---We have vastly different voting systems. Germany has a proportional system for representatives. So 9% of the vote equals about 9% of the seats in the house. While in the United States we have Plurality voting. This means that on the local scale a voting electorate must vote in a majority for a candidate to get representation. So if there was a even 9% vote for the pirate party in the US then no seats in the house will be for the pirate party. In addition votes toward a third party such as pirate party will must likely be from people who would have voted for the democratic party. Thus increasing the likelihood for the republicans to gain a majority.
Senators and the President were supposed to be insulated from popular politics. That's why Senators were originally selected by state legislatures (that and because they were supposed to represent the interests of states as such). And, to answer a very common Reddit question, this was why we had the electoral college. The electors were envisioned to be independent statesmen who would use their judgment to select the man the country needed, not the man everyone wanted. But, of course, the expectation formed very quickly that electors would cast their vote according to the poll results in the state they represented.


  1. I don't think actually voting is as important as having the right to vote.

    Think of polling methodology. You only need to poll a small percentage of the sample space to get a result highly predictive of the outcome, as long as you pick a random sample.

  2. Uh, folks they are actually trying to make voting (for the "wrong" sorts of people) illegal in several states. Voting does make a difference, which is why it is under attack by the right and has been since the era of poll taxes.


    1. I'll have more to say about #@*# voter ID laws later.

    2. Thank you. We seem to forget so easily that we must be vigilant to protect the voting rights of all citizens, lest we lose our own.

  3. The German electoral system isn't totally proportional, they also use constituencies to make the elections more personal.

  4. Our presidential elections don't have to be the way they are.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the primaries.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via nationalpopularvoteinc


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...