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Author Topic: [Democracy] Why don't you just vote and count? For presidents that is  (Read 334 times)
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Razgon
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« on: January 10, 2012, 07:56:50 AM »

Okay, I try....then I give up. I really dont understand your election system at all, and of course its because I don't have the inclination to do so but it seems unnecessarily complex.

Can I ask why you don't just have a select number of people to vote for, let people either vote for a party or a specific person in one of those parties, and then count the number of votes?

Yes thats of course how we do it here in Denmark and its a pretty simple system. :-)
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Calavera
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 01:40:01 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on January 10, 2012, 07:56:50 AM

Okay, I try....then I give up. I really dont understand your election system at all, and of course its because I don't have the inclination to do so but it seems unnecessarily complex.

Can I ask why you don't just have a select number of people to vote for, let people either vote for a party or a specific person in one of those parties, and then count the number of votes?

Yes thats of course how we do it here in Denmark and its a pretty simple system. :-)

Funny enough, we're actually talking about this in the NPV thread beneath this one. Pretty much what you're saying is what is going on. Each vote does count individually. I go and vote, the results for my state are calculated then those results are passed to the Electoral College. Popular vote in each state determines the way the state's allocation of votes for the president are cast. This is a function of our system of government. The US is a federal republic, a collection of states, and is not a direct democracy. Individual states have a very-high level of autonomy, but all federal decision trump any state ones. Keep in mind, only the president is elected indirectly.

The US and the EU have more in common structurally than the US and Denmark. With this in mind, a parallel would be like the people of Denmark "electing" the President of the European Council, who is indirectly chosen by the member states. He has similar, though much weaker, domestic and foreign policy powers to the US president.
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raydude
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 01:45:29 PM »

Quote from: Calavera on January 10, 2012, 01:40:01 PM


The US and the EU have more in common structurally than the US and Denmark. With this in mind, a parallel would be like the people of Denmark "electing" the President of the European Council, who is indirectly chosen by the member states. He has similar, though much weaker, domestic and foreign policy powers to the US president.

Continuing this analogy, imagine the EU had an electoral college system for electing the President of the European Council, whereby each country had a certain number of votes. And because of that any prospective candidates had to actually campaign in small countries like Denmark, and pay attention to the problems of those small countries, as well as campaign in the bigger more populated countries like England and Germany.

Then imagine some idiot from the US just says "why don't you guys just let all the people vote, count up their votes, and then the President is the one with the most votes?"

If you were from a small country like Denmark you'd say "Because then the President wouldn't care about my country, he'd just go campaign in Germany and France you idiot."
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Razgon
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 03:00:12 PM »

quick reply since I'm about to leave work but...

You guys are one country, aren't you? Europe isn't. I dont really care who's head of Europe since we have our own government :-)
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Calavera
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 03:06:02 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on January 10, 2012, 03:00:12 PM

quick reply since I'm about to leave work but...

You guys are one country, aren't you? Europe isn't. I dont really care who's head of Europe since we have our own government :-)

So do our states. slywink

Edit: To clarify, the laws vary state to state, sometimes very drastically. The laws of California are fairly different than the laws of Vermont. On the whole, Federal law always trumps state law, but sometimes states will pass laws in direct defiance of federal. See, the 'We don't have to participate in the Affordable Care Act' laws some states have enacted. In Ohio, this was Issue 3 in the last election. States-rights vs. Federal-rights has changed over time in this country, most notably 1863-1865. slywink Most day-to-day laws and issues are covered by the states (or local), bigger issues of national importance are covered by Federal. Similarly for you, some policies of European importance as a whole are covered by the EU.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 03:21:04 PM by Calavera » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 04:30:43 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on January 10, 2012, 03:00:12 PM

quick reply since I'm about to leave work but...

You guys are one country, aren't you? Europe isn't. I dont really care who's head of Europe since we have our own government :-)

As Calavera said, the tension between federalism and state sovereignty has defined the United States of America since its founding, and much of our current political climate (such as resistance to national healthcare reform) has to be understood in that context.
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Purge
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 04:38:56 PM »

I like the system where the people vote for their leader, and their local representative separately.

Eg: You could vote for a local repub, but put Obama in charge ... or vice versa. It would end up forcing more collaboration. Perhaps you'd need a third or fourth party to help round that out.
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TiLT
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 07:23:02 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 10, 2012, 04:38:56 PM

I like the system where the people vote for their leader, and their local representative separately.

Eg: You could vote for a local repub, but put Obama in charge ... or vice versa. It would end up forcing more collaboration. Perhaps you'd need a third or fourth party to help round that out.

That's not unique to your system. We vote for our local representatives over here too, who represent counties (not that counties can propose laws). This is in addition to the forced collaboration of the main government (unless someone gets the majority vote, which is very damn unlikely in the best of years).

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the current US voting system just means that one party controls more or less everything and the other party tries its hardest to sabotage it, stated goals be damned. That just doesn't happen over here. The leading party has the prime minister but can be thrown with ease if their partners aren't pleased with how things are working out. This means that everyone tries very hard to cooperate and reach mutually beneficial decisions.
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hepcat
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 07:31:17 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 10, 2012, 07:23:02 PM



It's becoming increasingly apparent that the current US voting system just means that one party controls more or less everything and the other party tries its hardest to sabotage it, stated goals be damned. That just doesn't happen over here. The leading party has the prime minister but can be thrown with ease if their partners aren't pleased with how things are working out. This means that everyone tries very hard to cooperate and reach mutually beneficial decisions.

You also have a largely homogenous population of 5,544,139 while we have a much less one at 312,831,042.  It's easy to be less contentious when everyone in your political parties look and think almost the same.   slywink
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 07:37:18 PM by hepcat » Logged

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TiLT
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 07:39:01 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on January 10, 2012, 07:31:17 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 10, 2012, 07:23:02 PM



It's becoming increasingly apparent that the current US voting system just means that one party controls more or less everything and the other party tries its hardest to sabotage it, stated goals be damned. That just doesn't happen over here. The leading party has the prime minister but can be thrown with ease if their partners aren't pleased with how things are working out. This means that everyone tries very hard to cooperate and reach mutually beneficial decisions.

You're also have a largely homogenous population of 5,544,139 while we have a much less one at 312,831,042.  It's easy to be less contentious when everyone in your political parties look and think almost the same.   slywink

There's very little homogenous about the Norwegian population apart from our skin color. Norway is a long, thin country, where the distance from Oslo to the northern towns equals the distance from Oslo to Rome. The people living up north have a very different way of thinking than the people living in big cities (on a Norwegian scale) further south, and the people living on the coast have vastly different priorities from those living inland. That's not counting the Sami people and the increasingly large percentages of our population who are immigrants from all over the world. The amount of people living here really makes no difference when it comes to how homogenous the population is.

Also, our political parties contain everything I mentioned above. There's the Christian party (which is actually surprisingly moderate from a US perspective, admittedly), the right wing of people hostile towards immigrants, the left wing working towards a communist revolution (corrupt freaks, IMO), and all kinds of combinations. We've got representatives born in "exotic" countries like Pakistan, to fishermen who spend a third of the year at sea.

My favorite part of the whole thing is that nobody gives a rat's ass what kind of religion our politicians have (with a few rare exceptions). For all I know, half our prime ministers haven't even opened a Bible.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 07:44:58 PM by TiLT » Logged
gellar
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 07:46:01 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 10, 2012, 07:23:02 PM

Quote from: Purge on January 10, 2012, 04:38:56 PM

I like the system where the people vote for their leader, and their local representative separately.

Eg: You could vote for a local repub, but put Obama in charge ... or vice versa. It would end up forcing more collaboration. Perhaps you'd need a third or fourth party to help round that out.

That's not unique to your system. We vote for our local representatives over here too, who represent counties (not that counties can propose laws). This is in addition to the forced collaboration of the main government (unless someone gets the majority vote, which is very damn unlikely in the best of years).

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the current US voting system just means that one party controls more or less everything and the other party tries its hardest to sabotage it, stated goals be damned. That just doesn't happen over here. The leading party has the prime minister but can be thrown with ease if their partners aren't pleased with how things are working out. This means that everyone tries very hard to cooperate and reach mutually beneficial decisions.

The thing is, a popular vote would have a similar effect, just with different party makeups.  You'd have cityfolk vs countyfolk, religious vs nonreligious, etc...

Personally, as someone who has always (and always will) live in major metropolitan areas, I'm totally for a a popular vote since it would seemingly benefit my preferences coming to power more.  I don't necessarily think it'd be any more 'fair' than the current system though.
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hepcat
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 07:47:05 PM »

Tilt, your country IS incredibly homogeneous in comparison to ours.  Trying to compare your political system to ours is naive.  You don't have even a tenth of the social and political problems we have that have arisen from racial and economic disparities unique to a society with as large and multi ethnic a population as ours.  Immigration is (or at least was at one time) the backbone of our nation.  Denmark?  Not even close.  

As for religion?  95 percent of your country is Lutheran.  3 percent Christian and 2 percent Muslim.  

The U.S.?   Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

(stats courtesy of the CIA World Factbook)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 08:07:29 PM by hepcat » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 08:41:08 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 10, 2012, 04:38:56 PM

I like the system where the people vote for their leader, and their local representative separately.

Eg: You could vote for a local repub, but put Obama in charge ... or vice versa. It would end up forcing more collaboration. Perhaps you'd need a third or fourth party to help round that out.

You can't force collaboration, our current problems more than prove that. With no term limits or real incentives to do good, the primary goal is to be re-elected, not to pass meaningful or even vaguely helpful legislation. Though, I want someone who will work toward a common good for the country even at the detriment of my state as opposed to work for only my state's best interest, so ya. Pipe dreams and all that. Term limits might help the problem, which some states have figured out... One could argue, though not me, that the Tea-Party Republicans are a defacto third-party and that their presence just added to or created gridlock.

Quote from: TiLT on January 10, 2012, 07:23:02 PM

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the current US voting system just means that one party controls more or less everything and the other party tries its hardest to sabotage it, stated goals be damned. That just doesn't happen over here.

That's actually a relatively recent problem in the US. We've had periods of high cooperation and periods of gridlock (like we have now). I also find it highly unlikely you've never had gridlock in your government.

BTW, If Google Translate can be trusted, this (English) or this (Norwegian) from Aftenposten looks to be talking about power struggles between (and within) the parties, just like we have here. slywink
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 12:15:00 AM »

Quote from: raydude on January 10, 2012, 01:45:29 PM

Continuing this analogy, imagine the EU had an electoral college system for electing the President of the European Council, whereby each country had a certain number of votes. And because of that any prospective candidates had to actually campaign in small countries like Denmark, and pay attention to the problems of those small countries, as well as campaign in the bigger more populated countries like England and Germany.

While the Senate, which is the true cancer in American democracy, is certainly structured in a way that provides smaller states outsized influence, the Electoral College doesn't actually help smaller states, as a group, receive more attention in a presidential election. Because most small states tend to be politically monotonous, you'll rarely if ever see a Presidential candidate spending much time in most of them: Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska or Hawaii.

Most of the states lavished with attention because of the Electoral College are actually mid-sized states that, for demographic reasons, tend to be politically diverse. These states have larger cities, but not ones so dominant that they completely dominate the state's politics, and ethnic diversity, both of which are generally lacking from smaller states. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, Colorado and Arizona are hardly small states, but they are the states that, because of the winner-take-all of the Electoral votes from those states, have for years been the most important prizes in a Presidential election. They are joined by smaller states Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire as "swing states."

Right now, unless you live in one of those states, you won't really matter in November.
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Calavera
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 02:24:13 AM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on January 11, 2012, 12:15:00 AM

Most of the states lavished with attention because of the Electoral College are actually mid-sized states that, for demographic reasons, tend to be politically diverse. These states have larger cities, but not ones so dominant that they completely dominate the state's politics, and ethnic diversity, both of which are generally lacking from smaller states. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, Colorado and Arizona are hardly small states, but they are the states that, because of the winner-take-all of the Electoral votes from those states, have for years been the most important prizes in a Presidential election. They are joined by smaller states Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire as "swing states."

Right now, unless you live in one of those states, you won't really matter in November.

It's not because of the Electoral College that makes those states important, it's because that's where people live. Even without the EC, many of those states would be critical to victory. They aren't really "mid-sized" states, 5 of the 13 you list are in the top 10 by population. Keep in mind, the top 10 states by population have over half the US population. Ohio is the 7th largest state by population, PA is 6th, MI is 8th, VA is 12th, NC is 10th and FL is 4th. The remaining states are in the middle third somewhere. You've actually listed roughly a third of the US population.

Calling New Hampshire a 'swing' state is a bit disingenuous, it was only a 'battleground state' in 2008 because of McCain's perceived strength there. It's 42nd by population and I don't think it has been considered critical to victory unless you go back to the late 1700s early 1800s. And if you're going to say people don't matter, you should be saying it to everyone outside of Ohio. Winning Ohio has been a relatively good indication of a victory.  icon_wink
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