Techdirt Podcast Episode 98: Is There A Better Way To Pick A President?

from the election-fever dept

Well, today's the day. By tomorrow there will be a new President of the United States, and a large segment of the population claiming that they were robbed by the system. But immediate anger aside, that system is hardly above criticism: the Electoral College has had all sorts of unanticipated and often undesirable effects on democracy, and a wide variety of alternatives have been proposed. This week we discuss the question: is there a better way to pick the president?

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 8 Nov 2016 @ 12:08pm

    Well, today's the day. By tomorrow there will be a new President of the United States

    No there won't. There will be a new presumptive President-elect, which will be made official after the electors vote.

    Next January there will be a new President of the United States.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Any Mouse, 8 Nov 2016 @ 1:13pm

    Range voting is the answer. http://rangevoting.org/ That plus redrawing election districts via shortest splitline to get rid of gerrymandering.

    Are there problems with both? yes. but they're boundlessly better than the current.

    The voting system must change to fix anything https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dirkmaster (profile), 8 Nov 2016 @ 1:27pm

    I tend to feel like

    ANY other method would be better. Perhaps a national contest of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 2:37pm

    I'm sure there is a better way, but until we stop with the selective enforcement of the law, it won't matter which way we choose.

    I want the candidate I chose to win, but what I want more than that, is a fair and honest election. Creating loop holes where illegal immigrants can vote, people can vote multiple times, dead people can vote.. etc.. is not what our forefathers intended and is a disgrace to ourselves and our country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Any Mouse, 8 Nov 2016 @ 2:57pm

      Re:

      Studies have shown that voter fraud is actually pretty rare. A few dozen cases over the last few elections.

      It's a lot of work for not much pay off and it's risky as all hell.

      Election fraud on the other hand is relatively easy to pull off and has a huge return on investment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 2:50pm

    On Maine's ballot today -

    https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_Ranked_Choice_Voting_Initiative,_Question_5_(2016)

    If it succeeds, it'll be an interesting experiment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 4:29pm

    Of course there is. Why would we expect to have reached the pinnacle success of anything during our lifetimes?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 8 Nov 2016 @ 4:36pm

    REALLY dont want to do this..

    1. GET THE PEOPLE to decide how to do this..NOT the democrats or republicans, or ANYONE ELSE...

    2. There is NO WAY top get Balance in the states.
    DID you know that Farm states have a Higher ranked vote??
    do you know Why?? BECAUSe of population..Farmers get upto a 1.6 vote..

    3. If you use the Electoral , then it MUST be split According to the percentage a state has VOTED..no way is it fair to give ALL votes to 1 person..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 8 Nov 2016 @ 7:22pm

    STV Versus MMP

    Here in New Zealand, when we were trying to decide, in the early 1990s, which voting system to adopt to replace First-Past-the-Post (FPP), the two main contenders were Single Transferable Vote (STV) and Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP).

    (Technically, STV is not a proportional voting system. Nevertheless, the way it works in practice is very similar to a proportional voting system.)

    In a nutshell, the primary difference is that STV gives power to individual politicians over their parties, while MMP gives power more to the parties than to individual politicians.

    Based on the fact that politics in NZ is primarily party-based, we went for MMP. And I think the country has been much better for it.

    I think you should look at something similar for electing your members of Congress, for a start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 8 Nov 2016 @ 8:44pm

    If The Republicans Roll Back Everything Obama Has Done ...

    ... as somebody more concerned with US foreign policy than its internal policy, I worry that this will destroy the rapprochement that Obama started with Cuba and Iran.

    That’s about the saddest thing I can imagine Trump doing--short of downright nightmare scenarios, anyway ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 8 Nov 2016 @ 11:05pm

    My One Forlorn Hope ...

    ... is that all the bad blood between different Republican factions in the lead up to the vote is not forgotten, and the resulting disagreements in Congress and the Administration dilute their ability to simply do whatever they want.

    But then, given that so many put loyalty to their party before loyalty to their country, I suspect that they will all find a way to grin and bear it, and continue as though they and Trump were always the best of mates...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lance, 9 Nov 2016 @ 3:28pm

    What are you talking about, that was just the popular vote. https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/key-dates.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wm Dudan, 12 Nov 2016 @ 4:22am

    Electoral College is an anachronism lacking any justification today. The votes today can be tabulated accurately and sufficiently fast to enable direct democracy. Direct democracy would have Clinton showing up for her transition briefings the next morning instead of the minority electee.

    BTW the Utah thing was all about counting votes by state. Had nothing to do with one-vote-per-voter (direct democracy).
    --

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wm Dudan, 12 Nov 2016 @ 4:25am

    Electoral College is an anachronism lacking any justification today. The votes today can be tabulated accurately and sufficiently fast to enable direct democracy. Direct democracy would have Clinton showing up for her transition briefings the next morning instead of the minority electee.

    BTW the Utah thing was all about counting votes by state. Had nothing to do with one-vote-per-voter (direct democracy). And Primaries are the property of the individual organisations and have nothing to do with Federal Election requirements.
    --

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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