OT OT - Pls point me to source of info about electoral college and how we might change that system... OT OT

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Sorry to bother you all with this but I am looking for ideas.

I just finished an hour long discussion with my mom about apathy in American voters, especially younger voters. Personally, I am 33 and sorely ignorant of the actual electoral college (collegiate?) process - I understand it was established over a century ago due to the difficulty in nationwide communication. I don't see the need now and believe that a lot of folks don't vote because they a) don't understand the real process and/or b) feel that their vote won't really "count". A "popular" vote seems to be the right goal but I would think that the powers-that-are wouldn't like the shakeup likely to occur "What? Power to the PEOPLE??????". It sure seems like it would help.

If you know of a good online resource or a politician/legislator currently speaking similarly please let me know. I feel strongly about this as a huge step in the right direction for our country. Thanks.

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999


DS, Please delete.

-- Uhmm.. (jfcp81a@prodigy.com), September 07, 1999.

Assuming this is not a troll, you would need decades to affect change - assuming further that this was worth doing.

The problem is people are too easy to manipulate. Most people are so busy with their daily lives that they rely on others (TV, radio, newspaper, magazine) to tell them what to do. In a "popular" vote, the hypnotized couch-potatoes will still do as instructed.

You need to do something to affect the value systems of a majority of individuals. Something basic, like "being a queer, doing drugs, robbing people and killing are bad" - "helping each other, working hard, loving your friends and family is good".

Right now, most people are such scum-bags (or at least tolerate scum- bags) that Clinton is the ideal choice!

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous99.xxx), September 07, 1999.


This is relevant to a discussion of the political dimension of Y2k.

A discussion which you are not obligated to participate in, I might add.


-- Liberty (liberty@theready.now), September 07, 1999.


-- Kristi is no troll (she posts@the time.ithink), September 07, 1999.

Well, just nosed over to the website for the Electoral College - interesting. Then dove into the Federalist Papers for the first time at the same site (it is a CRIME that I wasn't taught this in high school!). Found number 68 by Hamilton from March 12 (or 14?), 1788 which explains why the electoral college was created. It is still not clear to me why we need the electoral college TODAY. I THINK I remember seeing pictures and names on the ballot for these folks but had no knowledge of "who" they are nor what their importance truly was. Mostly I did not vote for them due to my ignorance.

I have a deepening sense of sadness that there is a huge lack of education among the people of this country regarding this. I am crazy enough to step up and admit it but was considered a very bright and successful student. If I was a "two-percenter" how much of this did the other "ninety-eight percent" get. This is very sobering to me.

Again, please share your information on this subject. I will continue to read and learn. If still convinced that this "process" is obsolete then I would like to work towards change.

This has prompted me to dust off a book called "The Great Thoughts" by George Seldes, ISBN: 0-345-29887-X. Here are a couple of gems:

John Adams, second president of the United States: "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men of the country.

Let us dare to read, think, speak and write."

Then there is this from Martin Bormann, a German Nazi leader:

"Education is a danger....At best an education which produces useful coolies for us is admissible. Every educated person is a future enemy." From a letter to his wife, Gerda.

And lastly, for some reason I wish to add this from Adolf Hitler:

"Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."

Thanks for your patience with my ramblings. Does any of this hit home with you folks?

Yikes, here's one more.... from Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816), an American Statesman: "Give the vote to the people who have no property, and they will sell them to the rich, who will be able to buy them.".

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999.

A very complicated question, Kristi. One of the reasons the electoral college was set up this particular way was to keep states and regions with sparse populations from being overwhelmed politically by densely populated states. Think of how little influence the whole bloc of western states would have, lying betreen the West Coast and the Midwest, if everything depended on a straight popular vote. And there are other advantages, too, I would argue. But my main point to you is that I don't think voter apathy is due one iota to the electoral college system. A much more obvious answer is at hand: dismal candidate quality.

-- Peter Errington (petere@ricochet.net), September 07, 1999.


I was careful to include "OT" in the title, four times.

This qualifies as "trolling"?

Thank you for the responses.

To the sysops, sorry I got rolling with this, the thought just stuck with me and my fingers started typing (and searching). I will check out some of the other sites that might be more (?) appropriate. No desire to offend, just looking for other perspectives and this forum has a wide spectrum of participants. :)

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999.


Thank you. My thoughts on this subject are "evolving" by the minute. I feel a better history lesson is in order. Just dug up an dog eared paperback of the "Federalist Papers" - found it at a garage sale a while back, now will read. Thanks to all.

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999.

A good point, Peter.

I might also add that most Americans have no idea how much tax they are paying, and absolutely no concept of what the framers of our government intended.

Kristi, I don't think the electoral college is a problem. The problem is that there are too many voters. The original voters were all landowners. The founders limited the vote because they believed that with universal suffrage the masses would use government to plunder those who owned property. History in America has proven them largely correct. Now we have population which feels not the slightest guilt at using the power of government to improve the economic position of one segment of the population at the expense of another.

Consider how rapidly public sentiments can, and do, change. The constitutional republic which the framers established was intended to insulate public policy from vacillating public opinion. They would be scandalized to see the opinion polls driving the congress today.

I see you have come up with some good background information above. Some interesting reading there. Also, consider getting a copy of a little essay by a Frenchman named Frederick Bastiat, entitled, "The Law." It is short, but quite enlightening.



-- gene (ekbaker@essex1.com), September 07, 1999.

The founders did not set up a democracy (majority vote); they set up a republic. "Popular" vote counting was minimized. States were the key. Majority voting makes states superfluous, which the NWO loves.

Actually, one of the problems is that we now have "democratic" election of Senators. Originally the state legislatures or Governor was to appoint the U.S. Senators (I don't have Constitution available this moment, so I can't give details as to what exactly the critieria originally was, and which ammendment changed it. However, it was some time in the period following the Civil War to around WWI, when a lot of ammendments were passed converting this country from a union of states to a Big Brother State where states are subsidiary to the Federal, instead of the other way around -- the original intent.

Some of these ammendments, in the 20th century, were the so-called "income tax" ammendment, the vote for women, and direct election of Senators.

-- A (A@AisA.com), September 07, 1999.

Kristi- DON'T STOP NOW!!! This is something we NEED to think about as things get more "interesting". Having some kind of an answer to the question "What Comes After??" is what will separate the GI's from the sheeple.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), September 07, 1999.

After digesting much of the above info. (plus lunch) and the ideas at www.truedemocracy.org I find myself determined to learn more. One of the ideas that keeps floating to the top is that the public, especially <40, may be very under-educated with regard to this subject. I can't help but feel that this sits just fine with the big money folks because if we are ignorant then we can't "get in the way". On the other hand I recognize that it is my OWN RESPONSIBILITY to learn about the process and participate. Sheesh.....

I feel really torn between the two thoughts: That "commoners" are largely incapable or unwilling to learn how to particpate effectively, therefore "someone" has to step up to the plate - hence the results we see today OR if we elect presidents by a popular vote that we might see increased enthusiasm for the process and, hopefully, more accurate representation (yeah Jesse!). Close on the heels of this type of action must be campaign finance reform (the previously mentioned website touts ideas very similar to mine) - the public should fund campaigns - equal airtime, equal ad dollars, etc. Of course then I wonder how do you keep from having "too many" candidates?..... *sigh*

Though I can sort of see justification for conservative's fears that going to a popular vote would result in a huge wealth transfer (and chaos) I know that I try to vote about what is best for my country, not just for "ME". Even though I may not earn lots of $$$ I am still not convinced that rich folks should pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes, or that I should be "encouraged" to have more children with a dependent benefit. Maybe I am naive but I don't think I am alone in this. Sadly, I must admit that there may be too many self-centered folks or those easily swayed by smooth/loud talkers.

I do know one thing........It's time for a siesta! :)

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999.


Peter, some days I would agree with you but I still think the ultimate responsibility for the quality of our candidates falls back upon you and me. I read somewhere once ("Yankee" mag.?) something to the effect that we "get what we pay for" or "what we admire" and he/she asked how we can have the greatest basketball players in the world but such mediocre politicians. That has stuck with me over quite a few years.

I deeply think we need to educate and encourage young people to participate in their political world. Of course, it seems like we should clean up the mess we have made first, doesn't it?

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999.

I have lurked with pleasure and interest.

The electoral college is simply a set of REPRESENTATIVES who were originally to select the president. Our whole system is crucially dependent on the use of REPRESENTATIVES. The founders believed that individual voting on a large scale--democracy--was frought with various evils. Among these is a tendency to ignorance and manipulation by articulate but dishonest politicians. One maxim was: "the larger the group, the easier it is to control". Unfortunately, the electoral college fell on its face on its first use--no one thought he could get elected unless he first announced he was going to choose G. Washington! Out the window went the idea of free choice by the electoral college. We weren't supposed to know who they were going to vote for. They were supposed to meet and make a reasoned, "unbiased" choice. Oh well.

Personally, I think it would be an improvement to try to fix the original system. Instead of choosing the president, choose someone who would do a better job than you of choosing him. Let him work at it full time for a year, in conjunction with the other electors. The key is, DON'T LET HIM TELL HIS CHOICE BEFORE HE GETS ELECTED!

All I know (or think I know) about this, I have learned in the last five years (I'm now 41). I feel cheated by my schooling.

- Larry D.

-- Larry Davis (ldavis@psi-controls.com), September 07, 1999.

The electoral college is a manefestation of our compound republic and true federalism. It represents a vote by the citizens of each State weighted among states by population. Each State is "foreign" to the other and the federal government is "foreign" to each State except as all relate under the federal Constitutional frame.

Our government is designed NOT to be hierarchial from the top down. Laws made by the federal government apply to persons and not to States. In our system, the people retain sovereignty and delegate limited authority to perform certain functions to three separate branches of government (judicial, legislative and executive.)

In addition, a dual system of government was created where the State governments were to function in the public interest as regards the "police powers" to protect public health, safety and peace; and incentive powers to promote public welfare. On the other hand, the central or "federal" government was to act on things only of common interest to all the States as specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

The republican form of government commonly uses representative to vote for a group rather than every man voting for himself. This protects private rights and property from usurpation by a majority. The founders thought democracy "mobocracy" and intentionally selected a republican form of government instead.

The Constitutional change allowing popular election of federal Senators threw off the carefull Constitutional lance of federalism. Previously, Senators were selected by the State legislatures. One of the important functions of these Senators was to advise in treaty making and to ratify treaties. As we are not a hierarchial government, it was important that the States agreed to treaties that would have to be implemented on the State level. This "tinkering" has facilitated the practice of the federal executive agreeing to treaties that the federal government has no legitimate power to implement. Consequently, there has been extreme pressure to coagulate carefully separated powers into one central glob.

Kristi, please read our website on our ingenious and unique form of government. Understand the beauty of this heritage and its Constitutional checks and balances before tinkering with it. http://www.snowcrest.net/siskfarm/tableoc2.html and http://www.snowcrest.net/siskfarm/treaty1.html

-- marsh (siskfarm@snowcrest.net), September 07, 1999.


No siesta but a cup of coffee instead! Thanks for your input. I see your point but must admit that I rebel against voting for someone who can "make a better choice" than I could about a president. I want to see a candidate sweat, see the quality of their smile, how they handle a real debate or tough questions. Of course the media honchos cut/neuter it all so much, but that's a SEPARATE issue (or is it...hmmmm). I was really pissed off at George W. when he "Clintonized" and weaseled out of answering fully about his being "clean" at least 20 years. He was cocky and indignant and kept turning it around. Those are the kind of people we seem to keep getting. I want someone with integrity, grit and honesty. I don't care if I don't AGREE with him/her on every detail. Colin Powell, Jesse Ventura...... I don't think it takes an electoral college to elect someone like that. Since they aren't running, maybe John McCain - but do I really think that the special interests, big money, and convoluted system will allow him to become president? *sigh*

How do we choose an elector? Was I correct about them being those "unknowns" on the ballot? I am sorry, I just don't know. Maybe as I study more I will become more accepting of it. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn. Marsh, thanks for the info - I glanced at the site - heavy reading - will return.

Bye y'all!

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 07, 1999.

Kristi and Larry...you have raised my hopes for this nation by your posts here...thank you! To realize that younger Americans are seeking and learning things they were denied in school, which us older posters were gifted with in our schooling, heartens me no end. It is easy to assume that your generation has been lulled to sleep in our current system, only to find your bright young minds alert and seeking. Keep on going...you are headed in the right direction. I thank God for you both.

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), September 08, 1999.

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