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Monday, November 24, 2014

The Stink Test

Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011, at 8:33 PM

This is a rewrite of a blog I pulled off. I seriously doubt I will ever take it back live. I will keep it to remind me of the mistakes I made not only in the actual blog, but how I contributed to it going off topic so badly.

Let me begin by saying when I choose a topic to blog about, it is with the intention of encouraging intelligent, polite discourse. I don't think that is too much to ask. Just as asking people responding to please stay on topic. If I find that a blog has gone completely off topic and I can not get it back on track, I will simply pull it. I will never delete a blog I have pulled. Thanks for putting up with the rant and on to the blog.

The Stink Test

All of us have very strongly held beliefs, and this is a good thing. The thing I have noticed for a great number of years, is that I have had to chose to either not vote, or vote for someone who has mostly the same positions and values that I do, but holds a position or view I absolutely disagree with. That is where the stink test comes in. Am I willing to hold my nose as I vote because I completely oppose the other candidate, and there by give credence to a view I so firmly oppose?

There are those out there who say, better to get most of what you want, than to let the other guy win.

This was the logic used by those I knew who voted for Clinton the second time. That and "Well at least we know what he is."

It is this attitude that I believe has lead us to the mess we are in today. It also firmly enforces in me the need for more than 2 parties, and possibly a complete restructuring of our form of government. I truly believe that other democracies have looked at our model and saw the major flaw in it. No one else employs the Electoral College method of choosing a leader. They have also instituted a method of guaranteed representation. Their president is more a figurehead. The real power lies with the prime minister who is chosen by the party with a majority of the votes. Failing that, then coalitions are formed resulting in a moderating of some of the more extreme positions. The other plus for this form of government is that it allows for votes of no confidence and snap elections, thereby avoiding the need to wait 2 or 4 very long years to make any major changes in government. There are those who will point to some countries that seem to have very unstable governments and use that as a justification for not adopting that form of government. I say they are unstable because the politicians got caught lying and then had to pay the price.

Any thoughts or opinions?


Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

The electoral college made sense back in the day when not everyone in rural areas could make it to a ballot box. Those days are gone though, and the electoral college system is obsolete. It needs to go the way of the page system, another obsolete function that is being retired.

-- Posted by technomancer on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 9:00 AM

I would love to see the Electoral College gone !

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 9:02 AM

Destroy the Constitution...change our Republic into a Democracy, and you condemn the last great hope for civilization on this planet to rule by popularity. In effect, Texas, California and New York become the ruling stock holders of the United States; or, inflict maximum abuse and dissolve all state borders and create a single great state.

The great men who founded the American Constitution embodied a separation of authority in the strongest and most durable form. Not only did they divide executive, legislative and judicial functions, but also by instituting a federal system they preserved immense and sovereign rights to local communities and by all these means they preserved--often at some inconvenience--a system of law and liberty under which we have thrived and reached the leadership of the world.

What would you folks do...vote for representatives like contestants on American Idol?!

For our Republic to remain strong, we must avoid the tendency to focus on small parts of the best government rulebook ever written, and try to alter them to suit our immediate dissatisfactions. The entire document must be taken as a whole, or it will eventually be disassembled by well intentioned myopics and disillusioned lunatics alike.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 12:27 PM

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. There would no longer be 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of other states.

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.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL,CA, NJ, MD, MA, VT, and WA. These 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes-- 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


-- Posted by mvymvy on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 3:56 PM

Well said junkyard dog.

-- Posted by DaveThompson on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 4:13 PM

National Popular Vote doesn't change the U.S. Constitution in any way.

The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate. With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast.

The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution, and enacting National Popular Vote would not need an amendment. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

As a republic, the citizens would continue to not rule directly but, instead, elect officeholders to represent them and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, along district lines (as has been the case recently in Maine and Nebraska), or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

Under the current system, the 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States, and a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in just these 11 biggest states -- that is, a mere 26% of the nation's votes.

-- Posted by mvymvy on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 5:05 PM


I can see the joke your making, but in a way, yes. I would like my vote to actually MEAN something. Not just an act when the real votes are up to the electoral college. The EC is obsolete, and it's time to let Americans choose their president, not the EC.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 5:18 PM


You mean like Bush v Gore? Sure it happens, but what rule are you going to follow when there is no popular majority?...like Bush v Clinton v Perot. A Constitutional majority is 51%. In this situation, the college works...the popular majority is determined by each state and the winner takes all of the given state's electoral votes. It could still happen that the electoral college fails to select a 51 percenter by its due date; in which case the states electors turn over their rights to the Congress...one state, one vote.

Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution, as amended by the 12th and 23rd Amendments was not written with a two party election system in mind and there are no limits set on how many people/parties can enter a presidential race. It's still winner take all at the state level.

I've taken a risk by oversimplifying a hyper regulated and convoluted process; I hope I've made a reasonable case for leaving a well tested and challenged rule of government alone.

As the case may be, if the rules are to be changed, it will still be state-by-state; not by a national popular vote.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 8:33 PM

Well Wayne, I think he is mad as heck, has figured it out, and actually has the answer. The whole thing has a chance of being pulled off if, and it's a big if, WE THE PEOPLE STOP HOLDING OUR NOSES AND DEMAND THAT CANDIDATES COME FORWARD THAT EMBRACE THIS POLICY!

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 11:27 PM

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

The bill would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

No possibility of ties, or lack of majority. Always guaranteed to elect President with a majority of Electoral College votes.

-- Posted by mvymvy on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 11:20 AM

The candidate with the MOST popular votes is guaranteed to win the majority of electoral votes.

-- Posted by mvymvy on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 11:21 AM

It shows on lamonts site that he is playing in Caldwell Park in Caldwell on the 13th at 5:00 PM ?

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 2:22 PM

"No possibility of ties, or lack of majority. Always guarantee to win the majority of electoral votes." Sounds like you're rigging the EC and challenging states rights I'm kinda queasy with that idea. It'll take only one state to offer a constitutional challenge for the whole can of worms to wind up in the laps of the Supremes. Vote recounts around every corner.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 5:57 PM

Wayne, just got home from work! On the road all day. My apologies for missing you guys. Maybe the next weekend event, or maybe we can figure out how to communicate outside of this forum.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 10:04 PM

Your right. Some people ask why I do what I do, and I tell them, at least I have a JOB!

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Fri, Aug 12, 2011, at 6:13 AM


Bush vs Gore. Gore winner of popular vote by 500,000 votes.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Fri, Aug 12, 2011, at 6:15 AM

lane done

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Fri, Aug 12, 2011, at 7:30 AM

I hate Iowa....I don't care what people from Iowa think and I am tired of hearing about how much weight Iowa has in the election...ok I feel better. I do think all states should have the same amount of votes. This would keep slick politicians from playacting to only certain states (Iowa) and giving only lip service at best to other states.

-- Posted by DRACO on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 9:57 AM

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A View From The Independent Side
Roy Pratt
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I'm an almost 61 year old transplant from California 6 1/2 years ago. I work in road construction, those dastardly flaggers. My family roots go back to New England farms, not the big city. The last town I lived in when in California grew from 16K to 40K in 10 years, and that was enough to drive me out. I don't engage in or tolerate name calling. Name calling reduces an adult discussion to grade school play yard level. I have never served in the military, but have family members who have, dating back to WW1. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am neither extremely Liberal or Conservative. I am raising my 16 year old grandson, not what I expected at this age, and dealing with those issues as well as my health and near retirement which are 2 things I intend to talk about. I decided to try my hand at this thanks to the warm welcome I have received on Mike's blog. When I take a position, I will defend it until I am shown that I am mistaken, and when that happens, I apologize. There are other things about me that will come out over time I'm sure.