Run The Runoffs

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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56 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m going to take umbridge with the excerpt for this post:

    “It’s not often, but sometimes the South is right and the rest of the country is wrong.”

    We’re right about a whole bunch of things… And regarding a lot of the things that they say we’re wrong about, it seems like the rest of the country has the same problems, they are just better at hiding it. Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      That’s fair. I was mostly thinking of it in terms if the South has its institutions set up one way and the rest of the country another way, the latter is probably better. That there was a racial history behind this, for example, is the opposite of surprising. The South was a really bad place when a lot of these decisions were made.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        True – but systemic racism comes in various forms. Chicago, Boston, etc. A lot of non-Southern locations have used public policy to keep populations segregated.Report

        • Avatar Damon says:

          Hell, just look at Baltimore.Report

          • Avatar gregiank says:

            Mike is correct, but Baltimore is a lot more southern then northern.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              Excuses excuses and it’s run by Dems.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Ummm no. I said Mike is correct on the general point. Just saying Baltimore is southern. But feel free to argue everything and find confrontation everywhere.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                Then why is Baltimore in the AFC North?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                For the same reason Indianapolis is in the AFC South.

                (Remember when Atlanta was in the West of like, every sports league?)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I believe Pittsburgh was in the NL West for a long time.Report

              • Avatar Kenb says:

                No, but Cincinnati was.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                And how many teams do the Pac 10 and Big 10 have? Is it any wonder the world is on fire if we can’t trust sports league conference designations. The center cannot hold. Things fall apart.Report

              • Avatar Kenb says:

                The PAC-x updates their number to match the actual number of teams — it was the PAC-8 when I was growing up and it’s the PAC-12 now. Obviously the two Big x conferences couldn’t do that so easily without some branding and coordination issues, so their number designations are now arbitrary and fixed.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                The Big 12 actually had(/has?) the domains, trademarks, and everything for Big 14 and Big 16. Which creates an awkward thing where the Big Ten has a Big 12 number and vice-versa.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                The NFC West used to be Atlanta, New Orleans, Carolina, St. Louis, and one team that was actually in the west.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                The easy answer is that the NFL is bass ackward in many ways. The fact that it is in the North practically proves my point that is the South.

                The longer answer is that Baltimore used to be Cleavland which was in the same conference as the other North teams. Now of course Cleavland is Cleavland so all is right with the world.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                My alternate NFL Divisions:

                NFL Northern Lakes: Buffalo, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
                NFL Midwest: Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis
                NFL Northeast: New England, Giants, Jets, Philadelphia
                NFL Mid-Atlantic: Baltimore, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Washington
                NFL California: Chargers, Rams, Oakland, San Francisco
                NFL Southeast: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee
                NFL Gulf Coast: Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
                NFL Oh Just Fuck It: Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, Seattle

                Now, if we went to 4 division of 8 teams, you could do:

                NFL Big West: Seattle, San Fran, Oakland, LA, LA, Denver, Arizona, KC
                NFL Deep South: Houston, Dallas, Tennessee, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Atlanta
                NFL Rust Belt: Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Indy, Cinci, Cleveland
                NFL East Coast: Buffalo, NE, Giants, Jets, Philly, Washington, Baltimore, CarolinaReport

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Oakland??? Don’t you mean Las Vegas. So much for coherence.Report

      • Avatar TrexPushups says:

        I would love run offs for president.

        Why with run offs we would likely not be dealing with this trump mess.

        Having to clear 50% in each state or it is a head to head vs top 2 would prevent wasted third party votes etc.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Kentucky is the south? It’s borders Ohio and reaches north past NJ.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        The Census Bureau, looking at a variety of factors, puts Kentucky in the South. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, looking at assorted business linkages, puts Kentucky in the South.

        My cluster analysis work using migration data places Kentucky in an “old Northwest Territory” region, driven largely by moves back and forth across the Ohio River at Cincinnati and Louisville. But I’m an outlier — for example, my software steadfastly refuses to create a unified Midwest that spans the Mississippi River.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

          I am still confused by Kazzy mentioning NJ. Maybe he meant WV?

          Anyway, the Kentucky = South debate is an old one but generally-speaking most of the state identifies more as Southern. Louisville and Northern Kentucky are outliers and we are a bit more Midwestern (lots of German-Catholic roots).

          One of the more popular terms lately to describe KY, MD, VA, and even WV is Upland South and I think it’s as good as any.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            I think he’s referring to the fact that the northernmost point in Kentucky is very slightly farther north than the tip of Cape May at the south end of NJ. North-south relationships are often easy to get wrong because of our preconceptions. Salt Lake City, part of the Southwest, right? Farther north than New York City.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            Facts are hard.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        From watching The Last of the Mohicans I learned that to get to Kentucky from upstate New York, you go west.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I’d be for some kind of IRV offer or do what the French do and have the run-off be election be a week or two after the initial election, not separated by months.

    The more pressing electoral reforms I want to see are making election day a weekend instead of a Tuesday or have something that makes voting easier for the poor and/or people without much time. We do let states set their election processes a bit too much.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I meant to mention it in the OP, but two months is way too much lag time. I think the French election is too truncated, though. The sweetspot to me is 3-4 weeks.Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      How hard is voting now, you show up and vote? How much easier can we make it? Maybe a gov’t ride to the polling place and a gov’t minder to help you fill out your ballot?Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Republicans will use any argument, no matter how transparent the bad faith, to support racist campaigns of voter suppression.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Do you have the tiniest bit of empathy for any argument or do you just dismiss anything and everything out of hand? If you are a lawyer, a particularly harsh prosecutor is the only thing that fits your profile.

        Voting can be easy and it can be made hard. You can make people travel to a handful of locations and wait for hours or you can have multiple locations and have short wait times. Not everyone can get off work to wait for hours especially people in wage & hour jobs. Professional jobs provide more “I have to do X and will be running late/leaving early coverage.”

        You can keep voting in strict hours of 9 AM to 5 PM or expand to give some time to people after work.Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          Voting can be easy and it can be made hard. You can make people travel to a handful of locations and wait for hours or you can have multiple locations and have short wait times. Not everyone can get off work to wait for hours especially people in wage & hour jobs. Professional jobs provide more “I have to do X and will be running late/leaving early coverage.”

          All of which maybe true but is not necessary relevant. Every jurisdiction has only so many locations, machines and money etc. with which to conduct an election. Hopefully they use their they use their resources to enable the most people to vote.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:

        For me it’s a real PITA. I’m out on the road for 3-4 weeks at a time and only rarely home on that day. I’ve voted in person exactly once. And my state makes it a PITA to get absentee ballots as well thanks to Lt. Gov. Kris Kobach.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        In Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, if you’re registered the ballot shows up in your mailbox about three weeks before election day. Arizona’s permanent mail ballot list yields about 75% of all votes cast, California’s about 65%. In the three that have implemented full vote-by-mail, “should we keep it?” polls about 75% yes, across the political spectrum of voters.

        And you know something? It only increases turnout slightly. Off-year turnout is still miserable. What does increase turnout? A nice, juicy ballot initiative drives turnout way up anywhere in the West where such are common.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        How hard is voting now, you show up and vote?

        Depends on the place, doesn’t it? Some places aren’t super busy and you can vote on your way to or from work without much of a disruption in your day. Others have crazy wait times and you’ll end up taking a chunk of your day off of work. Still others allow voting by mail, which is pretty damned easy.

        I’m an able-bodied professional with a lot of control over my schedule and I still vote by mail every single time. If every jurisdiction had that option, I’d have zero pity for bad voter turnout. But as it is, we’re not exactly making it easy in a lot of cases. The benefit an individual gets from voting is pretty infinitesimal, so making it even slightly harder is likely to have noticeable effects on turnout.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      For election day, I favor a three-day approach. Election day is Tuesday, but also allow voting the Satuday and Sunday before.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I can get behind this.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Except that many jurisdictions allow for early voting already. You know, vote early, vote often and vote Dem.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Conservatives often make farcically dishonest accusations of voter fraud in order to support policies to suppress the vote in a racist fashion.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

            Voting on a Tuesday prevents fraud, whereas voting on a Sunday when God is busy watching all of the good people in church allows you to get away with all sorts of stuff on the sly.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              And maybe if we change the day your taxes are due to the day before election day people might better rememmber what they are paying for and they should expect from govt.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                You’re not going to get any pushback from me. I’d like to see people get monthly statements the same way they get them for utilities. Itemize the top 10 or 20 expenditures and how much of their cash went to each one. That would probably save a ton of confusion since people on both sides of the aisle believe absolutely ridiculous things about taxes and where their money goes.

                But that still doesn’t say anything about whether making people take off work on a weekday and plod down to a random public building to vote makes any sense.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                It makes perfect sense if the goal is not “let the voice of We The People be heard” or even “to the polls ye sons of Freedom” but, as PJ said a while back “count those people as 3/5 of a person but don’t let them do 3/5 of the voting”.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco says:

            That deep Kansas probe that 45’s hot new fraud investigator spent millions on?

            Found maybe a double handful of in-person fraud cases. And the majority of them voted R.

            Expect it to be touted in the panel’s recommendation of Vote Suppression Best Practices. With the actual cite buried deep deep in a footnote, along with the other misrepresentations.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Abolish special elections. Let state parties choose placeholder congresspersons until the next regularly scheduled election.

    The House of Representatives is supposed to be the part of the federal government most directly accountable to the people. (In the initial design, it was the *only* part of the fed gov that was)

    Putting appointees – by party machines no less – undermines the entire basic premise of the House of Reps.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      The way districting works has already fatally undermined that premise, though.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Given enough antipathy towards the status quo, you can overcome a lot of gerrymandering – that’s how Tom Perriello won in central Virginia district that was in excess of R+5 iirc against literally a Goode ol boy.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          You can overcome a lot of things, if you get my meaning.

          It’s also not just a matter of gerrymandering, though that surely doesn’t help.

          Doubling the number of Reps and having more multi-member districts seems like it would be a good step in the right direction. And I think it could be done entirely through legislation.Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          Goode couldn’t carry the people’s republic of Charlottesville and lost.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I think the republic will survive 97% rather than 100% of congresscritters being elected.

      (If it helps, I would bar the placeholder for running for the seat.)Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “From a democratic-process standpoint, the desire of the south to avoid allowing a minority segment of the population from choosing the winner is reasonable.”

    Good argument against the electoral college, no?Report

    • Avatar Trumwill says:

      Ha! I was actually deliberate in my wording there for precisely that reason (ie saying such a desire was “reasonable” than that it was “right”). I do think the president should be chosen by popular vote, though also see virtue in the anti-majoritarian senate. So I’ve a mixed record on that.Report

      • Avatar TrexPushups says:

        Without the impulse to count non-voting slaves for population that was blunted with the 3/5th’s compromise I don’t think the electoral college would have ended up happening.Report

        • Avatar Catchling says:

          Probably not. But I doubt an at-large popular vote would have been agreed to either, given the founders’ fondness for state sovereignty (though that itself could be almost totally rooted in the same racism as the compromise).

          Possibly we would have gone parliamentarian, with the House (which of course was influenced by the slavery-based apportionment) electing the president (just as it does in the event that the Electoral College doesn’t supply a majority-winning candidate).Report