The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

It's really just turned into one long, ever extending, dark national nightmare by now

Ah, Election Day! The end of our long, dark, national nightmare is finally over! We now can look forward to a short, dark, national nightmare until January 20th, quickly followed by a very long, dark, four year long national nightmare election season leading up to Election Night 2020! Woo hoo!

Kidding aside, I would love to see the following changes to our national elections to spare us the “national nightmare” feel:

  1. Limit Presidential campaigns to the year of election only.

    No more two year (or even four year) election cycles. There is no reason for a Presidential election requiring more than eleven months to run (and even there, I'me being generous). Personally, I'd like for it to be even shorter, but I will concede that there should be some time prior to the Conventions.

    But yes, eleven months, tops. Starts in January, ends second Tuesday of November.

  2. No pre-results until all polling stations across the entire country have closed.

    And yes, if that means results aren't announced until 2:00 am Eastern due to Alaska and Hawaii, then so be it. It must really suck to be voting for President in those two states, because by the time the voting stops there, the Main Stream Media has pretty much already called (and possibly swayed) the results.

    This should also put an end to exit polls. We don't need to know who's elected this instant! We can wait a day. I mean, how did we survive Presidential elections a hundred years ago?

    Oh, and any TV or radio station that announce results early will have their broadcasting license revoked by the FCC. Make it really hurt for violators.

  3. The Electoral College needs to be addressed.

    The current system (48 out of 50 states) of “winner take all” is not good. Outside of abolishing it (requiring a Constitutional Amendment and the mess that takes) there are two methods I see to make it a bit better:

    1. Apportion electoral votes per popular vote in the state. That means, if one candidate gets 60% of the popular vote in a state, that candidate will get 60% of that state's electoral votes. This currently happens in two states (Nebraska and Maine).
    2. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is another solution (whereby the states will award their electoral votes to the overall winner of the national popular vote), but it's one I would only feel good about if all states followed this and not just enough states to give 270 electoral votes.

    Or, you know, we could keep the current system, as hated as it is.

  4. Congress could grow a spine and claw back Executive (President) overreach.

    Congress has over time let the Executive Branch take more and more power. If Congress grew a backbone and learned to say “No” then the Office of the President wouldn't be quite so powerful as it is today. Congress write the law, not the President. Then it would matter a bit less who was President, like a goat for instance.

  5. Ban the 24-hour news cycle.

    Not strictly necessary it is something I wish for though.

    And the lack of a 24-hour news cycle could only help.

A wish list for sure. But it would be nice not to have to endure a multiyear national nightmare every four years.

Presidential Predictions II

A decade ago, I linked to An Algorithm for Determining the Winners of U.S. Presidential Elections and I thought it might be interesting to see if it still has predictive power (whether that's a Good Idea™ or a Really Bad Idea™ remains to be seen).

So, here we go:

Presidential electability of the candidates for President in 2016
Trump/Pence 0/00/100/3-110 (Divorced)/--97
Clinton/Kaine0/00/0 0/4-110 (Lobbying Organization)/--106

Looks like we get the Howling Monkey by 9 points!

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