Time for electoral reform in the US?

Maybe it is time for some electoral reform in the United States. Only 2 states [Maine and Nebraska] do not follow the winner-takes-all rule like the other states. In those states, there could be a split of Electoral votes among candidates through the state’s system for proportional allocation of votes. So those two states have a slightly better representation of the vote.

In the case of this past US election, Hillary Clinton had 2 million more votes than president-elect Donald Trump and yet lost the election because Trump won more of the tighter races like Michigan and Pennsylvania while Clinton blew away Trump in California and the District of Columbia. [Note: Some information is still not final.] An estimated 136 million out of 232 million people voted in the US. So take the 232 million and divide into 538 seats and you have roughly 431,000 votes per seat. There was about 9 states [plus DC] that didn’t even get that many votes in this past election. California [the biggest prize] got a bit under 14 million who voted out of about 25 million.

While the constitution guarantees every state a minimum of 2 seats other states are given quite a bit more. Nebraska had just 835,000 votes but still had 3 seats [at a total of 1.3 million voters, they are about on par with the number of seats allocated].

But here comes the question: A state such as California is a winner takes all state. So whomever gets the most votes wins all the seats no matter how close. So [even after a recount] the winner could have taken all 55 seats with just a [say] 100 vote majority. What does that say to the people who voted for the wrong candidate. Instead of a 28 seats to 27 seats, those who were not on the winning side technically are not represented.

Maybe it is time to adjust the electoral college and maybe incorporate what is done in some countries in Canada and elsewhere.

In Canada [as of 2015] there are 338 seats [or ridings] in Parliament. With some minor exceptions, every riding in Canada is at the averages about 75,000 people and within the largest provinces there is a difference of about 15,000 [plus or minus]. Each riding is counted on election day. The winner of the riding means one seat for the party and its leader. So in British Columbia [with 42 ridings], it is not who wins the most votes in BC but who won the most ridings.

Like in the US elections, there will be some ridings were there will be a landslide win for one candidate or another but overall they were even out.

The largest province, Ontario has almost a third of the ridings. Can you imagine how easy it could be if it was a winner take all? Another 49 ridings and they won easily. [Quebec generally votes the same way as Ontario, so the election would be over before the western provinces are counted.] In the last federal election in Canada in 2015, the percentages of seats won were very close to that of the popular vote.

Going back to the US election, theoretically Clinton could of picked up about 272 of 538 seats.

[PS – There is talk of modifying the electoral process in Canada, switching to proportional representation. But that should never happen. With 2 large parties and a third almost as large, Canadian governments would end with constant coalitions like in Italy, Israel, etc. as there hasn’t been a party that has had more than 50% of the vote in years.]

 

Recount!

Well, here we go again.

Jill Stein, Green Party leader who amassed something like 1% of the vote in the elections, is challenging the results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as she has the right to do so if the vote is with a certain percentage.

Democratic party leader, Hillary Clinton, has announced that she will support the recounts. Two of three states were close.

Didn’t take long for President-elect, Donald Trump, to act like baby-elect, by making un-presidential comments [and those that are on his side] like “crybabies”, “scam” and “fraudulent”. Does he [and his followers] know the definition of the last two words?

Trump claimed in a tweet Sunday, without any evidence, that “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Maybe they voted for him illegally. No one expected him to win in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Trump’s Michigan margin was a hair’s breadth 0.22 per cent of the state’s votes [11,000 vote difference]. Trump beat Clinton in Wisconsin by fewer than 22,200 votes, less than 1 per cent of votes cast. He won Pennsylvania by some 70,600 votes, just more than 1 percentage point over Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Nothing will change.” And yet he has flip-flopped already on many major campaigned promises.

Theoretically, Clinton could tip the scale if she won all three recounts. This would no doubt cause some major troubling times in the US.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to “interview” potential candidates for his cabinet but few from the party will be interviewed or offered jobs. After all, part of his campaign strategy was to sweep out the party’s establishment. And yet former Presidential nominee Mitt Romney was interviewed.

Campaign supporters Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani still haven’t been given any job. Wonder what they’ll think if they get a basic role instead of a “secretarial” role.

Trump has also seemed to be pointing to more former military people to help him – which could signify potential build-up in military conflicts under his administration.

He also turned some heads when he did hire a Fox News analyst. Turns out she has been in government but not since Ronald Reagan was president.

 

Some warnings about a toolbar and cellphones

Almost three million Android phones, many of them used by people in the US, are vulnerable to code-execution attacks that remotely seize full control of the devices. Researchers have cataloged 55 known device models that are affected. The most affected manufacturer is US-based BLU Products, which accounted for about 26 percent, followed by multinational Infinix with 11 percent, Doogee with almost 8 percent, and Leagoo and Xolo with about 4 percent each.

Each of these manufacturers sell low priced Android cell phone. The firmware was developed by a Chinese company called Ragentek Group and doesn’t encrypt the communications sent and received to phones and doesn’t rely on code-signing to authenticate legitimate apps.

 

According to a report, the ask.com Toolbar Updater is currently being compromised to deliver malware. The program and its updater is often downloaded by unsuspecting users and considered by some to be a potentially unwanted application.

Therefore if you have it, remove it. To check:

  1. Go into your Control Panel.
  2. Click on Programs and Features.
  3. Look for ask.com Toolbar and/or ask.com Toolbar Updater [the names may vary].
  4. If found [for each], right click on the line and select Uninstall. Follow the directions and agree to everything during the uninstallation [that makes sense]. If brings you to a web page, close that page.

 

Disabling Siri on an iPhone lockscreen

There has been a couple of recent stories where someone can access an iPhone without having your password. While the probability could be unlikely, it may be a good idea to disable the option of using Siri with a locked screen.

You can disable Siri on your iPhone’s lockscreen by going to Settings, choosing Touch ID & Passcode, and selecting Disable Siri on the Lockscreen.

While even less likely on an iPad, it still maybe a good idea.

 

Trump’s policies are changing fast

With Donald Trump’s election win, it seems his policies that he did announce [and revised] during the campaign have changed already.

The “extreme vetting” as well as banning Muslims was removed right after the election.
All throughout the campaign, Trump wanted to arrest Hillary Clinton because of her Email server situation. Now he is having second thoughts.

As well, he will not amount any challenge to same sex marriages saying the courts have made their decision but he still thinks who has the right to have an abortion [Roe vs Wade] can be changed.

He even may pick a conservative Supreme Court nominee that has some non-conservative thoughts.

Remember having Mexico paying for the wall? Now he may get it build and charge Mexico in addition that the wall he proposed may only be built in certain areas.

If the estimated 11 million illegals that he wants to deport, that down to an estimated 3 million – those who are troublemakers.

Before he wanted to dump “Obamacare”. Now he says he will keep the better parts of it.
NAFTA? Sounds like he’s thinking of renegotiating parts of it.

I am wondering what his supports will think when he softens his stance.

In other news, Trump gave equal partnership in running the administration to Steve Bannon. Bannon was the head of an “alt right” web site that would be consider farther right than the GOP. Going through the site you may find anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist articles. He didn’t even want his daughters to go to a private school because Jews would be there [his ex-wife claimed].

Trump’s team denied everything [nothing changes] claiming Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs. Maybe originally owned by Jews, less than 2% is owned by individuals. The rest is owned by the public or various investment companies. They also said he worked in Hollywood [the old stereotype where the [far] right thinks Hollywood is run by Jews.

 

Democrats to investigate loss

Well it has been a week since Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump with the latter becoming President-elect of the United States.

The democratic party, in shock, is trying to figure out what happened. They had a double digit lead a bit over a week before the election. That shrunk down to just a few percentages prior to the election.

While Clinton did actually get the most votes, it is the number of seats that decides who will become President. For example, Clinton demolished Trump in the District of Columbia [i.e. Washington] and did very well in the states that would be hers [such as California] but many states she was neck and neck with Trump. She lost key battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida where she should have won them. Probably just 1-2 of those states would have gone her way and she would be President-elect.

Clinton has blamed the FBI director [who for now will be keeping his job] but it wasn’t just the mail server. You don’t lose maybe 10% in the polls on an issue like that.

The Democrats couldn’t count on the minorities and younger voters that should of propelled her. Some believe she may have alienated the African American voters. She obviously did not get the same support as Barack Obama did in his two wins [of course he is African-American].

Now they have about 3 years to figure what happened and how to correct things.

[Of all things, there is now a movement in California to leave the union.]

 

 

America has spoken….

Well the Americans have spoken….

And good luck to them for the next 4 years.

Donald Trump defied the odds [if the right word] and became the 45th President of the United States.

The Democratic voters failed Hillary Clinton in the battleground states including Ohio, Michigan and Florida in addition to states she should have won [Pennsylvania was a big blow. She had a lead around midnight.]

To further see where Clinton lost, consider the fact that since April she hadn’t visited Wisconsin – one of the states she lost but should of won.

As for her faults, she had Email server issues, Benghazi reoccurrences, Husband Bill’s baggage and the fact that Clinton is a wooden campaigner with a tendency to put small policy things ahead of an actual policy vision.

Interesting, Clinton actually has less white voters voting for her than Obama while Trump actually had more minorities [even Latinos] that Mitt Romney who ran against Barrack Obama.

If you remove the super delegates during the primaries, Clinton didn’t do too well against Bernie Sanders. It showed you that she got in because she wasn’t much stronger than Sanders.

The question would be if there was a different candidate other than Clinton [or even Trump] instead. If Obama [if he wasn’t President] running against Trump or Mitt Romney or John McCain running against Clinton, would the outcome be different? Each of these three have fairly squeaky clean images. None had a spouse who was President. None held a cabinet post before.

The stock markets had dropped overnight but the Japanese and Mexican stock market took some of the biggest hits. The latter because the Mexican peso was already hurting because of the nervousness of a Trump win. Surprising the North American markets went back to positive territory by midday.

A question will be whether he stays for four years. Already some speculated that he may become bored and bow out before the 4 years. Unlikely. One other thought is that he was voted in as the oldest elected President. Will he have a medical issue that forces him to leave as he is already the oldest President on election day in US history. [A reminder that he claimed throughout the election that he was healthier than Clinton].

His friend/puppet-master Vladimir Poutine contacted him early Wednesday.

Many world leaders gave the standard congratulation comments but I’m wondering how many were sincere.

Unfortunately even the far right wing leaders in France and Germany were happy as well.

When it looked like he would win the election, he probably celebrated by excusing himself to go to the washroom, grabbed a couple of young female interns and groped them.🙂

Meanwhile, I’m sure certain areas of the US were out of moonshine and deep fried Oreos after the celebrations were over.🙂