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Posted: 10/21/2004 1:30:29 PM EST
I had a discussion with the GF on the way home today, and this topic came up. I need some facts to explain this to her.

She understands that the STATES elect the president, and not the popular vote.

HELP!!!
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:35:52 PM EST
If we had a direct election Algore would be president now. A certifiable lunatic.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:36:24 PM EST
If electoral votes were all given on the basis of the popular vote, then you wouldn't NEED the EC.

The purpose of the EC (at least ONE purpose of it) is to prevent states with high population centers from overpowering more rural states. Hence the winner-take-all model.

Just because you win Kali, NY, and Illinois (Chicago), the rest of the states added up can defeat the population centers. Remove the EC, and the GOP won't win another presidency again because all the socialists crammed into a handful of states will outgun the normal people everywhere else.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:37:59 PM EST
Sounds like an anti-Electoral College screed I read some time ago, had several bullshit questions like that, supposed to encourage the weak-minded reader to go 'hmmm'.

Start with the Big concept of why the Electoral College is in place - to prevent mob rule. To ensure smaller less populous states a say in our National process.

Splitting a State's Electoral Votes (as CO is voting about on Nov 2) is just an underhanded attempt to subvert the Electoral College, to step onto the slippery slope leading to Direct Popular Vote / mob rule.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:44:12 PM EST
Zaphod: I whole-heartedly agree.

Check with our neighbors to the north. Most of the people live in the southeast of Canada, near Ottawa, Ontario, Toronto, Montreal. Those folks just outmuscle all of the people in the west, which resulted in the their current scheme to register all guns. This was a big fear of the founding fathers of the USA.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:46:58 PM EST
This was the deal it took to have a country and a Constitution. The 13 colonies agreed to it. I guess it's only because old guys from a long time ago decided it that it's now termed "out of date", an "anachronism". I don't buy it. It was a compromise to make large and small states more equal and comfortable with a federal government. Without it we might as well just have one big state and do away with State Legislatures. In the long run it appeals to people like me who hate the idea of a mobocracy, where 50.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000­0000001% of the people can tell 49.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999­9% of the people to eat shit......and like it.

I'm in CA and my vote probably means LESS than a vote in ANY OTHER STATE. Still I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water and blame my troubles on Montana. I might want to move there some day.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:48:30 PM EST
If Kalifornia's Republicans really thought about this, that they would be angry that the liberal scum can essentially negate their votes, with the winner-take-all electoral system.
Surely the number of rural Republican Kalifornians outnumbers some small democrat other state population, although maybe not the big city Kali Liberal vote.
Winner-take-all electoral voting will deprive the millions of Kalifornia Bush voters of their voice.
If the popular vote were counted, even if Kali went 49-51 Bush-Kerry, the popular vote for Bush could overwhelm some dinky democrat state's voters.

You are all thinking of this as a liberal advantage, when it fact, it could be disenfranchising conservative voters in large population states.

The popular vote IS the real voice of the people.
It is the winner-take-all system that is negating your votes!
If the state has a huge population in it's liberal cities, then the whole state's conservatives get NO say?
No matter HOW many votes we are talking about?

The number of electoral college electorates is supposedly based on the population of the state.
So, tell me again, how this is good for the rural voters?
They are overwhelmed by the city voter numbers anyway.
But winner-take-all makes sure the rural conservative vote counts for NOTHING.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:52:48 PM EST
Actually, the Electoral Collage system DOESN'T HAVE to be winner take all.
It was discussed during the last election.

I think that the way it should work is that each COUNTY gets an electoral vote, and the winner in each county gets that county's vote.

THat would have allowed Simon to win in Kali, and would guarentee that the Republicans would win the Presidency.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:53:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 1:54:05 PM EST by mikejohnson]
being that we are a democratic republic, it is up to the states to decide how their electoral votes are handled, so unless you are from the state in question, MYOB!!!

(also, some states already do divide up their electoral votes)
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:54:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 1:55:05 PM EST by Hydguy]

Originally Posted By mikejohnson:
being that we are a democratic republic, it is up to the states to decide how their electoral votes are handled, so unless you are from the state in question, MYOB!!!



Wrong. We are a representative Republic. We are not supposed to be anything close to a democracy.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:55:19 PM EST
Hydguy, the county thing makes MUCH more sense than what we have now.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:57:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Just because you win Kali, NY, and Illinois (Chicago), the rest of the states added up can defeat the population centers. Remove the EC, and the GOP won't win another presidency again because all the socialists crammed into a handful of states will outgun the normal people everywhere else.



If this was true then wouldn't it be more common to have a candidate win the popular vote but lose the EC? If Im not mistaken this has only happened twice.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 1:58:00 PM EST
This way my Jewish Cabal can run the world through the defense department......
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:02:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:

The number of electoral college electorates is supposedly based on the population of the state.
So, tell me again, how this is good for the rural voters?
They are overwhelmed by the city voter numbers anyway.
But winner-take-all makes sure the rural conservative vote counts for NOTHING.



No, its not directly tied to the population, it is the sum of the number of represenatives and the number of senators. The number of reps is based on population, but every state has two senators, so the states with smaller populations still have a voice that matters a little more than it would if it was done just by population.

That way more rural states have some say. If you simply based it on popular vote, LA, San fran, Chicago, NY, Boston, Philly and thier immediate surrounding areas would determine every presidential election.

That is the same reason the house is based on population but teh senate is fixed on 2 senators per state, to ensure smaller states do not get tromped on by the larger ones.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:06:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 2:07:22 PM EST by Hexagonal]
A 2 senator advantage means very little when dealing with the electoral votes, of say, Kalifornia.
I still say this system would be run better if the winner-take-all were at a county level, NOT a state level.
The cities are still controlling the votes at a state level.

The original idea seems to be working only at a Senate level.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:07:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
If electoral votes were all given on the basis of the popular vote, then you wouldn't NEED the EC.

The purpose of the EC (at least ONE purpose of it) is to prevent states with high population centers from overpowering more rural states. Hence the winner-take-all model.

Just because you win Kali, NY, and Illinois (Chicago), the rest of the states added up can defeat the population centers. Remove the EC, and the GOP won't win another presidency again because all the socialists crammed into a handful of states will outgun the normal people everywhere else.



I don't think that reforming the electoral college is out of the question and is probably inevitable if the 2004 election produces a president (from either party) who is substantially shy of a majority/plurality of the popular vote. The current system is disfunctional in that all of the candidates' effort is focused on a fewlswing states that have a small minority of the county's population

One idea that I have discussed with some of my friends is awarding the electoral votes by congressional district instead of winner take all by state. Electoral votes are apportioned to the states 1 per house seat + 2 (for the senate seats). The two senatorial electors could be awarded to the candidate that wins a majority of either the state's popular vote or a majority of the state's house districts.

I think that the idea that the GOP could never win another presidential election with this system is mistaken. The GOP does own a majority of House and Senate seats and has since 1994, with the exception of the time from Sen Jeffords defection until the 2002 elections.

The benefits of this system should be clear. For one, both parties could no longer afford to completely ignore whole states. There are conservative districts in CA and NY and liberal ones in Texas and VA. Republicans have all but abandoned CA since 1992 and the results have been telling - it took a near fiscal catastrophe to elect (in a special election no less) a very liberal republican there. The state assembly has turned ever more towards the democrats since the national party bailed on the state. More GOP attention could change this.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:13:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By warlord:
Zaphod: I whole-heartedly agree.



Thanks.

What I am embarassed to have to admit is that I didn't fully appreciate the purpose of the EC until the mess of 2000. Then it became all too clear.

Proof positive that the Founders were a historically brilliant bunch of people, and we should be very, VERY careful about changing what they established!
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:13:29 PM EST
if it wasnt winner take all nobody would ever again win the neccessary points to become president and then i thinks its the senate or something would get to choose the president every time. There were some good articles about this in the news regarding colorados vote to split their states points depending on percentages.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:15:09 PM EST
What doesn't seem right to me, is that California gives 55 electoral votes, even if only one voter in the whole state shows up to the polls to vote. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really anti-EC, I'm just saying...
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:17:37 PM EST
As I said in another thread...Look up David Broder's syndicated editorial in todays paper, it hoses all of the arguments for change brought up here. Because of syndication, there's no link.

Some of the changes suggested would have thrown the decision to the House of Representatives 4 times in the past 50 years. It was not an improvement!!
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:17:43 PM EST
Link to the article...

Electoral College alternatives deserve careful scrutiny

The text...

David S. Broder / Syndicated columnist
Electoral College alternatives deserve careful scrutiny

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WASHINGTON — With another close presidential contest in store, that hardy if indecipherable oddity of American politics, the Electoral College, is back in the news. My esteemed colleague, William Raspberry, has lent his powerful voice to those who for decades have railed against the injustice of the unit rule, which gives all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who wins a plurality from its voters.

Because of that rule, Raspberry wrote in a column Tuesday, nearly half the Floridians who battled butterfly ballots and official obstacles to vote in 2000 "might as well have stayed at home," because a tiny margin of 537 votes in the official tally gave George Bush all 25 of the state's electoral votes — and the presidency.

The same complaint could be made by those who voted Republican in Iowa, Wisconsin or New Mexico, narrowly won by Al Gore. The unit rule is used everywhere except in Maine and Nebraska, which award one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district.

To solve the problem that vexes Raspberry and a great many others, a Colorado voter initiative on next month's ballot would divide its nine electoral votes according to the share of the popular vote each candidate wins. That is only one of the proposed remedies that have been considered — and one of the easiest to debunk. If the proportional system, as it is known, became the standard for all states, the most predictable effect would be to throw more presidential elections into the House of Representatives.

A study by Congressional Quarterly, quoted by professor Judith Best of the State University of New York at Cortland in the Spring 2004 issue of Political Science Quarterly, found that at least four of the elections since 1960 — those in 1960, 1968, 1992 and 1996 — would have gone to the House under that system. The 2000 election might have wound up there, too, depending on how fractional votes were rounded. The Constitution requires someone to win a majority of electoral votes; otherwise, the House chooses a president from the top three finishers.

How do you think the public would react to the discovery that in such a contingent election, each state delegation has one vote, regardless of its size — the Democratic majority from California being matched by the single Republican member from Delaware?

Because that idea seems so flawed, most of those who support Electoral College reform favor going all the way to direct national election of the president. A constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College and substitute direct election actually passed the House in 1969, only to fail in 1970 and again almost a decade later in the Senate.

In the same issue of Political Science Quarterly, professor Jack Rakove of Stanford makes the modern case for direct election. He points out that it would force candidates to compete everywhere, including in such "safe" states as Texas and New York, which now see them only at fund-raisers.

Modern polling, he correctly notes, allows candidates to target their appearances and their advertising on a few closely contested states — fewer than one-third of the 50 at any point in this campaign — and virtually ignore the rest.

Direct election would also end what he calls the weighting of the Electoral College system toward small-population states because each state, no matter how lightly populated, is awarded a "bonus" of two electoral votes.

But direct election, however appealing, has plenty of problems built into it. When Congress debated it after George Wallace threatened electoral deadlock with his third-party candidacy in 1968, opposition came from small states, whose senators feared they would be overlooked by the candidates, and from urban constituencies, who feared diminishment of their power to swing big blocs of electoral votes through the unit rule.

A bigger problem, Best and others argue, could be the effect on the two-party system. Most proposals for direct election specify a minimum percentage for victory — usually 40 percent or 45 percent — with a runoff between the top two contenders if no one reaches that threshold.

But as soon as you introduce the possibility of a runoff, you create an incentive for minor parties to form, in hopes of bargaining for favors or policy concessions from the runoff opponents. In such a system, a John McCain might have continued running after the primaries of 2000 to extract a promise from Bush to sign campaign-finance reform, or a Howard Dean this year in hopes of swaying John Kerry's policy on Iraq.

I suspect this whole Electoral College issue is due for serious debate in the next Congress. But prudence dictates a long, skeptical look at the seemingly easy solutions.

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:18:36 PM EST
I still don't get it. So, because a representative from Delaware might decide the election, porportioning the EC is bad?

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:27:06 PM EST
W/O the electoral college most of the presidential elections would have been too close and gone to Congress. Then people would be really pissed about the system since in that system California gets one vote and North Dakota gets one vote.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:27:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
If Kalifornia's Republicans really thought about this, that they would be angry that the liberal scum can essentially negate their votes, with the winner-take-all electoral system.
Surely the number of rural Republican Kalifornians outnumbers some small democrat other state population, although maybe not the big city Kali Liberal vote.
Winner-take-all electoral voting will deprive the millions of Kalifornia Bush voters of their voice.
If the popular vote were counted, even if Kali went 49-51 Bush-Kerry, the popular vote for Bush could overwhelm some dinky democrat state's voters.

You are all thinking of this as a liberal advantage, when it fact, it could be disenfranchising conservative voters in large population states.

The popular vote IS the real voice of the people.
It is the winner-take-all system that is negating your votes!
If the state has a huge population in it's liberal cities, then the whole state's conservatives get NO say?
No matter HOW many votes we are talking about?

The number of electoral college electorates is supposedly based on the population of the state.
So, tell me again, how this is good for the rural voters?
They are overwhelmed by the city voter numbers anyway.
But winner-take-all makes sure the rural conservative vote counts for NOTHING.

Fuck off, Moby. Your wolf in sheep's clothes attack on the Electoral College is bullshit, and uninformed bullshit at that.
You falsely portray the way the Electoral Votes are allocated, in an attempt to make it sound no different than mob rule - out of ignorance? or just trying top deliberately mislead your audience?
Everyone read how it REALLY works - www.fec.gov/pages/ecworks.htm


The 'rural conservative' voters in CA you pretend to care about did JUST FINE in the CA Recall Election.



Voting 55% to fire Gray (D)avis, and furthermore, the vote for his replacement was 65% for the two (R) candidates on the ballot.

CA remains within a 2% spread, and may very well go to Bush. I wish the RNC hadn't bought the "conventional wisdom" that CA was some sort of D stronghold. It wasn't 30yrs+ ago, and it sure as hell wasn't 1 year ago.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:31:17 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:32:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
Hydguy, the county thing makes MUCH more sense than what we have now.

The fuck it does. Just a watered-down version of mob rule. Give that ground, then next it would be 'gee, how about an electoral vote for each City'.

The Electoral College was designed for a specific purpose. It was worked for 215yrs, and in 2000 did EXACTLY what it was designed for. The Dems and Socialists screech about it because it has blocked their class warfare efforts to subvert our Nation. And any Republican that fantasizes about monkeyin with the system to ensure a win is an Idiot, too.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:37:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
That is the same reason the house is based on population but teh senate is fixed on 2 senators per state, to ensure smaller states do not get tromped on by the larger ones.

Exactly! A part of the Checks and Balances built into our governmental structure. Individual States's rights were and are KEY. The Popular Vote was specifically considered a danger by the Founders, and remains that way.
'What the mob wants' is NOT a stable long-term form of government. THAT is why the USA despite being one of the youngest Nations on the planet has one of the OLDEST continuous governmental form.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 3:40:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 3:42:12 PM EST by rayra]

Originally Posted By lu380:
What doesn't seem right to me, is that California gives 55 electoral votes, even if only one voter in the whole state shows up to the polls to vote. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really anti-EC, I'm just saying...

Your example is fucking ridiculous, and so beyond the realm of reality it is unworthy of anything but scorn - is this really a factor in your "reasoning" about the EC?
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:24:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 5:28:13 PM EST by Hydguy]

Originally Posted By rayra:

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
Hydguy, the county thing makes MUCH more sense than what we have now.

The fuck it does. Just a watered-down version of mob rule. Give that ground, then next it would be 'gee, how about an electoral vote for each City'.

The Electoral College was designed for a specific purpose. It was worked for 215yrs, and in 2000 did EXACTLY what it was designed for. The Dems and Socialists screech about it because it has blocked their class warfare efforts to subvert our Nation. And any Republican that fantasizes about monkeyin with the system to ensure a win is an Idiot, too.



Check this out rayra:

From the 2002 Governor's race in Kali


Seems that Davis carried the state using just the urban strongholds, a total of 18 counties, out of 58.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:29:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
Hydguy, the county thing makes MUCH more sense than what we have now.



No it doesn't because then you'd have states breaking their counties into a bunch of smaller counties in order to get more electoral votes.

The system we have now isn't perfect but it works better than anything else.

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 9:07:11 PM EST
The alternate system you described is the one the Nazis got themselves elected under.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:23:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By rayra:

Originally Posted By lu380:
What doesn't seem right to me, is that California gives 55 electoral votes, even if only one voter in the whole state shows up to the polls to vote. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really anti-EC, I'm just saying...

Your example is fucking ridiculous, and so beyond the realm of reality it is unworthy of anything but scorn - is this really a factor in your "reasoning" about the EC?



Ease up! The EC is what it is. A rule is a rule. I get it. And I know that my above example would never happen anyway.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:46:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
If Kalifornia's Republicans really thought about this, that they would be angry that the liberal scum can essentially negate their votes, with the winner-take-all electoral system.
Surely the number of rural Republican Kalifornians outnumbers some small democrat other state population, although maybe not the big city Kali Liberal vote.
Winner-take-all electoral voting will deprive the millions of Kalifornia Bush voters of their voice.
If the popular vote were counted, even if Kali went 49-51 Bush-Kerry, the popular vote for Bush could overwhelm some dinky democrat state's voters.

You are all thinking of this as a liberal advantage, when it fact, it could be disenfranchising conservative voters in large population states.

The popular vote IS the real voice of the people.
It is the winner-take-all system that is negating your votes!
If the state has a huge population in it's liberal cities, then the whole state's conservatives get NO say?
No matter HOW many votes we are talking about?

The number of electoral college electorates is supposedly based on the population of the state.
So, tell me again, how this is good for the rural voters?
They are overwhelmed by the city voter numbers anyway.
But winner-take-all makes sure the rural conservative vote counts for NOTHING.



You are under the mistaken impression that we are a democracy. WE ARE NOT. We are a Constitutional Republic and it is designed to cusion the sometimes wishy-washy voice of the people from instantly becoming policy.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 10:47:25 AM EST
Because Thomas Jefferson said so.



SGatr15
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 4:53:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Because Thomas Jefferson said so.



SGatr15



Sarge is right. Sometimes we question the wisdom of how things were set up by the founders, but in the end if you don't like it, the only way to change it is to amend the Constitution. Until that happens, it doesn't matter why we have the Electoral College. We have it because it's in the Constitution and that's that.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:19:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Nozzleman:
As I said in another thread...Look up David Broder's syndicated editorial in todays paper, it hoses all of the arguments for change brought up here. Because of syndication, there's no link.

Some of the changes suggested would have thrown the decision to the House of Representatives 4 times in the past 50 years. It was not an improvement!!



Can you cut and paste part of it now that it's old news? I can't recall what the copyright rules are on editorials.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:23:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mugzilla:
I had a discussion with the GF on the way home today, and this topic came up. I need some facts to explain this to her.

She understands that the STATES elect the president, and not the popular vote.

HELP!!!



If she understands it, what seems to be the problem?
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 4:45:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/25/2004 7:44:21 AM EST by PAEBR332]

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Because Thomas Jefferson said so.



SGatr15



Thomas Jefferson had NOTHING to do with writing or ratifying the Constitution. He was our ambassador to France during the entire process.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 6:21:53 AM EST
Winner take all is the only way the Electoral College makes any sense or works at all. If the electoral votes were apportioned by popular vote, they simply become a technicality in a pass through of the popular vote: essentially a divisor, the actual results of which are the popular vote. As has been said many times in the thread, it's to prevent mob rule or the dictatorship of a small area with large population.

Likewise, reducing the jurisdictional area of electoral votes would accomplish essentially the same thing as reverting to popular vote. As another poster observed, the next step would be demanding a smaller area - county to city, for example. Another problem would be that of opening the door to more litigation. Residents of a city could complain of unequal representation since a larger number would be covered by the one electoral vote. Since this hypothetical system would have been newly created, talk years of litigation.

The Electoral system works for a Republic, and my hat's off to James Madison (or was it George Mason) who created it.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 7:29:04 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 7:43:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
If Kalifornia's Republicans really thought about this, that they would be angry that the liberal scum can essentially negate their votes, with the winner-take-all electoral system.
Surely the number of rural Republican Kalifornians outnumbers some small democrat other state population, although maybe not the big city Kali Liberal vote.



And CAs large population of leftists outnumber the majority of normal people in a number of smaller sates. Sure, my vote as a CA resident isn't usually counted in presidential elections; but if we went by a strait percent vote in 2000, we would have Gore in office now, and my vote still woundn't have counted



Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
Winner-take-all electoral voting will deprive the millions of Kalifornia Bush voters of their voice.
If the popular vote were counted, even if Kali went 49-51 Bush-Kerry, the popular vote for Bush could overwhelm some dinky democrat state's voters.



The small population states almost all vote Republican.


Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
You are all thinking of this as a liberal advantage, when it fact, it could be disenfranchising conservative voters in large population states.

The popular vote IS the real voice of the people.
It is the winner-take-all system that is negating your votes!
If the state has a huge population in it's liberal cities, then the whole state's conservatives get NO say?
No matter HOW many votes we are talking about?



I don't mind if my vote is negated. This is about good government, not voting as some sort of means to making one's voice heard. After all, once the election is over and your side lost, your vote was irrelevent anyway.


Originally Posted By Hexagonal:
The number of electoral college electorates is supposedly based on the population of the state.
So, tell me again, how this is good for the rural voters?
They are overwhelmed by the city voter numbers anyway.
But winner-take-all makes sure the rural conservative vote counts for NOTHING.



The electorial college is based upon the number of representatives in the House + the two senate seats each state has. These means that someone's persidential vote in CO or AZ counts for more than someone's vote from CA. I live in CA, and I'm fine with this. If, howver, you think CA voters makes good decisions, you might think overwise, CA decisions include: two assault weapon bans that don't expire, Feinstein & Boxer, Gray Davis, etc.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 8:38:02 AM EST
This thread is fascinating. I wonder how many of your positions would reverse had the 2000 results been reversed?
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