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For all practical purposes, "I am American" means I am a US citizen. I can't imagine anyone (American or not) taking it to mean otherwise.

Canida and Mexico are also part of America. And that's only North America. "I am American" is similar to saying "I am European"

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diafol

Unfortunately, to me, 'American' now also means 'US citizen' too. Through the popularized, "I'm an American citizen". I don't think 'Americans' intentionally expanded their country to mean the whole continent(s), but there we have it, nonetheless. You don't usually find Germans or French using, "I'm an European citizen".

Canida and Mexico are also part of America.

Sorry, no. As I said, technically you may be correct, but in practical use, American means "U.S.A.". And it was your doing.

As American as apple pie.

America (Paul Simon)

We've all come to look for America

American Pie (Don McLean)

So bye, bye Miss American Pie"

America the Beautiful(Katharine Lee Bates)

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee

I won't bother to do an exhaustive search, but how many songs about your country refer to it as "The United States of America"? Check the presidential speeches over the last few decades. How many refer to "America" and "Americans"?

Kennedy's moom-mission speech to congress

Now it is time to take longer strides--time for a great new American enterprise--time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.

So somewhere along the line someone co-opted "America" to specifically mean "United States of America". It suspect it wasn't Canadians or Mexicans or anyone alse.

Canida and Mexico are also part of America. And that's only North America. "I am American" is similar to saying "I am European"

No they are not. The President of the USA ends every speech with "God Bless America". The American Dream is a distinctly US cultural concept. "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent" do not allow Canadian or Mexican contestants. The American dollar is not used by Canada or Mexico. Canadians and Mexicans aren't American citizens. Columbus discovered America, the Spanish discovered Mexico and the French discovered Canada. The stars and stripes is the American flag. etc....

Saying "I am American" clearly means you are a citizen or culturally identify with the USA. And saying "I live in America" means you live in one of the 50 states.

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diafol

You forgot the star-spangled James Brown in 'Living in America'. But this is an old story. How about Sondheim's 'America'?

I remember asking a guy in Italy if he was American, he almost punched me and said "#### you, I'm a Canadian, eh". Seems non-US citizens of the Americas hate being referred to as Americans, so I guess US citizens are welcome to the label. A label, which has certain connotations in certain parts of the world.

Columbus discovered America, the Spanish discovered Mexico and the French discovered Canada.

I'm going to nitpick here. Those people discovered nothing. Every place they "discovered" already had people living there. Saying Columbus discovered America is like saying Isaac Newton discovered gravity.

Saying Columbus discovered America is like saying Isaac Newton discovered gravity.

discover (v): to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown). I fail to see how these people didn't make discoveries for their respective country or region. Just because something exists prior to being found doesn't mean it wasn't discovered. Likewise, just because people lived in the Americas before Europeans found it doesn't mean the Europeans didn't discover the Americas relative to the understanding of the world they previously had.

I'm going to nitpick here.

You could also nitpick the choice of Columbus as the discoverer of America for Europe given that Norse explorers landed on North American soil long before Columbus.

I'm going to nitpick here. Those people discovered nothing. Every place they "discovered" already had people living there.

I completely agree I was alluding to the foundation myths of each of the countries rather than historical accuracy. The First Nations/Native Americans "discovered" NAmer if anyone did (I think there are hints there might even have been polynesians as early arrivals to some of Central/South America), and the Spanish/French were the first Europeans in much of what is now the USA, whereas the Norse were the first Europeans in Canada (I don't know how far they made it down the coast).

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Everyauction

Typical 'Non-Europeans' may find this hard to understand, in Europe, especially in my Country, Culture has been defined by the established Religions, for centuries managed by those, given the right to do it by the Church, namely Rome.

Based on this Religion, Western Europe has it's 'State' Cultures. This is no Dream, this still is a fact. In my Country, since the last war between catolics and protestants, about 200 Years ago, everything, Justice, Politics, State System, down to the last local Politician, is selected by beeing Part of this or the other 'Group', not even the Party, belonging to. This to make sure, the Balance is beeing kept. The Balance, required to KEEP my Nation in one piece, as it has been formed by Napoleaon, the french emperor, not the Swiss, a couple of hundred Years ago, forced by the other Euro States to stay NEUTRAL in future, not longer sending their young men to war to other states during the harsh winter times.

So much to History.

Today, Religion, at least, Western Style Christian Religion, is not longer really in, Esotheric and other Means of 'finding the final Enlightment' are much more setting the trend. Belonging to the NEW generation, we already believed to have broken off those OLD, STATIC, UNMOVABLE Rules. We wanted not need to be 'lead' or 'managed' by somebody or something, called State-Authority, Religion, whatever, widely unaware then, that you cannot just scrap essential parts a system without immediately beeing taken over by new, mostly unwanted, new parts.

Somehow like a Windows Xp, compared to a Version 8.

Westerners, especially Females, in Western Europe, could wake up one day, finding themselfs in a rather strange surrounding. But if they want it, they deserve it. who cares...

Ernie

remember Tehran?

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diafol

You make some interesting point Everyauction, however, I'm not sure that I agree (or understand) all of them.

The interesting aspect of history is that we are condemned to make the same mistakes. We do not learn from them, rather we build new empires and expect the natives to be grateful. Our new empires are still built with trade and economics, or if all else fails, military might. Religion has always been a spark to the tinderbox. It has been used by political individuals and groups throughout history to further their own personal ambitions and influence.

We are told that we should co-exist with our traditional enemies due to political mandate - mandate via the majority of the biggest side usually. Empires rarely dissolve themselves through any altrusitic motive, rather that the alternative is more unsavoury or costly.

How long will the USA retain 50 states? Will Quebec tell the rest of Canada to go away? Will the Catalan and Basque areas of Spain be independent countries? Will Scotland and Wales leave the UK? Will the UK decide to leave the EU? I could go on... Nearly every nation has its regional stresses and strains, be they ethnic, religious, political, economic...

Many fear this fragmentation into small nation states - will we see a critical destabilisation of Europe and North America within the next 20 years? I think this 'BALANCE' is set to tilt, as it surely must. Who'd want to live in a static world?

Here in Canada we've heard the rhetoric on both sides of the Quebec/Canada should they stay - should they go issue. Unfortunately for my side (Anglo) we don't get to hear serious discussion about the actualities should separation occur. So far what I've heard is that Quebec basically wants to be friends with benefits. They want to retain the right to use the Canadian dollar and they want to leave without paying their fair share of the national debt.

Now, Mike, before you come out with guns blazing, I am not in any sense suggesting that what I have been told reflects reality, only the reality that the media has decided to create. I would very much like to hear the terms under which Quebec would leave Canada and what relations (economic and polital) would be like between an independent Quebec and the remaining provinces. But I suppose that this particular thread is not the place for that discussion and such a discussion would probably be of little interest to most DaniWeb members. My personal opinion is that Canada would be a poorer place should Quebec decide to separate.

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diafol

But I suppose that this particular thread is not the place for that discussion and such a discussion would probably be of little interest to most DaniWeb members. My personal opinion is that Canada would be a poorer place should Quebec decide to separate.

I disagree, I think this thread has morphed into whatever you want it to be. I, for one, would be very interested to hear the views of both of you.

So far what I've heard is that Quebec basically wants to be friends with benefits.

Similar situation raises it's head here too. A couple states threaten to withdraw from the union but still want all the benefits they have now. It's all talk, nothing more, a little like me threatening a divorce just to blow off steam. I can't imagine Quebec not being part of Canida, does Quebec have enough resources to be a separate country? I doubt it.

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diafol

I suppose the realisation of, or the calling for, independence / secession, call it what you will, ultimately depends on the settlement. If you feel suitably disenfranchised, I suppose you may be prepared to undergo a worsening in conditions in exchange for self-determination. I know I would. Is that noble, brave, stoopid, ignorant, selfish, one-eyed...? Depends which side of the debate you're on.

Millions have died in various wars of independence and secessions. When we see little proto-nations rising up against their overlords, we send them munitions and hold them up as being the righteous party (if it suits our foreign policy). When it happens closer to home, it seems that it's evil or folly.

You join my gang, the only way you leave is by being dead.

A couple states threaten to withdraw from the union

I got the impression that it wasn't the actual states threatening to secede, just a few thousand very vocal nutjobs.

So far what I've heard is that Quebec basically wants to be friends with benefits.

That was René Lévesque's concept of sovereignty-association. The idea is that Québec would be a sovereign state with: its own constitution, its own laws, its own international representation, and its own (exclusive) tax collection. However, the association part would involve things similar to European Union states, like sharing the currency, sharing customs (i.e., like in the EU, if you are allowed to be / work in one EU state, you can go to another EU state too without crossing customs, it would be the same between Canada/Quebec), and possibly things like the postal service. Of course, any thing that the canadian government would do for Quebec (e.g., let's say we kept Canada Post) then Quebec would pay its share towards it. This is, in part, aiming to make the transition easier, i.e., transition from a "federation" to an "association", and then maybe re-negociating / re-structuring the association, which is not possible in a federation (without demanding "special" constitutional status, which raises way too much ire in the rest of Canada to ever happen).

The point of this, as diafol said, is self-determination, or as we call it "Maître chez nous!" (translation: Master in our own home).

To a large extent, however, there wouldn't be that much talk about separation if the canadian federal government actually stuck to the things it was supposed to do. The constitution basically says the federal government must do more or less: tele-com regulation, currency, postal services, immigration, and foreign policy. Yet, it does education, social services, health-care, police (RCMP), and a whole bunch of other things that are clearly stated as provincial powers in the constitution. In other words, we are not getting what we (did not) sign up for. The canadian confederation is actually pretty good in principle, it was designed to leave provinces to be very independent (otherwise, they wouldn't have joined in the first place) and the federal government to have very limited powers, but politicians don't like limited power and they like to make promises, so very quickly, we got a double ministry for everything in Canada, and lots of fighting about it. Stupid.

They want to retain the right to use the Canadian dollar and they want to leave without paying their fair share of the national debt.

Yeah... the federal debt is definitely going to be a hard negociation to have. I've never heard anyone imply that we would not take our fair share of the federal debt if we were to become independent, but the big problem is about what is "fair". Any canadian knows very well how much of a disaster it is every time there is a negociation for transfers of federal tax money to provincial governments. I can't imagine how negociations would go when it comes to determining how big a chunk of the debt Quebec would take home. But I repeat, no one is talking about not paying any of the debt.

does Quebec have enough resources to be a separate country? I doubt it.

Yes, of course. The question is if it would be better off, economically, if independent from Canada. Technically, no, because Quebec is at the receiving end of the canadian provinces, i.e., we pay less federal tax than we receive back through federal equalization payments. But it's not like Quebec is living off the federal tit either. One caveat is the fact that Alberta is currently skewing everything due to their oil-sand booming economy (and I would be glad not to be part of Canada when the time comes to deal with that environmental disaster).

We have plenty of natural resources (but we also have a history of getting the short end of the stick w.r.t. to companies exploiting those resources), plenty of technology-sector economy (e.g., world leaders in computer game development, aeronautics / aerospace, and obviously, electric power generation / transport), many of the best universities in Canada are in Quebec (McGill, UdeM, Sherbrooke, Laval), our cultural economy (music, cinema, etc.) puts the rest of Canada to shame, and the list goes on. And in the long run, I think that self-determination will go a long way, economically.

A couple states threaten to withdraw from the union but still want all the benefits they have now. It's all talk, nothing more, a little like me threatening a divorce just to blow off steam.

Well, some of the secessionist movements in the US are not anywhere near to the scale of that in Quebec. In the first referendum (1980) about it, it was 40% yes, 60% no. In the second referendum (1995), it was 49.4% yes, 50.6% no (and it took significant dirty tactics from the federal government to get there (including illegally using federal tax money)). Currently, the polls wander around 50 to 55% for separation. And this movement has a long and constant history too (people didn't just get this idea 40 years ago, it's just that 40 years ago it started to appear possible to do it, peacefully, but in earlier times it was attempted by force (civil war) many times, and then it got quelled and Quebec lived under repression until about 50-60 years ago).

I agree that countries shouldn't split on a fluke (e.g., because some people don't like Obama). For example, Czechoslovakia split some time ago into Czech Republic and Slovakia, more or less on a rash decision and it happened really quickly. Now, so I've heard, most people, on both sides, regret it and are thinking "why did we do that?".

In many ways, Quebec is more comparable to Scottland or Wales. In fact, one of the earliest British governers of Quebec (as a colony) was a Scottsman because of his valuable experience in a context very similar to Quebec (i.e., under British repressive rule and under laws designed to assimilate the population). One could argue that Scottland and Wales could have remained well and happy as an integral part of England, but I doubt many Scottsmen or Welsh would say that today. I think it is not too far fetched to imagine the same thing happening this side of the pond.

I've been interested in the Quebec-Canada issue for a while now (Ontarian but bilingual). The Scottish comparison is very good although there are some differences.

For one Quebec has maintained a distinct culture much more than Scotland, they have kept there own language and have better theatre, art, music, etc...

In contrast they don't have as strong an economy relative to the rest of Canada and I believe they have more debt per capita than the rest of Canada. There is also a lot of problems with corruption in Quebec.

Quebec also would have to deal with a less well educated population, fewer Quebecers go to University than the rest of Canada and really only McGill has a strong international reputation but I've seen Laval gaining some attention.

Quebec has lots of natural resources but other than shale gas, hydro electicity, and water the resources are not particularly hot commodities and several have fallen out of favour.

Polls are lower now than they were during either referendum so its hard to know how much faith one should put in them. I doubt there will be another referendum for some time. I would also be sad to see Quebec go, I think they provide a much needed counter-weight to the influence of the USA.

The bigger issue at the moment how Alberta's oil is starting to hurt the rest of Canada by inflating the Dollar and how sustainable (or not) the situation is.

In contrast they don't have as strong an economy relative to the rest of Canada and I believe they have more debt per capita than the rest of Canada. There is also a lot of problems with corruption in Quebec.

Yeah.. we're trailing the pack on that end. Part of it is due to the government letting itself get screwed by corporations exploiting the natural resources, and another part of it is the government screwing people over for the benefit of their friends in the Mafia (left over from the good ol' days of the Montreal-NY drug trade (i.e., during the "French connection")). And another part is the federal government subverting many sectors of the economy from being able to flourish in QC, mostly to the benefit of Ontario (mostly under the Liberal Party's reign).

Quebec's national debt is around 170 Billion dollars (not as high as Ontario, but still high). However, one of the major assets we have is Hydro-quebec (until recently, the single biggest electric power company in North America), which alone is estimated to be worth in the neighborhood of 250 Billion dollars. When you evaluate the financial state of any company, you always look on both columns: assets and debts, and you check to see the difference, but for some reason (I have my suspicions about that), when it comes to governments it seems that only the "debt" column is looked at. This is accounting 101: the assets balance the debts and the difference is the net worth of the company (i.e., under water or above water). I'm guessing that a government in deep debt troubles is more useful for right-wing rethorics about cutting spending until you really bankrupt the government and can then buy its assets for pennies on the dollar (like they are currently trying to do with USPS).

Quebec also would have to deal with a less well educated population, fewer Quebecers go to University than the rest of Canada and really only McGill has a strong international reputation but I've seen Laval gaining some attention.

Well, in Canada, there are a few "big name" universities: University of Toronto (UofT), McGill, University of British Columbia (UBC), and Queens. For the rest, it varies more between disciplines. UdeM (Université de Montreal) is certainly world renowned, mostly in pure sciences like Math and Physics, but also in Law and the like. In pure and applied sciences (eng.) (and medicine too), Sherbrooke University is a big name too. And Laval is well known in a number of fields. Ontario has a few similar-ranking universities too, like McMaster, Waterloo, and to some extent the Ottawa universities (Carleton and UofO). So, in terms of good universities, I would say we're on par with Ontario, and of course, the other provinces don't even register on the radar in that department.

As for fewer people going to university here, that's certainly true. There's a strong cultural aspect to this. University studies are mostly regarded by the Quebecois as a cloud-shoveling don't-wanna-work fancy-intellectual endeavour much more than it is ever considered valuable, prestigious or something to strive for, nor does it really give you a more respectable status. I've been working my butt off in university studies (engineering) for years, did many student projects that had me working 90-100 hours a week for months at a time, even sent a robot into space, and I've earned a number of degrees and a ton of prestigious scholarships as a result. And yet, what I hear most often from my fellow Quebecois people (family and friends) is "when are you going to stop wasting time and slacking off at University, and get a real job?" (and not as a sarcastic joke). It's like that in many working-class cultures (e.g., it's not like that at all in Montreal's English-speaking side (upper class)), and I guess the reasons for it are pretty deeply ingrained (and the catholic clergy played its part, so did the English/French class division).

Kids in Quebec are not really encouraged to go to University, it is usually the least-favored option people present (parents, teachers, councelors). It's a delicate balance between not pressuring everyone to go to college (like in the US) and not setting the bar too low, I think we're a bit too much on the latter side here. People who are technically- or scientifically-inclined tend to go the easier route with vocational studies (e.g. car mechanic, building maintenance, pharma-lab assistant, system admin., etc.) because it is advertized as a quicker path and it pays reasonably well at the end, but there is no push for or positive presentation of the reasons why one might want to get a higher degree than that, e.g., gain a deeper understanding of things, be able to design / invent things rather than just maintain or repair, have real responsibilities with real impacts, shape the world of tomorrow, etc... Instead, it is just "get out of school quickly, and get a job already!". And that's really shooting ourselves in the foot, because it is really valuable to have a higher level of education overall, and especially, technical and scientific people are the most valuable people to have going off the University (much more than those slackers in humanities or liberal arts ;) ).

Quebec has lots of natural resources but other than shale gas, hydro electicity, and water the resources are not particularly hot commodities and several have fallen out of favour.

Yeah, I guess that's true. Most of our natural resources are the similar to those of Ontario. In summary: a number of different mineral deposits that aren't necessarily the hottest things on the market; water which could be valuable in the future but not too much right now; lots of forests, but the lumber market is pretty terrible right now; we have some shale gas (which is going to be a huge deal very soon) but very very little compared to mid-west and south states in the US; but our hydro-electricity is pretty big and valuable. In terms of resources, we are at least a notch above Ontario (I always compare to Ontario because it is really the only comparable province in terms of size and population). But, of course, nobody can compete with Alberta in that department.

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diafol

Ever feel powerless? Things are going wrong and it's none of your fault? Laws are passed, but nobody voted from them. Electoral boundaries are changed for political gain. It doesn't matter who you vote for, you never get a say, because the country next door has about 10 times the number of representatives as you. You get handouts because you're the runt of the litter and are told to be grateful. It pays central government to keep certain areas poor - they'd never want to invest the money required to bring the standards of living in those backwaters to a reasonable norm. It would destabilise the core electorate and just highlight the tremendous underinvestment over the last hundred years. What chance is there for parity of education and healthcare under such a regime?

I'd rather be poorer with a voice, than better off and without any teeth.

I'm not talking Quebec, just a general rant again.

It will be interesting to watch what happens in the US over the next four years. The Republicans have managed to keep their majority in Congress through Gerrymandering. They tried to steal the 2012 election through suppression of minority votes. They've pretty much taken both tactics as far as they can so that leaves but one.

The current system mandates that for each state, the candidate who gets the majority of the votes in that state gets all of the electoral college votes. What I expect to see happen is for the states with Republican governments to change the system for those states so that the electoral college votes are allocated by district. That would give enough electoral college votes to the Republican candidate to guarantee a victory.

They will, of course, cloak it in the usual rhetoric of "it's a more democratic way of electing the president". What it really means is "the old system just isn't working for us anymore". They will also abandon their usual rant of "we can't change a system that's worked for over 200 years".

They tried to steal the 2012 election through suppression of minority votes.

What ever gave you that impression? Democrats (most minorities are democrats) are often known for duplicate voting, and voting for dead people.

The current system mandates that for each state, the candidate who gets the majority of the votes in that state gets all of the electoral college votes.

That's not necessarily true. Maine and Nebraska are the exceptions (link)

What I expect to see happen is for the states with Republican governments to change the system for those states so that the electoral college votes are allocated by district. That would give enough electoral college votes to the Republican candidate to guarantee a victory.

USA does not have "districts". We have "counties". And your suggestion will never happen, at least not in our lifetime. It is unlikely we will get rid of the electorial college system, it has been tried several times in the past with no results.

Look at the map at the link I posted, Obama won every state in both costs, which is where most of the USA population live. Yes there are maps available that show election results by county and show most of the country voted Republican, but those area are vastly under or unpopulated. It's like voting in Canadan places where almost no one lives.

"we can't change a system that's worked for over 200 years".

Change the word "can't" for "won't" and you would be more correct. Why fix something that isn't broken?

Interesting discussion.
Being polite requires not being clumsy. Like when opening a door when someone doesn't expect it and helps you the door may hit someone on the other side.

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diafol

^^Hitting somebody on the other side is a bonus :)

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LastMitch

"we can't change a system that's worked for over 200 years".

I thought it's 300 years not 200 years.

We have "counties"

That's correct. Not many people know about that one unless people voted or move around. People can be mistaken by district or town.

I thought it's 300 years not 200 years.

Since when is 2013 - 1776 = 300 years?

commented: it is now lol.... +0

What ever gave you that impression? Democrats (most minorities are democrats) are often known for duplicate voting, and voting for dead people.

First of all, voting for dead people is highly innefective because dead people can't be sworn in. I'll assume you meant voting by dead people. I'd love to see any actual proof of that. How about the legislation that the Florida governor tried to ram through that even members of his own party couldn't stomach. They were found to be unconstitutional but he tried to push them through anyway. Rick Scott claimed there were more than 180,000 non-citizens on the voter rolls. Even his own election chief had to admit that the number was actually fewer than 200 (out of 11 million voters). And I mean 200, not 200,000.

Nathan Sproul was hired by several state Republican Parties to register voters. He was fired after it was discovered that his workers had a nasty habit of throwing out forms from Democrats.

Both Florida and Ohio tried to limit weekend voting in the last weeks before the election. They continued these efforts in spite of federally issued court orders to stop.

Fliers were distributed in many poorer, coloured neighbourhoods (where most of the votes go to Democrats) giving incorrect locations and dates for voting. Fliers sent to areas deemed Republican were given correct information.

Ohio and Florida specifically banned voting on the Sunday before the election – a day when black churches historically mobilize their constituents.

The voting reforms that the Republicans tried to get through in several states were in all cases thinly veiled attempts to suppress the "people of colour" vote.

That's not necessarily true. Maine and Nebraska are the exceptions

I was not aware of that. Thank you for pointing that out.

USA does not have "districts". We have "counties"

My apologies. I was trying to use a generic term even though the term "congressional districts" is used by American media.

It is unlikely we will get rid of the electorial college system,

I wasn't suggesting that the electoral college would be eliminated, just that it would be "reformed" to steal votes away from the Democrats. The "Republican Plan" was first proposed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi in 2011. Under the proposed changes, in Michigan where Obama won by nearly 10 points, Romney would have received 9 of the state’s 16 electoral votes. In the 2012 election, Obama took Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Look at the picture of those three states when broken down by district/county/whatever. Rig the system in enough states and you get the prize.

election

commented: You nailed it! +0

Change the word "can't" for "won't" and you would be more correct. Why fix something that isn't broken?

That was sort of my point. As long as you elect Republican presidents then the system isn't "broken". But Obama winning back-to-back victories, and with majorities? That's obvious "proof" the the system has broken down. Thus the "Republican Plan".

What ever gave you that impression?

Uhmm, maybe the 37 states that tried to pass voter ID laws. A democratic state has two options, either make sure your people are not too poor to prevent them from having a valid ID, or don't require one to vote. Most developed countries went with the former, the US is stuck with the latter, for the moment. You cannot require voter ID if you can't ensure that everyone can easily and affordably get a valid piece of ID, which is currently not the case in the US.

Democrats (most minorities are democrats) are often known for duplicate voting, and voting for dead people.

I think someones been watching too much of Fox News. Voter fraud, in that sense, is "virtually non-existent".

USA does not have "districts". We have "counties".

Well, in Louisiana, they're called parishes. Whatever the name is, who cares.

It is unlikely we will get rid of the electorial college system, it has been tried several times in the past with no results.

It's incredible how resistent to change people are in the US (or how loud the hard-line conservatives are). The electorial college system was set up to ensure a reliable, in person, communication of the districts / counties results, in a world where that information had to be relayed by travelling on horse-back from the state in question to Washington. It's an archaic system that hasn't made the least bit of sense for at least 100 years, but, as you say, it's never gonna change.

"we can't change a system that's worked for over 200 years".

Change the word "can't" for "won't" and you would be more correct. Why fix something that isn't broken?

It seems that some people hold on to such traditions and want to preserve the state of affairs laid out by the Founding Fathers two centuries ago, even if it means not doing the reforms needed to have a free, just, proportional and functional democracy in today's world. I wonder if they realise they might be destroying the very same principles they aspire to protect.