The President of the United States is well known to be elected by the Electoral College and not directly by the people. However, some 21st century voters may be amazed to learn that when they enter a setting to select their candidate for president, they actually cast a ballot for representatives that vote on their behalf. These selected representatives are known as the Electoral College.
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Every time a candidate who does not win the most popular votes is elected President, opponents of the Electoral College call for his abolition and supporters praise his advantages. I believe however, that the electoral college is unnecessary in current times, and inspires unrest in society during voting seasons- inducing the questioning of civilian voices and rights through due federalism and democracy.
The electoral college assured the smaller states that their voices would be noticed and that they would still earn presidential campaigns. Otherwise, the candidates would certainly focus on massive states in a popular election campaign, where you can win many votes at a time. Except for one large flaw that was added within this system, and thatr’s the winner-takes-all process: the candidate that assumes the popular vote in a state, even by a one vote, gets all electoral votes. Most of the people involved in the ECr’s design presumably thought it would be improved upon in the future – since laws of the legislature can reform it quite easily. Assuming this, we could develop any number of means to choose our electors. So, it exists because it has never been changed since prior times. This in turns leaves us stuck with the current system, and thus springs forth conspiracies and adamant debates on its irrationality.
One main feature sought to be promising at first, but is now a major drawback, is the winner-takes-all phenomenon. This rule creates a balance, which it produces inconsistent results, indiscriminately advantages or disadvantages groups of voters, and contributes to political misbehavior. Katherine Florey states that The degree to which the winner-take-all system heightens the risk of a popular-electoral split is a significant problem”one that occasioned bipartisan concern in the years before the 2000 election (Florey 345). Furthermore, even though these splits may seem atypical, they bring severe political consequences most notably the depression of votes from strongly affiliated voter groups such as African Americans and students (Florey 351).
However, I do not disagree with the philosophical opposing views of the electoral college. In some lights, there are good reasons to preserve the current system- such as the dissemination of political power to the population versus the popular ballot. Also, states can choose how to elect their representatives; this indicates a fair federalist cause. However, talk of reform spurs from the ideal of a pure- democratic ballot that goes from the poll to the candidate. Supporters can counter this though, mainly because states can enfranchise the direct popular vote for or against the candidates they elect to represent them. However, Derek T. Muller voices that If the Electoral College were reformed to give the winner of a national popular vote the presidency, states would still control who votes and who does not (Muller 1241). For instance, various factors may play a role in that voting process such as felon status, age, mental stability, or alien status (Muller 1241). Therefore, there will always be an incongruity with the population and number of ballots in the states.
Personally, I believe there may be better methods to change the way presidents are elected. Rather than abolishing the electoral college, it can be amended so that the rights of all voters are safeguarded and kept equivalent on a national scale. The majority rule scenario would impose checks and balances on the government during the voter season, but sometimes the majority can become an overwhelming power. Thus, both sides have their drawbacks when political power is the topic, so there needs to be a compromise- even if it calls for another amendment. An example of the electoral colleger’s injustice is the fact that some districts cannot participate. Benjamin Bolinger quotes that Despite the fact that residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are US, citizens, they are completely excluded from the Electoral College system,’ Puerto Rico alone has a population of 3,808,610. Upon adding this figure to the population of the other territories, one finds that over four million citizens are not represented in the Electoral College (Bolinger 180). The only objective that would be achieved by abolishing or reforming the Electoral College is to choose a president who best replicates the will of the majority of the United States.
The majority of the country has sought to remove the electoral college for the past 50 years (Gringer 186). However, constitutionality and the amendment process has slowed and even halted the decision numerous times. But citizens agree that the college must go, as it is not fair for two- thirds of Americans to be laid aside in the voting process. There is a pro for every con of each system. In arguments for the electoral college – it diminished the influence of large population centers. It reduced the influence of the “uneducated rabble allowing states to send each partyr’s handpicked elites to the electoral college. The fact that we are not political experts is another reason why the college was created. It serves to sift through the robust noise we generate when voting. Choosing for the majority may seem like a genuine route to take. However, as I mentioned before, not all citizens are represented within the system.
Also, within this system, how fair is this electoral vote? Is it even an accurate calculation process or is it half-baked? Can electoral votes be bargained for at some level? There are also limited precedents establishing the local percentages of the states population that cannot vote, contrary to its population size. I would refer to the current system as meager federalism. It does not seem as genuine as a pure vote, let alone the majority voice. According Paul Boudreaux, First, delegates argued that the people simply were not even qualified to vote for the president of the United States (Boudreaux 200). Furthermore, government officials still believe that we lack the capacity to decide who becomes chief executive, and our vote is roughly 66 percent counted. The citizens of America have long believed that the power of determining how electors are to be selected belongs to the people and not the states.
Finally, Jack N. Rakove has a premise in which one might agree: The larger the share of electors that corresponds to the membership of the House, the more the senatorial bump is diluted. This proposal could be defended and rendered attractive on grounds that would not be limited to the composition of the electoral college (Ravoke 26). It seems like more politically reasonable action to take in terms of the majority without attracting too much political power. Rather than selecting a handful of electors to vote for us helpless ballot casters, we should consider disassembling the electoral college, and then reassembling it to better suit the ideals of federalism, fairness, and the voice of all the citizens in the United States.
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