The Electoral College

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Cromwell86, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Cromwell86

    Cromwell86 New Member

    Oct 28, 2004
    I live in the UK, and with the recent election in the USA, the thing that struck me most about it was not who won, or what had been won... was why and how it was won.

    We have a similar majority system over here in the UK, but we do not have this 'electoral college' you have in the USA.

    Being entirely ignorant and completely interested about this subject... I looked further into it... and came to the conclusion that whilst it was representative of the majority of the public's vote in each state... surely it does not represent each voter individually, therefore inherently cannot be democratic. After all, a few unelected electors decide crucial decisions.

    From where I'm standing I would say abolish the electoral college, and/or introduce a compulsory condorcet vote in.

    I really want to see whether Americans agree with this system and whether you guys think that the electoral college should be kept? or abolished? or maybe changed?

    What do you think?
  2. mswietek

    mswietek Member

    Aug 16, 2004
    Norwich, CT
    I don't tend think as poorly of the electoral college as most do. The reasons for it, I believe are the following.

    1) The southern states were worried at the time of ratification that the more populous northern states would simply out vote them in every election thereby making Southern interests subordinate to the North's. At that time the major political fault line was between north and south (and slavery was only a very tiny part).

    2) It re-enforces the fact that the US is not a democracy, but a republic. People indirectly choose the president through the states. Originally, the Senate was chosen through the states as well (and I think it should be that away again).

    Now, the other thing to remember, is that the President's power has grown way out of proportion to what the founders originally intended. Originally, the president was only; the commander in chief, the executor of laws, the one responsible for dealing with foreign powers. These days presidents are asked to do that and much, much more. They are expected to delve into all issues no matter how small (midnight basket ball? school uniforms?) and many areas they were never intended to.

    This has caused the president's power to balloon at th expense of the legislature. Having said all this, the true voice of the people is the legislature. The other two branches are selected indirectly through the people (executive through the electoral college, judiciary through elected officials). If the power of the executive were reduced to what it ought to be, the idea of an indirectly elected president isn't such a big deal.

    Whew.....that turned out longer than I thought!
  3. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right now, I like it. If the current trend of the big (and UNDERrepresented in the EC) states going for one party, and the states OVERrepresented in the College going the other, it could be a problem of fairness. But for it really to be unfair, Texas would have to flip, and it ain't flipping.
  4. Ian McCracken

    Ian McCracken Member

    May 28, 1999
    SS Lazio Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    I love the Electoral college. However, your statements are wrong. The states won by Bush are underrepresented in the EC:

    - Bush took 31 states with a combined population of 155,331,151 or 53,4% of the total.

    - Kerry took 19 states and DC with a combined population of 135,478,626

    - Bush took 286 Electoral Votes or 53.16% of the total available (543,116 people per E.V.)

    - Kerry took 252 E.V.s or 46.84% of the total available or 46.6% of the total (537,613 people per E.V.)

    - Bush actually received about .25% less E.V.s than he should have based on current population estimates AND each of his E.V.s represented about 5500 MORE people than Kerry's E.V.s did.

    - Since the 7/1/03 population estimate the Red States have grown at a rate about 3.5 times that of Blue States

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