Electoral College. A Persuasive Essay On Reasons Why The Electoral College Should Be Changed.

1025 words - 4 pages

Who's voting for the president? Not you. We live in a society where your votedoesn't directly count during a presidential election. This is due to an antiquatedsystem called the electoral college. The electoral college (EC) was founded in 1787.The founding fathers set up the system so that the president is chosenindirectly. This was done so that "popular passion," wouldn't factor in as much.Basically they didn't want presidential campaigns to become purely advertisementcampaigns. (third party times)But there are a few serious flaws in the electoral college that need to be dealtwith. For example, the well known Democratic motto "one man, one vote," (whichmeans every vote counts) doesn't apply to presidential elections because of the EC.The electoral college makes it possible for a candidate who wins the popular vote ofthe people to lose the presidency. (electoral college)This has happened exactly 3 times in the past. Once in 1876, and once in1888, and most recently during the 2000 elections. President Bush lost the popularvote to candidate Al Gore by over 500,000 votes. Bush still won the presidencybecause Florida (a key state in elections) had a last minute change in the electoralvotes. This threw the entire state into a republican vote."On two other occasions (1800 and 1824), the House of Representatives2picked the president when nobody won an electoral-college majority. ThomasJefferson once described this circumstance as 'the most dangerous blot on ourConstitution.' " (electoral college)Lawrence P. Longley and Neal R. Pierce, two experts on the electoral collegeand Harvard teachers, agree wholeheartedly with Jefferson's statement. They knowfull well the weaknesses of the EC. They did some calculations to illustrate this pointfurther. Californians have over two times as much voting power as do people inMontana because of the population differences.Even worse than that is, if even a few votes change in some key states it canchange the whole outcome of an election. e.g. the 2000 Florida elections. There havebeen 22 razor close elections in our history one of which was " the 1960 racebetween John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon--if 8,971 votes in Illinois and Missourihad switched from Kennedy to Nixon that year, the result would have been anelectoral college deadlock." (electoral college)Longley and Peirce argue that "it's only a matter of time before it breaks downcompletely. The President of the United States is elected indirectly by the electoralcollege -- an archaic and quirky system that threatens every four years to overturnpopular will." (electoral college)To top it all off, the people we choose to vote for the president aren't evenrequired to keep their pledges. "In 24 states and the district of Columbia, electors are3not bound by any state law or regulation that they vote for the states popular votewinner." (civic values)For example in 1988 an elector pledged to Michael Dukakis changed hispledge to Lloyd Bentsen. Also it happened in 1976 when...

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