Electoral College Reform. Essay

1355 words - 5 pages

The Electoral College : An Archaic and Obsolete Institution?

The election of the President and Vice-President is the most highly anticipated and prestigious election of our Republic. It is difficult to find another election that could possibly compare in importance and popularity as that of the presidential election. This election encompasses by far the greatest electorate and the most direct importance to this huge electorate. It is a four-year anticipation in which hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on presidential campaigns, and people's dreams are either shattered or realized. This election defines us as Americans and the democracy that we live in. Or does it? To truly define our democracy would it not encompass the views of the masses? Would it not be a determination of who the more popular candidate is among the people of our fair Republic?

It is neither of these. Instead the premise of the presidential election is that of the Electoral College. This method of electing the president, included in the structural foundation of our government within the United States Constitution, is the fundamental flaw within the process of presidential elections. It has been one of the most controversial institutions of modern American government since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789. Since the ratification of the Constitution a total of "" amendments to the Electoral College have been proposed before congress. This is indicative of congressional discontentment with the current Electoral system. Congressional action aside, the manifestations of the 2000 Election have left the American public in question of this system's purpose in contemporary American government.

It seems pertinent that we must return the presidential election to the citizens of the republic. The only means by which this is legitimate is by use of direct election. Direct election of the President and Vice President is the only valid expression of democracy in determining the Presidential election. The need for reform is not in question, it is the method by which we reform system which has puzzled policy-makers since the archaic nature of the institution became apparent. The use of direct popular election would define the essence of the republic that we are. The current system as it exists is not only a contradiction to the foundations of our political history, but also a scourge to the purity of our republic.

The idea that the President of the United States should be elected based on the results of the popular vote is not a new idea, and it is also not one that did not cross the minds of our founding fathers. In Federalist Paper 68, Alexander Hamilton argues against this mode of election by stating, "...that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station." Later Hamilton goes on to say that this mode of election would provide for the absolute least chance of "tumult and disorder." The Federalist Papers, in...

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