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abolishing the electoral college vs mending it

 
 
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2017 06:50 pm
Since the recent election of president trump, people have talked about mending the electoral college and many have suggested its removal from the Consistution altogether. I don't know much about the history of the electoral college other than what I've heard about founders believing it necessary to prevent tyranny of the majority, give credence to the concerns of smaller states, and stop such an important decision of electing the president being solely in the hands of the uneducated masses. I know founders had more reasons justifying the establishment of the institution and more have since developed as the American political climate has changed and would like more insight on the contemporary advantages of the electoral college. Because so many recognize the importance of the institution, reforming it to fit current needs seems to be a common desire. However, most of the plans I've heard intending to make the electoral college fairer have aimed to minimize the likelihood of a candidate who didn't win the popular vote taking the presidency. If that's the goal, then why not just abolish the college? Why is it still important?
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 925 • Replies: 13
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Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2017 07:44 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

Since the recent election of president trump, people have talked about mending the electoral college and many have suggested its removal from the Consistution altogether. I don't know much about the history of the electoral college other than what I've heard about founders believing it necessary to prevent tyranny of the majority, give credence to the concerns of smaller states, and stop such an important decision of electing the president being solely in the hands of the uneducated masses. I know founders had more reasons justifying the establishment of the institution and more have since developed as the American political climate has changed and would like more insight on the contemporary advantages of the electoral college. Because so many recognize the importance of the institution, reforming it to fit current needs seems to be a common desire. However, most of the plans I've heard intending to make the electoral college fairer have aimed to minimize the likelihood of a candidate who didn't win the popular vote taking the presidency. If that's the goal, then why not just abolish the college? Why is it still important?


There is a case for a collective whole. Let's take California for this example. Hillary won it by a small margin but doing so neutralizes votes for Trump for California. Essentially getting rid of the EC will not make the popular vote the victor. You don't want elections based on popularity contests. Its already bad enough as it is in that regard.

We don't technically have a true democracy. The government officials really don't want a democracy which is why we are more of a republic. Because to have a true democracy the people have the say but politicians really don't want the people to have a voice.

I think to really have effective government we need to abolish the two party system and get rid of partisan nominations. In this election people really didn't want either Clinton nor Trump. We need better choices. If anything I think Trump proved you don't need to become a corporate whore to win elections.

We need money out of politics and curb corporate campaign investors looking for kickbacks if their candidate wins. Hillary would have been just as bad as Trump, just in slightly different ways.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2017 08:09 pm
@Krumple,
Quote:
I think to really have effective government we need to abolish the two party system and get rid of partisan nominations. In this election people really didn't want either Clinton nor Trump. We need better choices. If anything I think Trump proved you don't need to become a corporate whore to win elections.


Doesn't the electoral college promote the two-party system though? Because the winner takes all the electoral votes in most states, the growth of third parties suffers.
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2017 09:06 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

Quote:
I think to really have effective government we need to abolish the two party system and get rid of partisan nominations. In this election people really didn't want either Clinton nor Trump. We need better choices. If anything I think Trump proved you don't need to become a corporate whore to win elections.


Doesn't the electoral college promote the two-party system though? Because the winner takes all the electoral votes in most states, the growth of third parties suffers.


No, the two party system was a recent thing with the force of a single partisan nomination requirement. It was not like this 30 years ago.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2017 10:14 pm
@Krumple,
It's not a recent thing. There have been two dominant, competing parties since Jefferson and Adams.
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2017 11:34 pm
@perennialloner,
The Tories and Whigs? I don't think they had any candidates last time around.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2017 09:42 am
@McGentrix,
wasnt the WHIGS the name of the electoral College's fooball team?
George
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2017 09:56 am
@farmerman,
I thought it was the Nads.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2017 10:23 am
@George,
Ah yes , youre right. I recall the game winning cheers of the 1986 championship game

"GO, NADS " GO NADS
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2017 08:17 pm
I prefer to do away with it entirely. Let the candidate with the most votes be elected as in a democracy, which I was taught we are. And please dont hit me with all the argumentative crap I already know about the electoral college giving small states a chance. It gives them a edge they dont deserve.
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2017 09:39 pm
@RABEL222,
I've seen news lately about state legislatures trying really hard to roll back some ballot initiatives that got through because of the popular vote. Remember when California banned gay marriage through the popular vote?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 11 Feb, 2017 12:32 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
Since the recent election of president trump, people have talked about mending the electoral college and many have suggested its removal from the Consistution altogether.

As you get older, you'll learn to dismiss the nutty ranting of the Left out of hand.


perennialloner wrote:
and would like more insight on the contemporary advantages of the electoral college.

It prevents the Democrats from using local issues to manipulate a national election.

Let's say there was a big local issue on the ballot in some high population area that almost always votes for Democrats. That local issue could drive twice as many people to the polls as would otherwise come out to vote, and that would give the Democratic candidate a huge surge in votes.

With the electoral college, the Democratic candidate would only win the electoral votes for that state no matter how many people came out to vote because of an urban local issue.

If the Democrats would ever succeed in abolishing the electoral college, they would start creating hot-button ballot issues in all the major population centers to drive turnout every time there was a presidential election, and no one in rural areas would ever have a political voice again.


And don't let the Left fool you into thinking that the electoral college is an anachronism. Most other democracies also choose their head of government based on how many legislative districts a party has won -- all the parliamentary democracies for example. Very few democracies actually elect their head of government by direct popular vote.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 11 Feb, 2017 12:33 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
Doesn't the electoral college promote the two-party system though? Because the winner takes all the electoral votes in most states, the growth of third parties suffers.

All democracies end up with a major center right party and a major center left party, and it is almost always these two parties that rule.

In the US, the major parties try to attract the votes of different groups in order to win elections. In other countries, all the different groups have their own party, and the coalition is formed between parties after the election.

The effect is about the same with both systems: Either a center right or a center left government, and the government has to reach out to some of the groups that are its traditional supporters.
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Feb, 2017 08:37 am
@oralloy,
I think there are many people who are left of center who do not believe the electoral college should be abolished, just reformed, and that's what I'm curious about. I want to know what they're hoping to achieve by reforming it, what they're still wanting intact by keeping it. As I said, most of the plans to reform the college aim to minimize the chances of a presidential candidate who didn't win the pop. vote getting into office. To me, this means that they want the person who wins the popular to get into office but they still want the electoral college for some reason. I want to know that reason. How does the electoral college influence the political and electoral process in a way they find advantageous? You might not know since you're not left of center.

But I think there are a lot of considerations to be made for how the electoral college influences the way people do politics. I don't think it's just about the way it decides a winner and that's why many people, even liberals, hesitate to say they want the institution abolished.
0 Replies
 
 

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