Buy The electoral college essay online

Buy The electoral college essay online. The recent election involving Bush and Gore has heated up a fifty year old debate. The debate is about whether the Electoral College is still an effective system considering the circumstances the United States now faces compared to when it was created by the founding fathers. The Electoral College is an outdated system of election that misrepresents the people of the United States today. The college was created in a time where communication was limited. Treason, tyranny, and oppression from foreign countries were still a serious threat. In order to protect the people and the institution of America, the government created an election system that allowed the final vote to rest in the hands of a trusted and respected few. These selected few could disregard the popular vote because there was and still is “no Constitutional provision or federal law requiring electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their states (National Archives and Records Administration).” For about one hundred and fifty years the United States has used a system that does not coincide with the most popular opinion, but yet, it has been the prevailing system that has not substantially changed with the evolution of American society.

By the definition given by The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary Encyclopedic Edition, Democracy is a “Government by the people, usually through elected representatives.” People elect representatives to represent them in the in the overall government. For example, if the people of the state of Florida vote in the election between the two candidates Bush and Gore, and the majority of the people vote for Gore and the representatives, meaning the twenty-five electors of the state, vote for Bush, then there has been a misrepresentation. How is this country a Democracy when such a flaw would destroy the sole purpose of a democracy, which is to represent the majority of the people?

According to William C. Kimblerling, Deputy Director FEC Office of Election Administration, the founders created a system that has performed its function for over 200 years and any alternatives to it appear more problematic than is the College itself. This system has performed its function of electing a President and does fully represent the selected few who get to actually vote, but the nation of citizens who think they are voting are being mislead. When the founders created this system of election, they accounted for the many problems faced by a new nation with new citizens. Because of the pristine age of the country, the founders knew they faced different problems of creating a system compared to the older powers of the world. The influence from other world powers was a foreseeable problem, so the founders had to limit the public vote in order to protect the new nation.

The Electoral College was a brilliant 18th century device to solve the problem of electing a president with states ranging in size. The problems faced by the founders were the difficulty of travel and the absence of political parties during the 18th century. Because traveling and communication from one state to another took days and sometimes months, it was almost impossible for any normal farmer or shop owner to make an educated guess with lack of up to date information. Also, considering there were no political parties at the time, no person could chose a candidate with common beliefs of their own unless they had some form of information that would be distributed to every citizen. The founders agreed that the best way to select a president would be to elect responsible trusted people of the government to become apart of the Electoral College. Each state is allowed a vote for the “total number of senators and representatives it sends to the U.S. Congress (National Archives and Records Administration).” With this system in place, each state would have fair representation. The system would hopefully have trusted and educated Electors who would be unaffected by partisan politics. The problems faced were more numerous than just travel and communication during the 18th century, William C. Kimberling explains why the Electoral College was created.

William C. Kimberling wrote an essay pertaining to the creation and effectiveness of the Electoral College. The first problem was the fact that the Union “was composed of thirteen large and small states jealous of their own rights and powers and suspicious of any central national government (Kimberling).” In a sense all states are still competing but are no longer suspicious of any central government because of the fact that the United States has had standing central government of its own for about two and a quarter centuries now and no militant state such as Montana could over throw the government. The threat of an oppressive leader is not obsolete, but nowhere near as apparent as it was in 1776. The second problem the founders faced was that the United States “contained only 4,000,000 people spread up and down a thousand miles of Atlantic seaboard barely connected by transportation or communication (so that national campaigns were impractical even if they had been thought desirable) (Kimberling).” A thought to remember for future consideration would be that the country is no longer inaccessible, meaning candidates do stage national campaigns and have been for the last hundred and seventy years. This simple fact would allow people to make a good conscious choice now that a candidate is fully accessible to all. A third problem facing the founders was how to elect a president in a nation that “believed , under the influence of such British political thinkers are Henry St John Bolingbroke, that political parties were mischievous if not downright evil, and felt that gentlemen should not campaign for public office (The saying was “The office should seek the man, the man should not seek the office.”) (Kimberling).” This is completely true in a sense of what Americans believe in, but what people believe in is not necessarily what people do. People are inherently power hungry and selfish to some degree, so the idea that people should not seek the most powerful position in the world is a flaw in the founders thinking. Also, in order to come to power, there must be support from others, and people only support what they believe in. If people unite for common beliefs, a group is formed. If the beliefs of a group deal with politics, a political party has formed. This is another flaw the founders made because again they based their thinking on that which people believed in and not with what a people would actually do. Kimberling goes on to explain that “The Electoral College was designed to represent each state’s choice for the presidency (with the number of each State’s electoral votes being the number of its Senators plus the number of its Representatives). To abolish the Electoral College in favor of a nationwide popular election for president would strike at the very heart of the federal structure laid out in out Constitution and would lead to the nationalization of our central government – to the detriment of the states.” Kimberling agrees that the states have adopted a method of appointing Electors by a popular vote through out a state. Meaning that when Electors are elected to the College they usually pledge their vote to the party that they received their support from. Again, this means that if the popular vote for the presidency in Florida was for Gore, and the majority of the Electors in Florida were pledged to the Republican Party who was backing Bush, all of the elector votes would go to Bush even though the majority of the population of Florida voted for Gore. Although this could happen, it most likely won’t. With the media today, the nation would be in an uproar if this situation occurred. Whether it could or could not happen, it is still a flaw or loophole that could create serious problems during the election process.

James Caraley argues for reforming the “winner-take-all” Electoral College. According to Caraley, legislative changes are not the answer to reformation; but instead, he suggests that the Electoral College must be altered by Constitutional amendment. Consequently, according to Caraley, that will never happen. In retrospect, there were advantages given to small states in the constitutional convention by giving them two extra electoral votes, regardless of size of population, and over those electors they got for seats in the House of Representatives. Since a Constitutional Amendment requires three-quarters of the states to be approved, the reformation will never happen. Caraley argues that there is actually no “electoral college;” because the electors meet in their respective states, they don’t meet together.

Caraley suggests that what can be changed without Constitutional amendment, is the winner take-all system of awarding electors from each state because the Constitution is silent on that point. Accordingly, this practice started in the 19th century when the big, populous states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, wanted to have a lot of clout. The big populous states assumed that if the system was a winner take all scheme, then both parties and candidates would overwhelmingly cater to their state. Now, as it turns out with TV, if an individual lives in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, they won’t see any Gore or Bush TV commercials because those states were not in play and neither party wanted to spend money on them; likewise, there were no such ads in California, or in Bush territory in Texas. Seemingly, both parties were spending TV money in the states that were in play, and Caraley claims that it has even backfired for the intended purpose, because people have taken big states that normally vote Republican or Democratic for granted.

As a further example Caraley argues that in states that do not have a winner take all scheme, like Maine and Nebraska, people can elect an elector for each congressional district, and whoever wins the statewide popular vote gets the 2 electors who are given to the states. Caraley claims that if you divided the votes proportionately, the dispute over the vote in three counties of one state such as Florida wouldn’t have much an impact because it would only affect one or two electoral votes, not the electoral vote for the whole state. Then without doing away with the Electoral College, you have done away with a lot of its evils.

With regard to the Florida legislature and it’s determination of Florida state electors Caraley states that “Article II of the Constitution says that the state shall choose the Electors and it says how many and the formula, and then it says the State Legislature shall choose the manner of their selection.” Subsequently, the manner of the Florida selection by law was the popular vote. Caraley did not believe that people can change the manner of the election by saying, “no we changed our minds and the selection of the electors will be by the State Legislature”, after a candidate had won the election by popular vote. The provision in the original Constitution was there to leave open how much popular democracy there would be in the election for president. For example, the framers did not want the people directly to elect senators and so made them electable by the state legislature. For the presidential electors, the framers left it open and left it for the states to determine how much popular vote there would be for presidential electors. Since Andrew Jackson’s day, the states have said that the people should elect the electors. Caraley agues that “once you’ve had the election, even certified it, you can’t go back and change the rules for the same election. However, Florida can, of course, change it for future presidential elections and thus abandon the popular democratic process, but it can’t change it now.”

In light of this matter, why is it that in the United States the words politics and politician has associations that are uncharacteristically negative for our country’s leaders? Today, America’s politicians have turned into greedy executives. The mix of politics and business is driving our country away from the principles that our founding fathers set fourth. Why is our forty-third president in office when the majority of Americans voted for a different candidate? An election that gives the people the choice without regard to state lines of a president by a majority would cure some of the current problems of the Electoral College. We have a president that bullied his way into office and now many Americans question the government. Where did the Electoral College go wrong?

The popularity vote seems to not play any factor in our presidential election. A major conflict concerning the Electoral College lingers in America. The Constitutional Convention created the Electoral College in 1789 in hopes that it would be an adequate system. The Electoral College consists of senators and representatives who cast their votes for the state they represent. Those who feel that the college should remain as it is believe that the American people are too uninformed about election issues to vote. The argument for the modification of the college maintains that the people are not actually electing the president, but the larger states are. Ultimately, the majority of the United States citizens support the elimination of an Electoral College that serves no purpose in the government. The argument in favor of the continuation of the Electoral College holds that it represents an effective institution. First, the format of the college demonstrates its validity. The amount of electoral votes awarded to each state, extremely critical in elections, remains decided by the number of senators and representatives in Congress. Many politicians find the existing system extremely efficient because they feel the electors represent their constituents. In addition, the Electoral College’s ability to efficiently serve its purpose provides a reason for its long existence. “An electoral system should produce a definite, accepted winner and avoid prolonged contests and disputes that create uncertainty and public turmoil”. Moreover, never in the history of the Electoral College has a controversy developed in which the college rejected “an individual who had an undisputed majority of the popular vote”. Most importantly, those who agree with preserving the Electoral College believe that election by popular vote, the alternative to the college, would create numerous deficiencies in the system. Election by direct popular vote would be “hazardous to the nation’s health,” said a concerned citizen. Liable to deceptions of the truth and too uniformed of the candidates, the people, voting directly, pose a threat to the system of electing presidents. Many people feel that the “popular election of presidents would work a diminution of the political power of racial and other minority groups in the nation’s urban centers”.

On the other hand, the position in favor of ridding the nation of the Electoral College argues that the college serves no purpose. First of all, the present format of the Electoral College manifests the colleges’ insufficient qualities. The current format of the college, giving the edge to the larger states, exhibits the inadequacies of it. “The electoral college system, it is claimed, does not guarantee that the candidate with the most popular votes will win, produces great inequalities in voting power among the national electorate, contains a contingency election provision that is not only unrepresentative but that could also result in an impasse or in political duels, permits the will of the majority voters in a state or even in the nation to be thwarted through the constitutional independence of the electors, and permits the electoral decision to turn on fraud or chance in key states”. A study conducted by John F. Banzhaf, III revealed “states like New York and California have over two and one half times as much chance to effect the election of the president as residents of the smaller states”. Furthermore, causing confusion amongst the political system, the Electoral College raised a question mark in Congress. Passed by more than the mandatory two-thirds vote in 1969, the House called for a constitutional amendment to change the election of presidents and vice-presidents is by nation a wide popular vote rather than the Electoral College. However, the amendment failed to result in a vote on the Senate floor.

Contrary to claims that the college represents the people’s voice, the college’s popularity decreased dramatically nation wide. First of all, the citizens feel that they reserve the right to directly elect their commander in chief. Election by popular vote is much more accurate of an election than the Electoral College. Decreasing the amount of problems brought on by the college, elections by popular vote allows the United States citizens to truly and fairly elect the president of their choice. Most importantly, election by popular vote permits the citizens to take part in their government denied to them by the existence of the Electoral College. Numerous changes in the election system and the citizens’ view of it would take place as a result of the abolishment of the Electoral College. Bickel, in his book Reform and Continuity, claims “if each states’ electoral vote were divided – precisely or roughly – in proportion to the popular vote cast for each candidate in each state, the representation would become quite real, and might have considerable effect” (Bickel 5). In addition feeling good about themselves for taking part in the political system and making a difference, the citizens would gain more respect for the political system.

The Electoral College clearly stands as an insufficient system for electing the president. Election by popular vote, truly giving the people the choice, should be established in the electing of the president instead of the college. Moreover, the government’s choosing that the bigger the states, the more electoral votes they receive is a grave mistake. It has been determined that the presidency is either won or lost in the “large industrial states, where one or another group can make all of the difference”. Strangely enough, “the presidential nominees tend to come from big states and tend to run on platforms likely to appeal to interest groups that cluster there”. The government’s deciding to continue to utilize the Electoral College is a drastic mistake. Ultimately, the establishment of popular vote as a means for electing the president offers a new hope for constituents in a political system that often leaves them disillusioned.

Apparently, the Electoral College is insufficient in every way. The United States has the technology to be one of the most efficient countries. Although if we cannot elect a president thoroughly and correctly in our country then we fail in every way possible. Our founding fathers set fourth a nation built on loyalty and freedom not insufficient tallying of votes.


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