American Electoral College Dilemma

George Cattan
2021 / 7 / 7

The presidency is the most important position in the United States because the president is the chief of the executive branch empowered by the constitution and laws to lead the country s policy. The constitution determines how the president should be elected every four years by two stages of the election. The first by a -dir-ect election from the people, the second by states electors that will gather as an Electoral College to elect the president,
The Electoral College has worked well without problems for 56 elections where the candidates who win the popular vote win also the Electoral College vote. The exceptions were few. Five times in the history of the presidential election in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 the elected president did not get the majority of the popular vote but was elected by the Electoral College majority. These exceptions, especially in 2000 and 2016, has put the Electoral College right in front of American s face. It results in a conflict between the Electoral College vote and the popular vote that triggered an argument, with and against the Electoral College.
Since establishing the Constitution in 1788 there have been hundreds of proposals were introduced in Congress to reform´-or-to abolish the Electoral College but it did not pass. The argument continued between people who want to keep the Electoral College because it insure the balance between the small and big states and people who want to reform´-or-abolish it because it is against the people s power granted by the Constitution. The two parts of this argument have their causes to support´-or-not support the Electoral College. They speak about several advantages´-or-disadvantages of the Electoral College that prove their point of view.
The most important advantage of the Electoral College is that it has served the country well for 230 years so why we would change it for a few exceptions?. Advocates of the Electoral College also say that this type of election promotes the two-party system which provides political stability in the country. They oppose critically abolishing the Electoral College, sometimes for ethnic’s reasons like what Paul LePage, the former governor of Maine noticed that the proposal is an attack on the political rights of white people. He said. “It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect,” the president
Another reason to support the Electoral College is that it makes it easier to campaign. It encourages candidates to pay more attention to small states and not just the big ones, and it protects the interest of the minority that is a part of the balance made by the Framers of the Constitution, between the states and the people of all the country where the people choose
representatives to the House, the states choose their senators to the Senate, and the people who join with the states choose the president.
Moreover, this method of election is fair and a democratic process because it allows fair representation from each state regardless of its population, and that is part of a federation system of governance that makes a balance between the states and the national government. The supporters believe that even though it is an old system but it allows better representation because the electors represent the winner party in a state. They also believe that it is better than many parliamentary systems in the world in which the president is elected by the ruling political party which has the majority in the parliament.
In contrast, the people against the Electoral College mention many disadvantages of the Electoral College. They start by saying that choosing the president by the Electoral College is anti-democratic. It makes people feel like their votes do not matter. They prefer the "One person - one vote" rule because it is more democratic. For example, despite Hillary Clinton s lead by nearly 3 million votes in the popular vote, the presidency went to Donald Trump with the Electoral College vote. These millions were uncountable, and Americans are not represented democratically.
Americans against the Electoral College also say that it is an out-of-date institution designed for the 18th century that does not fit Americans in the 21st Century. It allows a small group of people chosen by the president himself to give him their votes. They depend also on polls that always find that the major support is for the popular vote. In a poll conducted by Gallup Institute, 61 % of the surveyed preferred a national -dir-ect election, compared with 35 % who supported keeping the Electoral College.
Moreover, the people against the Electoral College reacted to supporters who say that the Electoral College keeps the balance between the states and the federal government. In their opinion, this balance is provided by the two chambers of the Congress, where the states, small and big, are represented by the senate with equal two senators for every state, and the house representing the population of the United States regardless of the state’s population.
We can find the advantages and disadvantages of the Electoral College in many articles and sources, but we notice that each writer,´-or-sometimes each publication takes one side of the argument and defends it without paying attention to the other point of view. It was very difficult to find an article that considers the two parties of the argument. Usually, Republicans affiliated defend the Electoral College, because usually, Republicans depend on States rather than popular votes. On the other side, Democrats depend more on the popular vote, so they attack the Electoral College and want to abolish it.
This bias is recorded in many articles and resources not only between the two parties but also between the ideological affiliation like between the conservatives and the liberals. The first takes the side of defending the Electoral College and keeping it alive as a tradition that must not be exposed to any change whatever time passed and needs new methods of life. While liberals try to renew the society with new ideas that cope with a new era. An example of how much some prejudice against´-or-in favor of the Electoral College what Trump called the Electoral College in 2012 as: “a disaster for a democracy … a total sham and a travesty” before he was elected by the Electoral College in 2016.
Between the two opinions about keeping the Electoral College as the supporters prefer, and the opinion of people who want to abolish the Electoral College, there must be a place for a third opinion that prefers to keep the Electoral College and at the same time reform it. When writing the Constitution, the Electoral College, was a compromise between the Confederation supporters, who wanted the president to be elected -dir-ectly by the states, and the liberals that preferred the president to be elected -dir-ectly by the people. Now after more than two hundred years, the conflict between the two parties can be solved by a new compromise that keeps the Electoral College but reformed it to satisfy the two sides.
One of the solutions to accomplish this deal is what more than 15 states start to do by agreeing, pledging, and enforcing their pledge with laws, to give all of their electoral votes to the winner of the majority of the national popular vote from any party he comes. The proposal was called “The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact”. The compact would become effective once the states who agreed collect 270 electors from several states. This solution does not abolish the Electoral College, so it does not need an amendment to the constitution. An amendment is so hard to reach with the need of two-thirds of the House and Senate, and three froths of states.
Another solution that needs an amendment to the Constitution is the one named "District System" which is applied now in two states: Main and Nebraska. It requires to introduce a bill to change the state’s electoral vote allocation style where the winner of a state- take- all, to a winner district-take- all. If this reform is passed, not all the state s electors will be from the same party but will be distributed between the parties that win districts. If the "District System" is convenient for Maine and Nebraska, why it will not be convenient for the other forty- eight states?
Weinstein, Matthew. The author of “A New Way to Count.” contends that both “Democrats and Republicans must look beyond the next four years and develop a plan to better express the will of the voters they claim to represent”.
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