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Thread: Electoral College

  1. #1

    Default Electoral College

    The past 2 weeks or so in my American Government class we have been talking about the electoral college and how it works.

    I am just wondering what people's opinion on the electoral college is, I personally think that another system needs to be put into place but the current system needs to be disbanded.

    If you don't know what I am talking about the electoral college is basically the college that elects the president, yes it takes into consideration of popular vote, but recently there have been two presidents elected because of electoral votes and not popular (most recent was gore vs bush). A state has so many votes (ga has 13 but its the number of people in the house of representatives plus 2 (the ones in the senate)) and D.C has 3. the people who get at least 270 votes will become president.

    There is probably more on wikipedia, but I am getting tired and have to wake up early to get to work

  2. #2

    Default

    The Electoral College is an outdated relic from a bygone era that desperately needs to be purged from the Constitution. Additionally, it is goddamn confusing for 16-year-old non-American politics students like I once was. Of course, the likelihood of this change happening is very slim, since constitutional law is notoriously difficult to alter and, for the most part, it isn't *that* damaging to democracy since for the most part, the appointed electors do vote for their guy.

    However, it is undeniably unfair (it seems weighted in favour of smaller states, from what I remember) and the issue of 'faithless electors' is still a problem. A system whereby whatever candidate gets the most of the popular vote wins would be much more logical.

  3. #3

    Default

    Every president is elected because of a majority in the electoral vote and not the popular vote, it's just that some only win the electoral majority. In fact, if we had to have a majority popular vote, in recent times, we would have had a number of elections with no winner, where both candidates received under 50% of the total vote.

    Now, the reason the electoral college is bad is not, in my opinion, because it doesn't always go with the popular vote -- it's that, in principle, the electors could go against the vote of their state. But, this is a minor issue, as it's unlikely to happen. And if it does, I guarantee the system will be reformed shortly thereafter. in the end it's kind of goofy, but not worth the effort and cost to change it now.

  4. #4

    Default

    Even though Bush Jr won by it in 2000 I would rather see only the popular vote matter. The reason is I live in California a pretty liberal state, with the way its working out now the state democrats overrule the voices of me and my fellow republicans. Really my vote wont matter anytime soon in a presidential election since there's like 10-20% more democrats here then republicans, CA is already locked in for Obama and it gives him a automatic 55 electorate votes.

  5. #5

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    But you see, in 2000.. Bush got 47.9% of the popular vote, and Gore got 48.4%. The rest went to other candidates. That means nobody won a majority popular vote. What do you do when nobody wins the election?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by chevre View Post
    But you see, in 2000.. Bush got 47.9% of the popular vote, and Gore got 48.4%. The rest went to other candidates. That means nobody won a majority popular vote. What do you do when nobody wins the election?
    Umm... Highest vote count wins?

  7. #7

    Default

    I have a minor problem with the electoral college and that comes from states that are like Illinois, New York, and others where a large portion of the population is located in one area, Chicago, NYC.

    These maps show the problem fairly well.

    Election results by state.


    Election results by county.



    Election results in purples showing how close the results were by county.



    So in Illinois in 2004 Kerry had about 550,000 more votes than Bush, giving Kerry the state. Of Kerry's 2.9 million votes, 49.78% of these votes came from Cook Co. (29% just from Chicago, more than the difference for the state).

    So what I would like to see, is that the Electoral college be redistricted, so that the winner of the state gets 2 votes, and then each congressional district gets a vote based upon the way that districts votes. Then at least I would think that my vote matters.

    Chevre, not all Presidents have been elected by a majority of the Electoral College vote. John Quincy Adams was elected by the House of Representatives after no one candidate could get a majority. Thomas Jefferson tied Aaron Burr, and that election ended with a duel.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Umm... Highest vote count wins?
    So you're suggesting a plurality should be enough? What if 5 candidates were in the mainstream and the highest only got 20% of the vote. Should we allow a leader who was only selected by 20% of the population? Our current elections are decided by majority, which means having over 50% of the vote.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by chevre View Post
    So you're suggesting a plurality should be enough? What if 5 candidates were in the mainstream and the highest only got 20% of the vote. Should we allow a leader who was only selected by 20% of the population? Our current elections are decided by majority, which means having over 50% of the vote.
    I'd rather have it be a majority but in this case the person with the highest votes should win. If that did happen how would you solve it? Cast a re-vote and end up with the same margins?

    Also if the highest got 20% of the votes it would be a 5 way tie. Of course in the case you made the person would really have about 20.01% or so.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    I'd rather have it be a majority but in this case the person with the highest votes should win. If that did happen how would you solve it? Cast a re-vote and end up with the same margins?
    Normally what places do that require a majority, but only get a plurality is take the top 2 and have a re-vote.

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