11 – 24 – 2004
Ever since its creation at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the Electoral College has been the most widely debated aspect in the Constitution. There have been over 700 proposed constitutional amendments aimed at fixing or abolishing this process. And Congress has on several occasions held highly publicized hearings on Electoral College reform but overall has remained fairly inactive (Best, p. vii). And while the Electoral College is a cornerstone of our Constitution and therefore a major aspect of American democracy and government, its very nature is quite unfair and undemocratic. Many of its aspects portray biases and favor certain groups of people and certain states. It is deemed archaic, undemocratic, complex, ambiguous, indirect, and dangerous by many scholars and is in direct need of reforming (Kura, p. 30). It especially contradicts Walter Stone’s instrumental voting model for the Electoral College at first makes one believe as if one’s vote counts but eventually one figures out that it is in fact quite unimportant (Stone, p. 51). For with the Electoral College, the people are not in charge but rather the system is – the Electoral College presidential election system that is. And yet with all these negative aspects to it one has to wonder what election system is the best suited for America and the best successor to the Electoral College? In response, I propose that the Electoral College should not be reformed but completely gotten rid of and replaced with a direct election system, where basically the presidency is determined by a popular vote. This way, everybody’s vote counts equally and it is a much fairer and democratic way of electing our president. But before I outline all the problems with the Electoral College and why it needs to be replaced by the direct vote election system, it is necessary to have a brief
Cited: Best, Judith A. The Choice of the People? Debating the Electoral College. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1996. Edwards, George C. Why the Electoral College is Bad For America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. Kura, Alexandra, ed. Electoral College and Presidential Elections. Huntington, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 2001. Squire, Peverill, et. al. Dynamics of Democracy. Cincinnati: Atomic Dog Pub., 2004. Stone, Walter. Republic at Risk. Santa Barbara: UCSB Bookstore, 1990.