Professional / Education Essay


Should the Electoral College be Abolished?

As opposed to its polar twin of dictatorship, democracy affords its participants a measure of representational standard from which the expression of the people would be centered on.

From the perspective of political consciousness, one could observe that, more often than applicable, a government that puts its people before itself is a system bound to thrive. To complement this, democracy possesses varying traits that further give it the impression of becoming a subsisting option for people management.

Traits such as periodic elections, popular representation, freedom of the press, meticulousness in the decision-making process and overall acute political responsibility vest in democracy an air of political correctness.

Suffice this to say, there might arise a question of how correct this system might be. For the sake of this paper, the case study is the Electoral College.

Electoral College in the United States of America

The United States of America is one of the leading stations of political power that has continually tasted the dividends of democracy. In this country, an acceptable medium of choosing political leaders is through the Electoral College.

This body was established by virtue of Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution. Simply put, an Electoral College is an official body that appoints the President and Vice President of the United States.

All states have as many electors in the Electoral College as it has Representatives and Senators in the United States Legislature. Meanwhile, at the District of Columbia there exist, three electors, as it is categorized under the title of State as documented in the 12th amendment of the U.S constitution.

In practice, voters who go to the polls for the Presidential election, undoubtedly go on to vote for the slate of electors. Such individuals have vowed to cast their ballots in favor of their constituents at the Electoral College. Although the Electoral College comprises 538 electors, for an election into the position of President, 270 electoral votes are required.

In theory, the purpose of this process is to ensure a balance between the Legislature and State Legislative arm and provide an equilibrium between the minor and major states.

Problems of the System

However, with the perceived transparency, this process affords, persistent demerits have diverted its participants from what it has to offer to what ensues in its practice. Irrespective of its smooth practice over the years, matters bordering on its feasibility in a modern democracy and its usage for political disuse. Towering above these is the discrepancy in the popular vote and the results compiled at the Electoral College.

Since its inception, five candidates have won the popular vote and lost at the Electoral College. These are Andrew Jackson in 1824 (to John Quincy Adams); Samuel Tilden in 1876 (to Rutherford B. Hayes); Grover Cleveland in 1888 (to Benjamin Harrison); Al Gore in 2000 (to George W. Bush); and recently in 2016, Hillary Clinton to President Donald J. Trump.

The latest case of Donald Trump exposed the irregularity in this process where President Trump lost by over three million votes in the popular vote and won by 74 votes at the Electoral College. This trend implies that it inevitably undermines the political and electoral legitimacy of a government and challenges its requisite confidence from the people.

Moreover, as laid down in the 12th amendment of the constitution, in the event there is a deadlock at the Electoral College, the vote would be transferred to the Legislature. Consequently, each state delegate would cast one vote for the top three candidates.

Yet, this practice has proven to constitute an instrument for unlawful political bargaining and corruption practices. For a system, fanning the embers of corruption, one is left to wonders whether it should still exist.

Conversely, when juxtaposed with its structure today, it begs the question of political relevance. It should be noted that the purpose of the creation of the Electoral College by the Founding Fathers was to enable the representation of small states and bridge the consequences of representation of large states.

Yet today, the constitution of the Electoral College represents a system that appears to represent excessively, relatively small and medium-sized states to the detriment of large states.

This is shown by the existence of two votes per state notwithstanding the population layout, alongside more votes to match its capacity in the Legislature. This formula displays how a subsisting Electoral College fails to thrive in the face of high-income equality and wide-ranging geographic variation.

Besides, since 1796, the American citizenry has been bludgeoned by the activities of faithless electors. These electors veer off the wishes of their states pollard vote. Such reasons for this arise in the guise of the idealistic awakening of electors to a mere preference for the other side.

Given this, the preferred certainty in the outcome of a state's voting is nonexistent. The first case of this gained prominence in 1796 when Samuel Miles, an elector representing Pennsylvania voted Thomas Jefferson the Democratic-Republican aspirant even when the Federalist candidate John Adams, his party candidate has won the popular vote in Pennsylvania. From the foregoing, it is obvious that the Electoral College system might be defeating the democratic pillar of political representation.

Above all, when the features of democracy are outlined, the outcome is positive arousal of popular support in a system that appears to represent its people. Yet, in practice, the story might be drastically altered.

In the case of the Electoral College, these are various doubts about its feasibility inadequately representing the American people. Following thisShould the Electoral College be Abolished?, this uncertainty can be rightly quelled by the prevalence of a direct voting practice in which individual voters would decide political leaders in line with their whims and projections.

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