posted on Nov, 1 2012 @ 03:08 PM
Originally posted by Fakshon
does this mean the electoral college is a flawed system?
LOTS of questions there, but please forgive me if I skip to the one that is most easily answered.
Many do think the electoral college is a flawed system...one which has favored the GOP consistantly for the past 50 years, most easily seen in 04 with
Gore winning the popular vote and Bush winning the electoral college.
BUT it is how the founding fatehrs designed it...and enshrined it. To change it would require a super-majority of the states, and since many states
both Red and Blue benefit from the system, that is unlikely to happen.
The electoral college was created by our founders for two purposes...
(1) to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President.
"The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power."
Hamilton and others wanted to ensure that only qualified and fully vetted candidates would become President and thus looked to dilute the power of
(the easily swayed) popular vote.
Despite this, only a few times in history have "electors" sent by the states voted in opposition to thier populace.
(2) to structure gov in a way that gave extra power to the smaller states.
Each state has the same number of electoral votes as they have members of congress, thus states with smaller populations are still not
The result of this system is that in this election
the state of Wyoming cast about 210,000 votes, and thus each elector [sent by the state] represented 70,000 votes,
while in California approximately 9,700,000 votes were cast for 54 votes, thus representing 179,000 votes per electorate.
Obviously this creates an unfair advantage to voters in the small states whose votes actually count more then those people living in medium and large
Because it is easier than para-phrasing
One aspect of the electoral system that is not mandated in the constitution is the fact that the winner takes all the votes in the state. Therefore it
makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% or by 80% of the vote you receive the same number of electoral votes. This can be a recipe for one
individual to win some states by large pluralities and lose others by small number of votes, and thus this is an easy scenario for one candidate
winning the popular vote while another winning the electoral vote. This winner take all methods used in picking electors has been decided by the
states themselves. This trend took place over the course of the 19th century.
While there are clear problems with the Electoral College and there are some advantages to it, changing it is very unlikely. It would take a
constituitional amendment ratified by 3/4 of states to change the system. It is hard to imagine the smaller states agreeing. One way of modifying the
system s to eliminate the winner take all part of it. The method that the states vote for the electoral college is not mandated by the consitution but
is decided by the states.
Sidenote: Nate Silvers predicts there is about an 8% chance that one candidate will win the popular vote while the other wins the electoral
college....and a .2 (point 2) percent chance that they will tie.