The real problem with the Electoral College.

Jun 2014
6,169
US
I see the EC delivering three results:
1. Usually the EC yields the same result as the popular vote in which case the EC adds no value to the process.
2. Sometimes the EC chooses a winner who only won a plurality not a majority. The EC therefore precludes a run off election or shifting the election to the House of Representatives. I wouldn't want the House to pick the president, but I have no problem with a run off.
3. Sometimes the EC chooses a president who gets fewer votes than another candidate. From the standpoint of one person one vote, this is immoral. It means that people who live in one place cast votes that are more valuable than people who live somewhere else. In the election of 1888, if some Cleveland voters had moved from Missouri and Kentucky to Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, but still voted the same, then Cleveland would have won both the popular vote and electoral vote. But because they didn't move Cleveland lost. It's the same number of votes, cast on one side of a river or another, but that decides who wins and who loses. An election decided not on how people vote, but on where they live. Stupid.
In a pure democracy option #3 is immoral. In a republic, it is not. It prevents tyranny by the majority, which pure democracy often degenerate into. At a minimum t leads to the kind of animosity found in Canada and Spain. At its worst, it results in the kind of dysfunction that has been seen in places like the Congo and Nigeria.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
In a pure democracy option #3 is immoral. In a republic, it is not. It prevents tyranny by the majority, which pure democracy often degenerate into. At a minimum t leads to the kind of animosity found in Canada and Spain. At its worst, it results in the kind of dysfunction that has been seen in places like the Congo and Nigeria.
What do you think is the difference between "a republic" and "a pure democracy?" You may have a democratic republic that elects its President by the majority of the vote. IMO, the electoral college reintroduces "statism" into a system whose greatest political contribution was in the transfer of sovereignty from the state to the people themselves. What protects us from the tyranny of the majority is found in the Bill of Rights...not the electoral college.
 
Jun 2014
6,169
US
What do you think is the difference between "a republic" and "a pure democracy?" You may have a democratic republic that elects its President by the majority of the vote. IMO, the electoral college reintroduces "statism" into a system whose greatest political contribution was in the transfer of sovereignty from the state to the people themselves. What protects us from the tyranny of the majority is found in the Bill of Rights...not the electoral college.
The U.S. is a republic. I don't know of any nation of any size that is a pure democracy. By its very nature, by not necessarily counting the winner of the presidential election by the popular vote, the E.C. protects the U.S. from possible tyranny of the majority.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
The U.S. is a republic. I don't know of any nation of any size that is a pure democracy. By its very nature, of not necessarily counting the winner of the presidential election by the popular vote the E.C. protects the U.S. from possible tyranny of the majority.
Why do you think so? The Bill of Rights remains. The great contribution to political theory of the 17th and 18th centuries was the transference of sovereignty from the state to the people. How can you defend an electoral system that results in a candidate, who receives fewer votes than their opponent, being declared the winner?
P.S. I think you'll find the idea of "pure democracy" refers to the legislative process, wherein the entire population votes on all law. It was argued that such a "pure democracy" could only work in a very small society, such as clubs, boards, or town hall meetings.
 
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Aug 2016
4,268
Dispargum
Roger, you keep bringing up this idea of tyranny of the majority. Has it ever occurred to you that a president elected by a minority can also be a tyrant? How does the EC prevent tyranny in either a majority or a minority? Tyranny doesn't happen in an election. Tyranny happens after a winner is chosen. How does the EC prevent a tyrant from being chosen? A person predisposed to be a tyrant can garner either a minority or majority of votes, but the EC does not care if a candidate gets a popular majority or minority.
 
Aug 2016
4,268
Dispargum
The founders never considered that there would be a popular vote for president so they never considered that the popular vote and the electoral vote might yield different results. They never considered how to reconcile this conflict in morality.
 
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Jun 2014
6,169
US
Why do you think so? The Bill of Rights remains. The great contribution to political theory of the 17th and 18th centuries was the transference of sovereignty from the state to the people. How can you defend an electoral system that results in a candidate, who receives fewer votes than their opponent, being declared the winner?
The U.S. is a republic, like it or not, not a democracy. That is how I defend the E.C. The American experiment did not transfer the power to the people. That is a democracy. The U.S. is a republic. There is a difference, as in representatives speak for the voters.
 
Jun 2014
6,169
US
Roger, you keep bringing up this idea of tyranny of the majority. Has it ever occurred to you that a president elected by a minority can also be a tyrant? How does the EC prevent tyranny in either a majority or a minority? Tyranny doesn't happen in an election. Tyranny happens after a winner is chosen. How does the EC prevent a tyrant from being chosen? A person predisposed to be a tyrant can garner either a minority or majority of votes, but the EC does not care if a candidate gets a popular majority or minority.
Of course. But the E.C. actually protects against this better than a majority vote.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
The founders never considered that there would be a popular vote for president so they never considered that the popular vote and the electoral vote might yield different results. They never considered how to reconcile this conflict morally.
Sorry...but they certainly did discuss it. Madison, at one point during the Constitutional Convention, said he preferred it. I can quote him if you like? The EC solution tracked the House representation solution, which came earlier in the Convention and the primary purpose of both was to count southern slaves as three-fifths of a person, toward representation, balancing north and south representation in the House and enabling the election of southern presidents.