The real problem with the Electoral College.

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,222
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The key factor to determine how an electoral system works is in which percentage it's majoritarian.

In a pure majoritarian system you can see 20 candidates taking part to the election, but only the one who will get a vote more will win. So that, in a country with a divided electorate, the introduction of a pure majoritarian system could generate an odd result ... the first time.

Ok, let's see:

Italy. I would say that our electorate could be able to organize [at least!] 7 decent parties.

The day of the general elections comes.

Results:
Party1 = 10%
Party2= 15%
Party3= 15%
Party4= 25%
Party5= 15%
Party6= 15%
Party7= 5%

Party4 obtains the majority of the seats and the government.

Evidently this wouldn't be that fair, but the consequences would be positive: the second time several similar parties will merge into wider parties to win ... [Party2 + Party3 = 30%].

Unfortunately [in my questionable opinion] in this country the choice has been the one to make "coalitions" run [so 4 or more little parties take part together to the elections].
This is great about the principle of representation, but not that great regarding how a coalition government usually works ... [and for how much time it usually lasts ...].
 
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Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,978
India
The US has a two-party system but its system lacks efficiency due to the various checks and balances that it has.
I am interested to know how they are able to do it for such a long time, because in multi-party democracy, a political party dominant today may not exists 50 years in the future.
 
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Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,978
India
The key factor to determine how an electoral system works is in which percentage it's majoritarian.

In a pure majoritarian system you can see 20 candidates taking part to the election, but only the one who will get a vote more will win. So that, in a country with a divided electorate, the introduction of a pure majoritarian system could generate an odd result ... the first time.

Ok, let's see:

Italy. I would say that our electorate could be able to organize [at least!] 7 decent parties.

The day of the general elections comes.

Results:
Party1 = 10%
Party2= 15%
Party3= 15%
Party4= 25%
Party5= 15%
Party6= 15%
Party7= 5%

Party4 obtains the majority of the seats and the government.

Evidently this wouldn't be that fair, but the consequences would be positive: the second time several similar parties will merge into wider parties to win ... [Party2 + Party3 = 30%].

Unfortunately [in my questionable opinion] in this country the choice has been the one to make "coalitions" run [so 4 or more little parties take part together to the elections].
This is great about the principle of representation, but not that great regarding how a coalition government usually works ... [and for how much time it usually lasts ...].
The two tier election could be costly. The second tier where 1st and 2nd winning candidates again run for voting.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,222
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The two tier election could be costly. The second tier where 1st and 2nd winning candidates again run for voting.
I was not thinking to a two tier election, but to the lesson coming from the first general elections. Probably after 5 years [in Italy the parliament lasts 5 years] the losing parties would think to the idea to put them together. But as said the Italian system rewards overall the coalitions, not the single parties. And today we've got a curious system partially majoritarian and with two chambers with the same powers ... I cannot say if there is something more complicated around.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,605
Dispargum
I am interested to know how they are able to do it for such a long time, because in multi-party democracy, a political party dominant today may not exists 50 years in the future.
I suspect it has something to do with our nondescript party names. Democrat and Republican mean almost the same thing and neither label locks its party into any one ideology. In Europe the parties have names like Liberal, Conservative, Social Democrat, Christian Democrat, Communist, etc. Some of these Ideologies come and go. Even ideologies like liberal and conservative fall in and out of fashion. In the US issues, voting blocks, and ideologies migrate from one party to another over time. Democrats used to be the conservative party and Republicans used to be liberal. Not anymore. Women and minorities used to vote Republican. Now they vote Democrat. Labor used to vote Republican, then they voted Democrat, now they're voting Republican again. Farmers used to vote Democrat. Now they vote Republican. Issues come and go. The two parties survive, seemingly forever. It's been more than 150 years since a major US party died and was replaced by another major party.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,293
SoCal
I am interested to know how they are able to do it for such a long time, because in multi-party democracy, a political party dominant today may not exists 50 years in the future.
Both the Federalist Party and the Whig Party actually did disappear--in the Federalists' case, in response to their opposition to the War of 1812 and flirtation with secession and in the Whigs' case, in response to their inability to come up with a common position in regards to slavery when it was becoming a heated political issue in the US. All of this occurred in the 19th century, however.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,401
Caribbean
Doing some light reading on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I noticed in Hamilton's Plan, what looks like an electoral college for President and Senate.

"3. The senate to consist of persons elected to serve during good behavior ; their election to be made by electors chosen for that purpose by the people.

4, The supreme executive authority of the United States to be vested in a governor, to be elected to serve during good behavior. His election to be made by electors, chosen by electors, chosen by the people..."
 
May 2019
202
Salt Lake City, Utah
The EC will not be repealed.

However, the NPV will make it ineffective, thus ending minority PV presidents.
 
May 2019
202
Salt Lake City, Utah
The current political environment threatens the working viability of the two-party system.

The EC now undermines American understanding of one-person one-ballot. With Wyoming having 1/68th population of California yet 1/18th the EC of California, the resentment of the majority becomes obvious.

We are headed to a permanent and dominant one-party national government, and the demographics tilt the probably to the Democratic Party 2022 or 2024.