The real problem with the Electoral College.

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,332
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 ...].
This seems to be the scenario that Tara Ross, whom I mentioned earlier, alluded to.

The EC seems to limit the political fracturing that can be found in many other systems especially with plurality minimums.
 

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,332
I don’t know about you, but I’m quite familiar with folks making arguments for any given issue and using the constitution and/or what the founding fathers thought on said issue, as the bedrock of their argument. As if any thoughts or ideas that may be at odds with the constitution/founding fathers wishes is bad/wrong/worse etc.
Okay, I do hear that, but, I also hear most folks take it a step further and posit that the compromises were negative but required to get the states to subscribe to the Union.

The state of mind, pre-constituion, was that that a union of these colonies would be impossible.

George Washington, in a letter to Lafayette, said that the U.S. Constitution was a miracle. And of course, he was referring to the opposing interests that the colonies had.

The general meme was that the framework of the US Constitution was brilliant, but that some of the structure was marred due to the required comprimises.
 

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,332
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.
You mention the Whig Party.

One interesting historical tidbit, is that in the 1836 election, they (Whigs) tried a multi-party (or rather, multi-candidate approach [1] ) along the lines that we see today of multi-party election strategy. IOW, fracturing the vote for a "runoff." But, in this case they were trying to send the election to the House of Representatives.

Of course, this backfired on them and Van Buren had a landslide EC vote.

-------------------------------------
[1] The Whig party could not decide on a candidate and there were three Whig candidates representing three different regions. Van Buren was Democrat and Mangum was Independent Democrat.

Note: The Whigs learned their lesson and united behind Harrison in 1840, taking back the Whitehouse from Van Buren. Of course, this was one of those elections where the "losing" party (Harrison) "won" the popular vote.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JakeStarkey
Aug 2015
1,952
Los Angeles
I don’t know about you, but I’m quite familiar with folks making arguments for any given issue and using the constitution and/or what the founding fathers thought on said issue, as the bedrock of their argument. As if any thoughts or ideas that may be at odds with the constitution/founding fathers wishes is bad/wrong/worse etc.
That's like using history in making a historical argument.

That's what the constitution is about, it's a set of laws, and when you are making an argument in laws, using the constitution as a basis seems very much like it's appropiate.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,624
Dispargum
I think part of the basis for questioning the wisdom of the founders is that they made a constitution within a certain context. It's not the same country anymore so why do we insist on living under the same old laws? The founders were justly concerned about big states dominating little states, but has any election actually pitted big states against little states? I can't think of one off the top of my head. Regionalism or sectionalism, north vs south, has been a much more consistent theme in American politics, but the EC doesn't address that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Menshevik

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,406
Caribbean
Yeah, this is a very poor excuse for rigging elections. One man, one vote.
No one has yet explained how rigging elections to a one-man one-vote scheme solves anything, especially for people who don't think they are a man

Here is representative elected by one-man one-vote. It's still funny after all these years, funny and tragic.

 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,406
Caribbean
I think part of the basis for questioning the wisdom of the founders is that they made a constitution within a certain context. It's not the same country anymore so why do we insist on living under the same old laws?
The short answer is because the old laws are better.

I would think it is just as fair and reasonable to question the "wisdom"- so to speak - of those who want to overthrow the system . It is hard to believe anyone is promoting change for any other reason than they think it is going to make their side win. That's not "wisdom." The same philosophy of short-term gain has blown up in the faces of its advocates many times. One day Marat is making the list of who gets their head cut off and the next day it is Marat's head getting cut off. Even hear the phrase nuclear option? Did emotional short-term thinkers create the opposite of their intended effect again?
 
Last edited:
May 2019
210
Salt Lake City, Utah
The problem of this thread remains that the no one can demonstrate the EC still works for us.

We are fortunate we have SCOTUS, Congress, the states, and We the People to fix the problem.
 
Last edited:

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,406
Caribbean
The problem of this thread remains that the no one can demonstrate the EC still work for us
No one has shown that it doesn't work. It produced the faces on Mt. Rushmore and the "great" United States. And moreover, as I posted, it produces the same result as idiots voting over 90% of the time. Given the tenor of your posts, why should anyone believe that your are not just complaining because your guy lost the last time?