• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the President are no longer valid

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the President are no longer valid The United States' constitution was created in 1787 and, whilst creating the document, the Founding Fathers' opted on a method to indirectly elect the President. The "electoral college" system was born. The Founding Fathers believed that the electorate may, in the future, be easily taken in by the showmanship of extremists and so determined that the popular votes cast would only "influence" electors and not directly elect the President. Each state would have as many electors as they have congressmen (so 2 for each Senator and then so many for however many Representatives) who would cast their ballots in early January (after the national election in November) for a candidate, having been "influenced" by the results of the election day polls. In effect, this system both undermines the integrity of the voters and is undemocratic, effectively allowing the power to fall to a small number of people. Unsurprisingly, especially in the wake of the 2000 election, there have been calls for reform with many citing the Electoral College as a "no longer valid" method of electing the leader of the country. As I have already mentioned, the original reason for introducing the Electoral College system was to prevent against dictatorship and extremism. ...read more.

Middle

What can be done about this is uncertain, as ECVs cannot be taken away as they are mandated by the number of congressmen. This in itself is another flaw in the system, in that the ECVs are allocated according to representation rather than direct population. However, this can be considered to be a positive, given that it means the small states still "have a voice" aren't drowned out by the larger states. Finally, the "winner-takes-all" system further distorts the result, which was especially seen in the infamous 2000 election. In said election, Al Gore actually gained 48.4% of the popular vote, compared with Bush's 48%: not a huge difference but still, technically, more people voted for Gore than Bush. However, the Electoral College system resulted in Bush gaining 271 votes to Gore's 266. This was the first instance of such an event occurring in over 100 years and, unsurprisingly, sparked off a new national debate over the system. Technically, this system is therefore undemocratic and, once again, takes the power away from the people: if this were an example of direct democracy, Gore would have won the election. However, this is not to say that the Electoral College system has no good points; after all, it was created for a reason and has survived the best part of 250 years. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, a system of proportional representation could be adopted at state level. This would be deemed to be fairer and along similar lines to a direct election, but without many of the problems the latter brings. Furthermore, it would more fairly represent third parties, especially when considering Ross Perot's 20% of the vote compared to his 0 ECVs in 1992. However, such a system would encourage more to vote for these smaller parties probably resulting in no party gaining an absolute majority. Like any other reforms this brings with it disadvantages, however these need to be weighed accordingly to its pros. The Electoral College system is never going to be deemed perfect and it is unlikely it ever has been. However, it has served the country well for almost 250 years and the main reasons why people wish to change it seem fluid and inconclusive. Moreover, the reforms, at least on paper, do not sound to work as well as the EC system especially when considering that only 3 times in the nation's history as the present system extremely distorted the result. Sure, the original reason for creating the Electoral College is no longer as valid as it once was, but this is not to say that the system hasn't adapted to modern times and it's certainly not to say that it should be done away with all together. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Overall this is a very good essay. Although there is still room for improvement, the main points are well explained and good examples are used to highlight the points being made. Although analysis is quite good the evaluation could be better in places.

*****

Marked by teacher Jessica Jung 07/04/2012

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "The Main Difference Between the UK And US Constitution Is That One Is Flexible ...

    4 star(s)

    In 1803 Marbury v. Madison, three principles were established. 1. The Supreme Court has the right to undertake judicial review of cases brought before it in which constitutional principles are at stake. 2. If the Supreme Court declares a law to be unconstitutional, it has no force and must be set aside.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of an unwritten Constitution?

    Historically there is also the argument in favour of not having a written constitution, this is that Britain has survived two World Wars, itself indicates strength and stability, it would also cause problems in due to the fact that with its introduction there would be the compensatory taxes, which would

  1. "The conflicting interests of the Great Powers made its failure inevitable." Discuss this verdict ...

    without the presence of Britain in the decision-making, one of the two leading powers, it made no sense it continuing the Congress System. Once again we see the conflict in interests between the powers and how one individual can change a whole system in no time.

  2. How effective are the checks and balances of the Constitution today?

    Also if there is a two thirds overall vote in Congress, a Presidents veto can be overruled, this power can be hard to achieve but has happened in the past. Congress can amend, block, or reject any legislation put forward by the President; in 2001 Congress amended the education reform bill put forward by Clinton.

  1. What problems faced the framers of the Constitution in 1787?

    It was not so much a separation of powers as it was a separated institutions sharing power, and thus diminishing the likelihood of that power being abused. The separation of powers created a system of government, which was able to protect the constitution through the Supreme Court, which could protect

  2. How well does the US Constitution Work

    Universal rights and the equality of all persons are no longer alien to US citizens. Ergo the scope by which the nation was governed at that time and the rights citizens possessed at some point needs to "change with the times" in lesser words.

  1. Do the strengths of the US constitution outweigh its weaknesses?

    Whilst many may argue that this strength is also its downfall, as due to its rigidity it is unable to act to situations with the ease that it's British counterpart can. However, is this really the case, or does the Judiciary stop the strength being overshadowed?

  2. "The conflicting interests of the Great Powers made its failure inevitable." Discuss this veredict ...

    and talking of radicalism as a 'satanic genius` to stabilise a 'reign of evil' - as Stephen J Lee agrees in his book, Aspects of European History 1798 - 1980. This point was when once again the conflicting interests once again arose and the Troppau protocol (aimed to form a united front against revolutions)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work