• 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Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the President are no longer valid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Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the President are no longer valid The United States' constitution was created in 1787 and, whilst creating the document, the Founding Fathers' opted on a method to indirectly elect the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in the wake of the 2000 election, there have been calls for reform with many citing the Electoral College as a "no longer valid" method of electing the leader of the country.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. How effective are the checks and balances of the Constitution today?

    if it is felt that an impeachment is necessary, the Senate then holds the impeachment trial, only two Presidents have ever been dismissed in this way, the first was President Andrew Johnson who was impeached in 1868 after violating the then-newly created Tenure of Office Act.

  2. Comparison of US and UK Constitution

    The separation of powers is somewhat different in the UK to that in the US. The executive branch of government in the UK is drawn from the legislature or Cabinet from the majority party in the House of Commons. In the UK, parliament is accountable to the people.

  1. Examine the effectiveness of the checks and balances system of the American Government. and ...

    And finally the FPTP system encourages political parties to broaden their electoral appeal, in ways this discourages extremism as parties cannot expect to win unless they attract a solid core of mainstream voters in enough seats. However, there are also many criticisms facing the FPTP system; the number of seats

  2. The Role and Functions of the US President.

    By its terms, the Speaker of the House and then the President pro tempore of the Senate are next in line. They are followed , in turn, by the secretary of state and then by each of the other 14 heads of the Cabinet departments, in order of each position's precedence.

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of an unwritten constitution in the UK?

    There is not even an agreement about what it actually contains as it is made up of various conventions, statute laws and ancient documents. The British can be confusing and there is no clear guideline of where certain powers rest, it can be seen as undemocratic in some ways because

  2. 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?

  1. Is the USA still a federal state?

    and the ?rise of socialism.? Despite both a Supreme Court backing and a legitimate winning in 2012 election Obama care has provoked widespread criticism that this health care reform is an arbitrary imposition on state governments to administrate due to the following reasons.

  2. The power of the President is limited to the power to persuade. Discuss.

    interest in their own constituency by adding ?riders? or ?pork? to a bill, even if the bill has little to do with the issue in question. For example, JFK gained the support of Senator Robert Kerr by promising his support for the Arkansas River Project if he voted in favour

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