Electoral College Reform.

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Electoral College Reform

By David Timan

January 6, 2003

At one time, it was impractical for the People to vote directly for their President, but times have changed. The People of the United States of America are now left with the Electoral College, an ineffective and at times obstructive system of electing their president. I propose that the obsolete Electoral College be abandoned and that a more democratic popular vote system be used. The need for such a change is very evident when one examines the possibility in the system for the most popular candidate to lose, the ridiculous nature of the congress choosing the President in a case of no majority and the unnecessary complexity of the system.

The possibility for the Presidential Candidate with the majority of the popular vote to loose an election is ever present in this ridiculous system. Three times in American history, democracy has been defeated in this way by the Electoral College. Occurring in 1876, 1888 and most recently in 2000, such a catastrophe cannot be taken lightly. In each of these cases, the second place candidate (by electoral college votes) received more popular votes than the candidate who was sworn into office did. If Abraham Lincoln correctly described the United States, as a, "government of the people, by the people, for the people," in his Gettysburg address, then why is the direct choice of the people so blatantly disregarded by the electoral process. Lincoln himself said, in an instance where such hypocrisy was as evident, "I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty - to Russia1, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."2 Hypocrisy of this variety must stop and the people of the United States need a reliable system to ensure that it does.
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If none of the Presidential candidates achieve a majority of the votes, is it not still the people themselves who should determine the President? This can be done countless ways without the existing governing body getting their biased hands on the issue3. For example, voters could be given four votes to be given to the candidates they choose. The votes could all be given to one candidate or spread however the voter wanted. This way when all votes are counted the first past the post could be declared the choice of the majority of the people, whether first ...

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