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It's got some benefits
Published on May 14, 2004 By russellmz2 In Politics
In response to Locamama's Is it time for the Electoral College to go?
2. There will be times when the winner of the popular vote will lose the electoral college such as our last election.
Your strongest point and I agree that it is a major flaw. The electoral vote messed up a few times. But recounts from a close race would require the recount of every vote in every state, rather than the one in 2000, so you trade one big problem with 50 individual smaller ones.
3. The electoral college puts many states "out of play". The candidates are going to concede certain states and not campaign there.
Entire regions are out of play for the simple reason most people vote one way. That won't change under a popular vote. A dem won't go to the middle of Orange County to get votes he'll go where there are lots of swing voters. Battleground "regions" instead of states.

If there was no electoral votes, the presidential candidates would concentrate on urban centers since there are more people there. Those red states with 1 guy per mile population density? They won't get any extra visits from presidential hopefuls.
1. The electoral college was put in effect to have a buffer against "voter ignorance". I know there are still voters who have no clue about the issues etc. but in general I think we have an educated populace. There are times I wish we could have a little test before voting because I don't want my vote cancelled out by someone without a clue or worse a one issue voter (they really irritate me).
So you think people who are not interested in stuff you are interested in shouldn't get to vote? If a guy owns a gun store that supports his family and would otherwise never vote. Shouldn't his only issue be voting against politicians calling for anti-gun laws?
4. This reinforces our two party system. It is hard for a third party to break through this system.
Not really related to electoral vote, but the two party system helps stem the one-issue voter, which you have a problem with. Someone radically for the environment would normally avoid GOP and Dems. The reason I like the two party system is that a crazy guy can't slip into office with 20% of the vote, like when Hitler did it. The other parties in Germany split the "Hitler sucks ass" vote. What people see as a problem (the two candidates are so close to the center they sound alike!), I see as a benefit. You might lose someone who can revolutionize our country, but you decrease the chance of a Hitler II.

The third party in America is useful: if it gets enough support then the other two partes will cannibalize it, sucking out the ideas that made it popular. Look at how budget deficit reduction was a major issue after Perot made it one by getting so much support dusing his presidential run. But the party itself suffers because now the two major parties are more likely to get those ideas implemented.

on May 14, 2004

I prefer the electoral college because it ensures that rural values get a bit more represented -- this was intentional btw. Thomas Jefferson was quite concerned that the cities would one day control everything and that the noble farmers would be at their mercy.


on May 14, 2004
I find the bitching bout the 2000 elections and the electoral collegeby the left somewhat hollow and without reason ...last i checked Clinton only got bout 43% in his last election...where was the left or right then...nowhere because we all understood that its electoral vote that counts not popular.....Frankly if there should be an election that should be bitched bout because of illegal precedings...try the New Jersey Senate elections in which the dems knowing full well their lightweight and useful idiot about state, Toricelli, dropped out of the running after the drop out date and a replacement dem was "inserted" i.e. Frank Lautenberg.. will the dems again try the same ploy on the presidential level ? It's already banted bout in dem circles.....nothing like the dems...give them an inch they take a mile
on May 15, 2004
couchman please try to stay on topic and avoid the random bitching at the left. nj senate elections and conspiracy theories of presidential candidates dropping out have nothing to do with a discussion on the electoral college (that thing mentioned in the article title and has 4 points/counterpoints made).

i am a democrat and i am making the case for the electoral college even though my guy lost in 2000. i have no idea if locomama is left or right. if you want to make complaints about the left, you got your own blog.
on May 15, 2004
I'm all for the Electoral college, why? Because I, like the founding fathers, don't trust the people to do jack diddly in their own long term best interest.

on May 15, 2004
The reason I like the two party system is that a crazy guy can't slip into office with 20% of the vote, like when Hitler did it.

Actually, that isn't a defect of the two party system. It's a defect of "you only get to vote for your favorite candidate". If a voting system such as "instant runoff voting" were implemented, then people support a 3rd party candidate and still express their preference between the two favorites.

The way "instant runoff voting" works is that when you vote, you list your preference among all candidates. If someone is listed #1 on 50% of ballots, they win. Otherwise, eliminate the candidate with the fewest votes and count again. Using 2000 as an example, if someone voted "1. Nader, 2. Gore, 3. Bush", once nobody got a majority, the votes for Nader would be eliminated and then all those people could express their preference for Gore over Bush.

In the "Hitler sucks" case, everone who thought that could put Hitler last, and he would have no chance of winning, even if the other candidates split up the rest of the votes.
on Jun 24, 2004
OK OK, No matter who wins, we'll put Al Gore in office if he cries hard enough. Will this make the people happy?