The Electoral College

The article that I am transcribing from a local newspaper was written by Frank V. Vernuccio Jr.

Should a handful of states, and, indeed, just a handful of jurisdictions within those states, be given the power to choose the winner of future presidential contests? That’s precisely what would happen if the electoral college is abolished.

Linda Fuentes-Rohwer and Guy-Uriel Charles, writing in the Duke Law Review, note that “For critics of the Electoral College, the Achilles heel of the College is its ability to select a President that fails to win the popular vote. Moreover, and as a result of the close presidential elections in the last 40 years, many students of the Electoral College have continually warned that the College would soon “malfunction” by producing a minority President. In response, reformers have introduced myriad proposals for changes in the Electoral College.

These changes must be understood exactly within the larger historical context. “Close presidential elections, those in which the new president has only a narrow margin in the total popular vote,” Polsby and Wildavsky write, “always lead to renewed public discussion of the merits of the electoral college, since close elections remind people of the mathematical possibility that the candidate with a plurality of all the votes will not necessarily become president.

The Daily Signal argues that “Though a huge part of the anti-Electoral College push is sour grapes in the wake of [Trump’s] surprise electoral defeat, it serves the broader interest of the progressive movement’s goal to both delegitimize the incoming administratin and subvert the idea of federalism as enshrined in the Constitution… What is lost in the underlying attack on America’s cherished and inherited idea of federalism… The elimination of the Electoral College would be just another blow to the role of the states in the Amercan system of government. No longer would presidential candidates have to apeal to the farmers of rural Iowa alongside the bankers of urban New York. They would be incentivized to campaign directly to the interests of the largest populaston centers alone…”

Some of the calls to abolish the Electoral College have wholly ignored historical and Constitutional facts. Melissa Quinn, writing for the Washington Examiner reported on the bizarre comments of Democrat National Committee chair Tom Perez, who in a speech at Indiana University’s School of Law, falsely stated that “the Electoral Collage isn’t a creation of the Constitution.” Contrary to Perez’s comments, “the Constituton clearly, specially and explicity, College in Article Π, and the 12th Amendment details the process by which electors will meet and vote for president and vice president.”

Changes to a system that has successfully helped preserve American unity and the existence of freedom would be dangerous. Tom Boylan, from Winthrop University’s Political Science Department, wrote in the Open Political Science Journal that “calls for a system of presidential selection based on a pure form of popular democracy can lead to unintended and undemocratic outcomes.

By examining the Electoral College in its constitutional as well as its political context this study finds that the Electoral College, rather than subverting democracy, preserves it in ways that are both enduring and significant. Those who suggest amending the Constitution need to confront the many negative consequences of jettisoning the present system of American presidential selection.”

Abolishing the Ellectoral College would, in essence, disenfranchise the population of the other 39 states. Sean Rosenthal, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education explains that “…the Constitution’s voting system does an unexpectedly good job of deterring the concentration of political power…A two party system poses the danger of one party taking exclusive control and exerting its unrestrained will on the populaton…within a two-party system in a large nation, the Electoral College has an important function: it transforms elections from one national election into 51 local electons. With the electons managed locally, the federal government has little control over the voting process and cannot systematically tilt the election in favor of a party in power, preventng any party from systematically expanding its power through the voting system. Thus, the electoral college protects the voting system from potentially systemic federal corruption by dispersing it across the states. Moreover, by having 51 local elections for electoral votes instead of 51 local electons that sum into a national popular vote, local politicians do not control the election.

 

 

 

 

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