Making Government More Efficient – The Electoral College
This post continues the discussion of things that need to change to make our political system more efficient. But with enough popular support this challenge can also be overcome.
- The Electoral College
The Electoral College is a process that was originated by the Founding Fathers in Article Two of the U.S. Constitution in which 538 electors select the president. In most states it is a winner-take-all system with a total of 270 votes required to select the president.
For starters, you can see that this will be a problem if there are three major parties in existence because it is likely that no candidate would get the required 270 votes. If none of the candidates get enough votes the president would be chosen by the House of Representatives. This means that the party in control of the House would likely select their party’s candidate as president.
This had an impact on the 2016 presidential race when Michael Bloomberg, who ended up backing Hillary Clinton, decided not to run as an independent candidate to avoid splitting votes because of the Republicans having a majority in the House.
The whole point of the Electoral College seems to be a lack of faith in the voting public. Because of this a safety valve was placed between the public vote and who becomes president. However, this has backfired twice in recent years with presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump being elected president without getting a majority of the popular vote. In fact, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by a margin of almost 3 million votes. This is just not right.
And getting back to the point of being a safety valve, the 2016 election is a good example of where the electors could have earned their salary. With potential Russian hacking there should have been more investigations into what happened before the electoral vote. After this year it is hard to envision any kind of situation where the Electoral College would actually do any good and provide any sort of benefit.
Getting rid of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment which requires that it is approved by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress and three-fourths of the states. This would be difficult even though two thirds of Americans want to do away with it, according to a Gallup poll. Once again, the will of the American people is not being implemented.
Even though the Founding Fathers were really smart guys and made lots of good decisions, the Electoral College is one of those things that should be eliminated by a change to the constitution.
Next: The presidential debates