Home > A3, Learning > Popular Vote Isn’t Looking So Popular Anymore

Popular Vote Isn’t Looking So Popular Anymore

ImageA government for and by the people: the essence of democracy, right? On the surface, with that reasoning, the popular vote seems much more democratic than the Electoral College. A popular vote seems like the most democratic thing to do.  But, after a deeper look into this clever system of checks and balances our forefathers put into play called the Electoral College, it’s importance in the United States’s election process is inarguable.  Comparing ‘wins’ from each state to come to a consensus rather than looking at the raw number of votes overall, on the surface, seems pointless(according to the large group of people opposed to the Electoral College).  Nobody seems to apply this same type of logic into questioning the system in play with the Senate and the House of Representatives: representatives from each state reporting the will of their own region and decisions being made through this method.  These systems are key to the democracy of the United States and there are crucial reasons our founders put them into play: to avoid the “tyranny of the majority”, to ensure a broad geographical support base for the elected President, and to rat crazy radical parties out of the running.

One fundamental quality of the Electoral College it’s ability to make sure that the voices of the minorities aren’t drowned out by the “tyranny of the majority”.  This ensures that the opinions of the important minorities are taken into account and heard.  Without the Electoral College, the voices of the minorities may be drowned out by the “tyranny of the majority”.  Groups of minorities, economic or ethnic may be big in certain states and in order to win that state’s vote, the candidate must cater(somewhat) to the will of the minority, or address the issues which concern them.  Minorities “both ethnic and economic, would likely be very important in some states”(Monaldo). Even though a popular vote seems like the most democratic thing to do, a popular  vote does nothing to prevent the opinion of the majority from drowning out the voice of the minority, and thus destroying the true democracy in the process.  Giving everybody a fair chance to have a say in the election is crucial to a democratic election process, and the Electoral College does this.belushi-electoral-college-198x300

Also, the Electoral College ensures that the President has broad support over the entire country, rather than just large support in a specific region because it takes broad support from all over the country for a candidate to become President.  Otherwise a candidate could be elected because they are heavily supported in a particular region and not necessarily the other regions.  If they’re only regional candidates, then it takes away from the cohesiveness of the country.  Support from several highly populated areas shouldn’t speak for the entire country.  In order for one to be elected by a country this big, a system needs to be called into play to make sure the Presidential support is evened out throughout the country.  Because candidates must campaign to a broad base of people across different regions, they are forced to address issues which are generally supported by a more diverse group of people, which means they must be less radical.  Sticking to a pattern of gradual change has never proved wrong for the stable democracy of the United States, and the Electoral Colleges makes sure to keep our country on track.

Electoral College strengthens broad parties with a large consensus from people of different regions, and rats out radical parties concentrated in one region. Small parties really wouldn’t participate in the election process if the United States simply had a popular vote, it’s the hard truth: they would have absolutely no chance.  With the Electoral College, if the small party is impactful enough, they can win the vote of their state and actually make an impact on the election.  But, essentially the small parties won’t participate in the election at all if they aren’t big enough to sway the vote of their state.  This keeps the small parties from having too much of an impact on the outcome of the election if they don’t have enough support.  The only way a party would be able to win the Electoral College is if they have a broad base

EC_120928_summers425x283The Electoral College compares decisions from each state to come to a general consensus rather than basing a decision solely on the raw numbers each citizen presents.  Arguing against the electoral college is like arguing against the system set into play by the Senate and the House, because they both have the same logic which aims to use equal amounts of input from each state.  The United State’s extreme stability over the years through times of hardship is a reflection of the systems, first coined by our founders, which we use to run our country.  These systems of checks and balances, including the Electoral College, ensure gradual developments and reject radical sudden changes.  Voicing the opinions of the minorities, ensuring a widely supported President, and ratting out radical/closely concentrated extremist groups are some of the key qualities of the Electoral College which have led to it’s success in keeping our country on a stable road to vitality.


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