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Should the electoral college be abolished?

  1. No.

  2. Yes, and it should be replaced with a plurality system.

  3. Yes, and it should be replaced with a majority vote or some hybrid system.

  4. I don't know/I'm not sure.

  1. Oct 14, 2005 #1


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    On a suggestion by pattylou (really, something that has come up a lot)....

    Do you think the Electoral College should be abolished and the President decided strictly on the basis of total national popular vote.

    The "hybrid" answer would be some form of popular vote that is not a strict plurality. For example, a majority could be required for a win, some sort of ranking and instant run-off system, etc.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2005 #2


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    I'm not sure what kind of system I would institute (plurality or majority and what have you), but the answer is definitely "yes, abolish the electoral college."
  4. Oct 14, 2005 #3
    I voted no.

    My problem with Bush's actions are his smarminess.

    The electoral college is in place for good reason. It may need to be revisited, as demographics and society changes. I like that some states split their electroal votes.

    But the bottom line is: If I won the electoral vote and lost the popular vote, you would know that that gave me pause. I would sincerely work it into my speeches, that I recognized I was not the choice of the majority of people in the country.

    If, on the other hand, I bulldozed ahead and pretended to be on some God - driven mission after such a result, and implied that my counterpart in the other party was a real *loser* for contesting the numbers, .....

    I woud not be surprised if my actions sent up HUGE red flags for people across the nation.

    I would NEVER talk about *political capitol* and a mandate from the people.

    The guy is a serious moron. He is also a liar and he is trigger happy, and he thinks he can spin anything or even worse he thinks it doesn't matter what the people in the country think.

    This is our president. God.
  5. Oct 14, 2005 #4


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    Patty... can you even begin to realize the ramifications of someone saying that they knew they weren't the popular choice? And you're calling someone names?

    The SECOND a politician says he is illegitimate is the second he decides to resign because from that moment forward, you're a lame duck, you are useless, you will not get anything passed and you will have a political bullseye on your head until the day you're presidency is over.
  6. Oct 14, 2005 #5


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    Here is the reason given in the Federalist papers:

    Basically, he is saying that the general public is too stupid and gullible to be trusted to directly elect a president. What exactly is the good reason that you think we should have an electoral college?
  7. Oct 14, 2005 #6
    I think that some areas have had difficulty getting to polls historically.

    If you have an isolated geographical region and a non-isolated geographical region, the former will have a harder time getting to whatever polling set up they put in place.

    You need to adjust for that, and it is reasons like this that the electoral college has merit.
  8. Oct 14, 2005 #7
    I'm not convinced. He lost *me* when he went the route *you're* suggesting. I doubt I'm the only one. I expect comments like Kerry's "Those crooks" comment that was picked up on microphones at some press thing - i expect such comments stem in part from Bush's utter disregard for anyone but himself.
  9. Oct 14, 2005 #8


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    Ditto -- there is a very good reason for the Electoral College, which is to be a check and balance against special interests and/or an uniformed/misguided (stupid) population. Since both of these problems have been increasing, I say we need the check and balance of the Electoral College all the more. It just needs to be fixed, such as highlighted in pattylou's post, and should be fixed (along with the other check and balance known as the Supreme Court) to prevent further elections of morons like Bush.
  10. Oct 14, 2005 #9


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    How does the college adjust for that? This would actually have a lesser impact if there were no college. Consider situation X:

    Candidate Y and candidate Z are neck to neck in the election and it all comes down to state A. State A includes several geographically isolated regions where candidate Y would have received most of the votes. However, due to this isolation, candidate Z wins the state, gets all of its electoral votes, and wins the national election. However, candidate Y wins the popular vote. Without a college, candidate Y would not have been so heavily penalized for having so many of his supporters live in geographically isolated regions of state A.
  11. Oct 14, 2005 #10


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    Or liberal stupidity fueled by DNC lies and deceits. You've been around... haven't you EVER noticed that politicians will NOT, under any circumstance, say something negative about themselves unless they are facing much worse problems if they dont (ie, Clinton lieing to the American people about his criminal act of lieing to a Grand Jury)???

    Nothing will convince you, you can't convince an ideolog.
  12. Oct 14, 2005 #11


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    I voted for the hybrid option. I like the idea of an instant run-off until a majority vote is obtained, so that I could rank my choices. That way, if my first choice didn't make the cut, I still would have a say on second or third choice. This might give a good third party candidate a chance. I can't stand the two-party system because both parties are pretty awful. I'd rather get a good candidate who had no party affiliation.
  13. Oct 14, 2005 #12
    there's no "other"
  14. Oct 14, 2005 #13
    I'm sorry. I don't see what you're saying. I realize I must sound dense.

    It seems obvious to me that people should be good, honest, and trustworthy.

    It seems right to me that our leaders should exemplify these qualities to an even *greater* extent than the populace, for the sole reason that they are ... our *leaders.*

    I don't know what you mean by "idealog" --- You seem to be directing that at me. I'm a registered democrat but I am sure that you are aware that I routinely point out the hypocrisy within the democratic party and candidates. I am sure you realize that my disgust for Bush has no bearing one way or another on my opinion of other candidates. I am sure you would not try to stereotype people unfairly.

    I am an idealist, and I think the best truths are very simple. Be good to one another, be honest, try your best, etc.
  15. Oct 14, 2005 #14
    ah yes, "try your best".

    Never could get much of a grasp on that one.
  16. Oct 14, 2005 #15


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    pattylou--you're fine, it's Pengwuino who is the ideologue.
  17. Oct 14, 2005 #16
    Well, it's one of the trickier ones, but I finally figured it out about ten years ago after decades of getting hung up on always feeling like I could have done better....

    - the emphasis is on "try" not on "best."
  18. Oct 14, 2005 #17
    I know.... that's where the difficulty is. :grumpy:
  19. Oct 14, 2005 #18
    That is not what Hamilton or Madison or any of the Federalist were saying at all....

    The point being made is that power corrupts and that corruption can take form not only in government but also in faction. The purpose of the indirect democracy is to limit the effectiveness of popular opinions and powerful leaders that could mobilize the people to form a powerful voice, a voice that would be used to undermine the rights of the individuals.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2005
  20. Oct 14, 2005 #19


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    Okay, fine, he wasn't just saying that the average man was too stupid, although part of his argument was that the common man on the street wasn't going to be terribly well-informed (which was true) and that they shouldn't be trusted with direct election.

    I see people saying that the electoral college protects against a charismatic leader mobilizing popular opinion, but how? Presidential candidates still bring their campaigns to the people, not to the college. The electoral college simply votes the way the people vote. If it was obvious that a candidate was lying and people voted for him anyway, the electoral college would not vote for someone else (they do have that power, but it has never once happened). The only purpose I have seen the college actually fulfilling is overblowing the importance of places like Florida and Ohio.
  21. Oct 14, 2005 #20
    I see what you're saying but I believe the reason we have not seen faction take a very strong hold is because of the indirect democracy we started with. In other words, I believe that if America were a direct democracy, then a couple of powerful businesses could generate enough money to put their own Manchurian candidate in office and I think they would. I would venture to say that is exactly what businesses try to do now. I think the only thing that is really stopping them is the knowledge that the Electoral College can easily prevent them from achieving victory.
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