The Instigator
lorca
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
Veritas_LDer
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Abolish the Electoral College

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,256 times Debate No: 4746
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (14)

 

lorca

Pro

The Electoral College system of electing the President of the United States of America should be changed to a popular voting system.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The US system of voting to elect the President is done through the Electoral College. This is enumerated under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. It was established in 1787 during the Constitutional Convention. During that time, it was impractical for Presidential candidates to travel trough the country campaigning. Votes were counted in each precinct; carried on horseback to the state capital, and then, each elector reported to the nation's capital to cast their vote. Furthermore, the President was elected indirectly. This was meant to prevent the general public from voting for someone they did not know. Each state is responsible for determining their voting procedure. At the time this was established, reasonable justification was present for that system.

221 years later, those justifications are not valid. Widespread media enables candidates to disseminate their message to the millions of voters with televisions, radios, computers, and other forms of media. The election process is computerized in many states, making the tallying and computation of the winner much quicker than it was in years past. Additionally, voting rights have been given to a much broader spectrum of voters, making equal representation a question of civil rights and freedoms.

I contend that the Electoral College, in its current form in today's U.S. Federal Government, is unnecessary using the following points in this debate:

1.The Electoral College limits American citizen's access to Presidential candidate's media and attention, making their votes seem meaningless.
2.The Electoral College discourages voter turnout in non-swing states, thus affecting concurrent elections for other races.
3.Faithless electors can cause the non-representation of voters in the states they serve.
4.The electoral college undermines the intelligence and integrity of American voters by assuming they do not have the capability to make and informed, educated decision, and
5.The electoral college has failed to represent the popular vote of American citizens

Determining the President by a popular voting method would give greater accountability to individual reporting districts, and equalize the power that swing states and large electoral vote states have over the Presidential election process.
Veritas_LDer

Con

Veritas_LDer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 1
lorca

Pro

Since my opponent did not post an argument or rebuttal, I extend my arguments into the next round. I do affirm that the Electoral College system of electing the President of the United States of America should be changed to a popular voting system.
Veritas_LDer

Con

I stand in favor of the electoral college.
My opponent rests his entire case on this one presumption: that the electoral college was set up to prevent citizens from voting for candidates whom they did not know. In doing this he starts off with two errors: he both misinterprets the Founders' intentions for the electoral college and tacitly agrees that if I show that abolishing the E.C. doesn't fix his fictitious problem, then I win.
First, the E.C. was not instituted to prevent voters from choosing candidates whom they know little about. He never shows how an indirect vote is so beneficial to voter education. In fact, the E.C. was instituted to level out the playing field. With each state being given its number of representatives in both houses combined as the number of electors, the electoral college actually increases the clout given to smaller states to value their equality as a state to narrow out the advantage in equal citizens which larger states enjoy. This same principle is the foundation of the legislative branch, therefore to attack the electoral college is to attack the entire U.S. federal system.
His contention one claims that the E.C. limits a citizen's access to campaign media and attention. He gives no warrant for this claim. He may try to say that a candidate would campaign more in swing states than in others, so we can group this with his second contention. However, this contention doesn't speak to the issue. Candidates may direct their campaigns at specific groups anyway because of race, gender, economic concerns, etc. the government need not abolish the foundation of the presidential system because of something as arbitrary as where a candidate chooses to spend his money. This is a democracy: it's his prerogative!
His third contention that faithless electors misrepresent voters ignores all the facets of the issue. He himself states that the states are allowed to choose their electors as they will; this includes mandatory voting. We don't need to abolish the E.C. in order to fix this problem, so this contention actually works for me because we see that we can reform the electoral process without abolishing the E.C. entirely. We can also tie his fourth contention into his same argument: voters can still be represented without having to abolish the system. Also, he cannot say that the E.C. unfairly assigns electors because he either a) attacks the delegate cap in the House of Representatives and thereby the entire federal government, or b) must refer to the original constitution which bases these districts so as to be perfectly proportional to the population. This puts him in a double bind and he cannot be right either way. Once again, because he does not elucidate or warrant his contentions, we must group his fifth contention with his claims in the third and fourth contentions about misrepresentation by faithless electors and indirect democracy. If he attacks indirect democracy, then once again he attacks the entire US federal system.
Note here that my opponent says merely that his contentions show the E.C. to be unnecessary. However, he must prove that there are actual reasons why such a total overhaul of our system is good, not why there is no reason against it. Therefore even if we were to hypothetically call his contentions valid, I still win because I show that there are good reasons against his proposition. Abolition of the electoral college would disrupt our entire electoral season. It would also be prone to the political machinations of whichever party were in the majority at the time as they would vote not as much for the good of the country as for the best interest of their party.
Debate Round No. 2
lorca

Pro

First, this entire case is not on the con's said assumption. Please refer to the following link for more info on the reasons why we have the electoral college and the argumentation within. http://www.fec.gov... The issues are not fictitious, and are fact. All arguments promoting the electoral college are simply arguments of stagnation. They do not provide for adapting our government to meet the needs of the people. One of the explicit reasons for the electoral college was to create a buffer between the population and the election of the president. At that time, minorities and women couldn't vote either. Why? Part of the reason was that the powers that be thought that these groups did not hold the mental capacity to make rational decisions. Yes, it was the intentions of the Constitutional Congress to prevent ill informed and unsuitable voters to elect the president directly.

In order to win this debate, I only need to show how the electoral college does not serve the purpose of this nation and is flawed. Allowing for a direct election would in fact fix the problems created by the electoral college.

The con's argument that I am attacking the U.S. Federal System of government is invalidated, instead, I am promoting that every level of legislative and executive branch of the government be elected directly. Looking at past voting trends and logic, we can see that candidates do ignore states that are not swing states, since they already feel that a state is decided prior to the election. I live in Oklahoma, which is not a swing state. 20 miles away lies Texas. If I lived in Texas, I would receive multitudes of junk mail, radio and television ads, and possibly even a visit by the potential president. But I live in Oklahoma which is already marked as republican.

Additionally, amendments to the constitution have already been proposed and nearly succeeded in the past. Abolishing the electoral college is not trying to debunk the system of government, instead change it to meet the current needs today. Stating that we should not amend and adapt our government to meet the needs of our society is against the will of our Founding Fathers.

Abolishing the electoral college would actually help to eliminate the strength the political parties have over the government. A popular vote would more accurately account for all in favor of one candidate. Additionally, many people refuse to vote because they claim their vote doesn't count. If they live in a state in which they are clearly the minority (ie, a democrat in Oklahoma) their vote is a lost cause. The political machine is in full force under the electoral college! This perpetuates the political machine because it prevents other parties from being able to rise above the two main parties.

Furthermore, this is not a democracy. If we had a democracy, all people with the right to vote would be able to vote on every issue facing our nation. Since this is unreasonable with the size of our nation, we instead have a Constitution based federal republic. This is why the system of government is in place. However, we allow for direct elections of every other federally elected position.

Finally, while the con has attacked my case with the contentions that I am trying to be undemocratic and debunk our system of government, I have shown that instead I have shown concrete reasons why the Electoral College should be abolished. A direct election of every federally elected position is what every voting American should have a right to.

Voting for the con is a vote for stagnation and the perpetuation of our voice as a nation being taken away by politicians.
Veritas_LDer

Con

Veritas_LDer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Xera 6 years ago
Xera
I think we can all see I'm not just voting for him 'cause I'm married to him.
Posted by Veritas_LDer 6 years ago
Veritas_LDer
Sorry people! I forgot that I was supposed to go camping and the debate totally sipped my mind.
Posted by Logical-Master 6 years ago
Logical-Master
It is most likely that your opponent will forfeit all of her rounds. Don't get your hopes up.
Posted by grannyandres 6 years ago
grannyandres
I agree that the electoral college should be abolished
Posted by bthr004 6 years ago
bthr004
hmmm,.. I would love to take this one on, but I will be gone for a while and will not be able to respond. Good debate topic! I can think of two good angles to come from in arguing con,.. though I actually agree with the stance of pro. Good luck.
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Cauzmo 6 years ago
Cauzmo
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Greendonut 6 years ago
Greendonut
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Labrat228 6 years ago
Labrat228
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by tungincheeks2 6 years ago
tungincheeks2
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by BeatTheDevil89 6 years ago
BeatTheDevil89
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by CogitoErgoCogitoSum 6 years ago
CogitoErgoCogitoSum
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by ladygirl 6 years ago
ladygirl
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by SoutherngentFL 6 years ago
SoutherngentFL
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by lorca 6 years ago
lorca
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by olivertheexpando 6 years ago
olivertheexpando
lorcaVeritas_LDerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30