The Instigator
Modernmoron
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
theaceb
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

Electoral College system

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,822 times Debate No: 1175
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (11)
Votes (9)

 

Modernmoron

Con

What is the purpose of individual voting with this? In 2000, Al Gore had more votes than George bush, but George Bush had more electoral college votes, so he won. And look how thats turned out.....
theaceb

Pro

Let me clarify that I am personally undecided on whether the U.S. should abolish the electoral college, but I'll play devil's advocate here. I do believe though, that electors should be stripped of the power to vote against those they represent, if it does remain at all I think it should remain solely as a strictly representative body.

Advocates of the electoral college say that it is necessary to give less populated areas of the country a relatively equal say in presidential elections. This is the same reason that people advocated for the New Jersey Plan during the Constitutional Convention: smaller, less populous states wanted equal representation in Congress. People assert that more populous areas such as California and New York, would have greater control on the election.

As a side-note, I'd also like to ask how much better off do you think we would be with 8 years of Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, the Kings of Government Censorship?
Debate Round No. 1
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
Well good ol' Joe Lieberman voted for the Patriot Act in 2001, along with 99 fellow senators, and for it's renewal in 2006. He sponsored the Iraq Resolution of 2002 and co-sponsored the Iran Resolution, which would legally allow the U.S. to attack Iran by labeling the Iran Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
Ok, maybe Gore's cleaner, but the fact that he chose this neocon as a running mate puts him way down to me.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
Aaahahaha wait what? What makes you think the Patriot Act would have happened if Gore won? Or No Child Left Behind? Or crazy long vacations? And I bet you Gore wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq because Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and it's a totally separate war from the War of Terror or Afganistan.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
Also I'd like to ask why did you make the debate one round? In fact why does anyone make a debate one round?
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
arrivaltime, I'm almost certain that a Gore/Lieberman administration would be about as bad as Bush's. I'm willing to bet that the Patriot act and the Iraq war would happen under Gore/Lieberman. Not to mention Gore's PMRC involvement, and Lieberman's hardon for all things censorship, is not exactly a badge of honor.
Posted by MineesotaGopher 9 years ago
MineesotaGopher
But there are more general problems with your reasoning. The first is that it makes the presumption that the issues affecting rural voters are inherently more important than the issues affecting urban voters (or, alternatively, that the issues affecting urban voters are less important). I see no basis for this, though: If urban voters truly do make up the majority of the nation, then why should we simply say "Well, sorry, but because you live in a city your vote (while still equal!) should be less equal than that of a farmer"? If they make up the majority, then it seems like politics should shift somewhat to issues affecting the majority of Americans.

Your specific example of farm policy isn't a particularly good example to use: cities are directly dependent upon farmers in order to eat. It is true that, while in the past it may have taken 95% of the US to feed America and now it takes 3% to help feed the world...that doesn't make farm policy any less important to urban voters.

However, there is another presumption of yours; that the issues that affect Americans today are primarily based on geography rather than ideology. A quick look at the debates and the election seems to show that this isn't true at all: Issues like energy, the Iraq war, security, immigration, gay marriage, abortion, gun rights, terrorism, healthcare, the economy, social security, welfare reform, poverty...these are issues of ideology, not of geography. Make no mistakes: geography often influences ideology, but these are not issues that we should distort the weight of peoples votes over. The US system already has a safeguard in place anyway forthe smaller states: The US Senate achieves equality among the states far moreso than the electoral college.

As well, with the electoral college, we don't see the behaviour you suggest: WITHIN the states themselves, candidates go all over the state. Clinton went all over New York to become Senator, for instance.
Posted by MineesotaGopher 9 years ago
MineesotaGopher
The objection that candidates would always stay in the big cities falls flat on its face when you realize that "the cities" don't control nearly as much of the population as you might think:

Yes, theoretically the following areas could elect the President:

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
.New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
.Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI
.Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
.Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
.Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX
.Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
.Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
.Nassau-Suffolk, NY

Of course, these areas can only elect the President assuming that this man (or woman) manages to get 100% of the vote in ALL of these areas. Suppose we say that he will get 60% of the vote - I think that is more reasonable, considering that no candidate has ever managed to get 100% of the vote in any large urban area when the election was contested. So, under this assumption, he still needs the above areas, but he also needs: Unfortunately, space considerations won't let me paste the list, but it expands by 59 areas (including such massive cities as Salt Lake City and Omaha) to a total of 84.

I think we're pretty safe from the cities gathering to oppress us.
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
The Electoral College helps fulfill the needs of all citizens and makes sure that all people are heard.

Odds are that 500,000 people in a square mile would live about the same kind of lifestyle, with about the same kind of issues on their minds (a Regional Demographic).

But the people spread out across an entire state would add up to a much more complicated situation, especially in some place that are mostly rural. These people have much different needs, and while their are less of them, they, as a collective, need to address certain issues different than dense cities. Wyoming's 3 electoral college votes ensure that while they have less people, they are still a factor.

If it was just up to the popular vote, then candidates would only address the issues of the big cities, where most people were. And since all people are mainly interested in the 'here and now', candidates wouldn't have to think about or publicly address issues from the rural areas that may affect the urbanized areas, such as farm policy.

Bottom line: the Electoral College is designed to give a more accurate description of what the people really want.

It is a better form of directed democracy than a popular vote, in which a candidate must simply attract the most voters from mostly urban areas.
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
how many times have electors actually voted against their constituencies?
Posted by MineesotaGopher 9 years ago
MineesotaGopher
A system can easily be judged not on its philosophical but rather on its consequential merits. Throughout history, when the electoral college has elected someone different from the popular vote, we did not receive *better* leadership; we consistently have received worse leadership. Thus, we can say that a "fundamental part of our government" is bad because of the results that it has given us.
Posted by SuperDinoYoshi 9 years ago
SuperDinoYoshi
"Look How That Turned Out..."

If you expect to hold an intelligent debate, don't assume that everyone here hates President Bush. Our founding fathers put the electoral college into play to prevent mobocracy. If you were to argue that we are more united now, and that States are even outdated (which I don't think is the case yet), I could understand. However, right now it seems you are suggesting a fundamental part of our government is bad because a given presidential candidate lost.
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