The Instigator
Repcon
Pro (for)
The Contender
Food136
Con (against)

Electoral College

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 98672
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Repcon

Pro

I will argue that the Electoral College is a fair system that is necessary to American politics to keep a fair representation. The opponent will argue that it must be reformed or abolished.
Debate Structure
Round One- Agree upon definitions if any, and accept debate rules
Round Two- Present arguments without rebuking what the opposing debater argued. So if I presented my argument first, you cannot rebuke the points that I made in your.
Round Three- NOW you can finally rebuke opposing arguments made by your opponents in Round Two.
Round Four- Defend your round 2 arguments WITHOUT introducing any new arguments.
MUST include sources for arguments.
Definitions
Electoral College- body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
Source
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
Food136

Con

I accept the terms of this debate and hope for a civil and enlightening debate
Debate Round No. 1
Repcon

Pro

The electoral college is necessary to mantaining order in american politics. If elections were run by the popular vote, candidates would only campaign in large states like New York and California, without caring about small states like Vermont, Kansas, and Montana, because they won't get alot of votes in small states. The electoral college makes it impossible to win an election without winning these small states. Furthermore, small states have different needs than big states, so the electoral college also encourages candidates to win states with different needs, to show that their platform works for the whole country, not just a single group of voters. The founding fathers themselves were in favor of the electoral college.
"The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place."
It is my belief that the electoral college must stay in our politics to keep elections fair.
Sources
http://avalon.law.yale.edu...
Food136

Con

I like to thank my contender for presenting his arguments for the electoral college and now I would like to present my arguments why the electoral college should be reformed or abolished

1. Disproportionate voting power.
One of the most fundamental aspects of a fair and representative democracy is that every citizen's vote is equal but in the electoral college, the power a single person's vote drastically changes between states and gives drastically more power to people living in smaller states. For example, a small state such as Wyoming has 3 electoral college votes or 1 vote for every 134 783 citizens of the state while a larger state such as California has 55 electoral college votes or 1 vote for every 410 647 residents. This effectively gives a voter in Wyoming roughly three times the voting power of a Californian voter which is incredibly unfair and unrepresentative. A person should not have their vote count more than another just because of something as arbitrary as where they live.

This disproportionate voting power also creates a weird scenario where a president can theoretically win the presidency by winning the votes of only 22% of the population. (Source https://www.youtube.com...) Although this is incredibly unlikely to happen in real life, the fact that its even possible demonstrates that small states in the electoral college have far too much power to determine the fate the rest of the country. I do agree small states need a way to protect themselves from the interests of bigger states but the electoral college its current state gives smaller states far to much power over the larger ones.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com...;

2. Winner take all system
Every state in the US (except 2) uses a winner takes all system which has the state giving all its electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote. This system makes it so that any person who votes for the losing candidate in their state has their vote completely ignored. In the 2012 election, roughly 3 million Californians voted for the Republican party and roughly 5 million Texans voted for the Democrats but because of the winner take all system, their votes were basically ignored in the state's electoral votes. In short, if someone wants to vote for their state's losing candidate, they might as well stayed home. This aspect of the Electoral College is completely unfair and ignores millions of American. The winner takes all system must be abolished and replaced with another system that more fairly distributes a state's electoral votes such as giving electoral votes proportional to how many people voted for the respective candidates

Sources:
https://www.archives.gov...

3. Swing States
Because of the winner take all system that states employ, most states will vote reliably democrat and republican which incentivises a presidential candidate to completely ignore them as they have no chance of losing their support and gaining more support in those states is pointless as that wouldn't give them any more electoral votes. This is why presidential candidates instead focus on so-called "swing states" which are states that had close elections meaning either party could win in those states and their electoral vote. This forces any presidential candidate who wishes to win the presidency to put the majority of their effort and resources into those states. In the 2012 elections,99.6% of Obama's television advertising budget was directed towards advertising in just 10 states and 99.9% of Mitt Romey's television advertising budget was also directed to just 10 states. Also, after the Democratic National Convention in 2012, only 12 states had public campaign events by either the presidential or vice presidential candidate. The swing states the current Electoral College forces presidential candidates to only focus on a small number of select states instead of the entire nation.

This is made even worse by the fact that the swing states make up a minority of the population with the swing states in 2012 make up only 18% of the total population of the US. If the states that a presidential candidate focusses on were the most populated ones, it could be at least justified as a candidate wanting to gain the support of the majority of Americans. However the fact that 18% of the population and less than a quarter of the states in the United States get so much attention and focus from presidential candidates, is objectively unrepresentative and unfair.

Source:
http://www.fairvote.org...:
http://www.cnn.com...
I'm using the 2012 elections because I can find more information on it

4. Faithless electors
in 21 states, there is no law that binds an elector to vote for a specific candidate. This means that an elector from a state that voted republican could choose to go against the will of the people and instead vote democrat. There is no other word to describe this absolute horrifying especially when this has happened 93 times throughout American history most recently in 2004 where an elector voted for someone named "John Ewards," which is almost the name of John Edwards who was John Kerry's running mate. Although these faithless electors have never acted in a way that changed the outcome of an election, the fact that it's even a possible that rogue electors can completely override the will of the people is a massive flaw in the electoral college that must be fixed.

Sources:
http://archive.fairvote.org...
http://www.fairvote.org...
http://www.vox.com...

Conclusion.
The electoral college in its current state very poorly represents the American people. It gives people more voting power depending on which state they live, it makes the votes of anyone who voted for their state's losing candidate irrelevant, it incentivises presidential candidates to focus only on specific states while ignoring the rest of the country, and the electors in 21 states can override the will of their voters. The electoral college needs to be reformed, overhauled or even abolished to make room for a new voting system that is actually fair and representative.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Food136 1 year ago
Food136
I have two questions about this debate:
1) what does the word detrumental mean? I cannot find the definition and I think you may have misspelt the word
2) May the opponent argue that the Electoral Colledge should be significantly reformed or be abolished? The question in its current form makes it significantly more difficult for the con side as it is very inflexible while pro has a lot more flexibility as you can theoretically argue for a complete overall of the Electoral college to a completely different form and still win your side of the debate. I imagine that is not what you intended. I propose the topic of this debate be whether the electoral college in its current state or with minor reform is beneficial to the American Democratic process or whether it is detrimental to it and requires significant reform or be outright abolished. I believe this would be a much more fair topic for both sides
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