The Instigator
Johndoeski
Pro (for)
The Contender
isaac_mathis
Con (against)

Electoral College

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 333 times Debate No: 98338
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Johndoeski

Pro

The Electoral College was setup by our founding Fathers. The purpose was to stop ANY particular group from becoming all powerful. For example, you could have a billion people living in one city who believe in murdering grandma and selling baby Suzanne as a slave. Yet the minority has the power to stop them in this instance and their sociopathic nonsense, all thanks to the Electoral College. That is how intelligent our Forefathers were. Recognizing certain groups would naturally congregate to different areas offering different upbringing and opinions. Just because one group breeds on a more regular basis than another doesn't nullify another groups vote.
isaac_mathis

Con

From your initial argument I get the feeling you are advocating for the electoral college, so although it is not explicitly stated I will argue against it.

Since the debate is not based on whether or not we agree with the tyranny of democracy in general, your references and metaphors do not apply. The electoral college does not stop tyranny of the majority; rather, the electoral college takes the power out of the hands of the people and puts that very power into the hands of oligarchs and the political elite. The electoral college was never intended to protect the minority from the majority, or vice versa.

"The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states." --Marc Schulman.

Under the electoral college there is no protection from the majority, no protection from the minority. The sole purpose of the system is to protect the nation from the people's opinion by ensuring that the political elite have the power to overturn the popular vote, as well as guarantee smaller state's votes actually matter. Neither of these functions are necessary, as geographic location should not influence the weight of one's vote, and the voice of the people should not be overturned simply because the higher-ups choose so. Both of these practices would be considered tyranny in any other scenario.

(Via a previously written essay)

Democracy in America has many problems, many of which stem from the nature of democracy, some of which are hopelessly intertwined in our election process. What makes the situation even more comical? Most Americans think they actually elect their government.
In a lot of ways, the electoral college is salt on the wound to a crippled democratic system. An outdated, unethical lie, Gene Green put into words what many have felt for decades: "The Electoral College was necessary when communications were poor, literacy was low, and voters lacked information about out-of-state figures, which is clearly no longer the case."
We all hate math, but for the sake of understanding, the number must come out.
The total population of the U.S. numbers around 320 million, split between fifty states. There are 538 total electoral college votes, which means approximately 1 vote for every 574,000 citizens. In order to be elected president, a candidate should need 270 electoral votes, or roughly 154,980,000 votes in the general election.
Unfortunately, this isn"t how things level out. When distributing electoral votes, each state is given a proportionate number according to her population. The catch? Each state automatically gets three votes to start, the remaining 388 are then handed out according to population size. This means that Rhode Island, which has a whimpy inhabitance of just over a million, should in theory receive one or two electoral votes. Rhode Island is given four.
This jump in logic makes for some fun facts: a vote in Wyoming counts for four in California, a single Vermont voter can balance out three Texans. Americans living in smaller states have weighted votes, any sane person can see the idiocy in this. Heck, if you"re living in California, you might as well not even vote. (Not just because you"re a liberal" your vote isn"t important statistically)
The other catch to the current system is that whichever candidate wins the popular vote in a state wins each and every one of the state"s electoral points. Even if swing states like Florida split 49.1 to 47.7, Donald Trump gets all 29 of her electoral votes. Bummer.
Thanks to this skewed system, it"s possible for a candidate to win only 22% of the popular vote and still be named president-elect. While it is unlikely this will ever happen, four times throughout history a candidate has lost the popular vote yet won the presidency: John Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000. Most speculate that Clinton edged out the Donald as well; at the time of this writing, however, it is unclear as to who took home the popular vote.
Finally, after all of these problems, the electoral college throws one more curveball at the American voter: come December, the election can be overturned when the electoral college physically meets. You see, the general population doesn"t vote directly for president, that would be too easy. Rather, citizens vote to determine their state"s alignment which determines which electoral voters are sent to determine the actual vote which determines the president of the United States. Confusing? And although most of these voters pledge to vote on behalf of their party, it is perfectly legal in most states to switch sides; In states where it is illegal, a small fine must be paid before going rogue.
It"s sad that most Americans don"t understand their own election process. What makes the situation even more bleak? Those that do understand the system are in large part okay with it. The United States has been plagued by the electoral college since her inception and not once has there been serious talk of doing away with it.

How, in any way, shape, or form, does the electoral college bandage the weaknesses of democracy? If anything, it enhances them, by redistributing influence and taking the power from the people and putting it into the hands of a select, corrupt few.
Debate Round No. 1
Johndoeski

Pro

I read your rebuttal (which was intelligent and well thought out) and did some extended research on exactly why the Electoral College was introduced. I did not research everything, as I suppose it could take years. However, in context, the electoral college was introduced as a sort of fail safe.

It essentially acted when news was not readily available nor was it possible for everyone to be well informed. I could actually make an argument that the same exists today in a similar context.

That said, it does not nullify my prior point. The electoral college, while thought antiquated, does indeed serve a purpose, even if the Forefathers never saw that purpose. As I contended earlier, it allows for one group to be unable to dominate another group. In other words, you as a candidate, would need to win multiple groups, based on geographical location. With popular vote, domination will always be possible by a certain group of people. Suppose a certain family only believed in having ONE child (who grows up sharing their viewpoints) while another family does not have that same view and has TEN children. Do we penalize the minority and their votes because their are "more of them"? That would be unfair and the electoral college protects the minority.

The electoral college should be maintained on ethical reasons, not to mention our Forefathers tradition (which was well thought out IMO).

Also I would like to apologize. You see, I am not an eloquent speaker, nor skilled in grammar. My education is more electromechanical. That said, I do have a logical and fair mind. It is because of my logic I am for the electoral college. Without the electoral college, the minority has no voice. Under the electoral college, both the majority and the minority can win and voice their vote.
isaac_mathis

Con

Once again, your arument stems from the assumption that the electoral college protects the minority from the majority, but this is simply not the case. Rhode Island and New York are states similar in both geographic location and voting habit, yet a Rhode Islander's vote counts for significantly more than a New Yorker's-- this isn't protection, it's simply weighting votes based on physical location.

Again, there is no getting around the fact that the electoral college also takes away the power of the people. Although it hasn't happened yet, upon voting, the electoral college can go rogue and elect a president the people never wanted. This isn't a failsafe, it's borderline tyranny and authoritarianism.

In order to explain your need for the electoral college, you'll first have to explain how the system protects the minority from the majority. It's also important to explain the need for a final buffer against the wishes of the people, as the college does more to undermine democracy than enhance it.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by ILikePie5 1 year ago
ILikePie5
The whole problem with Con'S argument is that America is NOT a Democracy. It is a Republic.
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