The Instigator
SimonsDilemma
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.

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  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
SimonsDilemma
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,974 times Debate No: 19303
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

SimonsDilemma

Pro

Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.

Framework : This Round should be based off of the equal distribution of benefits for all U.S. Citizens

The word Constitution means :The basic law of a state which sets out how that state will be organized, the powers and authorities of government between different political units, and by stating and the basic principles of the society.

http://www.duhaime.org...

Thus when the Constitution states "We the people of the united states... do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America." this means that the government's sovereignty comes directly from the people. Why then do states as a whole elect the president rather than the individual ?

Contention 1: Territories of the United States Are Not Being Represented.

The combined population of US territories is greater than 4 million, 40 out of the 56 US elections have had a popular vote with margins of less than 4 million votes (www.electionatlas.org) This means that a substantially amount of elections could have been swayed to better represent the people.
Further more because electoral votes are determined by the number of Congressional Representatives plus the number of Senators, territories have no representation, the president does not currently represent them.

Contention 2: The electoral college has outlived its usefulness

The original purpose of the electoral college was to create a way to appease all the policymakers by compromise, and to retaliate against the inaccuracy of the current time's poor ballet counting ability. The compromise was between elected by the people and by the congress, this gave us the electoral college. Government powers have shifted since giving the legislative branch power, appeasing the congress side vote, but dismayed at the increase in power was the people vote side. Thus in order for the ideology that founded the electoral college to continue, the popular vote should be instituted.
The ability to count votes has been resolved thanks to computers. It is not the inability to fill out ballets (such as Florida) that the electoral college solves, in fact it is the electoral college that creates the problem, because it is a winner take all system each state is won not the country

Contention 3: Direct popular vote would strengthen the idea of democracy

Sub-point A: Direct popular vote eliminates regional advantage
By giving every citizen equal say in the presidential campaign it eliminate the advantage of regional candidates. Where as regional candidates generally win the electoral votes from their states, popular vote would dissolve the connections between the candidate's and there regions.

Sub-point B : Direct popular vote encourages citizen participation

Direct popular vote leaves no vote unimportant, all votes are counted in the determining election. Therefore citizens of the minority party living in a unbalanced state would have just as much leverage in the election as their major party counterpart. Stat on voting percentage. Gallup poll about people that would vote if there was no electoral college.

Contention 4: Electoral voting is based on census count rather that voter turnout.

Electoral votes are based on citizens in the state not votes. In 2008 Florida had the same amount of electoral votes as New York (29), however a million more votes were cast in New York (uselectionatlas.org). Does it seem fair that Active voters have more or less power depending only on the population of their state?
imabench

Con

Territories of the US are indeed not represented, and their populations do exceed 4 million. But of this population only a small, small fraction of them would be registered voters or vote during an election, so the potential impact these territory's could have would be smaller than you think. Also only if all of the voters voted for one candidate would these territories impact an election, but states often vote 305 one side, 30% the other side, and then the remaining 40% decide the victor. So the true voting potential these territories could have in an election is considerably smaller than implied.

You claim that the electoral college has outlived its usefulness, but in the 2000 election of Bush the electoral system was used to successfully determine who won the state of Florida. At the time of the election a flurry of recounts and cries of voter fraud left the state in disorder, and in popular vote the outcome may have never been known. The electoral college though determined the victor of the election after the Supreme Court declared the winner in the state of Florida and ended the election. Had there been no electoral system it would be very possible that the Florida recount would have dragged on and on. During that time there would not have been a president because Clinton's two terms were up and his replacement was yet to be decided.

The electoral college in 2000 gave us a person to be president and a leader. in direct popular vote the implications that occurred in Florida may have triggered a recount or a new election, and that would have left the country without a president for months, possibly even up to the 9/11 attacks which came barely months after the election ended....

As for the idea that direct popular votes strengthens democracy,

The regional advantage that candidates have exists because of the uneven distribution of democrats and republicans through the US. in population numbers there are more Democrats than Republicans in New York and there is a great number of Republicans to Democrats in Texas. Popular votes would not eliminate this regional influence because the electoral college does not create this influence, it just exists naturally among populations....

Direct popular vote gives each person one vote, so California would have 37 million voices and thus 37 million votes, Wyoming on the other hand has a population of 540,000 voices and thus have only 540,000 votes. If a political candidate were to try to gain votes all they would have to do is try to win a few large states and win the election regardless of what smaller states have to say. since yo would need about 30 Wyomings to get one California....

In an electoral college though each small state is granted much higher voting power. Wyoming has 3 votes for 540,000 people and California has 55 votes for 37 million people

37 million / 55 = 670,000 people per one electoral vote in California
540,000 / 3 = 180,000 people per one electoral vote in Wyoming

The electoral system allows smaller states to have a far greater impact in elections then a direct popular vote system would because in direct popular vote, candidates would only campaign in massive states like Illinois, California, Texas, Florida, etc. With the electoral college though smaller states have a greater say and so states such as Iowa or New Hampshire now have much more political say then they would otherwise have.

In the electoral college all votes are counted and tallied too, but direct popular vote would not encourage minority parties to have greater leverage. If a MINORITY voted in a direct popular vote and so did the MAJORITY, then the majority would still snuff out the minority because a majority, literally by definition, would be bigger. So how would this encourage voter participation if there is always a majority in an area?

Lastly, in 2008 New York had 31 votes and Florida had 27......

http://www.realclearpolitics.com...

Also New York didnt cast 1 million more votes, They actually cast 800,000 LESS votes,

New York Votes = 7.5 million
Florida Votes = 8.3 million

http://uselectionatlas.org...
http://uselectionatlas.org...

Beside Pro's facts being wrong, this true set of data reinforces my point here.

New York has a larger population (19.5 mil) then Florida (18.5) mil, and larger electoral count than Florida (31 to 27)
19.5 / 31 = 630,000 electoral votes per person
18.5 / 27 = 685,185 electoral votes per person

This goes to show that the electoral college allows small states (or in this case smaller states) to have a more powerful say in elections then states with a larger population.

In a direct popular vote the states with the largest populations would reign supreme over other states because of sheer numbers. In the electoral system though smaller states have increased voting power so that they can play a larger role in determining who becomes president.
Debate Round No. 1
SimonsDilemma

Pro

My opponent stated in rebuttal to my first contention that the 4,000,000 disenfranchised people in the U.S. territories has a smaller impact than implied. But, this is still great number of disfranchised voters. The voter turnout in 2008 was 56.8% if we apply this to the U.S. territories it is greater than 2 million votes that are not being represented. Therefore the amount of voters not being represented can have a great impact considering 40 out of 56 elections have been won with less than half that number.
On to the rebuttal of my second contention he brought up the 2000 election and the recount of Florida. But, you must realize the recount would have not been needed due to the fact that the number of electoral votes would not have clashed with the number of popular votes. So this is just pointing out flaw in the electoral system.
To my contention 3 sub-point A. My opponent mentioned the fact that due to the large population of say California, the candidates from that region would have an extreme upper hand. But do to the winner take all system that is the Electoral College none of the votes of the minority party would contribute to their candidate of choice.
This cross applies to my sub-point b. my opponent brought up that the state would still lean to the right or left. So in that state the minority parties vote would still be trounced. But, because a direct popular voting system is not a winner take all system. The votes of the minority party would still make a difference in determining the president.
On to my fourth contention, my opponent stated that my facts were invalid due to the lack of time. I will agree to his stats and work my case around it so he brought up the fact that in the 2008 election New York had 800,000 less voters than Florida yet, still having a greater amount of electoral votes. So it takes 800,000 more votes in Florida to equal 27 electoral votes while New York with 800,000 less voters is equal to 31. Therefore gives an inaccurate representation of the people's views. So is it fair active voters have more or less power depending on their state.
On to my opponents case is based on giving smaller states more power and how larger states would reign supreme. Due to the wording of the resolution specifically "Direct Popular Vote" this means coming directly from the people so it would be determine on a nationwide basis the idea of states reigning supreme in a direct popular vote scenario. Currently in the Electoral College a person's vote in smaller states is worth more than the same person's vote in a bigger state. This is unequal representation of people.
imabench

Con

1) The Pro continues to restate how territories could decide elections because of 2 million voters, but as I have already argued not all 2 million of those voters would all vote for one side....

roughly 30% will vote Democrat, 30% Republican, and then 40% would be undecided and they would ultimately be the ones who decided the election. That being said I emphasize my point about how US territories would have a smaller impact in elections then the Pro implies because 1) only a fraction of the population votes, and 2) voters in these territories would not be unanimously for one candidate, there would be division between who they vote for so the potential impact of votes that come from these territories would still be small

2) As for the Florida argument, the problem that arose was that the number of actual votes were not being accurately counted, which in a direct popular vote would happen. The electoral college only assigned the Florida votes to Bush AFTER the Supreme Court halted the recount, tallied up the votes, and declared Bush the winner of Florida, the electoral system did not clash with the number of votes that were cast in Florida at all....

3) In a direct popular vote the minority in California would have their say while the majority still had theirs, but the point of the electoral college is to give the minority population a greater say on the national level, not within states. Within states there exists potentially millions of votes that a candidate would go for but then like I said before the smaller states would have a smaller say because their populations are far smaller tan the larger states. In the electoral college though a winner take all system exists to give smaller STATES greater political say in elections, not smaller groups of voters.

In a direct popular vote system minority voting groups in large states would still outweigh the minority votes of smaller states, so that gives larger states more voting power because pound for pound they have a greater say population wise

4) The New York Florida voters to electoral votes example is showing how the electoral system is designed so that smaller states could have an increased say in political elections over larger states. This prevents candidates from only going to the largest states to get votes because as the example shows, candidates would have to pay attention to smaller states in order to win the presidency but in a direct popular vote system they would only have to go to the largest states, regardless of how large the minority groups of each states are.

"Currently in the Electoral College a person's vote in smaller states is worth more than the same person's vote in a bigger state. This is unequal representation of people."

When the Founding fathers created the electoral college, they did so because they wanted to fight the concept of tyranny by majority. They did not want to create a system where the majority could oppress the minority, so the electoral college was installed so that smaller states such as New Hampshire or Vermont could have a larger political say in elections than New York or Virginia then they would have in a direct popular vote system. In a direct popular vote, it would be the largest states that would have all the voting power based on their sheer size.

The idea that the minority votes would count and bridge this gap is false because for minority votes to really make a difference in an election, it would have to a large minority, and the only place you cold find a large minority vote is in a LARGE STATE

The electoral college does not take into account the minority vote within a state, but a direct popular vote would only make the minority vote in the largest states relevant. That would cause candidates to try to gain votes in the largest states rather than smaller states, but in the electoral college system candidates could resort to the smaller states to try to win the election..... giving the smaller states a larger political say then a direct popular vote system would
Debate Round No. 2
SimonsDilemma

Pro

1)My opponent continues to bring up the fact that the electoral college help equalize power between the small and large state. He has been mentioning the population of Wyoming (540,000) and the smaller states that they deserve to have their voice heard. With the population of the U.S. territories being greater than 4,000,000. If I agree with his 30% republican, 30% democratic and the other 40% are the deciding factor. This is still almost twice as many so called "Voters That Matter" compared to the entire population of Wyoming.
2)Again with the Florida recount. The recount was originally called because Al gore had the popular vote but lost in Electoral Vote. Therefore there was a clash because the votes cast by the electors clashed with the tallied popular vote.
3)My opponent brings up that minorities have more power on a national level with the Electoral College. But, again because of the winner take all system the idea of a third party swaying or changing the outcome in a current election is unheard of. Also with the idea that minorities have more power on a nation level is crazy because as stated in the resolution" Direct popular vote." This is essentially says without participation of the states. This lets no one's voice go unheard but again, because of the current winner take all system there is no way for say a democrat in Texas to get there voice heard.
4)That point that I am trying to bring across is that because the number of electorates is based on census count that it doesn't matter how many votes are cast that state is still worth the same amount of electoral votes. So let's say only 1 person votes in California so then all of the electoral votes are given to the chosen party but then 2,500,000 people in Utah vote those 2,500,000 votes are only worth 6 electoral votes of course this is a great hyperbole. The New York, Florida comparison is only to more factually represent this scenario. Even though a smaller state Florida in this case had 800,000 more votes than New York but, it is still worth less in the electoral college because of the fact that the number of electors in based on census not the amount of votes
In order for there to be equality for U.S. citizen's direct popular vote is easily the better choice compared to the Electoral College, because of 1. Territories have no representation in congress so they have no say in presidential elections even though they are directly affected. 2. The Electoral College has out lived its usefulness 3. Direct popular vote Strengthens the ideas of democracy by eliminating the regional advantage, and increasing voter turnout. Regional advantage is eliminated because in a direct popular vote each vote goes to candidate of choice instead of being tossed aside, in a Direct Popular Vote every vote counts so the populace would be more likely to vote because, their voice will be heard regardless of their states political allegiance. 4. The number of electoral votes is based on census not voter turnout.
imabench

Con

Ill make this quick
1) If you really want to incorporate US territories into the election system they direct popular vote wont fix that, that is a constitutional issue about what the rights of US territories as defined by the Constitution are.

2) The recount was called off by the Supreme Court and they had their own reasons for ordering a halt to the recount. The recount did not occur because there was a conflict between the popular vote and electoral vote

http://www.usconstitution.net...

3) A direct popular vote wont give the Texas Democrat any more political say than in the electoral college vote. However in the electoral college system small states in general will have more of a say in elections than in large states.

4) The electoral votes each state gets is based on a simple equation
number of representatives the state has + 2 = electoral votes

This system was set up by the founding fathers and it accurately represents how much political say each state gets because the size of the state can be comparable to the number of people who votes in any one election. The Florida-New York case in 2008 was just one of possibly multiple cases where the system set by the founding fathers 200 years ago didnt quite get right.

Ill end with this, In a direct popular vote the states with the largest populations will be the states that candidates try to win because of the massive populations. Smaller states though would not become as important in the elections because of their smaller size and smaller ability to be an important state to win to any candidate.

The electoral system gives smaller states a larger say in elections because the electoral system, as designed by our founding fathers, gives more power to smaller states so that a presidential candidate would have to win their votes to become president. A direct popular vote system would give each and every person one equal vote, but large states would further dominate over smaller states because of their sheer size in population over the smaller states.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
good debate :)
Posted by SimonsDilemma 5 years ago
SimonsDilemma
You are very right :)
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
hes vote bombed me personally 5 times and hes vote bombed a dozen other people, if you go to his page and look at the votes hes casted on debates youll see
Posted by SimonsDilemma 5 years ago
SimonsDilemma
How do you know he is vote bombing ?
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
willoweed is votebombing all debates so people are canceling out his votes
Posted by SimonsDilemma 5 years ago
SimonsDilemma
What do you mean Mr. Infidel by Your Reason Counter Willow???
Posted by SimonsDilemma 5 years ago
SimonsDilemma
Thank You Very Much For The Fantastic Debate. And any comments or criticisms would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
Id be happy to help :D
Posted by SimonsDilemma 5 years ago
SimonsDilemma
Hey I am in High School PF Debate and have a tournament coming up this Friday and would greatly appreciate any feedback to help me improve this case.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
SimonsDilemmaimabenchTied
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 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter willow
Vote Placed by happy-bread 5 years ago
happy-bread
SimonsDilemmaimabenchTied
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 
Reasons for voting decision: Imabench didnt have a case, therefore he cannot win...
Vote Placed by Willoweed 5 years ago
Willoweed
SimonsDilemmaimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had a more convincing argument
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
SimonsDilemmaimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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 Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with con, but sorry imabench you never fully refuted well, he did ok. But Imabench you have better sources.