The Instigator
dawgmatt
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
PlamenHristov
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Should the Constitution be amended to abolish the Electoral College in favor of popular vote?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
PlamenHristov
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 381 times Debate No: 100179
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

dawgmatt

Con

Since the year 2000, we have had 2 presidential elections where the president-elect did not win the popular vote across the entire United States. The Constitution set up an "electoral college" which decides the outcome of the presidential race. The states vote for a predetermined number of electors based on party affiliation. The number of electors is determined by the number of representatives and senators from each state. Representatives are determined by population size and there are 2 senators in each state. Therefore, largely populous states have more representatives (thus more electors) compared to small populous states.

Each time the president did not win the popular vote, but won the electoral vote, there have been cries about amending the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College and simply go by popular vote to determine the president of the United States. The founders of our country and the framers of our Constitution were exceptionally smart men. They looked at history and had foresight to determine what was best for a strong and lasting republic. I wholly believe that they were correct in setting up an Electoral College and am staunchly against any amendment to the Constitution to abolish it.
PlamenHristov

Pro

I also agree that the Founding Fathers were exceptionally smart and the fact that the constitution is still fallowed proves that. However, when it comes to complex documents spelling out very controversial topics, it"s naive to believe that they will be the "truth" for eternity in their entirety. The 27 Amendments prove exactly that. Now specifically to the Electoral College. For those that may not be familiar with the process and purpose please read this first: https://www.archives.gov....

When it comes to how the power is distributed we have 3 forms of government " Autocracy (by one), Oligarchy (by few), and Democracy (by many). Everything else is a mix of those 3. For example, a Republic leans towards a Democratic form since the representatives are elected by the many, but it is ruled by few, or also known as Representatives. But because the many can "fire" anyone from the few, it is more of a Democracy than Olyg. The Founding Fathers wanted to avoid the pitfalls of past governments, including factions, special interests, oligarchs, despots, monarchy, weak central government, and specifically mob rule. Mob rule, also called Tyranny of the Majority, is what happens when a "pure" Democracy devolves into Anarchy, and thus there is no law or laws are not followed. Now let me take you back to a time when the only form of communication across large distance was mail. But not the mail you know today, I am talking about mail that travels 2 weeks for 100 miles. There were no newspapers, telegraph, radio, phone or tv. How could you give full voting power to the people? They lived in the same dark ages as the people from 5,000 years before them when it comes to communication and flow of information and knowledge. The Electoral College during those times had an extremely important role - The Continuation of Government. If I lived during those times, I would be for it too. But today the EC doesn't serve its purpose and it skews el
Debate Round No. 1
dawgmatt

Con

The founders of this country spelled out in our great Constitution how the President is to be elected. In Federalist Paper 39, one of the papers that explains how our founders came to draft our Constitution, it specifically states that the intention was to build a combination of a "national" and a "federal" government. A "national" government is one purely of the people. A "federal" government is one of political parties. They knew that ALL of one or the other would spell disaster in short order. The electoral college is the perfect combination of the two to elect the leader of the federal government. It combines the will of the people of EACH STATE with political party affiliation to create a fair system where each state has a voice, regardless of the presence of massive population-dense cities. This is the formulation for Congress and they wanted the President to have the same formulation.

Contrary to what my opponent states, the Electoral College was certainly not formed because of a lack of proper communication methods. While there is brief mention of this in Federalist Paper 68, this was not the primary motivation. The founders wanted to ensure that the republic could stand the test of time and not be it's own undoing. They knew that "pure" democracies, ones where national governments that were wholly based on popular vote, eventually erode since the minority never have their voices heard. Civil war or dissolving of the union (secession) is the end point in that scenario.

The Electoral College ensures that the few massive population-dense cities and their mob mentalities don't dictate who is elected President. After all, the President IS supposed to be the representative of the entire nation, not just a geographically small segment of the nation. Without the Electoral College, a candidate could concentrate their campaign in these cities only and not even go to the rural communities to personally get their message out nor hear their voices.
PlamenHristov

Pro

My opponent makes politically convincing points, but once compared to the facts they are rather amusing.
The problem my opponent described didn"t exist in 1790, only 3.8% of the population lived in top 10 "population-dense cities". #1 had 33,131 and number 10 had 5,661 citizens: https://en.wikipedia.org...
My Opponent: "The founders wanted to ensure that the republic could stand the test of time and not be its own undoing".
That sounds very grandiose but I question how blindly can one believe in something that has never been proven historically or practically. Every single known Empire has "fallen" eventually. It should be fair to assume that most of the "creators " of these great empires wanted to "withstand the test of time...". But the facts are very sobering and brutal.

My Opponent: "Without the Electoral College, a candidate could concentrate their campaign in these cities only and not even go to the rural communities to personally get their message out nor hear their voices." Now that you know the demographic distribution of the population. You decide for yourself if the "population-dense cities and their mob mentality" was even a remote concern, as they were the "minority" being less than 5%.

My Opponent: "Without the Electoral College, a candidate could concentrate their campaign in these cities only and not even go to the rural communities". We are still holding opposing points, right :)? Because the Electoral College is the reason states are colored red or blue therefore rendering 30-40% of the population "nothing" and this is why in today"s elections the candidates go to 6-7 states. Because the rest of them are "decided". And so automatically the 30-40% of the people in each of those states are "nothing", because no one wants to waste time talking to them. If we think that a system that ignores the majority of the voices is designed to withstand the test of time or if it is fair to everyone we will be fooling ourselves.
Debate Round No. 2
dawgmatt

Con

Our country's founders had to figure out a way to form a nation that will withstand the test of time. My opponent points out the obvious that ALL nations in history begin with the same intent. But the founders, knowing that all nations fail at some point, had to devise a way to make it last as long as possible. The founders had differing ideas, but they compromised to give us a middle ground that would ensure the survival of our nation. The federal Congress is one such compromise. So, too, is the Electoral College answer to electing our President. It ensures equal representation.

It is truly about population, as much as my opponent will deny it. Back in the 1780's, there were no hugely populous cities like today, but there were largely populous states and small populous states. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 talks of the founders talking of a compromise between the large and small states. They also spoke of a nationalizing substitute for state legislatures. How to accomplish this, to give the small states a voice, would be to mimic the Congress representation in the presidential election through the Electoral College. Any time a candidate wins 30 states in an election, how can one logically say that they shouldn't be the winner?

In response to my opponent stating that 30-40% of the population means nothing in an election and that is the reason why candidates only to go 6-7 states, why is it that Donald Trump campaigned in 25 states during the general election season? Yes, some states are strong red and blue, which a candidate is willing to concede. But if you're going to complain about the result of an election and you want to ignore the will of 67% of the states then maybe your candidate should think about spending more time in the smaller states and showing them that you will represent them as well.

A wise man builds his house on a rock. The Electoral College is part of our rock. Without it our house would eventually fall.
PlamenHristov

Pro

The Electoral College is designed to favor sparsely populated areas. It was created to strengthen the farmers (90% at the time), offer more federal power to slaveholding states, and counterbalance factionalism and polarization. But it's not doing any of this today. Rather, the electoral college values some votes above others, while entirely disenfranchising the 4 million Americans who live in overseas territories.

My Opponent: "Any time a candidate wins 30 states in an election, how can one logically say that they shouldn't be the winner?" I think my opponent is choosing to look at it backwards. Why should geographical boundaries have a "weight" on something as important as an election? People should! Government, institutions and law are in place to serve the people not the land. America prides itself with a leader of the Democratic world and the message is about unity and equal voice, human rights and freedom no matter where you live or who you are. Everything about our message puts people first! However, in the very core of it we have a divisive system that separates states in effort to "equalize" them, while eroding the power of the individuals from one state and giving greater power to people of another state. Essentially this creates friction that leads to further separation and divisiveness between the states. For example, residents from Wyoming have 3.6 times more voting power than residents in California do. If one is afraid of the minority rising because of not having an equal voice, the same person should be even more concern about the majority rising when their voice is filtered down to a fraction of the minority by outdated system.

I strongly believe that if the Founding Fathers were presented with today's facts the decision was going to be in the direction of equal rights and unity, instead of today's unfair and divisive system. A Representative Democracy where everyone has an equal say about the most important decisions in their country.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by JonHouser 10 months ago
JonHouser
I don't have time to read through this whole debate right now, but I will say that there is no Constitutional requirement for there even to be a "popular vote". Each state could decide to have the legislature appoint the electors, or the Governor could appoint the electors. The point is, it is the States who elect the President, not the people. Some people say that the 15th Amendment gives everyone the right to vote in federal elections. This is not the case. It says that if anyone is allowed to vote in a federal election, the that privilege cannot be withheld from anyone due to race.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 10 months ago
dsjpk5
dawgmattPlamenHristovTied
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