The Instigator
Gondun
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
truthiskey
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Electoral Collage should be Abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 839 times Debate No: 36942
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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Gondun

Pro

As Pro, I will be arguing in favor of abolishing the Electoral College (from here on out abbreviated as EC) in favor of a popular vote for the presidential election. Con will be arguing that the EC in its current form would be superior to a popular vote.

Round 1 is for acceptance
All others are open for argument
If you're just going to forfeit, don't accept.
truthiskey

Con

I accept, but no foul language or personal attacks.
Debate Round No. 1
Gondun

Pro

Thank you for that quick acceptance.

There are three main problems with the EC: it is outdated, it leads candidates to appeal to specific groups instead of everyone, and it allows for the possibility of electing a candidate that is not wanted by the majority of Americans.

The EC is outdated because things were very different when it was created. When the system was created, transportation and communication were much slower and more expensive than they are now. This made it difficult for citizens to know much about a presidential candidate or what they stood fore. The EC was created to circumvent these problems by having informed and educated electors vote for the president on behalf of the people. Because the problems of slow and expensive communication and travel no longer exist, we no longer have need for the EC.

The next problem is how the EC leads candidates to appeal to specific minority groups instead of the general population. Firstly, most candidates all but ignore the states that they know they will win or lose. This is bad because ideally everyone should get the same amount of attention. Second, this leads to candidates trying to appeal disproportionately to groups like the elderly because of their over representation in many swing states. [1] The same is also true for Cuban immigrants in Florida and many other such groups.

The main issue with the EC is its potential to elect a president against the voice of the people. Because we are in a democracy, it can be assumed that we should go by what is wanted by most Americans. Although EC votes are divided up roughly on population, it is the combined seats in the House (By population) and Senate (2 regardless of population) that matter. This leads to states like Wyoming having a disproportionate amount of votes. "Using 2010 Census figures and the distribution of House seats based on that census, an individual citizen in Wyoming has more than triple the weight in electoral votes as an individual in California."[1] It should be pretty obvious why this is a problem. Also, there is the problem of someone's "population" counting for a candidate that they don't like. For example, California's 55 EC votes are representative of its large population. If 51% of California"s population votes for candidate A and 49% votes for candidate B, then all of California"s votes still go to candidate A. Even though there were only enough people voting for candidate A to get about 28 EC votes, candidate A still gets the same amount of votes as if 100% of the people had voted for him. This is also a clear imbalance. The ramifications of this can most clearly be seen in the 2000 election where more people wanted Gore for president, but we still ended up with Bush. The final representation problem with the EC is the way it handles a tie, which is possible with our current distribution of votes. In the event of a tie, the house of representatives chooses the president, but each state only gets one vote. Going back to Wyoming, the 563,000 people of Wyoming would have the same political weight as the 37 million of California.

Through all this, it should be pretty clear why we should abolish the EC in favor of a popular vote.

[1] http://www.minnpost.com...
truthiskey

Con

First I'd like to thank my opponent for the quick post and encourage no forfeits.

I"d like to start off this debate with a quote from a http://www.usnews.com... article entitled "The Electoral College Serves the Interests of All People" by Trent England, the vice president of policy at Freedom Foundation, "Americans are fortunate that through debate and compromise, the framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College. While it doesn't work exactly as the founding generation thought it might, it probably works better than they could have imagined. It doesn't tip the scales in favor of Democrats or Republicans"but instead serves the interests all the people."

Assertion 1:- Gives minorities a voice in the vote
The Electoral College gives fair chances to racial minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics. Since these minorities tend to live in larger cities "of the bigger states, their votes are important in tilting all the electoral votes of their state, thus encouraging candidates of both parties to appeal for their votes.(1)" This makes all the races equally important to the candidate and he will look into minority interests. If there is no Electoral College candidates will only focus on the interests of the majority (White people) and minority needs won"t be satisfied.

Assertion 2:- Might cause unfair play
"A purely popular vote would encourage some states (particularly one-party states) to change their voting requirements to increase that state"s influence nationwide. For example, a state could drop the voting age to 17 or 16, because more people voting would allow that state affect the national vote, not just the electoral vote.(1)" "The benefits of the Electoral College come from the need to win state-by-state. This means candidates can't just go to their strongholds and drive up turnout"or stuff ballot boxes. The Electoral College makes candidates go to the most evenly divided parts of our country to make their case to those voters. Over time, this has made American political parties less extreme and more inclusive than they would have been without the Electoral College," says Trent England. Stuffing ballot boxes (putting in "extra votes") won"t work in the EC because states are designated a certain amount of points. Putting it all on one region or state won"t do much in the EC because you need the help of multiple states to win.

Now, on to my refutations:

My opponent"s 1st point about the EC being outdated makes no sense since the people still had to vote to the same sort of pledged electors that we do today making the argument about communication senseless since the circumstances for both the popular vote and the EC the same. The real reason why the EC was created was to protect the rights of the small states and encourage "moderation, compromise and coalition building. (3)"

My opponent"s 2nd point states that minority groups are favored because of the EC. It is true that minorities get a bit more attention than they deserve, but if we switch to a popular vote the minority vote will not exist anymore and they will not be able to make their interests be satisfied. In the EC however, both Whites and minorities have a fair say and are able to get what they want.

My opponent"s 3rd point is about haw votes disproportionate from area to area. It"s true that in the EC some states are made more important than others but if there is no EC Wyoming gets almost a zero value while candidates start doing the stuff mentioned in my second assertion in big states. Also, we should remember what will happen to minorities.

Voters, I have proven that the EC is here to stay; vote con.

Sources:
(1)http://www.cato.org...
(2)http://www.usnews.com...
(3)http://www.aim.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Gondun

Pro

Assertion 1
There are two problems here. The first is that the majority is more important than minorities in a democracy. A democracy is about doing what most of the people want to do, not what a few people want to do. While I do agree that it is bad to oppress minorities, the president should be more focused on what is better for everyone. The other problem is that the EC actually reduces the value of the minorities" votes. As I said in the last round, the votes of people in large states, where Con claims there is a high minority percent, actually count for less than those in smaller states. In this case, the minorities would actually be under-represented. Now, I realize that this might sound like a contradiction of my second point, but the difference lies in the size of the minorities. The EC causes candidates to focus much more on groups like Cuban immigrants and poor orange farmers in Florida (1) than they should, whereas the African American, Hispanic, and other such minorities are large enough to have some power in a popular election.

Assertion 2
Con has two main arguments here. The first is that some states would lower the voting age. Because this is a democracy, it is not a bad thing to have more voices and more votes. If there was a problem with this though, the federal government could make a law setting an official national voting age. Also, there would probably not be very many people under 18 that came out to vote because voter turnout % drops as you look at younger groups. (2) Con"s other argument is that candidates will try to increase voter turnout. Historically, an increased voter turnout has been a good thing, so I don"t see what the problem is. A state where 100% of the voters show up and vote for one candidate should not have the same weight as a state where 50% of the voters show up and are evenly split. Also, this Trent England guy that Con is getting info from is not a legitimate source. The website he got it from is a debate/opinion site like DDO, so there is no reason to believe him. Also, the Freedom Foundation that he is a part of is a volunteer organization to "help the next generation". (3) This gives him no authority on the subject.

Now onto the defense of my arguments.
The way that the EC was intended to work was meant for the way things were when it was created. My opponent says that people still had to vote, but this can be deceiving. According to what they originally wrote "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors". Each presidential elector would exercise independent judgment when voting". The system as designed would rarely produce a winner, thus sending the election to Congress." (4) This means that the legislature got to choose how the electors were chosen, often times choosing them themselves. Also, the electors where to vote for who they believed should be president, not necessarily what the people wanted. Finally, as I said last round, sending the election to congress means the Senate decides, which is not proportional to what the people want.

My opponent gives no substantial argument against my second point. He only says "if we switch to a popular vote the minority vote will not exist anymore and they will not be able to make their interests be satisfied". Unless he can justify this or support it somehow, then my argument still stands.

On my third argument, my opponent seems to miss the point. First, he says that taking away the EC will remove all value from Wyoming. This is not necessarily a bad thing because each individual person will have the same value and the value of each vote is more important than the value of each state. My opponent completely skipped my argument about a person"s population counting for a candidate that they don"t like and the possibility of the EC vote going against the popular vote.

Vote Pro
truthiskey

Con

I will first give my remaining assertion then I'll defend and refute.
Assertion 3- The Electoral College system prevents candidates with only regional appeal from winning
This assertion states that presidential candidates can put all their money on a big state like CA or TX. With the EC you need nationwide support. If the EC is abolished Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado will be completely ignored. Their interests won't be satisfied and the 3 high population states NY, CA, and TX will get all the attention. My opponent says this is okay because every vote has an equal value. That is true but the candidates even think about their needs and in the end they'll be voting for what's good for NY, CA , and TX. That would be a mess!

Defense of my arguments:

First of all I'd like to say that Pro's evidence is unreliable because the author of your source is a blogger who has nothing to do with this. Trent has actually made a name for himself. My other source is someone who studied the constitution in college and he also supports my point.

Pro responded to my first assertion by saying that "the majority is more important than minorities in a democracy." He's basically saying that one race are more important than the rest of the races. We banned that sort of bias since civil rights and what he said is completely unconstitutional (goes against the phrase "all men are created equal). Pro also said that "A democracy is about doing what most of the people want to do, not what a few people want to do." 34% of the US is a lot of people (not a few) and they deserve a say. Pro also stated that minorities are already under-represented even though (a) I stated that they help minorities and (b) that completely contradicts with his second assertion and the his refutation to my first assertion. Pro's reason for contradicting himself was this, "EC causes candidates to focus much more on groups like Cuban immigrants and poor orange farmers in Florida." First of all he didn't give any reasons for this. Second of all I clearly stated in the 2nd round that Hispanics and blacks benefit from the EC.

Pro responded to my second assertion by saying that the federal gov. would set up a voting age. Pro's response to my voter turnout point is that it didn't do well in history. That's right. The reason it didn't do well was that the EC was used in history. also he didn't respond to my point about stuffing ballot boxes and how the EC made politics much less extreme.

Refutation of Pro's arguments:

Pro clarified that back in the day there weren't pledged electors and said that my refutation to his 1st argument was wrong.
I already stated that he real reason why the EC was created was to protect the rights of the small states and encourage "moderation, compromise and coalition building. The most important reason why the EC was made though was to protect the rights of the smaller states. Nowadays it also helps minorities.

Pro stated that I had to prove how the minority vote would be wiped out if the EC was abolished or his 2nd argument would still stand. I already said why (refer to the last two sentences of Assertion 1).

Pro stated in defense of his 3rd point in response to me saying that taking away the EC will remove all value from Wyoming by saying that every vote has the same value. The content of my third assertion refutes that. To refute his argument about a people in the state not having their vote count because of winner take it all. Though this is bad the switching to a popular vote would lead to the catastrophes mentioned in assertions 1 and 3. Secondly, my opponent has no evidence (other than the unrelated blogger) for his points mentioned in this debate since comments don't count as part of this debate (he has to mention his evidence next round or admit that he has no evidence).

Vote con!

Sources:
(1)http://www.cato.org......
(2)http://www.usnews.com......
(3)http://www.aim.org.....
Debate Round No. 3
Gondun

Pro

Gondun forfeited this round.
truthiskey

Con

All points extend.

Vote con!
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Gondun 3 years ago
Gondun
Sorry, I just realized that I forgot to include my sources.
Sources:
1) http://www.minnpost.com...
2) http://www.census.gov...
3) http://freedomfoundation.org...
4) http://en.wikipedia.org...(United_States)
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