The Instigator
AlternativeDavid
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Samuel60
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Electoral College Voting System In the US Should Be Replaced

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
AlternativeDavid
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,399 times Debate No: 60287
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

AlternativeDavid

Pro

Rules:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2/3/4: Arguments and rebuttals
Round 5: Closing statements, no new arguments

I argue that the Electoral College voting system should be replaced because it is a bad system.
Samuel60

Con

I accept your challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
AlternativeDavid

Pro

I argue that the Electoral College should be repealed and replaced with a popular voting system.

A) Four times in history, the person that received more votes lost (John Quincy Adams in 1824, Samuel Tilden in 1876, Grover Cleveland in 1888, and Al Gore in 2000). With four losses in 55 elections, that is a failure rate of 7.2%. Would anybody tolerate a sport where by a quirk of the rules there was a 7% chance that the loser would win? What if nuclear reactors had a 7% chance of a meltdown every time they were used? Nobody would support nuclear energy. So I have ask why would anybody support such a broken system? [1]

B) Just four states: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania received more than 50% of the total visits by a presidential candidate in the 2008 election. Only seventeen states were even visited by a presidential candidate during the race. This happens because presidential candidates know which states they are going to win, and which states they are going to lose. As a result, the only states that even really receive visits are "swing states" i.e. states that could swing either way in the election. This is a problem because the candidates will do whatever they can to win these states, and will therefore give them things that the rest of the country doesn't get. [2] [3]

C) Due to the way that the Electoral College is set up, a candidate only needs to win 22% of the popular vote. If they won 51% of the popular vote going from smallest to largest, they'd get to 270 Electoral College Votes (The minimum to win) while only needing 22% of the population of those states. It becomes even worse when you realize that because 40% of Americans don't vote, therefore you can become president with a mere 13.2% of the popular vote. [2]

D) "The Electoral College system further distorts the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy because electoral votes are not distributed according to population... an individual citizen in Wyoming has more than triple the weight in electoral votes as an individual in California... It’s closer to quadruple than triple." [3] How could anybody argue that this a good thing? I understand that it was invented to keep the big states from dominating the small states, but your vote shouldn't be worth 1/3 of someone else's vote just because they live in a small state.

E) There is a possibility of a tie because 538 (the total number of votes) is an even number. If the Electoral College is tied, the House of Representatives breaks that tie. There are 435 representatives in total. Thankfully an odd number and a guaranteed tiebreaker. However, in reality, each representative doesn't get one vote, each state gets one vote. This is an awful system because not only are there 50 states and another opportunity to tie, but 50% of the population lives in just 10 states. Therefore the 24 states that contain a vast majority of the population are outnumbered by the 26 states with a vast minority of the population. As I pointed out in C, it would be possible to win with just the least populated states. If one candidate promised the small states everything they could ever want, he would get elected even if only a minority of people even wanted him in the first place. [4]

While most of the things I pointed out in this round were either theoretical or relatively uncommon, it should be noted that these things shouldn't even be able to happen.

In summary, we need a popular vote system in the United States because with the current Electoral College voting system, there is a possibility of minority rule in the country. Minority rule in a democracy is never a good thing. Every vote should count the same and highly populated states shouldn't be punished for having a lot of people.

I look forward to Con's response.

[1] http://www.factcheck.org...
[2] https://www.youtube.com...
[3] http://www.minnpost.com...
[4] https://www.youtube.com...
Samuel60

Con

Argument

Electoral colleges are "a body of electors; especially: one that elects the president and vice president of the United States."

Source:
[1]: http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Presidency

By the help of the electoral colleges a specific individual will be able to gain presidency. The founding fathers new that most people would try to steal this presidency. Here is what they have written in the constitution: "A popular election in this case is radically vicious. The ignorance of the people would put it in the power of some one set of men dispersed through the Union, and acting in concert, to delude them into any appointment." -- Delegate Gerry, July 25, 1787.

Preserving Federalism

The Founding Fathers knew that that Electoral Colleges would be able to fix corrupt federalism. Federalism is the ability to share power between the states and the main government. By the constitution, people are required to choose their leaders that will represent them in the U.S. State Congress. Technically, this is about electing an official from any state so he/or she can gain leadership in D.C. and represent his/or her state.

Electoral Colleges Represent Democracy

Electoral colleges represent democracy. The United States of America represents democracy under the republican government. According to the constitution, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican form of Government..." People will be able to elect the officials through this process. While electing their new leader, the government will be able to avoid the direct election dangers (2).

Sources:
[2]: http://usgovinfo.about.com...

Prevents Run-off elections

Electoral colleges avoid run-off elections. We will still be able to elect the proper official if the two candidates won't get the popular votes. For instance, Richard Nixon received 43% of popular votes, but won 301 votes in the college system. Electoral colleges will always have the ability to elect the right leader for this nation (3).

Sources:
[3]: http://www.businessinsider.com...

Everyone has a chance to be included in the system

Everyone will have the opportunity to be involved in the governmental system. The South received more votes from Romney because it has a hire republican population, but there have been a few states in the North that voted for him as well. Everyone will have a part of the system.

Certain Outcome

Electoral officials share the popular vote. For instance, Obama had 61.7% of popular votes while Romney had 51.3% of popular votes. It is possible for both candidates to receive the same amount of votes, but it has a very low likelihood (4).

Sources:
[4]: http://www.slate.com...
Debate Round No. 2
AlternativeDavid

Pro

"The founding fathers new that most people would try to steal this presidency."

I don't understand what Con is getting at here. How does one steal a job? Especially a job that most people don't want. There are a lot of people who would love to be president, but that's a vast minority of people. I've never heard of a 500,000 way election.

"A popular election in this case is radically vicious. The ignorance of the people would put it in the power of some one set of men dispersed through the Union, and acting in concert, to delude them into any appointment."

This quote is reffering to the lack of information that most people had at the founding of the nation. It could take weeks for information to get from Washington, DC to voters in rural Georgia. Horses were mostly used for short distances of transportation. [1]. Also, I'd like a citation of the Constitution, because people are not quoted in the Constitution.


"The Founding Fathers knew that that Electoral Colleges would be able to fix corrupt federalism."

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." -Christopher Hitchens



"By the constitution, people are required to choose their leaders that will represent them in the U.S. State Congress"


People are not required to do anything. "in the U.S., about 60% of the voting eligible population votes during presidential election years, and about 40% votes during midterm elections." If only 60% of people vote in the biggest election year we have, and 40% vote on off year elections, that doesn't sound like a requirement. [2]. There are many countries that have compulsatory voting, the USA is not one of them. [3]

"Richard Nixon received 43% of popular votes, but won 301 votes in the college system. Electoral colleges will always have the ability to elect the right leader for this nation"

I'm going to break this down one part at a time: "Richard Nixon received 43% of popular votes, but won 301 votes in the college system." This is precisely what's wrong with the system. A minority of voters got to choose the President. 57% of people wanted somebody that wasn't him. Also, even though he won a lot of states, he only had a few thousand more votes than the other major candidate. [4]. The Electoral College system is very disproportionate when giving votes.

"Electoral colleges will always have the ability to elect the right leader for this nation"

Well it has failed tremendously. The use of the term "always" means that if I can find one instance where it did not pick the right leader, this claim is untrue. The Electoral College gave us Bush in 2000, even though he lost the popular vote. Bush was probably one of the worst presidents we've ever had. The economy had it's worst recession since the Great Depresion because of him [5]. He forged evidence that Saddam Hussein had WMDs in order to help out the Vice President's company Haliburton [6]. Also, 13 embassy and consulate attacks resulted in hurt/killed Americans during his time in office [7].

"Everyone will have the opportunity to be involved in the governmental system."

This would be true whether or not we had the Electoral College.

"For instance, Obama had 61.7% of popular votes while Romney had 51.3% of popular votes."

I feel as though if 113% of the country voted, somebody would have noticed. Putin won his last election after the highest voter turnout in the history of ever. 140% of all Russians went to the polls.

I don't think that Con successfuly refurted any of my claims. I extend all arguments.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.fairvote.org...;
[3] http://www.theguardian.com...
[4] http://www.270towin.com...;
[5] http://thinkprogress.org...
[6] http://www.truth-out.org...;
[7] http://thedailybanter.com...;
[8] http://www.economist.com...;
Samuel60

Con

Samuel60 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
AlternativeDavid

Pro

My opponent has forfeited and has not refuted any of my claims. I extend all arguments.
Samuel60

Con

Samuel60 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
AlternativeDavid

Pro

My opponent has forfeited and has not refuted any of my claims. I extend all arguments.
Samuel60

Con

Samuel60 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by AlternativeDavid 3 years ago
AlternativeDavid
I'd prefer to debate somebody who wants to keep it in its current form
Posted by dmussi12 3 years ago
dmussi12
Can I argue that it should be revised, but not replaced entirely? Or would you prefer to debate someone who wants to keep it as is?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
AlternativeDavidSamuel60Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited and failed to refute pro.