The Instigator
costello32
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Reaper14
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Electoral College should be abolished.

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 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,304 times Debate No: 27646
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

costello32

Pro

The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system and should be abolished.

The United States of America is one of the most revered and modeled after nations in all of the world. Yet, our system of electing the chief executive is one of the least democratic of all election systems. In most democratic nations, the people as a whole choose their leader. Whoever gets the most votes wins. In America, whoever gets the most votes in one state gets all of that state's electoral votes, which is equal to the state's number of Representatives plus two Senators. Only Maine and Nebraska do this differently. Thus in the end, the candidate with the most popular votes overall may still lose the election--because they failed to win the 270 electoral votes needed (out of 538 total). This has happened four times: in 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000 (and almost in 2004). That is four times too many.

Because of this system, presidential candidates spend most of their time and money in "battleground states"--states which together make up a large portion of electoral votes and could swing either way in an election. (California has the most at 55, but is a reliably Democratic state, thus it goes mostly ignored by candidates except to raise money). Because of this fact, only about 1 in 5 Americans' votes even really matter. In a truly democratic system, every vote should matter.

If we get rid of the Electoral College, candidates will be more hard pressed to spend time in every state, reaching out to as many Americans as possible. Voters in Oregon and Massachusetts will matter just as much as voters in Ohio and Virginia. Now some may argue that voters in urban areas will decide every election. Well, guess what? The majority of Americans live in and around urban areas. But because the election will depend on the votes of all Americans, candidates will have the incentive to spend just as much time in rural Iowa and Kansas as in very urban New York and California.

Now it is true that when the system was established, it was rather necessary. News did not travel quickly and thus it was very difficult for citizens to be well informed about their candidates. But even by the mid-19th. century, the telegraph and advances in news reporting solved this problem. People were also becoming more educated, and thus able to make a more informed, educated decision. Now we are in the 21st century, and we can become well-informed and able to form our own opinions simply by watching the news from our living rooms.

And one final point-this is the UNITED States of America. We are choosing the leader of one people, of ALL the people. And so it only makes sense that whoever the majority of the American people choose becomes chief executive. It's as simple as that.
Reaper14

Con

While I agree that the Electoral College is very confusing, I don't believe it should be abolished. It would be a logistical nightmare for every single vote to be counted, and to elect someone by Popular Vote. The Electoral College is a necessary system in place to make the processes of electing a new president easier. I agree that it is wrong when the Electoral College will choose someone when popular vote did not. Instead of abolishing it, we should be looking at a way to reform it. If there is a difference between the choice made by Popular Vote and the E.C. there should be a system to make the right choice. Maybe if the Popular Vote chose some one else, we should follow it that time, but when most of the time the two systems agree, why go through the nightmare of counting every single vote in America.
Debate Round No. 1
costello32

Pro

You argue that it would be a "nightmare" to count every vote in America. While it may be tedious, it is essential to having a true democratic system. Besides, we currently do count every vote in America, as the popular vote data is used by political scientists and analysts. If we do it for that reason, we might as well just add the purpose of actually choosing the president. Yes, it may take a day or two before we officially know the winner, at least in particularly close elections. But even now, the winner of the popular vote tends to be known before midnight on election night, regardless if they have all been counted yet.

One point I forgot to add in my first argument--getting rid of the Electoral College would increase voter turnout. Presidential elections often don't get as high turnout as it otherwise could because people believe their vote won't count anyway. As I mentioned before, 4 out of 5 votes really don't. Once we abolish the Electoral College, voters will have the assurance that their vote really does matter, and they will be more apt to go out and vote. This will increase the strength and power of our democratic system.

There have been proposals to reform the Electoral College, and one such proposal is the National Popular Vote Plan. In this plan, which is already well on its way to taking effect, each state taking part would award all of its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. This measure will take effect once it has been approved by enough states to equal the required 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. It has already been approved by eight states and the District of Columbia, equaling a total of 132 electoral votes--almost half that are needed. Personally, I think this plan is a good one and will lead to the eventual elimination of the Electoral College.
Reaper14

Con

You argue that the Electoral College makes people feel that their vote is invalid, but in reality the majority of people I talk to at least say their vote is invalid because there are so many people in the country voting that they feel their one vote wont make a difference. I don't see how making the system a popular vote would increase voter turnout what-so-ever.
Debate Round No. 2
costello32

Pro

I know many people who would have voted this year if it were not for the Electoral College. Whether they were for Romney or Obama, they knew Obama had an almost certain victory due to how the battleground states were projected to go. People expected Romney to get a lot more votes than he actually did. But because we knew so early on that Obama had almost no chance of losing, people on both sides did not bother to vote.

There is no good reason to keep this long outdated system. It does not always reflect the collective will of the entire American people, it causes most people's votes not to matter, and it causes countless complications at the ballot box. Last but not least, public opinion now favors abolishing the system. It's time to amend the Constitution.
Reaper14

Con

Reaper14 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.