The Instigator
MakeDebatingGreatAgain
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
calpis
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The electoral college system is more fair and effective than the popular vote system.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/25/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 739 times Debate No: 101368
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

MakeDebatingGreatAgain

Pro

I would like to debate someone on the effectiveness of the electoral system over the popular system. The electoral college assigns values to states depending on population size, and all of the points for a state are awarded to a candidate when that candidate receives majority vote in that SPECIFIC state. The popular vote is a simple majority vote of the entire nation. I have started this debate because of the rising controversy from Hillary winning the popular vote, but not the electoral vote. The first round is ACCEPTANCE ONLY, so please be courteous and don't present an argument until the second round. You may ask me questions about the topic, but no more than that. This debate is only 3 rounds, because people keep forgetting to post arguments after about 3 rounds, which ruins the debates. Sorry if you wanted to debate more rounds than 3.
calpis

Con

I am new to both this site and debating as well but your challenge has been accepted. See you in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
MakeDebatingGreatAgain

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I'm sorry I couldn't post this argument earlier, but I have been more busy than usual. Anyways, to the debate:

I would first like to explain what the electoral college is, and what it was created for. The electoral college is a system of voting where each state has an amount of electors. The amount of representatives, plus the 2 senators, for each state will equal the amount of electors there are in that state. In basic terms, the larger the population of a state, the more electors there are. The electors in each state will vote for the candidate that the residents of the state voted for. If a state votes majority republican, than all the electors for that state will vote for the republican candidate [1].

Now to the reason behind the electoral college [2]. It was written into the 2nd article of the constitution during the constitutional convention [3]. The electoral system was instated for the aid of smaller states in the elections. If the president was elected with a popular vote, than the smaller states would never be visited during the campaign, because the small amount of voters would make little difference to them. With the electoral system, these states become important, since each vote is worth more than in larger states in order to compensate for those large states having more voters [4]. This may be considered as an unfair advantage to small states, but it isn't. The smaller states may have more worth in each vote, but they will still have less people to actually vote. If you do the calculations, than you will find that Wyoming has a 300% power per vote, while California has a 83% power per vote (caused by the electoral college giving a bonus with the two extra senators) [4]. If further calculations are done, then the value of all the votes in Wyoming is still less than the values of all the votes in California (assuming that around 30% of people vote, than California has about 8.5 million more possible votes than Wyoming). What can all this mean? It equates to the fact that a Wyoming resident will have more value in their vote than a Californian, but the state of California will still have more influence. This compromise is what effectively makes the power of each state more balanced, and the elections more balanced.

The popular system also has one major flaw. This system is susceptible to manipulation and corruption, as the only control over what is elected will be in the hands of the people, which in turn creates opportunity for corrupt politicians to take control (*cough, cough Hillary...). If a politician takes advantage of the what the public doesn't know or can't find out, than they will have an advantage over more honest politicians. Hillary did this in her campaign, and she would have won if not for the electoral system saving us, due to her winning of the popular vote [5]. The electors will be able to decide if their politician is really worth supporting, and can cast votes contrary to the popular vote of their state. However, this is rarely done, with only 1% of all electors ever doing this. And the electors have experience and are trusted by the population choose the best presidential candidate based on the population of that state's opinion. Some electors are even legally bound to vote with the popular vote of that state [1]. The electoral college gives protections against corrupt politicians, which is in the best interests of everyone (except the corrupted).

To conclude, the electoral college is a fair system that gives balance to states and elections, while helping to prevent corrupt politicians from being elected. We came very close to electing a corrupt politician this year's election, and we were lucky that the electoral system saved us. Without this system, just imagine what Hillary could be doing right now to ruin America.

Sources:
https://www.archives.gov... [1]

https://www.reference.com... [2]

https://www.law.cornell.edu... [3]

http://www.thegazette.com... [4]

http://www.washingtontimes.com... [5]
calpis

Con

The electoral college may have made sense many years ago when it took weeks to hand deliver votes by horseback to Washington, DC but it no longer makes sense. With today's technology it is possible to tally everyone's vote quickly and securely. Unfortunately, the current implementation of electronic voting is lacking from a security perspective but that shouldn't affect the scope of this debate as it could be fixed and implemented using current technology.

Giving more power to residents of Wyoming over the residents of California is simply not fair. Each and every american is as much as American as the other one and each of their vote should be counted equally regardless of any state borders. Of course California should have more influence as it contains many more Americans than Wyoming. While states can and should regulate themselves, when it comes to our nation, we are all the same.

As far as susceptibility to manipulation and corruption, with proper multi-factor authentication, authorization, cryptography and other strong security controls being used, a modern system can be significantly more trustworthy than this archaic system. The current system rely on trusting people which are often shown to be corrupt [1]. Using blockchain technology to vote could be used to provide much more secure voting with built-in validation vs. the current system [2]. In addition, as you have stated, 1% of electors sometime do not vote per their constituents which is 1% too much. A properly designed, vetted, tested and peer reviewed algebraic solution to voting would represent the will of the people 100% of the time.

In conclusion, the electoral college had a purpose that it no longer serves. By switching to a better and more secure system, the will of the people would be respected 100% of the time and the risk of tampering with election results would be significantly reduced.

Sources:

http://www.politico.com... [1]

https://followmyvote.com... [2]
Debate Round No. 2
MakeDebatingGreatAgain

Pro

Some parts of con's argument were confusing, such as when they referenced electronic voting with block chains would be better, and when they said "...more trustworthy than this archaic system. The current system rely on trusting people which are often shown to be corrupt." I read the source, and I don't understand what this portion of their argument is referring to, and what they mean by saying anarchic and trusting people who are corrupt. When I mentioned that the electoral system prevents corruption, I was referencing that it allows for electors to choose what candidate they elect, which was intended by the founding fathers to prevent wide sweeping waves of corruption that would allow for corrupt politicians to exploit the system and gain office [1].Why do you think Hillary won the popular vote? Because she is a corrupt sociopath who manipulated the public, but we were saved from her wrath by the electoral college, that prevented her from winning the election [2][3]. The electoral college protected us from this corruption because it balances the effects of widespread manipulation. Hillary was able to manipulate people all across the country, but since she didn't manipulate all the people in specific states, she couldn't win the electoral vote. Her sociopathic tactics allowed her to convince many people, but the electoral system requires states to be influenced, not just the general. nationwide populace. Make sure to read my sources to better understand what I'm talking about, if it doesn't make sense to you.

Again, I don't understand what block chains have to do with the electoral college. From what I saw, the method of obtaining the votes is what the block chain system con referenced pertains to. The electoral college itself has nothing to do with HOW the votes are counted, just the way that they are used for determining the president. This part of con's argument is irrelevant, and definitely doesn't pertain to this debate. Con stated that it is "more trustworthy" to use this "modern system". Again, they are making no sense, as this doesn't pertain to the topic, but con words it to sound as if the vote collecting system and block chains are relevant.

My opponent states that the electoral system is unfair, because residents of certain states will have larger says than others, which I referenced in my own arguments. Con believes it is an infringement of democracy. However, the electoral college gives advantages to minorities who would otherwise be less useful to candidates. As I stated before, candidates will only visit urban states to gain votes, and not rural ones in a popular vote system. This shows a disregard and bias against these rural state votes, and gives all the power of the election to large states. This means that these states will be hotpots for lobbyists, propaganda, and supporters of candidates. The increased lobbying will allow for the companies in these states to have far higher chances of profit, as lobbying often leads to corporate profit [4]. With this in mind, the rural states, and lower population states in general, will never be visited and be devoid of presidential politics, which makes lobbying impossible. The larger states will not only have more political say, but gain valuable political activity that promotes profitable lobbying and campaigning, which is unfair to the smaller states. Only a few states in the nation would be benefiting, and the others would hardly be effected from this imbalance caused by the popular vote. How does this tie back to democracy? Well, the balancing of the states restores power to smaller states, which gives those regions their needed advantage. An individual in Wyoming may have more voting power than a Californian, but the state of Wyoming only gives a puny 3 electoral votes, compared to California's 55. And if it were a popular vote, Wyoming would still be even punier than California in terms of influences to the presidential election. Democracy doesn't just encompass the equality of the people, but the states too. Our country is composed of many different people, who should be represented as each one out of many, not just many [5]. We need states to have rights and be more balanced, rather than the federal government having all the power.

The popular vote system basically is letting the go of the reins of the election. It leaves it in the hands of corrupt politicians (such as Hillary) and destroys the influence of smaller states. Only large states will participate, and they will benefit from campaigning and lobbying. The popular vote creates mass media chaos, and will make the elections far more corrupt and chaotic [5]. The electoral system may seem to violate democratic principals of equal vote weight, and I will concede that it does in some ways, but the benefits, balancing, and protection it provides to the elections out way this negative result of the electoral system. I did not say that the system is perfect, as no system can be perfect, but that it is at least far better than the popular system [5].

Thank you for participating in this debate, and I look forward to your closing round. Happy debating.

P.S. Please review my sources, as they contain lots of information that backs my arguments.

Sources :

http://www.thegazette.com... [1]

http://www.wnd.com... [2]

https://pisoproject.wordpress.com... [3]

https://hbr.org... [4]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com... [5]

calpis

Con

Because you have conceded that the electoral college system does violate the democratic principals of equal vote weight, I will not cover this argument in my last response. This only leaves the argument that the electoral college system is necessary to prevent corruption.

I see no reason to add an intermediary between the voter and their vote being counted. Contrary to your argument, this increases the chance of corruption. This intermediary is just another point of failure that can manipulated, paid or otherwise mislead. Your main argument is that the electoral college can prevent corruption. The electoral college is not a good solution at preventing corruption. What I propose is a better popular voting system that would be significantly stronger at preventing corruption, voter fraud and also deliver equal vote weight. Blockchain technology is decentralized and has no single point of failure. It would be impossible for a voter to vote twice when blockchain technology is associated with solid two factor authentication. This would make the blockchain system significantly more resilient than the electoral college system. Blockchain technology is already being used in voting and is the way of the future. It is very short sighted to think that there is no better way and the current electoral system will remain what works best indefinitely. Other countries are already at various stages of deploying blockchain technology to offer more efficient and secure voting platforms [1].

Has far as Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump being sociopath or not have nothing to do with the electoral college being a good system. I personally didn't like either candidate and found it very sad that this was the best we could come up with. Regardless of the election outcome and as your candidate Donald Trump stated, "The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy." [2]

Sources:

https://venturebeat.com... [1]

https://twitter.com... [2]
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by calpis 9 months ago
calpis
Thanks for your comment @FuzzyCatPotato. I am new to debating so your comment really helps!
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 9 months ago
FuzzyCatPotato
RFD:
Agree before: Con
Agree after: Con
Conduct: Tied
Spelling and grammar: Tied
Convincing arguments: Con. Pro conceded that EC violates the principle of equal vote weight, a principle which Con upheld through the round. Thus, I buy Con's argument that Pro's case collapses to prevention of corruption. However, Pro's argument that the EC prevents corruption is severely undermined by Con's sources that secure popular vote systems have been enacted in other countries. As such, Pro has only weak proof that EC reduces corruption, while Con has strong proof that EC is antidemocratic. As such, Con wins.
Sources: Tied
Posted by MakeDebatingGreatAgain 9 months ago
MakeDebatingGreatAgain
If you want to forfiet the debate, don't actually forfieght a round, as it will prevent me form completeing it, and I want to earn voter status on this site.
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