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Electoral College (America)

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Started: 3/9/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 754 times Debate No: 100752
Debate Rounds (2)
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The electoral college is not good for our country. It keeps the people from choosing who they want in government roles. Many election results would be different if we substituted popular vote for the electoral college. The electoral college stifles democracy. According to Noam Chomsky, Aristotle once wrote that a democracy poses the problem that lower class people would band together and vote against the upper class. America's solution to the problem was the electoral college, where rich people naturally have the advantage, being able to post more advertisements in their favor. Aristotle's solution, however, was the opposite; he proposed that we give the people more freedom and reduce the upper class. Then, the people would not need to band up against the rich. If we got rid of electoral college, we could do what Aristotle proposed, and give everyone a voice for sure. Thank you.


The United States was a nation founded in opposition to tyranny. The people who founded United States did so to remove and protect themselves from tyranny. Tyranny comes in all shapes and sizes and one of the first books I read of my own accord - not because my parents or school wanted to, but because I did - was a collection of essays by John Stuart Mill. One of these essays was "On Liberty" in which, amongst other things, Mill uses to popularise the idea of a tyranny of the majority.

So what is a tyranny of the majority?
One of the fundamental flaws of a direct, or pure, democracy - a democracy in which all laws are created by a general vote of society - or even a representative democracy which utilises the popular vote is that a government that is democratically supported by a majority creates laws and effects change for the majority without taking into account the rights or safety of the rest of the population.

In the United States, the main population hotspots are New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas and Detroit. In a direct democracy, or a representative democracy with the popular vote, these cities would form a majority and would hold the keys of power over places where the population is only a few hundred or a few thousand. In your opinion, is it just, fair and reasonable that the laws made by and for these population centres should affect the lives of those who have no power to oppose those laws?

Thomas Jefferson, a founding father of the United States, didn't believe so. He said: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression".

The electoral college is a defence against tyranny. It ensures that everyone has a fair say in how their lives are governed - from the big guy in New York City, to the small guy in the midwest. It ensures that no one is left behind in, or harmed by, the democratic process.
Debate Round No. 1


I absolutely loved some of your arguments, but surely all the people of the U.S. outside of the major population centers combined are, at the very least, the same amount as people inside the major population centers. Also, how does giving a set amount of votes to each state depending on the population ensure everyone has a fair say in how their lives are governed? If they got one vote for each person, everybody would have an equal say. Instead, in Utah for example, there are 6 electoral votes. Then, California has 55 votes. How can Utahns have an equal say in policies? Finally, electors (representatives of each state for the electoral college) can vote for whoever they choose; it doesn't have to be who the popular vote of their state technically chose. There is no way the electoral college ensures everyone has a fair say in how their lives are governed when all of these things are a part of it. Thanks again for debating with me!



Well, smorfy, to answer your first question regarding the balance of population: not necessarily. The most recent census data is from 2010. According to it, America's population is 324,420,000, therefore a majority of the population would be any number greater than 162,210,000. We can combine the top 10 most populous states in 2010 to create the majority of 169,631,184. 10/50. 1/5. Not exactly a split down the middle.

To answer your second question: we first need to acknowledge that there are 538 electoral college votes. The number 538 is the sum of the senate, its parts being: 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors given to the District of Columbia. Each state is given 2 senators regardless of population, so in that respect, each state has a fair representation in the Senate. California has 2 senators, Utah has 2 senators. When it comes to representatives, each state is granted a number of seat which approximately corresponds to its share of the aggregate population of America. At the last apportionment (or the allocation of representatives based on share of aggregate population), California was calculated to have 53 representatives and Utah was calculated to have 4. This made their total electoral college votes 55 and 6 respectively.

And to address your last point, electors can rebel, but they face hefty fines for doing so. Rebelling is certainly not encouraged in the electoral college system.

I'm not saying the electoral college is perfect, it has flaws, anybody who denies that is crazy. What I can say is that it is the best system for a republic hoping to remain free from one of the many forms of tyranny out there. America without an electoral college just isn't the America that it was created to be.

P.S. Thanks to you too. It's been a good debate in which you've raised some good points.
Debate Round No. 2
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