The Instigator
SupGuys
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Negotiate
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Electoral College Needs to be Replaced

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SupGuys
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 677 times Debate No: 113297
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

SupGuys

Pro

Round 1 will be accepted only and position statement. Round 2 will be opening arguments and round 3 will rebuttals
I would enjoy a round where it is extreme, keep it as it is, no variation of the EC.
Position statement: The Electoral College should be replaced with a new system.
Negotiate

Con

I have rolled up my sleeves for this one- so, let's do it.

I'm looking forward to this to be quite honest. I'll do what I can to be respectful, factual, honest, and attentive during this debate. Good luck to you and have a good day.

My position statement: The electoral college does not need to be replaced and is sufficient the way it is, today.
Debate Round No. 1
SupGuys

Pro

Most of my arguments will more be about why the E.C. is bad and limiting my arguments to a proportional system.
The Electoral College has lost its purpose:
First, the Electoral College has lost its original purpose of representing smaller states. To see a modern example of this, we can look to the top toss-up states from 2012 and 2016: Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri. What do all of these states have in common? They have more than 10 Electoral College Votes, while there are few toss-up states with less. In 2012, the 4 top states in campaign spending are included in the list above. Smaller states are left behind while big states are deciding elections. Wasn't everyone saying Trump had to win Florida (29 E.C. votes) to have a chance of winning?
Next, the reason the Electoral College was put in place was to protect against poor popular opinion. By now, though, 30 of the 50 states have instituted laws which bind electors to their constituents pick. That 60% of all the states, well enough for a majority itself, a poor presidential leader could easily be selected, as some say Trump was.
Now, some positives of change:
Winner-take-all
The US is a representative democracy. That's known, so why does our election system not represent equally? The winner takes all system of the current E.C. fails to represent everyone equally, and we can again look to our big state friends for this. Florida has a diverse population, with a rural Panhandle to the bright cultures of Orlando and Miami. All this is represented by 29 Electoral College Votes, which usually comes down to a few suburban voters. This is not a representation of everyone, only a few people.
With that said, a proportional system of allocating votes would be wise because it solves for many of the current problems.

Equal Representation
A proportional system would help provide equal representation and show the true will of voters by distributing a more realistic result. Take Texas: Known as a usual safe Republican state, Texas' 38 Electoral College votes usually go to the Republican candidate, but in reality, Texas has a large Democratic base. Instead of a 38-0, unequal result, Texas would've gone 20 for Trump and 17 for Clinton, that's a lot closer than most would expect (the extra one would've gone to Johnson, just showing how true of a representation it is). The proportional system helps restore the original intent of representative democracy.

Small States Matter
As mentioned earlier, the Electoral College fails to represent small states as originally intended. But a proportional system would allow for small states to have equal representation by making them a part of the conversation, you have to focus on these smaller states to assure that you win their Electoral College Votes, because every vote counts now, you can't rely on California's 55 or Texas' 38 to win you 270.

Why Democrats and Republicans Agree Change Is Needed
The reason both parties should agree with this type of thinking is very clear for both parties.
Republicans: Always against the popular vote, the system is not a reality and is a reason I'm specifically not advocating for it. Republicans have lost the popular vote in the past 3 elections, and its only getting worse, especially with the rise in Hispanic voting population in many key states such as Arizona and Florida, which are needed to win in the current Electoral College System. But a proportional system would allow Republicans to stay competitive in states they are quickly losing ground in and therefore still be able to some influence.
Democrats: President Gore, President Clinton. With a proportional system, this would've been a reality, not a revenge fantasy. A major reason why this didn't happen was the group of "Red Wall" voters in the South and Midwest preventing Democrats from winning key states. Democrats would be able to expand their voter reach to their base "hidden" by the large Red Wall, such as in Texas. The winner take all system especially hurts Democrats, a proportional system would allow them to retain the presence of their base.
Negotiate

Con

Before I begin, I would like to note that the Electoral College is a fairly proportional system based on how many electoral votes each state receives- each state has a number of electoral votes based on the number of Senators + Representatives. Because the number of Senators is two for each state and Iowa has 4 representatives, it has 6 total electoral votes, currently. The reason that this is proportional is because the majority of the votes are based on the number of Representatives- which are set to represent the state's districts proportionally. The reason I say "fairly" is because of course, we have gerrymandering which is believed to impact how proportional the districts are and in turn, how proportional the electoral votes are.

Here are my points:

Age)
The Electoral College has been electing the Presidents using the same process/system for over 214 years. It has been only ratified once- around thirty years after its creation. ( Amendment 12) After this ratification, however, we have remained to have the same system. Speaking of Amendment 12, I would like to note how, it only took a couple elections before we realized that the Electoral College had issues in representing the nation, thus we changed it in 1804, with the Amendment. Yet, once again I reiterate how we have not changed it since.

The Process)
During the first part of the Electoral College Elector selection process, candidates for Elector positions are nominated/ voted on by party members during meetings such as state party conventions. In other words, we the people decide on our electors, assuming each of us belongs and associates with a party during the process. 48 out of 50 states have remained with the same process of selection when it comes to Electors ( winner-take-all system in which the party of the president with the most popular vote in a state is the party of the Electors that are chosen to represent the state in the Electoral vote- essentially, the belief is that the popular vote accurately represents the Electoral vote through the concept of the party matching that of the winner of the popular vote. This belief has been tested before, and while it is true that there have been elections where they DO NOT match like the 2016 Election, these have been rare occurrences.)
The winner-take-all-system process is where I would argue that it can actually benefit the Democratic party- as I have stated/ suggested above, the popular vote determines the party that controls the state. So by this logic, the Democratic Party can control the state. However, the one thing to note is that there have been Electors who vote for candidates NOT of their own party or simply a different candidate. In fact, it has been reported that there were 7 Faithless Electors ( those who don't vote for the ones they had pledged- to whom are typically the prominent candidates of their party during the Elections.)

The Opinions of the People)
According to Gallup, 47% want to keep Electoral College, which has increased by 12% since 2011, when participants of a 2016 poll were asked about their preferred method for electing the president. [1]
[1] http://content.gallup.com...

What It All Suggests)
To me, the age of the system suggests that, we the people of the nation, have not had sufficient reason to replace the system yet, even if we believe there is sufficient reason to argue against it- this is based on the fact that there has been little done to even ratify it nor replace it. The process of the system suggests that we have a lot more to do with the Electoral College, specifically the Electors, than we believe. It also suggests that the popular vote really does match with the Electoral College vote EXCEPT on those rare occurrences. The opinions of the people on the system have fairly obvious suggestions- the pople DO believe it is a sufficient enough system.

Overall, the facts- to me- suggest that the Electoral College is sufficient, according to the people. Or, at the very least, it is slowly BECOMING sufficient in the people's minds. This is why I support/ claim my position statement that the current Electoral College system is sufficient.

On a separate note, do you happen to have evidence- specifically quotes- for your "Why Democrats and Republicans Agree Change Is Needed" part? I personally have not heard from Republicans about their party being against the popular vote, for example. I am also confused on some your wording if you don't mind clarifying. One notable example I have read is "revenge fantasy."

My apologies for this being a bit wordy and if some of this doesn"t not make complete sense.
Forgive me for not following your rules there by technically rebutting.
Please let me know if something doesn't make sense and I will be glad to clarify.
Thanks for the read!
Debate Round No. 2
SupGuys

Pro

I'd first like to start out by clarifying that the point was the both Democrats and Republicans CAN Agree, my apologies. But there is support for a change in our system. Take Donald Trump, in 2012 he tweeted: "the Electoral College is a disaster for democracy." and Democratic Representative Gene Greene said: "every citizen"s vote should count in America, not just the vote of partisan insiders in the electoral college." [1] Hillary Clinton also said back after the 200 election that the system needed a change: "I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people, and to me that means it"s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president." [2]
On your point of the age of the system, the only reason that it has stayed that way is exactly the change you stated, a constitutional amendment. The difficulty of doing so is extremely difficult, especially in this day and age. It's not usually a major political issue either, because of the abnormal result of a popular vote loser being the winner does not happen often. Does that mean the system doesn't need to be changed? Of course not! You can look to see we can get equal representation through a proportional or popular system.
Next, you talk about the process, just feeding into my points. Electors being nominated by their party, at a state level, where it can be easily controlled by party leaders. And by doing a winner take all by state, it only prioritizes the bigger states because they have more votes and smaller states are left behind, not every vote would count, just the ones in Florida and Ohio. (Seriously, look at 2000, Florida literally decided an election.)
The winner takes all system has also hurt the Democratic Party, empirically, take Rutherford Hayes' election, George Bush's, Donald Trump's, all losing the popular vote to a Democratic candidate but winning anyway. The state by state winner take all have hurt the Democrats, it doesn't help them.
On your opinion of the people point, you can refer to my point above. Changing the Electoral College is not as popular as other issues because it only affects the present once every 4 years, and not even that, because of the popular vote and E.C. winner being the same. Also, your chart shows consistent support for changing the system when it mattered. You could see it was on a downward trend going into 2002, which meant it was a big issue in 2001, right after Bush-Gore. (If you could provide a date for when it was from in 2016 that would be great too!)
"the age of the system suggests that we, the people of the nation, have not had sufficient reason to replace the system yet," Replace Electoral College with slavery. The age and tradition of slavery suggest that we don't have a sufficient reason to change it. That doesn't make sense. Even if the Electoral College doesn't need a change, age would not verify that. Many terrible prejudices were based on being passed down from generation to generation. If the people think it was sufficient, why would 50% disagree with its process 3 years after a non-competitive election (according to your chart)?
Next, the point that the Electoral College also hurts your main point of its age. It's lost its purpose of protecting small states and stopping a poor decision by the general public (again, 60% of states require electors to go with its state pick). It's an outdated tradition that is no longer needed. Also, the US is a representative democracy, and the Electoral College has gone against the will of the people, and even within states, a proportional system would solve for these issues as I mentioned earlier in Round 2.
Also, I'd like to mention again that Democrats and Republicans can agree that the system needs to be changed. The Red Wall is preventing Democrats from channeling their base and would have had 2 more presidents in the White House with a proportional system, and the Republicans can still hold onto their waning influence in the federal government. Donald's Trump election was a big win for Republican, but the increase of Hispanic voters and thus the Democratic Base means its unlikely to happen again.
To allow equal representation for everyone, including those hidden behind huge opposing party majorities, and to have the US representative democracy be reflected in our Presidential Elections, its time for a change.
[1]: https://blog.politics.ox.ac.uk...
[2]: https://www.nytimes.com...
Negotiate

Con

Thank you for clarifying. In fairness, I see your point however, I should note how Trump is very anonymous with his party affiliations. Before the Election of 2016, Trump was reported to have "shifted his party registration back and forth (five times, according to the Washington Times"s report of a report by The Smoking Gun). Trump, Politico reports, also was a substantial donor to Senator Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and many other Democrats." [1] To put it simply, Trump has been notorious for being anonymous, and believed by some to be a Democrat, which would make sense due to his Vice President choice being Mike Pence- a strong Right-Wing leader to further represent his Right affiliation.

I will emphasize my point through repeating how I believe that the Electoral College is, in fact, a fairly proportional system already. It has served to represent the states fairly through the number of Electors signifying the number of Representatives- to whom are purposely set to equally and fairly represent the state.

Big states are not the only ones that can determine the election. Swing States are a big part of the election as they can lean Left or Right. Iowa, is an example, and as I have said before- Iowa has only 6 Electoral Votes, yet plays such a significant role in the Elections and has most certainly helped in candidates winning the Election.

Remember: it is fair game for either party to take the state- the state is not set to prioritize a party during each Election, it is figuratively in the hands of the people with the popular vote. In other words it CAN help or it CAN hurt the Democrats and the Republicans. On account of my missing citation for the Gallup chart: here is some information as well as the citation. "Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 28-29, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,021 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is "4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting." [2]

Here is a list of some of the attempts to reform the Electoral College [3]. The reason I bring them up is to further support my point that even after 200 years we have not managed to have enough people, especially members of Congress, agree to reform it- suggesting that they believe it to not be an issue. I trust that they truly believe the Electoral College to be sufficient enough not to require change/reform.

The point is not that it has over a 50% 'disapproval' rating, it is the point that it IS increasing. People are slowly beginning to agree with the Electoral College system. It's the change in data that we should be focused on.

I have not seen reason to believe it goes against "the will of the people." If we play a role in who gets to become an Elector to represent us, than we have helped determine that that said person acquiring the role is sufficient and able to fulfill his duty to represent the people. That is indeed a Democratic-Republic as it has representatives representing the people.

On your note about the Red Wall- it is not preventing like you may think. The reason I say this is because of Pennsylvania, a strong Leftist states in Elections that can be considered to be part of the "Blue Wall", actually went Right for Trump in the 2016 Election. To rephrase, states can change- even if they are in the "Walls." It all just depends on the Electors and their votes, of course.

In conclusion, I feel that you are centered on just what is happening come Election time- not the overall changes or significance behind the events, for example. As for my argument- I reiterate how I believe the The electoral college does not need to be replaced and is sufficient the way it is, today- or at the very least, is slowly becoming sufficient to the nation, today.

I would like to thank you for this debate! It was great to meet you and debate with you. Hopefully we will get to debate later on as well. Have a good week everyone and I appreciate you all for reading the debate!

[1] "Donald Trump, Democrat?" Benko, Ralph- a contributor for Forbes.
https://www.forbes.com...

[2] "Americans' Support for Electoral College Rises Sharply"
http://news.gallup.com...

[3]
http://archive.fairvote.org...
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Negotiate 3 years ago
Negotiate
Appreciate the vote and comment!
The only thing I will say is that I was not looking at SIZE of numbers but CHANGE in numbers.

Change is significant, it has meaning. So when I see that even though there's a large number of voters seeking reform, that does not matter to me as much as the significance BEHIND the data- specifically, the change. The title, after all, says: "Americans' Support for Electoral College Rises Sharply." [1] They definitely emphasize this by stating the overall change "47% want to keep Electoral College [ as of 2016], up from 35% in 2011." That is a 12% difference in data- to me, to say the least, that is a significant change in data that imposes several questions. The most prominent? Why the change? While it can be argued that this wasn't as controversial of an Election compared to other years, the resulting candidate that was elected was arguably the most controversial piece of it- reason being often pointed toward the fact that it did not match the popular vote. Yet, even though it was so controversial, specifically with the Electoral College voting resulting in that candidate ( the candidate other than the resulting popular vote winner) being elected, voters STILL argued 12% more this year that they would keep it. To put it simply, voters may disagree with the Electoral College voting ( the example, once again, being the controversy/disagreement with the resulting elected candidate), but are still and more so than previous years, arguing to "keep it."

[1] Gallup News
http://news.gallup.com...

I realize that it is pointless to argue my point, but I just hoped I clarified enough on the significance of it.
Thanks again to- rather both of you- for this debate and voting. I'm not a supreme debater whatsoever and seek more to improve on it than anything- which you guys have helped me to do through your comments and experience. I greatly appreciate it. Have a good week g
Posted by TheShadeM 3 years ago
TheShadeM
The third point of contention was how hard it is to change the system. Pro said that just because something has been going on doesn't mean it shouldn't be changed or improved. Con replies that the issue is simply not big enough for Congress to bother debating about it. Also, Con presents statistics on how more people are agreeing that the status quo is pretty good. Pro replies by saying that the issue was not a big enough one AS COMPARED to other issues.

Here, again I felt that Pro wins because tradition doesn't mean something should go on forever. Also, based on the statistic that Con presented, clearly an equally large proportion of people also do agree that the EC system should be changed. The statistic Con presented to boost his argument was not compelling enough to prove that most people agree with the system.

Also, Pro already mentioned that both Republicans and Democrats including their top leaders have expressed desire for the system to be changed. Con never answered to this. If both dominant parties want the system to change surely it is worth looking into it but Con kind of brushed this aside.

Finally, in terms of just general presentation, Con totally went off on Round 2 when he started off with description of how Trump is unpredictable. I felt that that has nothing to do at all with what the debate is about. There was also a paragraph of a citation statistic which was just a copy-paste from a website which includes words like "based on a sample...something something with a percentage discrepancy something something." This whole paragraph was just a total waste and nobody got anything I felt from reading this.

Overall, Pro wins in terms of arguments and Con hurt themselves both in terms of not sufficiently rebutting Pro and sometimes throwing in substances which I felt were irrelevant.

I do however again, congratulate both parties on a good debate. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Posted by TheShadeM 3 years ago
TheShadeM
I would like to thank both debaters for what I thought was a good debate, both in terms of the arguments given and the good conduct shown by both sides. Despite it being a very short debate, I felt the two rounds were utilized well by both debaters.

There are a few big points of contention which I picked up after reading through these two rounds.

The first is the issue of representation. Pro argued that the EC doesn't do a good job of representing what the people want since in some states the score can be 28-0 instead of it being 17-11 for example. Con argued that the number of electors for each state is already a representation of population size. Con also argued that the electors chosen already represent the popular vote in each state.

I felt that Con didn't really do a good job to prove that the current status quo is already sufficient to meet our needs for accurate representation. I thought the system Pro was proposing was a more compelling one in terms of accurately reflecting the numbers.

When Pro gave the argument that some states legally bind the electors' choice to that of the popular vote, this argument does not necessarily work in Pro's favour. Con however, did not really make any comments on this other than to answer that Faithless Electors do exist. Basically I felt that both sides did not engage much on the issue of Elector's choice vs People's choice so this part was pretty much just left out of the debate.

The second big point of contention was that big states get more focus. Pro's argument that there is more campaign spending on the states which matter was compelling. Con's answer to this was that swing states do exist and that the state does not prioritise any single party to win. I felt that Con's response here was inadequate because the main idea is that we are trying to level the playing field by making every state matter not just the large ones.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheShadeM 3 years ago
TheShadeM
SupGuysNegotiateTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Reasoning in the comments

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