TED Conversations

Juan Donado

This conversation is closed.

Should Americans eliminate the Electoral College and elect their presidents through simple majority vote?

Given that some presidents have won without persuading the majority of Americans, and the huge deal of money spent only on swing states I ask myself that question

I have always thought that it is unfair that republicans in California or Democrats in Texas are not taken into account just because people around them think differently.

Time for change?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 23 2012: The reason that the electoral college should remain as is is that U.S. is a Republic that uses representatives to prevent the tyranny of the majority. Voters are pretty ignorant about politics and economics, once you have a tipping point of more people on the dole than not you have a situation where the majority will always vote itself more free stuff.

    Another factor on this is that the U.S. is founded on Federalism which means that the Federal and State governments run the country in unison. This is why what Lincoln did was so egregious. It used to be before Wilson the U.S. Senators were appointed by the States.

    So no it was never intended that the public elect the president or the senator only congress and state officials. As you know the state gives all of its electoral votes to one candidate and this is decided by the State as it was intended.

    And this boys and girls is why this country is circling the drain because too much power has been given to a centralized government which willy nilly results in socialism. The individual prospers in small government not with what we have now.

    The better solution would be to get rid of the 17th amendment.
    • Oct 23 2012: "The reason that the electoral college should remain as is is that U.S. is a Republic that uses representatives to prevent the tyranny of the majority."

      You don't solve "tyranny of the majority" issues by granting small states more votes because people in small states aren't more enlightened than people in big states. Besides, ask any gay (or elderly black) American how well that "Republic that protects the rights of minorities" idea works out in practice.
      • thumb
        Oct 23 2012: My standard answer to you John is what the hell are you talking about?

        The myth is that black people and women are underpaid and there for the government should step in and fix this. The fact is black people made more money when the government did not "help" them with things like Davis Bacon, or minimum wage laws. Women make as much money as men, the whole thing about them being underpaid is crap.

        The Republic has served both very well, women can vote as can blacks. Blacks, Gays , and Women (no glass ceiling witness Meg Whitman, Oprah Winfrey, Carly Fiorina) are accepted socially and legally.

        I probably won't answer your next post as you are a Troll
        • Oct 23 2012: As usually you are living in the bubble. Anyone else would immediately have understood that I was talking about civil rights issues: it took the republic almost 200 years to grant blacks and women all civil rights and it still hasn't done so for gay people. Several countries with a popular vote beat the US to it by decades or more, in these departments. FYI: tyranny of the majority refers to the suppression of civil rights of minorities by the majority, not to the "little people" directly electing their head of state. The electoral college doesn't do anything to address real tyranny of the majority issues since there are plenty of bigots in the small states and electors are chosen by political parties.
        • Oct 24 2012: I was sitting in class when i wrote my last bout...came back to strike a point or rather just defend myself. Then i realized that everyone keeps getting a little off topic with their comments and/or keeps insulting each other in a way that does not represent the TED community.

          1.Tyranny of the majority from what i understand is just absolute rule of the minority group, in ancient Greece minorities were the poor, not minorities how we see it today being classified by ethnicity or what have you. Tyrants have absolute rule over everyone else, meaning those are the minorities, i haven't read anywhere where its used in a civil rights manner, but i could be mistaken.

          2. The lack of educated people on the topic of politics, which i referred to earlier, was vaguely put. We have a lot of people who do not know the government and/or governmental issues, outside of what's effecting their lives. Yes you can argue and say everything is effecting them, but what i mean is the average person does not take in consideration on how policies effect minorities in Chicago, or the middle class in North Carolina. It's all circumstantial, call me selfish but the average person does not consider people out side of their immediate group. I do believe that we need a better system where we can be represented not by how populated our states are, but then draw up a plan....don't sit their and argue about petty terms and opinions.

          3. Civil rights. We all have rights as citizens and we do abuse them at times...but granted we are deprive of certain rights(choices), such as gay rights and legalization of marijuana rights...but those do not always need to be shoved into debates. Let the people, that meaning US, fight for what we believe should be rights. Women's, minority rights, integration...those are things that people felt the need to bring attention and fight for...you want gay rights...fight for it. No one is stopping you.

          4. It is time for a change, but where is the effort to change it?
      • Oct 23 2012: I think what Pat is getting at is that the "people" do not have the best interest for each other. We really can't help each other while keeping our own interests at hand. We're talking about electoral college and voting rights for people, yet some guy decides to step in and talk about civil rights? Look, what the government does reflects the feelings of the majority, sounds blunt but it hold some validity. The difference between the civil rights of the past and of today is that many more people cared and did something to end the discrimination. If one method doesn't work, then try something else. People are giving up before the fight starts...matter of fact, could someone point to where the fight is at? If enough people cared today and went about it radically then their would be more rights for gays.
        Personally i don't think civil issues need to be addressed first hand here seeing that there are a lot bigger problems in our government right now, such as a failing economy, military, lack of jobs, etc. People have more rights in this country than a lot of countries and the resources to make a lot of themselves, but too often it becomes easier to complain and blame before actually attempting to move forward. Woman's rights and minority rights impacted the whole country, gay rights impacts a certain small percentage of this country. So can we drop that for argument sake?
        We can argue rights in a different conversation, but for now the question is whether we should eliminate the electoral college or not and I'd have to say we should not. There just aren't enough educated people, about politics, to trust that they would make the right decision and for the best interest for all. The majority would probably lean more democratic, which isn't an awful thing, but these people might be hurting themselves more than they realize.

        Could we just structure this debate a little better?
        • Oct 23 2012: "I think what Pat is getting at is that the "people" do not have the best interest for each other."

          As opposed to corrupt politicians and Wall Street execs? In any case it's not what "tyranny of the majority" means. "Fad of the day" may be the phrase he was looking for.

          "yet some guy decides to step in and talk about civil rights?"

          That "guy" correctly interpreted the meaning of "tyranny of the majority", unlike Pat.

          "Personally i don't think civil issues need to be addressed first hand here seeing that there are a lot bigger problems in our government right now,"

          Maybe if congress spend one afternoon not trying to deny women contraception they could grant gays full civil rights (which would grow the economy). I know, congress actually doing something that America is sometimes said to be all about, instead of money and war, sounds like fiction, doesn't it?

          "There just aren't enough educated people, about politics, to trust that they would make the right decision and for the best interest for all."

          Then appoint a king, or only elect a lower house, the EC doesn't do one thing to help people make better choices, all it does is give people from smaller states (who are more likely to be bigoted, uneducated rednecks) a bigger voice as well as keeping third parties off the scene. Oh and it enables a candidate with 25% of the popular vote to win the election.
        • Oct 23 2012: "There just aren't enough educated people, about politics, to trust that they would make the right decision and for the best interest for all. The majority would probably lean more democratic, which isn't an awful thing, but these people might be hurting themselves more than they realize "

          I dont even know where to begin, this statement is filled with so much absurdity, arrogance, and just ruthless selfishness that it scares me. Should we just let landowners vote, or maybe just whites, woman eventually can get their shot. Who are these people, the uneducated you speak of. Hurting themselves or hurting you? The founding fathers did not give a rats ass about the people hurting themselves they were scared of the people making changes to economic inequality. My guess, you are too. And if thats the case just say it, you don't want people to have a say in their society if that means they will ensure a reasonable standard of living for them and their family. Maybe i am wrong. Please don't give me a black and white oversimplified response about taking responsibility the world is far more complicated than that.

          This idea that the people must be guided by there leaders into what is best for them has got to go. Either we live in a society that recognizes all of its citizens as worthy members, who not only should shape their society but must, or we don't. Also keep in mind that under the same justification you offer our government has led to many illegal wars resulting in mass death and rampant barbarism. This sentiment is a very old one if not the oldest and has surely resulted in feudalism, communism, fascism, and every form of oppressive system known to man.
        • thumb
          Oct 23 2012: The evidence indicates the framers did care, evidence being the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence. No your contention is crap.

          Complexity is typically an indicator of someone's lack of understanding. You are economically and politically illiterate. Of course it appears complex.

          I agree we have been involved excessively in war imo cronyism to the military complex but at the same time we had 3000 people killed on our land in 2001.
    • Oct 23 2012: Pat, the country is circling the drain because the people have to much power? Is that what your saying? Power should be centralized to those who know how best guide the masses? Maybe I have misinterpreted.
      • thumb
        Oct 23 2012: It is called the tyranny of the majority which is the basic problem with a democracy
        • Oct 23 2012: No, it's not, tyranny of the majority is about the civil rights of minorities. It has nothing to do with making the country even less democratic than it already is. You might as well hand the key to Washington D.C. to Wall Street on a silver platter.
    • thumb
      Oct 23 2012: check out these videos


      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUS9mM8Xbbw how it works


      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k whats wrong with the college
      • thumb
        Oct 23 2012: Cute videos that don't address the need for a Republic.
        • thumb
          Oct 23 2012: are you talking republic or democracy? because getting rid of the electoral college would not get rid of democracy. And that have a national vote where ever vote counts. Its a better representation of a "republic"
      • thumb
        Oct 23 2012: You do not understand the definition of the United States Republic.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xubuE1LT9g

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.