TED Conversations

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 9 2012: The fact that we are discussing removing the Electoral College shows the extent to which we are no longer a republic (small R) but are instead run by an enormous central government. To get rid of the Electoral College is to say that we are simply one large, monolithic governmental unit, ignoring the fact that the initial structure of the government gave very little power to the central government, conferring most to the states. Under that system, essentially, the states as relatively-sovereign units were voting for *their* representation at the federal level. We now see our city/county/state governments as relatively feeble and useless with most of our focus being on Washington, DC. Abolishing the Electoral College would, in effect, crystallize the idea that we are not a plural "United States", but a singular.
    • thumb
      Nov 12 2012: I appreciate what you're saying there Eric, but I'm not sure I entirely agree with that sentiment. Our federal government, or "central government" as you call it, consists of the three main powers, of which the presidency is just one equal third. This question is only about the presidency, and so I presume the other two thirds consisting of the congress and supreme court would not change the way those members are chosen. The congress is obviously very much about individual states representing their citizens.

      I think what's happened is that technology has allowed 100's of millions of us citizens to actually make an informed decision about who to elect for president. That just may not have been imaginable at the time of the founding of this nation. At the same time, the expanded role of the federal government has made the choice of president much more relevant to citizens.

      Because of all that, I would heartily endorse efforts to abolish the electoral college and elect our president through simple majority vote. Only then would every vote really count.

      Edit: And this is why I'm so interested in how the how legalization of pot thing plays out in terms of states rights. There is no valid constitutional basis for the federal government's stand here, and I am hoping this issue gets to the Supreme Court and helps tip the balance of power back towards the state.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.