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A Viewpoint on How We Elect the President

Many people don’t realize (despite taking Civics in high school) that the President of the United States is not elected via the popular vote.  Instead, we use the Electoral College.  In a nutshell, we use the vote count in each state and territory to determine which candidate gets the the votes from that state.  Some say this should remain the way things are done, while others say the electoral college should be abolished.  Here is an interesting video on the subject.

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One response to “A Viewpoint on How We Elect the President

  1. Null December 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    This video’s unstated assumption is that the president was meant to be elected by popular democracy. This is obviously untrue. The Electoral College was designed so that the state legislatures elected the president by appointing the electors (however they saw fit), while Congress would be popularly elected. The states later decided that they would let the popular vote for president determine the electors (rather than the legislature itself), and many also decided to make it winner-takes-all. So the problems the video complains about (they are real, no doubt) were caused by the state legislatures, not the Electoral College itself.

    People these days seem to lack an understanding of federalism and the reasons why our federal government was designed as it is. The idea behind the Electoral College is similar to the idea behind the election of the Senate (every state gets two, regardless of population), so I suppose the guy who made this video should be complaining about the Senate, too. Those poor, disenfranchised Californians sure are getting screwed in the Senate by those Rhode Islanders!

    Why the video spends so much time talking about where presidential candidates campaign makes no sense, either. Who cares where they physically campaign? With today’s technology I can hear what candidates say anywhere in the country, and candidates can conduct polls everywhere in the country to hear from everyone.

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