Electoral College is a term that refers to a selected group of representatives who perform the task of electing candidates for particular powerful offices such as presidents or church leaders. The selection process of electing candidates usually involves participants from different and competing political or religious entities. In the recent past, the Electoral College has been conspicuously practiced in electing the President of the United Stats and the Pope of the Catholic Church.
It is the US Electoral College that has particularly drawn much concern as to its effectiveness and reliability in electing the president of the federal republic. This essay identifies some of the problems associated with the Electoral College and analyses the implications of the suggested modifications and alternatives. Analysis of the US Electoral College In the United States, the Electoral College system is used to elect the President from competing candidates from either the Republican Party, the Democratic Party of independent candidates.
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Rather than elect a president and a vice-president directly through national elections, the US conducts separate elections in all its 51 states during which the winner in each state is allocated the number of electoral votes proportional to the total representation of the state in Congress which has a total of 538 electoral voters. The winner of the presidential contests is expected to win a total of 270 votes of the Electoral College.
Although the design of the Electoral College was clever and well intentioned, the system is susceptible to inherent flaws, some of which were resolved by constitutional amendments while others remain unresolved to date (Miller, 2008). Indeed, as Miller (2008) noted, the selection system established by the Electoral College has at its core the objective to foster fairness in the election of candidates in non-partisan environment, the motive was rendered irrelevant with the formation of competing political parties to compete in the selection process for the presidency.
There is no doubt that the Electoral College system presents many challenges and problems to the fairness of the Presidential election in the US which include the problem of election reversal, problems with the voting power, partisan biasness, excessive focus on battleground states and the likelihood of pledge violations. One obvious problem that emerges from the Electoral College system is that the results of adding up the total electoral votes in the states may end up being different from adding up the total popular votes in all those states.
Miller (2008) identifies the situation of the 2000 elections where the eventual winner, George W. had more electoral votes but less popular vote than the loser, Albert Gore. Moreover, in the event that there emerges a serious third party contestant, then it would be impossible for any candidate to garner the mandatory 270 electoral votes. According to the US constitution, the emergence of such an eventuality would require that the election process be taken to the Congress where voting should be conducted repeatedly until a victor emerges.
Whereas there are concerns if the Electoral College represents adequate allocation of voting powers to all the states, there are also concerns as two whether the bipartisanship of the two-party system in the US is likely to represent non-partisan election of the president. Moreover, the focus of the Electoral College on the battleground states attracts disproportionate attention from parties and their candidates, effectively raising questions on the voting powers of the other states.
Conclusion Some of the suggested proposals suggested include: (1) amending the constitution to empower the American with the constitutional rights to directly elect the president through a popular vote; (2) apportionment of the electoral votes fractionally according to the population of states so as to eliminate the problem of election reversal; and (3) equal apportionment of the electoral votes to all states to eliminate the problem of state voting powers.
The proposal to amend the constitution so as to give American the constitutional rights to directly elect the president stands out as the most superior suggestion because it will eliminate all the problems and challenges associated with the Electoral College. References Miller, N. R. (2008). The US electoral college: Origins, transformation, problems and prospects. UMBC, retrieved on 22 May 2009 from: <http://userpages. umbc. edu/~nmiller/RESEARCH/ELECTCOL. CONSTDAY. ppt>.