Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Popular Vote VS. Electoral College


"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." -Article Two of the United States Constitution.

The "Are we actually a Democracy?" debate has been bandied about forever...and more intensely after the 2000 election. Many Americans hate (don't understand?) the Electoral College. Now North Carolina, sick of not being a major player in presidential elections (they only have 14 votes), is joining those who want the vote to be by popular vote.

"...N.C. lawmakers may join a nationwide push to decide presidential elections by popular vote instead of the Electoral College.

A state Senate committee gave its blessing Monday to a bill in favor of abandoning the Electoral College system.

The measure, being pushed by the California-based National Popular Vote organization, would kick in only if states representing a majority of the nation's 538 electoral votes decided to make the same change.

Despite its booming growth and its rank as the 10th largest state, North Carolina is largely ignored by presidential candidates because it doesn't have enough electoral votes to swing an election, said Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, chief sponsor of the legislation.

"We have (a presidential) election that is increasingly contested in a handful of jurisdictions and states," he said. "Unfortunately, we do not happen to be one of those states." (source)

This should lead us to explore why the founding fathers found this a necessary measure:

"The Electoral College is intended to dilute the votes of population centers that may have different concerns from the majority of the country. The system is designed to require presidential candidates to appeal to many different types of interests, rather than those of a specific region or state." (source)

I don't have a concrete position here. For me, the Electoral College that seems to have worked for the past 231 years isn't the problem. The two party system is the problem...so I'm here to be swayed to either side on this one.

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