At the risk of repeating myself, I'm going to write again about the importance of electing the President of the United States with the popular vote.
The Electoral College is an antiquated system. It was created over 200 years ago as part of the "grand compromise" to win over states with smaller populations so that they would ratify the US Constitution. Pro-slavery Southern States wanted as much power as the more populated Northern States.
Some people still say that the Electoral College system provides citizens outside large population centers an equal voice. If small states want even more disproportionate representation than given by having two senators, than let's give states even more rights to determine their social and economic destinies. All politics are local, right?
The Electoral College is meant to give all states influence over national politics. But under the Electoral System today, many states are already tagged "red or blue" and are thus effectively ignored by the candidates. Most campaign energy is being focused on swing voters in key "battleground states."
Over the years, leading national political figures like Strom Thurmond, Orrin Hatch, Ted Kennedy, Kweisi Mfume and John McCain have supported approaches to reform the Electoral College. Why, if it has been the subject of more proposed amendments than any other part of our constitution, has it not been eliminated?
Bottom line, it could reduce the GOPs ability to elect a Republican President. And since Republicans control a large number of small population states, it would be difficult to get it passed by the senate and then ratified by the requisite number of states.
Supporters of the Electoral system say that since the popular vote would have only changed the outcome in three elections so far, it doesn't need to go. But this is about the destiny of an entire nation. If just one election is changed by the popular vote, that in itself is compelling enough to adjust the system.
History was altered forever with Bush's election in 2000 via the Electoral College (or some would say, the Supreme Court, but the contest would have been resolved long before via the popular vote). The mess of the 2000 election is reason enough to change the system. A neoconservative minority was allowed to storm the White House with a radical, unrepresentative agenda.
So, are there some partial solutions to at least bring the system into greater parity for all United States citizens?
We could move to a system where every state partitions their electoral votes. But all states would need to agree to do this -- not just a handpicked selection -- to make this new system fair. Dividing up just California (such as what was proposed in the recently disbanded republican initiative to split electoral votes in California), for instance, would dilute that state's electoral power and skew elections.
In addition to allowing third parties a greater voice in national elections and providing a fairer system where we can all be treated equal, electing the President by popular vote might also increase voter turnout.
There is no use for the archaic Electoral system in our modern, mass communication driven, interconnected world. U.S. citizens think and vote on a more regional and national level now. It's time to elect the President and Vice President of the United States by direct, popular vote. Or, at least, alter the way electoral votes are delegated.
What is your opinion? Should we do away with the Electoral College? Since it seems the political will is not there, how?