The Electoral College is the system established by the Founding Fathers to select the President of the United States. It is important that Americans have a fundamental knowledge of this system, and the obstacles overcame in its development. There were many obstacles faced by the Founding Fathers while constructing the government. America was comprised of 13 states that wanted to protect their individual rights and leery of a strong centralized government. The nation’s population lay across a vast area with limited communication capabilities.
According to critics, the Electoral College is a faulty system that should be abolished and replaced by direct election. Supporters of the Electoral College system make convincing arguments that it is the best system to decide the Presidential election in a complex society such as the United States. Many scholars place the Electoral College into a historical context by discussing its evolution and sustenance throughout the history of the United States. This paper will discuss the main arguments made by supporters of the Electoral College System. I will first provide a description of the Electoral College and offer justifications as to why it was conceived by the Founding Fathers.
The third idea was to elect the president by popular vote; however, the framers of the constitution had limited trust in the capability of the public to make intelligent and informed decisions. At an impasse, the “Committee of Eleven” was formed and proposed a system of choosing the president through a College of Electors. This College of Electors was intended to be comprised of the most knowledgeable, informed, and capable individuals who could choose a president based solely on merit (Kimberling, 1992). This system was adopted by the founding fathers and is found within Article II of the Constitution. From its inception, the Electoral College has been embroiled in vehement contention between those who find the value in the system and those who see it as an antiquated means to repress democracy.
While he is often seen as a very influential president, his position as the first President require that he had to set many standards. In fact President Washington hoped that the presidency would not be dominate. In his inaugural address he argued for a strong legislature which he r... ... middle of paper ... ...t must deal with, it does not necessarily explain how he comes to a position on issues and deals with problems. The behavior of a President can only be explained as a combination of many factors. His personal politics and approach to the power of the Presidency will explain if he will try to lead the whole government and beyond that the whole nation, or if he will act as a clerk, putting into action the orders of Congress.
In America, voting for the President is a privilege and a lie. Many Americans think when they go to the polls in November, they are voting for the President of the United States; but really, they are voting for a group of electors who have pledged to support a nominee for the President. The Founding Fathers were concerned that presidents would always come from a populous state and wondered whether the public would have the knowledge of various candidates necessary to make a wise selection. They did not have access to technology like the internet or smart phones as we do. In most states, as the result of the election, the state awards all its electors to the winning candidate (Belenky 1308).
What you may not realize is that the Electoral College actually elects the President, not the individual voters. The Electoral College is an outdated, flawed institution that does not reflect the majority of the country’s opinion, and, therefore, it should be abolished and replaced by a direct election, or at the very least it should be reformed, using a method called “Allocating the Electoral Vote.” This system of presidential selection is the product of a 200 year old debate over who should select the President and why. In 1787, the framers of the Constitution respected the principles of Federalists and Republicans so they developed a compromise between those who felt that Congress should select the President and those who felt that the states should. In 1788, the Electoral College was indoctrinated and placed into operation. The College was to allow people say in who led them, but it was also to protect against the general public's ignorance of politics (The Electoral College 1).
The founding fathers did not trust direct democracy to choose the president; they believe one group with the same interest would dictate the outcome of the election if the election process was a direct democracy. The third purpose that the founding fathers had when creating the Electoral College process was to give smaller states within the United States a bigger voice in the election. However, the vision that the founding fathers had embodied while creating the election process, has been altered in this day and age. Politicians have found loopholes around the Electoral College process to persuade the voters into voting for them even if their qualifications do not qualify them to be president. One of the main reasons the founding fathers set up the election process the way they did was to make sure that whoever wins the Electoral College ... ... middle of paper ... ...when developing the electoral process.
Through analyzing the Framer’s intent behind creating the Electorate, along with the aspects of this institution that spark debate, a common sense alternative can be created, as opposed to absolute abolishment. America prides itself as being the world’s leading democracy, but to continue to use the Electoral College as it is today creates a misrepresentation of the will of the people in the election of what is perhaps the most important posting in the world, the American President. The Framers of our Constitution faced many ethical and philosophical questions as they were building up our nation’s foundation from the ashes of revolution. America had established its independence from British monarchy and the Founders were determined to create a free republic. In the wake of the first failed attempt at government, under the Articles of Confederation, the delegates of the states sought to construct an entirely new document.
They had three choices, to allow the public direct elections, grant congress the right to elect the president or give electors the privilege of selecting the countries leader. What they were trying to do was to prevent absolute power. Since they had their taste of King George's way of ruling they were afraid that if they let one group of people choose the president then that group would gain too much power or the president elected would feel too pow... ... middle of paper ... ...m/eric/electoralcollege.html Voting & Elections: Electoral College (1pg). Retrieved December 11, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.thisnation.com/processes-electoral.html Electoral College Problems (2pgs). Retrieved December 11, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://claremontmckenna.com/ctd/college/html Electoral College in General (2pgs).
Comparing Imperial Presidency by Arthur Schlesinger and Presidental Power by Richard Neustadt In his book, The Imperial Presidency, Arthur Schlesinger recounts the rise of the presidency as it grew into the imperial, powerful position that it is today. His writing reflects a belief that the presidency is becoming too powerful and that very few people are making a real effort to stop it. He analyzes the back and forth struggle for power between Congress and the Presidency. Schlesinger breaks up the first half of the book chronologically. He begins by discussing the areas concerning the presidency where the founding fathers agreed and also the areas where they disagreed.