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Should the Electoral College be abolished? Show more Show less

The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution every four years to elect the President and Vice-President of the United States. It has increasingly become a source of controversy; in both the 2000 and 2016 presidential election the winner of the popular vote did not win the Electoral College. Why do we have the Electoral College? What are the pros and cons of the Electoral College? And should it be abolished?

Yes, we should abolish the Electoral College Show more Show less

The Electoral College is no longer fit for purpose and does not produce an accurate picture of the American people.
(1 of 2 Positions) Next >

The Electoral College doesn't reflect the popular vote

The Electoral College fails to do what elections are fundamentally meant to do - to reflect what citizens want.
(1 of 3 Arguments) Next >

Context

The Argument

The Electoral College does not reflect the popular will of voters under a normal democratic election. Instead, electors are appointed by individual states to cast votes on the electorates behalf. This indirect process does not always lead to the winner of the popular vote also winning the electoral college. This creates an inbuilt democratic deficit, where voters may end up with a president who does not command a majority of popular support yet still assumes all the powers of the office.

Counter arguments

Rising levels of polarisation amongst voters and political deadlock in the United States Congress makes it increasingly difficult to get rid of the Electoral College, particularly as both of the major parties have self-interest in its maintenance. To reform or get rid of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment with two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress and three quarters of states ratifying it, which has only happened twenty seven times since the United States was founded over two hundred years ago. There is currently not a majority in favour of abolishing the Electoral College. Therefore the time could be better used to address more pressing issues.

Framing

Premises

[P1] The result of the Electoral College does not always reflect the result of the popular vote. [P2] Therefore, it is not fit for purpose and should be abolished.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] The abolition of the Electoral College does not have the level of support this would require.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

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    This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Mar 2020 at 12:42 UTC