Is our method of selecting a President democratic?
The President of
the United States is the most powerful man in the world. No man can
marshal the forces he can. The President represents the United States
of America, the most powerful democracy in the world. Yet some have
argued that the President is not elected in a democratic manner.
Today we will examine the method by which we elect our president and
evaluate how democratic the method is.
Sometimes when people say, “hey why should I vote, my vote doesn’t
really count!” they are actually right! What, a social studies
teacher agreeing that voting might actually be a waste of time??? If
you live in Montana or North Dakota you might understand why.
When we all gather on the first Tuesday in November to cast or
votes for President the world is watching. The candidates watch, we
watch but a group of political big wigs called the Electoral College
watch as well. You see they are the ones that actually vote for
President…not you and I.
Conceived as a compromise to Alexander Hamilton who didn’t trust
the masses to vote at all, Jefferson’s electoral college was supposed
to be a buffer between the ignorant commoners and the educated elite.
In the original system electors (with the amount per state based upon
the population of that state) cast their ballots for President. The
victor became the President and the loser Vice President. Soon the
founding fathers saw the mistake in such a system as the President
and Vice President came form different political parties.
The system was then changed so that the President and the Vice
President ran as a ticket. In the event of a tie the House of
Representatives voted. In order to make the election more democratic
the electors promise to vote based upon the majority of the popular
of their state. If candidate A received 1,000,0001 to candidate B’s
1,000,000 then candidate A would get ALL of the electoral votes
for that state. What this means is that the more heavily populated
states get more electoral votes, and thus more of a say in an
election. It also means that a candidate could win the popular vote
but lose an election.
Seem unfair, just ask Grover Cleveland who in 1888 received about
100,000 more popular votes but lost in hibid for reelection to