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Old 21 February 2019, 09:04 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
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United States

All modern democracies are representative democracies. All federations and unions share power unequally between populations and votes in the regions represented by design, as in the US, in order to share power between states as well as between voting individuals.

In the constitution, that distribution of power is also reflected in the representation of the Senate (and other parts) so you'd have to throw out a rather giant chunk of the constitution to change that. It's a fallacy to call that particular aspect of the electoral college (the aspect that gave you this unpopular result) undemocratic.

The constitution has had its share of terrible parts but the idea that there would be a new constitution in which each person shares power, as opposed to each state, is a pipe dream. (I also happen to think it's a terrible idea. The fact that such a system exists in no country, Brexit votes excluded perhaps, should be a clue.)

Also, it has nothing to do with the other issues of the college system so it's another logical fallacy to lump those other issues in there.
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Old 21 February 2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
Out of curiosity, is the Electoral College one of those things the Founding Fathers put in to appease the slaveowners, like the whole thing counting slaves as 3/5ths a person? I know itís probably a reflection of their belief that the vote should only go to rich, property-owning White Males, but I wondered if slavery was also involved.
I'm not a historian, and may just be missing something here; but I suspect that what they were trying to do was set up a system in which at each point those actually doing the voting would be choosing among people they actually knew.

Bear in mind that there was a much lower total population at the time (not to mention that most of the population, being female or enslaved or not property owners or whatever, couldn't vote.) And communications were by modern standards terrible. The chances that most of the population of New York knew much of anything about who was running in Virginia, say, must have been pretty slim.

The Electoral College wasn't in all states chosen by popular vote anyway; the method of choosing electors was left up to the states, and in some states they were originally chosen by legislators.

So I think what they were doing may have been trying to set up a system in which people in a given state were voting for legislators who they knew personally, or at least had some chance of finding out about; and those legislators would then choose electors, who they knew or could find out about; and those electors would choose a President, who they knew or would find out about during the process of, quite possibly, repeated Electoral College votes before they settled on somebody.

Trying to set up a direct national popular vote would have run into the problem that most voters would vote for someone they'd at least heard of -- and that would have been entirely different people in each area, due to the communications problem. It would have been next to impossible to get any consensus.

There was also of course the problem of balancing the interests of the different states against each other. We're so used to thinking of the states as relatively minor political units that it's easy to forget that what was happening in the late 1700's was still mostly a matter of setting up a treaty among independent nations.
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