A) What are the pros and cons of the Electoral College? An interesting point to this discussion is that many of the “pros” are argued by some to be disadvantages, and many of the “cons” are believed to be the advantages of the system by others. It could be said that the Electoral College was created for a different time in this country, but by some degree of fortune and foresight it is one of the staples of our government today. A definite benefit of the Electoral College has been the squelching of other parties, which in turn has helped to maintain the two-party system and Congress.
The minimizing of these other parties also proves beneficial since many times they would draw radical political lines that would be very divisive and could give greater power to smaller groups. Yet another advantage of the system is that it forces candidates to extend their campaigning to all states, not just the major metropolises and population centers. It could also be said that the Electoral College distributes the power to the states, and forces candidates to consider the concerns of more than just the lobbyists and those in political prominence.
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While there are some distinct advantages, there are also some negative aspects to the Electoral College. What could possibly be considered the biggest detriment to the Electoral College is that a president can be elected to office without winning the majority vote. (As George Bush proved in most recent memory. ) This is significant because it is indicative of the fact that certain states get more “votes per person” than other states. Also, in theory, the Electoral College forces candidates to spread their campaigns more equally in terms of geography.
However, in reality this issue can become moot if some states are traditionally “red” or “blue”, and the focus of the campaigns then turns to the “swing states”. Additionally, the Electoral College provides the opportunity for an election to end in a tie. Many political analysts believe that we are getting closer to seeing a tie, but it hasn’t happened in a very long time. If and when a tie does happen, the choice would be then deferred to the House of Representatives. B) What are the major concerns about changing the Electoral College?
There are many concerns with changing the manner in which one of the most successful governments in history elects the centerpiece to its hierarchy. The difficulty involved in amending the Constitution is one of the major issues facing the proponents of revision of the Electoral College. If the Electoral College were to be eliminated, the campaigns would focus primarily on population centers, since their dollars invested in these areas would return the most votes. It could end up resembling a rock tour, hitting the major cities where the population is most densely concentrated.
It would also remove the balance in place between small and larger states, the balance that the Electoral College provides. Some also think that the elimination of the Electoral College could serve to further outline the social differences between the parties, resulting in even more specific geographical campaigning. Other issues that could arise include multiple parties and presidential candidates. My personal opinion is that there could be some reformation to the Electoral College, but it is a great system that accurately represents the United States as a whole.