The Electoral College Essay Research Paper Parenthetical

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The Electoral College Essay, Research Paper Parenthetical Documentation and MLA format were both used on this paper. In the past 200 years, many aspects of our society and those of the world have changed, ranging from social morals and ethics to technology. Through the great leaps and bounds technology has made, transferring information has gone from something that could have taken weeks to virtually an effortless and instantaneous norm of everyday life. This ease of information exchange has caused many things to change, be it the growing popularity of the Internet and e-mail or the ridiculous amount of television channels ever ready to inform the average citizen of the happenings around the community, state, country, and world. With so many changes taking place, one would

think that all things of importance would also become modernized and updated, such as the way we elect our leaders. Yet, even today, the will of the people can go unrecognized in our electoral system due to a flaw that has been evident for over a century but never addressed. In an age where information is so easily transmitted, the Electoral College is outdated and should be replaced by a direct system that would give a more accurate account of the will of the people. In the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, an eleven-member group called the Committee on Unfinished Business set out to eliminate all small issues that arose from the holes that were found in the newly written constitution. One of the problems that they were to mull over was that of, “How a redesigned republic should

choose its chief political administrator, an officer that the delegates referred to as the National Executive?” or what is commonly known today as the president (Solomon). James Madison, a brilliant politician of the time, proposed and outlined the idea of an indirect election system. This idea was strongly supported and put into action. The Electoral College was born. The entire point of modeling the Electoral College as it came to be was not to take power away from the people, but to rather ensure that Congress didn’t ever have absolute or strong power over election results. As stated so eloquently by Martin Diamond in his 1977 book on the Electoral College, “(The Electoral College was) simply the most practical means by which to secure a free, democratic choice of an

independent and effective chief executive,” (Solomon). One might question why the country didn’t just begin to elect their presidents with a direct election system. Was the idea never suggested? On the contrary, it was suggested before that of the Electoral College. The main reason the thought wasn’t taken seriously is because, “…the worry was that, in a vast country with fitful communications, ordinary citizens were likely to know next to nothing about would-be Presidents from afar. Someone in, say, Georgia ‘would be unable to assess the qualifications’ of an aspiring President from Massachusetts, and thus couldn’t vote intelligently,” (Solomon). “The prospect of a direct popular vote also upset the small states, which spent the entire Constitutional

Convention trying to stop the populous, powerful states (such as Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts) from taking over. When Gouverneur Morris suggested that the President “ought to be elected by the people at large,” Roger Sherman of Connecticut offered a Bronx cheer. “The people at large,” he contended, according to Madison’s notes of the deliberations, “…will generally vote for some man in their own state, and the largest state will have the best chance for the appointment.” “The framers (of the Electoral College) assumed that, once the uniquely unifying figure of George Washington accepted and then gave up the presidency, his would-be successors would have regional but not national support” (Solomon). A variety of things had to be taken into account when