Once again, the controversy of the Electoral College is part of the national dialog with some the Democratic Party presidential nominee candidates arguing for abolishing it. The issue is whether the Electoral College is the fairest way of electing the president of the United States. Those who support the Electoral College argue that it makes the election fair. Those against it, argue that the Electoral College disfranchises the electorate.
The difference between the Electoral College and the direct vote is that the college provides for a group of individuals, elected by their states, to cast a vote for the next president. In other words, a group of people are appointed to elect the president. In the direct vote, each vote cast counts toward the final tally to elect the president.
Besides the United States, France and the Holy See are the only major users of indirect vote schemes to elect the head of state. All other democracies elect heads of state directly from those who cast a vote.
The proponents of the Electoral College argue that it equalizes the populous states with the less populous ones. Abolishing the Electoral College, they argue, gives too much power to California, New York and other large states in electing the president.
Those opposed to the Electoral College argue that each vote should count no matter where it is cast.
México offers direct vote participation. Each vote cast has equal value in electing the president. The highest population density is in central México. As a matter of fact, almost 20% of México’s population lives in the State of Mexico. This includes the Federal District, also known as Mexico City.
Even with this apparent inequality in voter density, the northern states, like Chihuahua and Baja California can assert their conservative politics over those of the more liberals in central México. For example, in 2000, Vicente Fox, through the PAN, wrestled control away from the PRI Party. The PAN’s power lies in northern México.
México’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO can best be described as left of center politically with some ascribing him to the far-left. His political power comes from the less populous states in southern México and outside of the central part of the country. However, without the support from the voters across the country, AMLO would not have prevailed in the last election.
In America, those supporting that the Electoral College levels the populated states with the less populated ones forget the simple fact that the average voter turnout in America is around 50%. According to the United States Election Project, the states with the worse voter turn out are Hawaii at 38.4%, Louisiana at 35.4% and Utah at 40.3%. Washington DC at 40.9% and New York at 40.9% are next on the list of worst voter participation. Minnesota (64.2%), Colorado (62.1%), Oregon (61.2%) and Wisconsin (61.2%) top of the list of states with the best voter representation.
The argument that the Electoral College balances the country’s population misses the important reality of who votes. Voter participation is independent of state population.
Each state turns out voters at about 40 to 60% of their voting population.
A direct vote for the next president would represent the wants and needs of those who bother to vote in America. That is democracy at its best.
Those who do not vote do not deserve a voice in democracy.
As such, those who argue for keeping the Electoral College argue for the stupidity of giving a voice to those who don’t bother to participate in their government. Keeping the electoral college only protects America’s stupid electorate who aren’t bothered to participate in the welfare of their country.