U.S. Electoral College Controversies Essay

1868 words - 7 pages

Democracy means rule by the people for the people, but does the government really do what the people want? Are the people even well informed to make proper decisions? To ask this question you have to go back to where democracy started, in Greece. The first democracy in the world was not even a democracy, to vote in Greece you had to be a land-owning male citizen. Thousands of years later when the United States was just a fledgling democracy based upon Jefferson ideas of all men were created equal not much had changed. You still had to be a land-owning male citizen. It took the United States almost 200 years to give all its citizens the right to vote. Even now in modern times, we still have such archaic institutions as the Electoral College is still in place separating citizens from directly voting for their leaders, and as you will see when you read about the different elections from past and present that the people's votes should be the final decision.

The United States is the most influential democracy in the world, and it is the richest country in the world. It provides all who live in the country with free basic education. The United States is not the same as it was in the year 1778, the majority of our country is no longer illiterate, and information in newspapers, on radios, and on the World Wide Web has given citizens of the United States the ability to no longer be ignorant of government process. Therefore, the Electoral College is no longer necessary because it is keeping us from being a democracy.

On February 4, 1789, the first Electoral College unanimously voted George Washington into office as the first president of the United States of America. Hundreds of years later there are many who think the Electoral College are "a flawed means of determining the president" (Best) while many laud it as being "an important part of our federalist system--worth preserving." (Samples). Despite these discrepancies, the electoral process has stayed relatively intact through our country's fifty-four presidential elections. It is an American institution that has stood the test of time through controversies and constitutional changes, despite the fact that more amendments have been proposed to change or even disband the Electoral College.

The history of the Electoral College is complicated. After the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, our founding fathers had to deal with the matter of creating a constitution for our booming country. On May 25, 1787, fifty-five delegates form twelve states excluding Rhode Island met to revise the Articles of the Confederation. This meeting soon changed course, and became a constitutional convention to write a new constitution for the newly United States. On August 31, 1787, a committee of eleven was commissioned to study various possible methods for the election of the president and to work out a plan, which the delegates could agree upon (Longley). The delegates deliberated for months over how to elect the...

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