Sack that old Electoral College

It's been over a week since the election and about two weeks since Hurricane Sandy, so obviously we've moved on to more gripping and harrowing news - like the director of the CIA stepping down because of an affair.

As important as it is for me to know anything that has to do with "flirtatious" emails and shirtless pictures, I'm not going to write about them. Sure, I do want to know what Gen. Petraeus ate for lunch in response to Paula Broadwell's email about what she ate for breakfast - but hot gossip can wait.

While there are lots of pundits out there overanalyzing the Petraeus affair, I'm still giddy from the election.

Today my giddy mind has lead me to the Electoral College.

Your college roommate may still believe it is the electoral "collage" but make no mistake, the electoral college has nothing to do with arts and crafts unless you are only using the colors red and blue.

The state of Ohio is famous for
both swinging elections and
its many swing dance clubs.
The electoral college is an old and damaged system, only so-called "swing states" have any relevance in the system these days. Ohio was pretty much the only state that mattered in the last election.

Not that there's anything wrong with Ohio, but other states deserve some love.

California is huge, it needs some presidential campaign affection that doesn't only involve dinner at George Clooney's house (but how awesome would that be???).

Presidential candidates shouldn't go
to California"just to say hi" to Mr. Clooney.
Texas is dark red but there are some folks who don't jump for joy at the sound of an elephant. Presidential candidates should head down there more often, take a bite of a 72 ounce steak, and attempt to pick up some votes along the way.

What I'm saying is, so many people don't really have much of a voice because of the electoral college state system.

Voting for a republican presidential candidate in Massachusetts won't amount to anything. The same goes for a democratic candidate in Alabama.

Therein lies the question - Is the electoral college outdated?

The short answer is, yes. it is. It really is.

As outdated as Windows 95, the electoral college is nowhere near perfect.

It's so hideous!
However, unlike Windows 95, it was never intended to be perfect.

The thing is, the American electoral system is one that forgives the minority. The electoral college was designed to eliminate the possibility of factions ruling the country.

In other words, 51% of the country cannot perennially rule over the other 49%.

That sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Protect the 49%. What may be a slightly smaller fraction of the American public still should have a strong voice. Doug Flutie was a smaller quarterback than most, but he still deserved an offensive line. Same idea. Maybe not, but you get the picture.

Only three times has the loser of the popular vote won the electoral college.

The electoral college is not anywhere near perfect, but it has been effective.

Here is my biggest issue with the electoral college: we have a congress that represents smaller chunks of the electorate from all over the spectrum.

Unlike a parliamentary system, the president of the United States cannot pass any law he (or she) wants. That whole congressional system already checks the president's power.

So what do we need the electoral college system for?

  1. Elementary school homework - color in the states!
  2. So people like me can argue that we don't need it anymore.

I really don't see the point. Congress changes hands more often than a note in a fourth grade class.

The office of the president goes from democrat to republican and back more often than Mitt Romney.

Factions aren't really an issue that needs to be dealt with by the electoral college.

I say we should ax it! Behead it! Slay it! Send it to the guillotine!

Or just amend the constitution to get rid of it. Either way.


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All posts are written by Will Wrigley -- a politics nerd, music-lover and a barely comprehensible writer.