January 11, 2019

(WATCH) PragerU: Three Reasons Why We Need the Electoral College

Rebel Staff

Do you understand what the Electoral College is or how it works? Do you know why America uses it to elect its presidents instead of just using a straight popular vote?


Watch this short video from PragerU that explains how this ingenious system created by the founders protects Americans from the tyranny of the majority and encourages candidates to campaign nationally in order to win every state.

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commented 2019-01-12 19:21:47 -0500
The electoral college was created to increase the power of southern states, which had few electors but a lot of slaves (slaves partly counted towards EC votes, but couldn’t vote). It was basically a compromise to get them to join the union.

Does the Electoral College actually achieve the stated goal of forcing candidates to campaign nationally? Given how many states vote reliably for one party or the other, the campaign effort is disproportionately focused on the marginal “swing” states, which are Florida, and a couple states in the Midwest and Southwest. The northeast, west coast, and deep south are reliably ignored despite holding the majority of the population between them. A one-person one-vote system would suddenly mean that Democrat votes in Alabama would count, and that GOP votes in Massachusetts would as well – encouraging campaigning there.

“Ruth Bard commented 21 hours ago
We could use something similar in Canada…”

The first-past-the-post riding system does basically the same thing, and is the origin of our 35% “majorities”. Having an equivalent of an electoral college wouldn’t have an effect most of the time when we have majority governments, although does tend to cause some strange effects on minority governments, something the Americans don’t deal with. It’s not clear how a minority-supported Executive would work.

If we ran it as the Americans did and voted for the Executive via an electoral college (winner take all, by province, and normalized by population, I use here contemporary MP seat allocations).
2015: Trudeau (Lib HOC)
2011: Harper (CPC HOC)
2008: Harper (CPC-minority HOC)
2006: Martin (less than 50% of votes) (CPC-Minority HOC)
2004: Martin (less than 50% of votes) (Lib-minority HOC)
2000: Chretien (Lib-HOC)

It would not much change Alberta’s voice, nationally, since the CPC already reliably wins almost all the seats there. BC and Ontario swing back and forth and would, as now, remain campaign foci.
commented 2019-01-11 23:57:57 -0500
We should have a mid-term election.
Let me re-phrase that: I wish we had had a mid-term election.
commented 2019-01-11 21:55:00 -0500
We could use something similar in Canada…by the time the results are in for Ontario and points east, you know who’s going to be running the country and might as well turn off the TV. The West matters not at all.