Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Electoral College

In the wake of Hillary's defeat, we have predicable calls for the abolition of the Electoral College. Needless to say, people only complain about the Electoral College when there's a split vote and their candidate loses, never when there's a split vote and their candidate wins. The Electoral College is nonpartisan. Doesn't favor one party's candidate over another's. Same rules for everyone going in. 

Here's my answer to a Frenchman who was asking about the Electoral College. I'm not a political scientist by trade, so someone else might be able to give a bette answer. But here goes:

i) The short answer to your question is that the American political system is a republic rather than a democracy. 

ii) By way of justification: if the popular vote settled things, then urban elites in big cities would always decide who gets to be president. Ultimate political power would be concentrated in big cities. But that's an unrepresentative sample group. The Electoral College system spreads things out to require a more demographically diverse working majority. 

That was an issue even back in the 18C, with population centers and urban elites in Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston, NYC). 

iii) I'd add that Democrats actively solicit voter fraud, which makes it easier to steal elections based on the popular vote. 

iv) Because humans are social creatures, humans in community are apt to think alike more than humans outside a particular community. Due to peer pressure, common social conditioning, &c., the more that generations of people live and work in the same locality, the more their outlook tends to coalesce. 

The Electoral College system cuts across that groupthink, requiring a more demographically diverse sample group. 

v) France has been fully settled for many centuries. The current political system in France was put in place many centuries after the major urban centers were established. Long after the distribution of urban and rural populations was firmly in place.

By contrast, America, at the time of the Republic, was largely an unexplored, uncolonized wilderness. Most of the major urban centers did not exist at that time. The borders were not established. 

So the current political system was put in place long before the country had taken shape. The Founders attempted to devise a system for an expanding nation.

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