How would you change the Presidential election process, if at all

This is a class discussion post that needs to be approximately 2-5 paragraphs in length. 

***Discussion Post should be followed accordingly each question asked needs to be answered.

********I will post the students response below.  With the Student response it should be 1 paragraph in length reply to the students discussion.







********************Discussion Post*****************

If we agree that the Electoral College doesn’t serve its original purpose, should we keep it at all?  How would you change the Presidential election process, if at all?  What would likely be the consequences of your proposal?

************************ Student Response #1 ***************************

When the founders originally created the electoral college, there is no way they could have imagined what the country would be like today and the amount of growth the country has experienced.  While most would agree that the Electoral College today is not serving the purpose the founders originally intended, I do not know that a better method has been proposed.  Out of all the proposed ideas such as the proportion solution or the district solution, I believe the system of choosing the winner based on a national popular vote would be most effective.  Many people believe popular vote is actually more representative of what the people want than the electoral college.  However even though the current Electoral College is not what the framers had in mind, it is a system that has become very ingrained in the American political system and I do not think that is going to be changing any time soon.  I think the ideal system would combine the strengths of the electoral college with the strengths of the popular vote.  The Party Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Raymond Buckley, proposed a system recently he called a “hybrid”.  He proposed that if a candidate wins the popular vote by a margin greater than 3%, they should win the Presidency.  However if they win the popular vote by less than 3% but lose the electoral college, the winner of the electoral college would prevail.  I think this system could potentially be very successful and people who are more set in their ways may be more likely to accept it because it does not scrap the old system completely.  Under this system, if there is a very clear winner of the popular vote they would win the Presidency, but if it is a very narrow popular win and they lost in the electoral college, the person who won the electoral college would win the Presidency.  While I think this would be a good system, some possible consequences would be backlash from both sides.  Political parties are becoming increasingly polarized and do not often want a solution that proposes a middle ground, it’s their way or the highway.  While many Republicans might oppose this system, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by only 2.1% and Trump won the electoral college vote, so he would have still been the President.

************************ Student Response #2 ***************************

The electoral college is often misunderstood and misrepresented. I wouldn’t attempt to argue that the electoral college is a flawless system as there are some issues with it. However, it isn’t technically very far off from what our founding fathers wanted when they created it. They spent a great deal of time outlining the electoral college because they understood that pure democracy was undesirable. John Q. Adams said, “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.” This was the consensus of our founding fathers, so they created a system which is very unpopular today but does a better job of giving the entire country a “voice.” Now many argue that the electoral college created “swing states,” which usually consist of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but swing states change as party policies shift. Donald Trump won many swing states that weren’t even considered to be in play at the time of the election. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll get rid of the electoral college because the smaller states who would be losing their voice in our elections would have to vote on this. Also, by shifting to a popular vote, we’d essentially negate the entire country and boil it down to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, etc. There would be campaigning in several major cities to fight for the votes, and the rest of the country would be overlooked. Pure democracy isn’t something we should strive for as we’ve never been a democracy here in the United States. The electoral college also makes the winner of elections much clearer. In 2012, Obama won just over 51% of the popular vote, but nearly 62% of the electoral college votes; he was the clear winner. Had it been a popular vote election and been a little closer, they could argue over the vote difference and fight over recounts in numerous states trying to get every vote possible. I believe the system we have has worked in the past and will continue to work. The smaller states need their representation in our Presidential elections and they have that with our current system. California still has the most electoral votes to cast, but they’re countered by all of the flyover states that made their voices heard in this last election. I don’t know that our founding fathers would’ve envisioned such a divisive nature in our elections, but that’s where we are today. We line up the two parties head-to-head and they hurl personal insults at one another and do their best to avoid substantive topics for several debates. Then we vote, and whoever loses complains about how the electoral college is outdated; the Republicans did it in 2013, and the Democrats are doing it now.

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