-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

Electoral College needs to go

Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, April 16, 2008

As the primary season drags on and the election is upon us, I can’t help but think of who our next president will be. It will bound to be a close election. If it is going to be so close, what if the worst happens again – we elect a president who did not win the popular vote. We are electing the “Leader of the Free World,” but yet he or she could possibly not be elected democratically, that is, by a majority. Isn’t this a bit hypocritical? A majority of Americans did not get who they voted for. They were essentially cheated.

Voting is our most important right as we are participating in our governmental process. Shouldn’t it be fair? Shouldn’t my vote count if I am a Republican in New York or California? Should I even bother voting if I am a Democrat in Texas? Why should the election be decided by the few lucky swing states? I believe the candidates running for president should appeal to all Americans, in every state, not just those states that are undecided.

The Founders created the Electoral College for two reasons: one, because they did not trust the citizens to make an informed decision and two, because they thought since the U.S. was such a big country too many candidates would be nominated from each state and there would not be a majority candidate. I think this system is completely outdated.

First, we as citizens are intelligent and can make an informed decision as to who our President should be. We have evolved as a people to put greater trust in the masses, not the elite.

Secondly, we are a unified nation and have a party system, both of which can produce a majority nominee. All the Electoral College is doing now is infringing on our rights as Americans; it is violating our right to have a government run by the people. George W. Bush from 2001-2004 did not technically represent the will of the people since he was elected by the minority. Some argue that the Electoral College keeps campaign spending down since candidates only have to go to certain states. I believe our rights are more important.

If you want to continue with this discussion, go to the Pi Sigma Alpha Academic forum: “Should the Electoral College Be Abolished?” on Monday, April 21st at 5 p.m. in the Sorin Room in LaFortune. Four political science professors will be on the panel, including Dr. Peri Arnold, Dr. Louis Ayala, Patrick Flavin and Dr. Josh Kaplan.

Maggie O’Connor

junior

Pangborn Hall

April 16