Every election critics and supporters of the electoral college trot out their arguments. James Pontuso sees the danger of abolishing it:
Without the winner-take-all provision of the Electoral College, America would have a multiple-party system, since there would be less reason to support one of the two major party’s candidates. Since the President is the only nationally elected official, it is the prize of the winning the presidency that keeps the two parties from splitting first into regional parties and then into ideological or interest-based parties. It is likely that, without a two-party system at the presidential level, the country would break down to its constituent interest groups. There would be a women’s party, an environmental party, a business party, a men’s party, a Southern party, and on and on. The United States would become ungovernable. The American political landscape would begin to resemble Italy’s where there have been 52 governments or executives since World War II.
But he also argues for a novel reform:
There is a simple solution to the problems created by the Electoral College. The elections of 1876, 1888, and 2000 elections in which the popular vote winner lost the election were all close, decided by five Electoral College votes or less. But if the winner of the national popular vote were awarded eleven Electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, the extra eleven votes (twice the five-vote-margin plus one for good measure) would assure that the popular vote victor would also win the Electoral College vote and become President. The eleven would be too few to “nationalize” presidential elections, and the same dynamics that keep the two-party system intact would prevail.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.