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How Should We Elect the President

July 16, 2019


When the founders found our county were devising our system of government one of the problems they faced was to decide how the president’s should be elected. They saw themselves as a group of individual states coming together to form a central government.  A election of the president by a direct vote of the people was not their choice. The small states thought that would give to much power to the large states.  Since they wanted each branch of government to be separate they discarded the idea  of having congress elect the president. So that left them with the idea that each state should send delegates to meet and elect the president. The selection of the electors would be separate and distinct from the selection of congressman.  They wanted each state to chose its own delegates up preserve the idea that the county was a union of independents states  with each state retaining its identity.

This a 2019 and the national election is not until November, 2020, but the campaigns have already started.  That should give give everyone time to get name recognition, to get their opinions explained, and to get their character examined by the voters.

A lot of people are saying they would like to see the president elected by direct popular vote.  This group includes several presidential candidates, democratic candidates.  I believe that  will require a constitutional amendment. And that is not likely to happen.   Some state votes would be required to pass the amendment and small states will not agree to that.  They like having more power than they would have if the election were by popular vote. That is why the election is set up the way it is now. The large states needed the votes of the small states to get the constitution passed. And the small states wanted protection from the large states

The states by population were Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland,  North Carolina, Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, New  Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware and Georgia.

Virginia, with with largest population  had 447,016 and Georgia with the smallest at  just over 23,000.  None of the bottom four states had a population of  more than 65,000.

Even with such a vast discrepancy in population, Virginia had ten votes in the electoral college. Georgia had five. With about twenty times as many people Virginia had only twice as many votes. Pennsylvania with a population of nearly 250,000 had ten votes, the same as Virginia.

The election of the president has never been a democratic process with everyone having an equal vote.  Neither has the senate with everyone having equal representation.  The founders knew that the systems in those respects was not fair.  But that was the best agreement they could get to have the constitution passed and to create a union.  They left it to future generations to make it more fair, Democratic and just.  Is it time to start thinking about dealing with those issues, and making change they knew should be made but were unable to make the change they wanted.

In order to get enough small population states to vote to pass the amendment, there will have to be some incentive for them to vote to pass it.  The founders could not find any such incentive. Maybe now someone will think of something.









From → Thoughts

  1. Good informational article. It is good to know how it all works (or doesn’t as the case may be). You know, it is interesting that people always want to blame the President for whatever goes bad in the system, and I am not saying it is not perhaps deserved or standing up for any one person or party. The thing people need to realize is that our government did not just get this way overnight so to speak. It has been coming to this point for many years. People are apathetic, or they have been about voting, and about being interested in what is happening in our government, as long as they believe it is not going to affect them. But then all of a sudden they wake up one day, and everyone is focused on one single person for the cause of all wrongs with government. The President is just one person and the truth is that without the support and encouragement of a lot of other people in and out of the government, right or wrong, the President would be like any other person. Perhaps this time the White Supremacists have at last found a government that has supported their wants as have a lot of other shadow organizations. But we all have to look within and see what our own part in all of this has been. Did we vote, or sit back and let everyone else worry about it? When we look at our government, we also have to examine our own participation in whatever is happening, good, bad or ugly. Thank you for a good article.

  2. I have begun to entertain the notion that America has become too big and too diverse to be administered by a single individual acting as “President.” My solution is to change things around and elect a panel of Three different individuals to hold the Office of the Presidency as a “Governing Triad” and stipulate that no decision can be signed into law without agreement among all three of them or, at least, two out of three of them. Barring that, then let us make signing laws the responsibility of both the President and the Vice President working together as one, rather than having two separate offices, one for Prez and one for VP.

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