Scrap Electoral College, Says New York Times

Scrap Electoral College, Says New York Times

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States should abolish its electoral college because it creates the possibility that the president will be a candidate who loses the popular vote, the New York Times said on Sunday.

The electoral college “thwarts the will of the majority, distorts presidential campaigning and has the potential to produce a true constitutional crisis,” the paper said in an editorial.

In the last presidential election in 2000, Republican George W. Bush won the presidency despite losing the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore (newsweb sites) by more than 500,000 votes.

“Most people realized then for the first time that we have a system in which the president is chosen not by the voters themselves, but by 538 electors,” the editorial said. “It’s a ridiculous setup.”

The paper, one of the most respected in the United States, said “there should be a bipartisan movement for direct election of the president.”

“The main problem with the electoral college is that it builds into every election the possibility, which has been a reality three times since the Civil War, that the president will be a candidate who lost the popular vote,” the editorial said.

It said the system unfairly favored small states, which were awarded a minimum of three electoral votes regardless of how many residents they had.

“The majority does not rule, and every vote is not equal — those are reasons enough to scrap the system,” the Times said.

It cited other factors: “A few swing states take on oversized importance, leading candidates to focus their attention, money and promises on a small slice of the electorate.

“We are hearing far more this year about the issue of storing hazardous waste at Yucca Mountain, an important one for Nevada’s 2.2 million residents, than about securing ports against terrorism, a vital concern for 19.2 million New Yorkers.”

So, who has some thoughts to share on this topic? Bueller, Bueller, Bueller….

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