Dump the Electoral College?
There is a move afoot in certain Democratic circles to get rid of the Electoral College. This sentiment is not limited to certain radical lefty blogs. The NY Times (purchase required) calls the Electoral College "an anti-democratic relic". However, the Times forgets that the US is not a true democracy....it is a representative republic! A quick review of American history (courtesy of the FEC website) reminds of of the thinking of the Founding Fathers when they drew up the Constitution and the Electoral College. One item of note from the FEC website is this:
"A third idea was to have the president elected by a direct popular vote.
Direct election was rejected not because the Framers of the Constitution
doubted public intelligence but rather because they feared that without
sufficient information about candidates from outside their State, people
would naturally vote for a "favorite son" from their own State or region. At
worst, no president would emerge with a popular majority sufficient to
govern the whole country. At best, the choice of president would always be
decided by the largest, most populous States with little regard for the
smaller ones." (emphasis added)
That is a very real concern. It is no secret that what is important to states like California is not as important to states like Minnesota and what is important to Texas is certainly not important to New York! A candidate that is attractive to New Yorkers may not be attractive to Floridians. It's really that simple.
If you really are interested in a well thought out, well researched take on the pros and cons of the Electoral College, you want to read this article in the Washington Times. The author reminds us of why the Electoral College works and why direct election of Presidents don't. It is a thoroughly enlightening read.
UPDATE AND BUMP: It appears that the Star Tribune is following the Times lead. This graced todays Opinion Pages. Captain Ed and Mitch did extremely thorough jobs handling the Trib and their take on the issue. They are both must reads!