Thursday, March 18, 2010

Electoral College

The original idea behind the Electoral College, set forth in Article II, Section 1 of the U. S. Constitution, was for the leaders of the states to select the most worthy person in the nation as president, without regard to the person's state of origin or political party. Then, even though our Constitution is thoroughly non-partisan, parties gained a foothold. To quote William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director, FEC Office of Election Administration, "The very people who had been condemning parties publicly had nevertheless been building them privately."

The advent of partisan politics led to a constitutional amendment which altered the Electoral College. To quote Kimberling again, "By making seemingly slight changes, the 12th Amendment fundamentally altered the design of the Electoral College and, in one stroke, accommodated political parties as a fact of life in American presidential elections."

Now, instead of recognizing the self-serving nature of partisan politics and the danger parties pose for our people, we lament the transformation of the Electoral College into a rubber stamp that give parties control of presidential elections. Even with the 12th Amendment, we need not yield this power to those who control our political parties. We must change the way we select those who represent us ... including the members of the Electoral College.



Unknown said...

Thanks for this post. Again the manipulators turned a good thing into bad. Bruce

Fred Gohlke said...

I agree, Bruce, and I think the only way to change it is to break the stranglehold the parties have on our political process.

I'm not suggesting that will be easy, but we must devise the method and then summon the courage to put it in place.