The United States of America is looked up to for the individual rights it guarantees to each of its citizens. Among those rights, and perhaps the most fundamental, is the right to vote. In the Constitution, section one of the fifteenth amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” But what value does voting have if the current system is centuries outdated, designed to limit democracy at every turn, and grant certain individuals disproportionate amounts of power?
When the founding fathers discussed how America should elect its president, they were concerned that the average American would not have the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision. That’s why they implemented the Electoral College. This group of electors is supposedly better informed on political affairs than the average voter. Electors pledged to vote for the candidate on behalf of the population. However, legally speaking, electors can vote for someone completely different than the candidate they were elected to vote for. These faithless electors have before changed the course of history, granting candidates who lack a majority of the popular vote, a majority of the electoral vote – and with that the presidency.
Back in the late 1700s, the founding fathers may have been practical. Without 21st century technology it would have been very difficult to maintain adequate knowledge of political affairs as a regular citizen; however, with the advent of the internet, this system has become well outdated and requires significant and immediate reform. Eliminating the Electoral College may be a start, but a system of liquid democracy is the much-needed solution.
Confusing? We thought so too. Unfortunately, that is not the only major flaw in American democracy. To learn about many of the others, listen to our podcast on the presidential election system above. We dissect the American election system point by point discussing each of its flaws along the way.
This article was written by a guest journalist.
Noah is one of the hosts and manager of The Art of Controversy Podcast. He lives in Western Canada and is fascinated with American politics. He is an avid podcast listener and loves to learn about the world around him.
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