The Strengths of the System to Elect the American President Outweigh the Weaknesses. How Far Do You Agree with This Statement?

Topics: President of the United States, George W. Bush, Electoral College Pages: 5 (1675 words) Published: February 18, 2013
The American presidential electoral system consists of five different stages, the main two being the primaries and the Electoral College. Although the Electoral College has been used since the founding fathers wrote the constitution, meaning there are many strengths in the system, the weaknesses of the system outweigh substantially the strengths. Some of these being, the candidate without the popular vote can be elected as president. For example in the 2000 presidential elections, George Bush won against Al Gore with no popular vote. This is just one of the many reasons as to why the weaknesses outweigh the strengths.

The Electoral College is the system used in the US to vote on a candidate for the presidency. Voters from each state cast their votes for presidential electors who are representatives for the actual presidential candidates. These electors then cast their votes for the presidential candidate that won the majority of popular votes within that state. Each state has a different amount of Electoral College votes dependent on their population size, for example New York has 35 votes. However there are some weaknesses of this system, these including unequal representation from state to state. Smaller states tend to be over represented and larger states such as Florida tend to be massively under represented. For example, California with a population of almost 38 million, only has 55 Electoral College votes, this in comparison to Wyoming’s population of 500,000 and 3 Electoral college votes means that per Electoral College vote California has 617,000 people compared to Wyoming having 165,000. This enables the smaller states to make each individual in the state better heard meaning that minority voices are regarded more. Some may say that this is more democratic, however it is unfair and most defiantly undemocratic as some voices are heard “louder” than others. Meaning that the result of the Electoral College is under representative of the true population’s views. Therefore the system used to elect the American president is massively unequal in the sense that it under represents the majority and over represents the minority. This being just one reason as to why the weaknesses of the presidential election system outweigh the strengths.

Another weakness with the Electoral College process is, the concept of winner takes all. This means that no matter what percentage of the vote the winner gets, whether it is 50.1% or 98% they will both be elected as president. This is seen as undemocratic as the other candidate may only have 0.2% of the popular vote less than them meaning that there is almost equal support for both candidates. This means that half the population of the US will be under represented and will not agree with the policies of the currently elected president. This also means that they cannot express their view easily and most of the population is not made happy by the decisions of the president. A major example of this is in the presidential election of 2000; George Bush stole Al Gore of the presidency. Al gore won 48.4% of the vote to Bush’s 48%, however Bush got 271 Electoral college votes to Al Gores’s 266 meaning that he was announced president without the popular vote. This is massively undemocratic, as the true winner, in this case Al Gore, did not win the election. Thus this weakness adding to the amount they outweigh the strengths in the presidential election system.

Primaries are another main part of the Presidential election system in the US, there is the invisible stage which is the very first stage of the presidential campaign, in the year proceeding the election candidates show their intention to run. Primaries however are the more significant type, they are held around February or March of the year of the presidential elections. This year in 2012 Super Tuesday, which is the date that the majority of states hold their primaries, was held on the 6th March. Although some states take part in...
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