Wednesday, 16 July 2008

“It is at least excellent.”

Jeff Jacoby, in “The brilliance of the Electoral College”, on the latest attempts to abolish or skirt the Electoral College:

Actually, in no more than four of the nation’s 54 presidential elections since 1789 has the electoral vote winner not been the candidate who won the popular vote

[…]

Such concerns didn’t trouble the framers of the Constitution, who did not believe that political contests should be decided by majority rule. They rejected “pure democracy,” as James Madison explained in Federalist No. 10. They knew that with “nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual,” blind majoritarianism can become as great a menace to liberty as any king or dictator. The term “tyranny of the majority” was coined for good reason.

That is why the framers went to such lengths to prevent popular majorities from too easily getting their way. They didn’t concentrate unlimited power in any single institution, or in the hands of voters.

[…]

The Electoral College (like the Senate) was designed to preserve the role of the states in governing a nation whose name - the United States of America - reflects its fundamental federal nature. We are a nation of states, not of autonomous citizens, and those states have distinct identities and interests, which the framers were at pains to protect. Too many Americans today forget - or never learned - that the states created the central government; it wasn’t the other way around.

[Bold emphasis added. —R]

I encourage you to read the whole thing.

posted on July 16, 2008 12:56 PM




Copyright © 2002-2013 | XHTML 1.0 | CSS | Powered by Movable Type 4.2-en