Effects of Electoral College on Presidential elections of a country
The nation’s presidential elections are significantly affected by the Electoral College that is in power in a country. In the US, for instance, the Electoral College has a big role in voting and the system of voting, and therefore they impact presidential elections in one way or another. It has been argued that it is not possible to have a completely fair election in a country due to undue influence and failure of the voting systems.
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The results mostly announced by the Electoral College may a great extent be misleading. For instance, if three people are running for the presidency, the winner is dictated by the popular vote policy, which is used by the Electoral College.
One person gets 40% of the votes, and the other two 30% each, the person with 40% will have the popular vote, but on aggregate, he is not the winner. It may not be true because the so declared winner was rejected by 60% of the voters. 40% is too low compared to 60% of the voters who did not vote for him. The sixty percent did not approve of the winner, and, therefore, he may not be the choice of the majority.
It has been argued that the citizens of a country like the US do not necessarily vote for the president, or they do not cast their votes to elect the president, but, mostly, they just dictate the actions of the Electoral College. Since the Electoral College actions are the opinions of the nation’s Senators and Congressmen, it also reflects that people vote to dictate the actions of these Senators and Congressmen. The presidential elections, therefore, may not necessarily reflect the views of the people because their views are dictated by the Electoral College (Cummings & Wise 362, 363).
The US citizens feel that the voting for the presidential candidate is supposedly the pledged to be done by the Electoral College and the nation’s Senators and Congressmen. Their casting of ballots is, therefore, only a guide to the Electoral College in choosing the president. Ironically, the people vote for the electors instead of the leaders they wish because the Electoral College is manned by the Senators, and Congressmen whore could therefore be taken as the electors.
Another effect of the Electoral College to the presidential election is about the distribution of votes among states. In the US, for instance, the electoral votes in each state are not distributed based on the popular votes cast to each candidate but the winner is taken to be the one with the popular vote in each state. It is taken that the ‘winner-takes-all’ basis is the general policy. According to this policy, the States that have a large number of voters are treated unfairly because the person with the popular vote, especially where the contestants are many since the popular vote winner may not be the best choice of the people (Cummings & Wise 362, 363).
The percentage of the people who did not give him their approval may generally be higher than those who gave him their votes. The popular vote system that the Electoral College applies is therefore full of faults because if every elector is voting for the candidate he represents, then the system makes no logic in the elections. The votes of the majority, therefore, may not count in the popular vote system.
The negative effect of the Electoral College in the presidential election is best depicted by the 2000 US general election where George Bush became the president, although he did not have the overall popular votes. The Electoral College system is deemed to give the actual process of the election, but this is a wrong belief that people have ignorantly embraced. People are made to believe that they are making informed decisions in choosing their leaders while in real sense they are not. The Electoral College tampers with the rights of the people to choose the leaders that they feel are the best to represent them in the House.
The Congressional reapportionment
The united state house of representatives tries to maintain democracy among the 50 states by ensuring that the seats are fairly distributed amongst them. The process of distributing these seats is called congregational apportionment, and it takes place immediately following the decennial census in the United States. The seats are distributed based on the population share of each state to the general population of the country or aggregate for all the states.
However, each state is guaranteed at least one seat in the House of Representatives to ensure justice is applied across all states. The constitution of the United States requires that the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives should be done after every decennial census because the distribution of seats is done based on the population of each state. The number of representatives of each State is subject to change because the population keeps on changing.
The process of redistributing these seats after every decennial census is referred to as congregational reapportionment and is done according to the reapportionment Act of 1929, which capped the house size to 435 seats in total for all states. What then do we mean by the congregational reapportionment? It generally means the Redistribution of representation in a legislative body, which depends on the ruling of the country’s population. In the US, for example, it means periodic re-allotment of USA congressional seats, which is conducted after the decennial census and according to the Act that is, purposely enacted for it.
The decennial census in the US is conducted every ten years and therefore the congregational reapportionment is conducted every ten years. The seats in the house of Representatives are redistributed in proportion to the state’s population at that time. It is common for some States to be apportioned new seats; some retain their original number while others may lose some districts due to population change. The total number of representatives is determined by congress, but the number of representatives per state is determined by the proportion of each state’s population to the total population.
The congregational reapportionment is supposed to be done after every census in the US but in some cases, congress fails to conduct it like in the census conducted in 1920 (Chafee 1015). It shows the failure of the system and the Electoral College as a whole. The majority party in the state legislature attempts to strengthen their political stand by trying to win more seats in The House of Representatives. Redistribution of seats is also affected by political powers prevailing in the country and may also not reflect the true and fair conditions in the states.
Chafee, Zechariah. congressional Reapportionment. Harvard Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 8. pp. 1015-1047. Harvard: The Harvard Law Review Association, 1929. Web.
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Cummings, Milton & Wise, David. Democracy under Pressure: An Introduction to the American Political System. United States: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2001.