I’ve currently confessed my negative attitude about the Electoral university system. And I’ve provided 10 that the potentially serious means it deserve to screw increase our choice of national leaders. The trouble with such a perform is that it implies that we have somehow been saddled v the worst device possible. It needs to be said that no device for choosing a national leader would be perfect (although i do believe that considering the anachronistic elements of our system, us could definitely do better).

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All this system-bashing could also begin to indicate that I have actually no respect or appreciation because that the Framers. That’s not so. Although i don’t it seems to be ~ to have the regular allotment of reverence because that the structure or that is authors, I check out them as an extremely smart guys, plenty of of castle heroes the the war for Independence, who involved Philadelphia in the summer 1787 hope to — and also trying tough to — make points better.

And they did make things better, given that the weak short articles of Confederation — the frame of national federal government in effect prior to the constitution — was inadequate to the task of do a country out that the then-13 states.


But the Framers had their blind spots. Ns won’t mention slavery for the moment, because that’s wherein everyone goes and also since that blot has actually been amended the end of the constitution (and because many of the Framers, significantly Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, to be anti-slavery).

One of the large blind spots, which serious interfered through their reasoning on many constitutional matters, is that they thought it would certainly be feasible to have actually national national politics without politics parties. This play a big role in the production of the Electoral university system. The strange story of just how the electoral mechanism came about puts some of its weird features into context. Once you obtain this context, the is at least understandable what the Framers assumed they were doing.

No executive, management branch

Under the short articles of Confederation (the U.S. National government system produced during the Revolutionary War duration that was replaced in 1789 by the Constitution), there to be no executive, management branch and also no president and therefore no an approach of picking a chief executive, management officer because that the entirety nation.

The Framers the the Constitution experienced the need for such an executive to run the beefed up new national federal government they to be creating. Yet they couldn’t decide exactly how much power to provide to the new office, especially because they couldn’t figure out exactly how the president would be chosen.

Over the course of the constitutional convention, the delegates taken into consideration having the president preferred by Congress, yet they feared the interdependence in between the branches that would be engendered. They thought about having the governors that the says or the state legislatures select the president, however they likewise were anxious that the chief executive of the new souped-up federal government not be overly beholden to the state governments.

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Another obvious means — at least to united state — would certainly be to let the country vote. This was reportedly discussed, however not really seriously. Often, the Framers’ decision to design the Electoral university is construed as component of their blended feelings about democracy. Over there is some truth to that.

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Eric Black

Veteran journalist Eric black writes Eric black color Ink because that brickandmortarphilly.com. His latest award is indigenous the society of skilled Journalists, which in may 2017 announced he’d winner the national Sigma Delta Chi Award because that online shaft writing. Email him at eblack