Electoral solutions

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As the existing system for electing the president of the United States, the Electoral College functions as a kind of gentlemen's agreement among the two major parties. Under the rules of this cartel, a "winner takes all" arrangement virtually guarantees that either a Republican or Democrat will be elected. Candidates of other parties face insurmountable difficulties.

A national system of apportioning electoral votes might help remedy the fundamentally undemocratic nature of this arrangement by allocating votes to parties that enjoy majorities in jurisdictions closer to the voters. But outright elimination of the Electoral College would be the better solution.

The elitists who crafted the Constitution carefully insulated national government from the popular will. Voters were denied the right to directly elect U.S. senators or the president. One hundred years ago, the 17th Amendment gave Americans the right to elect their senators. Perhaps someday we'll have the right to directly elect our presidents, too.

PETER GILMORE
Squirrel Hill


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