Every four years, the century-old debate over the Electoral College rekindles. Currently, as the contest between the Republican candidates intensifies and the remaining four rush toward the finish line for nomination, speculators are turning their attention toward the Presidential Election that is right around the corner. Predictably, the legitimacy of the Electoral College is once again under scrutiny. Although the Electoral College was an ingenious compromise establish by Framers of the Constitution, the development of the two party politics and the “winner-take-all” system has led it to the fail its original purpose.
When the Framers were drafting the presidential selection procedure of the Constitution in 1787, they presented an
…show more content…
In fact, as Justice Robert Jackson states, the Framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College with the purpose “that electors would be free agents [who can] exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment [and thus choose] the men best qualified for the Nation's highest offices” (Ray v. Blair). With electors coming together to vote for president, the Framers wanted to maximize the will of the people. However, the American party politics and political system have change so much in the past 200 years that the Electoral College is no longer holding up to its initial intent.
One of the problems the Framers did not foresee is the rise of the political parties. As these political organizations developed at the end of the eighteenth century, electors pledged to a certain party appeared. Today, it is the parties in most states that wield the power to choose their respective slates of electors (Longley and Braun 28). The existence of these electors, with their pledge toward a party, makes the ideal that free representatives should vote according to their own judgment obsolete. These electors are voting so that their party could win the election, rather than serving as the spokesperson of the people. There might be a few faithless electors, who could be persuaded to vote for the opposition. However, they are often businessmen/women or wealthy people who financed that party’s campaign (Kammar). As