I would also like to see it changed. In the context of the voting systems of the rest of the world, our voting system is pretty bizarre and rather roundabout. This is because of Madisonian democracy during the time the system was being created; they feared a too-strong lower class "mob" and therefore created the electoral college as a buffer between the general public and the elite classes. However, this has caused the system to have evident flaws such as in 2004 when Gore won the popular vote but Bush became president because of the electoral vote. A better system would be to have an electoral college that votes based on proportion instead of a winner-take-all style (if 33% of the state votes for a candidate, 33% of their electoral votes go to this candidate). They have this system in one of our states (I think it's Iowa, correct me if I'm wrong) and it seems to make a lot more sense to me. Also, it would encourage third-party participation which is blatantly shut out by the current system.
Currently it's the electoral college system (electors generally chosen using first-past-the-post on per state basis).
So you think there is no reason to be wary of the populist mob? Keep in mind that the Tea Party is an expression of that mob.
By the way, the two states that do proportional electoral votes are Maine and Nebraska.
I would like to see it changed.
I'm in favor of implementing RANGE VOTING in place of our current First-Past-the-Post system. Under Range Voting, each citizen rates each candidate on a scale from 0-9. (This scale could be different, possible 0-10 or even 0-99). The higher the rating, the more the voter desires that candidate to win. All votes are then averaged and the candidate with the highest average is declared the winner.
More info: rangevoting.org/ .... bolson.org/voting/essay.html
There are many benefits to switching to this system. Using one measure, the Bayesian Regrets of Election Method, Range Voting has the best opportunity in providing the best winner (the candidate that provides the least amount of regret from the voters). (rangevoting.org/BayRegsFig.html)
Range Voting's lesser cousin is Approval Voting, where citizens vote either yay or nay on each candidate. This would be the outcome if under Range Voting everyone voted their favorable candidates a 9 (or the highest value) and their unfavorable candidates a 0. Although not as good as Range Voting, Approval Voting would be much easier to implement.
This system would eliminate the electoral college. Which I think is a good thing. There seems to be a lot of "wasted votes" with our current system. Either because they know their candidate won't have a chance (third parties/under 5% of the vote) or they live in a state that is either a dark red or blue and they have the opposite opinion. A common opposition here is that a few highly populated states could decide the election then. But we have to notice that states will no long give out 100% of the votes to a single candidate. Votes will be spread out across the candidates.
I do not believe the Electoral College system should be changed. For one it would be very difficult to change, as with many structural reforms to the US political system.
The Electoral College has been around since the beginning of the present US political system, and although it has produced results that have been controversial (such as in 1824 and 2000 to name a couple) the vast majority of US presidential elections have elected the candidate who was chosen by the majority of the electorate.
The EC system is simple to understand and well suited to the US political system. The fact that the US has two dominant parties means that the US can afford to have a majoritarian system without a significant democratic deficit. Other than in years with particularly close results (again, 2000) there is no dispute over who wins the election, no wrangling over who leads the next administration and no shaky coalitions. Compared to much of Europe the US political system and elections are clear-cut and decisive.
However I would add that if there was a significant third party in the US (such as the Reform Party in the 1990s) then the US would have cause to consider electoral reform. But until then I believe it is better and simpler to retain a system which works on very nearly all occasions.
No. The ONLY thing that keeps liberal New York/Los Angeles vote from making the determination is the Electoral College. That committee is what allows the _rest_ of us to have a voice in the choosing of a president.
I think any sort of single-seat constituency is a problem. There probably should be no direct voting for the president at all, and the president should not have much power.
I do realize this is way to radical. But still.
Yes. The current system creates a strong incentive for people to cluster into parties (to avoid vote splitting), which in turn means that centrist candidates -- those that appeal to the "median voter" -- are essentially unelectable.
This isn't only true for presidential elections, but also for most other public offices in the US. It is completely broken as it means that partisan gridlock prevents most things from getting done.
I'd like for the territories and Americans living abroad, collectively, to have one electoral vote for President. I don't like that Americans in the territories can't vote for President despite there being more people in the territories than in some states.
Otherwise, I generally like the Electoral College. I like that the states are represented and balanced by size, that states have a say in how their electoral votes are distributed, and the honor and ceremony of being an Elector. Symbolically and materially, I think its better than rule by a national majority.