Like it or not, the Electoral College doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. While I know that many in the public enjoy taking this time around the next presidential election to rail about the uselessness of the Electoral College, let’s get one thing straight: the odds of it being abolished are slim to none.
Like many of those complaining I have my issues with it – watching politicians pretend to care about states with less people than medium-sized cities, it does in some ways make sense. Forcing candidates to actually tour the entire country is somewhat more entertaining than focusing on the big media markets. Besides, abolishing it would require a constitutional amendment and for one to pass would require 38 of 50 states voting for it. I can’t believe that New Hampshire or Iowa would be willing to sign away their historical importance to presidential elections anytime soon; it would be a completely and totally irrational decision for them or any of the other small states in this country.
When you think about it, there’s really no guarantee that it would make things easier come Election Day. The current system has been around for how long and we’re still screwing it up, so let’s create a new one? We’re a sue-happy country and giving people anymore reason to create a lawsuit isn’t necessarily the best use of time. Potentially entangling candidates in costly and time-consuming lawsuits when they could be leading (and I use “leading” very broadly) would potentially cause more harm than good. There is also the fact that the popular vote-Electoral College split has happened four times in over 230 years is that really a major issue? I actually have one other reason to find it entertaining: I love to watch non-citizens and foreign friends’ puzzled faces when trying to explain the system to them. Call me whatever you want, but there is something gratifying in having something pretty unique within the realm of the democratic world.
Is it necessary, no; complicated, yes; archaic, most definitely; but at the end of the day it’s here to stay. Maybe it’s just time we finally accept the Electoral College as that crazy uncle who babbles incoherently at holiday parties, maybe drinks too much, but at the end of the day is entertaining and usually harmless. Plus, how often do we really deal with him anyway?