Whether you are a liberal, independent, or conservative, you have to admit that the Electoral College was a brilliant idea. Key word in that last sentence: “was”. When the framers of the constitution had to decide on the best process for electing our leaders, they needed a method that would be efficient, reliable, and representative of the people. The creation of the Senate and House – another brilliant method of representation – allowed the members of congress to cast their votes based upon what their constituents wanted. However, what many people do not realize is that they are not voting for their president, only for how they want their representatives to cast their ballots. Normally, the representative casts their vote in accordance with their constituents (I can think of only one instance where a representative cast their vote for someone else, but then they were not re-elected the following term). This has been the closest to true representation that our elected officials have come to recently.
There has been some discussions on “Electoral College Reform”, but the “reform” still remains elusive from mainstream media. The primary purpose of the Electoral College Reform is to elect the President based solely on a popular vote by the people, rather than by the electoral college. The electoral college was great back in the day when information traveled by horseback and carrier pigeon. This process, however, was very vulnerable to theft, corruption, etc. Fast-forward to today, where information travels faster than the speed of light, and with security tighter than ever on that information, there is no reason why we cannot allow the popular vote to determine our leaders. Now, granted that over the course of history, rarely has a candidate won the electoral vote without the popular vote. But, as recent history proves, this could have made a world of difference – for the whole world.
Nonetheless, this article is not just about eliminating the electoral college, but also to strip our representatives of their voting rights. For far too long, we have stood idly by as our elected congress men and women cast their votes in the best interests of their pockets. We can no longer afford to have our country run by greed or special interest groups. Thus, my proposal is for each bill that comes to a vote, the vote should rest in the hands of the constituent, not the so-called representative.
“Now what purpose will the representative serve then?”, you ask. Well, they will still be able to vote in committees, introduce bills, and do all of the aspects the representative is supposed to do.
“But we the people do not have the time or knowledge to vote for each bill that comes to a vote”, you may argue. To curb that, voting sessions can be setup not only once a year, but perhaps quarterly. Additionally, the representative’s job will be to disseminate any and all information pertaining to the bill to their constituents, thus empowering them with the knowledge to vote. The representative can even give their recommendation. The quarterly vote can be done online and/or in voting booths.
“What about measures that need immediate resolutions, such as the TARP funds last fall?” In those extreme cases, a special voting session can be setup.
In essence, so many people complain how their representatives only represent their own interests or lobbyists/special interest groups, and not the people that elected them. We need to create a reform that will curb this mockery of democracy, and put the power back in the hands of where it was intended – the people.
Anyone else got a better idea?