So, Hillary Clinton obtained the majority of votes; Right?
It depends on how the “majority” is looked at. Hillary Clinton seems to have won the majority of the aggregate popular vote nationwide. Although that in itself may look like an important factor, it doesn’t really mean much when it comes to selecting the President of the USA. In the USA a system known as the Electoral College is used to determine the winner of the presidency.
Donald Trump won in 30 states (60%). Hillary won in 19 so far (38%). That’s more states than Obama won in 2008 with ’28’, and ’26’ in 2012. So, on a state by state basis the result wasn’t even close. That difference is a lot greater if you do the math county by county.
A direct election by counting the aggregate popular vote would not be fair in the USA; since we have states with a large populations like Texas, California, New York and even Florida, the idea that those states could all by themselves determine the outcome of an election is exactly what the electoral vote system was designed to prevent. The President at the Federal level is the leader for all the states, not only some larger powerful ones but also to the smaller ones and their voices count too.
Would you say that it was O.K. to give the victory to someone who lost in 30 out of 50 states? With only 40% of the States approving?
THE MAJORITY RULES?
Majorities are not always a good thing. (A majority killed Jesus for asking people to forgive and love each other). Just because a majority of people believe something to be true or good, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the proposed idea is good or beneficial to the rest or even to those eho favor it, (could be, but not necessarily so) especially in the case of concentrated majorities with certain ideologies. A majority can be as equally bad or worse than a dictatorship. That’s also another reasoning behind the electoral colleges.
Regardless of the party (I belong to none), the system was designed to bring a safeguard against that kind of control or influence by more populated states and to bring some equitable playing ground and fairness to the smaller or less populated states so that their voices would count too. The idea of a union of independent states to form a Federal government only works if all the states included have the same influence in that government without regard to their size. If the voice in those smaller states do not count, why be a part of the Union?
For example, if a constitutional amendment needs to be ratified, which would affect every state individually, it would be required that 2/3 (66.99%) 33 of the States vote in favor. Not a majority of the population in the nation. Why? Again, because it will affect all the states and their constituents in them on an individual basis.
Contrary to popular belief, The Federal government of The United States of America is not a ‘Direct Democracy’ and it was never intended to be so since it’s foundation. — Individual states use a mixed system within their borders.– Our federal form of government is a ‘Representative Democracy’ and each state has the right to be heard individually at the federal level. That’s why we have two chambers in the legislative branch with representatives from each state based on population to represent the people by districts but also a Senate with two members of each state to represent the entire State having equal power notwithstanding the size of the state and no law can pass without the approval of both houses of Congress.
SHOULD THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE SYSTEM BE CHANGED?
A state with a very small population will have automatically two senators and at least one representative in the House. In that situation such state will have three (3) electoral votes assigned. Such is the case of Alaska, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Maine.
Some people think that the Electoral College ststem is outdated and should be eliminated; but the system still works today, even more so than when it was implemented with the original 13 colonies. The electoral college system, which may not be a perfect one, is nonetheless is very ingenious one. It was established to provide the balance in the electoral process and to give an equal voice to the minority states. Changing that system is not an easy task. It will require a constitutional amendment to be passed by both chambers of Congress and then be ratified by at least 2/3 (33+) of the states. But a “Direct Democracy” type of election will NOT be the solution. A similar (or better) system will have to be put in place to deal with the ‘larger states’ effect from causing the problem explained above. Can you think of one?
J. L. Trujillo