Focus Point - Keeping the Electoral CollegeCommentary by Pete du Pont
November 24, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. There's a clamor to do away with the electoral college, but I want to argue in favor of keeping it.
The founders realized that if big states ran the show, small states would be ignored. There's nothing wrong with giving small states a say in the process. Otherwise, why have two senators for each state? It's the same principle.
So the founders designed the electoral college not only to prevent the small states from being overwhelmed by the large ones, but to strengthen the concept of a republic as opposed to a direct democracy, to put a bit more deliberation into government.
The electoral college compels candidates to campaign across the country to earn wide popular support, not simply concentrate on a few big states. It makes candidates build coalitions, not pit one region against another. It pushes candidates away from the extremes and -- sorry Mr. Nader -- it discourages the multiparty system. You want lots of parties? Move to Italy.
No thanks. I'll take the steadying influence of the electoral college.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, and I'll see you next time.