MANY PEOPLE, INCLUDING most U.S. citizens, think the U.S. is a democracy.
It is not.
The U.S. government IS, more or less, a representative government, but the electoral system for the White House is republican not democratic.
That has nothing to do with the Republican or Democrat (not Democratic) political parties.
The current republican form of government elects electors to elect the president and, formerly, vice president.
A democratic form of government counts all votes and determines the winner by the total number of votes for the candidate.
There have been several elections in recent history in which the “defeated” candidate actually received more popular votes than the successful candidate. The successful candidate has more ELECTORIAL COLLEGE votes than the candidate with the most total votes.
The electoral college is a left over from the early days of the nation and is enshrined in the Constitution. Amendment 12 is the controlling amendment.
Back in Jefferson’s day, we lacked both means of nearly instant communication and computers to quickly calculate the actual votes. The communication problem has been, more or less, resolved; vote counting perhaps less so.
Also back in Jefferson’s day, a president of one party could be paired with a vice president of another party – with different political philosophies.
Another problem with the electoral college system is that the voter has less say on who is elected to office. Members of the electoral college can disregard the voters’ wishes and cast their ballot for a different candidate. This happened on a number of occasions before the country settled down to two primary parties often with very different views on how to run the country; the current presidential candidates are a case in point.
Inertia is the only remaining reason to maintain the electoral college; there is, to my Edward Bear mind, no reason why Americans cannot elect a president by popular vote. We do that for all lesser offices.
That, of course, does not automatically eliminate cheating; politicians can always find a way to pack a ballot box.
It’s time that Americans elected the president by direct, popular vote rather than going through Congress that, by its nature, skews the popular vote to match state populations.
Then the U.S. truly will be a democratic nation.