Choosing a President: The Electoral College and Beyond by Paul D. Schumaker, Burdett A. Loomis

By Paul D. Schumaker, Burdett A. Loomis

"Choosing a President" evaluates the Electoral collage method and 6 valid choices to it. A crew of 37 political scientists think of the basic questions that visit the center of the controversy. at the foundation of those deliberations, each one contributor shows the level to which she or he helps or opposes the Electoral collage and its possible choices. This name positive factors: dialogue on how the Electoral university used to be created, advanced, and presently works, supplying basic ancient and political wisdom; and a scientific account of present possible choices to the Electoral collage delivering 3 reforms and 3 attainable replacements. It demonstrates modes of political research: comparing associations and reforms in keeping with their logical consistency with wanted standards, and comparing associations and reforms in accordance with their (likely) outcomes and implications. It is helping enhance scholars' knowing of political research.

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Those who previously had written on the College were evenly divided in their attitudes about it. 4. Only six of our participants indicated that they were “firmly committed” to their position on the Electoral College prior to their involvement in the project. 5. Approval voting allows people to support more than one alternative. Thus, many participants said through their ballots that they could support either the existing system, some modification of it, or replacing it with some form of national popular vote.

31 Perhaps a utilitarian analysis here would show that the reform or abolition of the Electoral College is an important next step in our progression toward a more democratic political system. But Mill’s son, John Stuart, understood that utilitarianism could never permit a precise calculation of whether 22 choosing a president the consequences of reform enhanced or reduced overall utility. 32 Because an (electoral) reform may have some consequences that seem desirable, other consequences that seem undesirable, and still other consequences that provoke different judgments among people holding different values, utilitarian analysis is not likely to produce a consensus that such a reform serves the public welfare.

Serial No. 87, 37–40. James Mill, Essay on Government (1820). John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (1863). For a concise contemporary discussion of utilitarianism, see Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy (New York: Oxford Press, 1990), 9–49. Benjamin Barber, Strong Democracy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), 139. Judith Best, testimony at hearing on “Proposals for Electoral College Reform,” before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee of the Judiciary, House of Representatives, 4 September 1997.

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