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Strengths and Weaknesses of the Electoral college

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weakness- Winner takes all system
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1) 11 elections between 1872 and 2012 the electoral college said to have seriously distorted results- e.g. Bill Clinton won 49% of population vote yet he won just over 70% of the electoral college vote 2)Hillary Clinton 2016- 47.7% of the vote and Donald Trump 47.5% of the population vote 3) Failure to secure a popular vote prevents a President claiming a mandate 4) weak mandate=weak government
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weakness- two party horse race
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1) Gallop Poll 2016- 57% of people say a third major party is needed whereas in 2008 and 2012 less than half favoured the third party 2)2008-2012 third party presidential candidates received less than 2% of the popular vote- 2016 third party candidates received 10% of the vote combined 3) Desire for a third party, although its failing to be established- the two major parties dominate
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strength- preserves voice of small population states
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1) when Electoral college system was established in 1789 it was a worry that if the system was abolished, the votes of their inhabitants would become worthless as larger states such as florid and California take priority.
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Weakness- Small populated states are over represented
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1) If California were to receive Electoral college votes of the same basis as Wyoming, it would have not 55 electoral college votes but 200
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Strength- promotes a two horse race
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1) ensures most cases the president has secured the majority of the vote 2) Whereas in British politics 2015 election- 37% of the electoral voted for the government in power
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Weakness- Intense campaigning in swing states and reflection of safe states
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1) example 2012, 235 campaigns events were held in 12 swing states, whereas none were held in the safe states. 2) Donald Trumps success in Swing states such as Ohio were crucial to his success
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weakness- it is elitist and filters democracy
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1) College electors were supposed to act as guarantors in case their constituents made a bad decision. 2) this creates the possibility of rogue electors- Eg Barbara Lett Simmons did not cast her vote because she protested agains Washington DC’S lack of voting congressional representation