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Why the electoral college is bad for America
Edwards, George C.
Adult Nonfiction JK529 .E38 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this slim, analytical book, Texas A&M political science professor Edwards (At the Margins: Presidential Leadership of Congress, etc.) offers a robust critique of the intricate device underpinning presidential elections. Naturally, the 2000 election looms large here. The electoral college, not the Supreme Court, awarded the presidency to George W. Bush, contends Edwards, giving the final say to little-known presidential electors. He sees this as a troubling violation of political equality. The remedy? Direct elections, which are favored by none other than ?Father of the Constitution? James Madison and a notably bipartisan roster of politicos, from Richard Nixon and Robert Dole to Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Edwards rebuts a phalanx of pro-electoral college arguments, including claims that the device protects the interests of smaller states and minorities. According to his research, once presidential candidates hit the campaign trail, they pay little attention to regional issues or minorities. Instead, they obsess over winning large swing states and virtually ignore smaller states and states with predictable outcomes. In this manner, some voters become more equal than others based on where they cast their ballots. Electoral college supporters may rush to the ramparts to contest this cogent attack, but as Edwards points out, any move to amend the constitution and set up a new arrangement would likely be stalled by divisive political mudslinging (with those who supported Bush in 2000 touting the virtues of the electoral college and those who supported Al Gore endorsing direct elections). But even if the current system remains in place for a while, this is still a worthy, well-argued contribution to the debate. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.


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