Are electoral colleges still viable in the US?

BY MARVIN KUSHABA

In the 2000 US Presidential    Election, Vice President  Al Gore received 543,000 more votes than  his rival, George W Bush, then   governor of    Texas. But when   the election and legal disputes were over, Bush was declared the winner.

In a repeat of history this November, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and lost in the electoral colleges, so Trump emerged the winner.

Contrary to popular belief, Americans do not vote directly for their president and vice president.

Instead, they operate an electoral college system. The electoral colleges were established by the Constitution, and the requirement is that a candidate can only be elected president if he or she wins by a majority of the 538 electors, by securing 270 electoral votes to win the White House.

This second defeat of the popular vote in the history  of American once again raises questions about the electoral college legitimacy.

Firstly, questions are now being asked about   what  should take priority: the senate or the   popular  vote?

While the number of electors has grown to 538 along with the nation’s population, is it time that America reviewed this 240- year-old system?

There is an African saying     that    the right time to slap a king is when a fly sits on his cheek.

Are   the November 2016 election results an indicator   that American democracy is rotten, that   indeed   this is    the opportune     time to slap the  kings in the face now that we see the fly seated on his cheek?

US President-elect, Donald Trump in 2012 described the electoral college system as a disaster for democracy,

I wonder what his thoughts on the same are right now?

In 1804 Congress came close to amending the Constitution, and in 1969   the House passed a resolution that proposed the direct election of a president and vice president, but this failed in the Senate.

The American presidential elections are held every four years, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. My hope is that we will not be having this same discussion on 3 November 2020.

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