Presidential Elections and Majority Rule

The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College

Presidential Elections and Majority Rule

The Electoral College that governs America has been with us since 1804, when Thomas Jefferson's supporters redesigned it for his re-election. The Jeffersonians were motivated by the principle of majority rule. Gone were the days when a president would be elected by acclamation, as George Washington had been. Instead, given the emergence of intense two-party competition, the Jeffersonians wanted to make sure that the Electoral College awarded the presidency to the candidate of the majority, rather than minority, party. They also envisioned that a candidate would win by amassing a majority of Electoral College votes secured from states where the candidate's party was in the majority. For most of American history, this system has worked as intended, producing presidents who won Electoral College victories derived from state-based majorities. In the last quarter-century, however, there have been three significant aberrations from the Jeffersonian design: 1992, 2000, and 2016. In each of these years, the Electoral College victory depended on states where the winner received only a minority of votes. In this authoritative history of the American Electoral College system, Edward Foley analyzes the consequences of the unparalleled departure from the Jeffersonians' original intent-and delineates what we can do about it. He explains how states, by simply changing their Electoral College procedures, could restore the original Jeffersonian commitment to majority rule. There are various ways to do this, all of which comply with the Constitution. If only a few states had done so before 2016, the outcome might have been different. Doing so before future elections can prevent another victory that, contrary to the original Jeffersonian intent, a majority of voters did not want.

When No Majority Rules

The Electoral College and Presidential Succession

When No Majority Rules

Examining the electoral college system and the dangers inherent within it, Glennon proposes reforms to the procedure for selecting members of the electoral college and to the procedure within the House of Representatives which selects a president if the electoral college is logjammed.

From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics

From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics

This book discusses voting procedures in collective decision-making. Drawing on well-established election processes from all over the world, the author presents a voting procedure that allows for the speedy but fair election of a proportional, all-party coalition. The methodology - a matrix vote - is accurate, robust and ethno-color blind. In the vote, the counting procedure encourages all concerned to cross the gender as well as any party and/or sectarian divides. While in the resulting executive each party will be represented fairly and, at best, with the consensus of parliament, every minister will be the one most suited to his/her new portfolio. By using preferential voting and thus achieving consensus, the matrix vote will be fundamental to the resolution of conflicts. The matrix vote can also be used when: • two or more parliamentary parties elect a coalition government • one parliamentary party elects a government or shadow cabinet, or organizations in civil society elect their governing boards or executive committees • any group chooses a fixed number of individuals to form a team in which each member carries out a different function

Fixing Elections

The Failure of America's Winner Take All Politics

Fixing Elections

Fixing Elections shows our whole 18th-century Winner Take All political system, including the way we elect our legislatures. Steven Hill argues our geographic-based, Winner Take All political system is at the root of many of our worst political problems, including poor minority and majority representation, low voter turnout, expensive mudslinging campaigns, congressional gridlock, regional balkanization, and the growing divide between city-dwellers and middle-America.

Majority Rule vs. Individual Rights

Majority Rule vs. Individual Rights

The U.S. government is commonly characterized as being comprised of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. These two parties have differing views of how the government should be run, therefore creating a divide in legislative processes. Majority rule refers to a democracy being governed by decisions upon which a greater portion of people has agreed. However, U.S. citizens have basic and inalienable rights that can't be violated by the government. This book explores these basic and inalienable rights in relation to majority rule, and provides insight to how these concepts are laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

Majority Rule and the Judiciary

An Examination of Current Proposals for Constitutional Change Affecting the Relation of Courts to Legislation

Majority Rule and the Judiciary


Electoral Rules and Democracy in Latin America

Electoral Rules and Democracy in Latin America

During Latin America's third democratic wave, a majority of countries adopted a runoff rule for the election of the president, effectively dampening plurality voting, opening the political arena to new parties, and assuring the public that the president will never have anything less than majority support. In a region in which undemocratic political parties were common and have often been dominated by caudillos, cautious naysayers have voiced concerns about the runoff process, arguing that a proliferation of new political parties vying for power is a sign of inferior democracy. This book is the first rigorous assessment of the implications of runoff versus plurality rules throughout Latin America, and demonstrates that, in contrast to early scholarly skepticism about runoff, it has been positive for democracy in the region. Primarily through qualitative analysis for each country, the author argues that, indeed, an important advantage of runoff is the greater openness of the political arena to new parties--at the same time that measures can be taken to inhibit party proliferation. In this context, it is also the first volume to address whether or not a runoff rule with a reduced threshold (for example, 40% with a 10-point lead) is a felicitous compromise between majority runoff and plurality. The book considers the potential for the superiority of runoff to travel beyond Latin America--in particular, and rather provocatively, to the United States.

The Mathematics of Voting and Elections

A Hands-on Approach

The Mathematics of Voting and Elections

The Mathematics of Voting and Elections: A Hands-on Approach will help you discover answers to these and many other questions. Easily accessible to anyone interested in the subject, the book requires virtually no prior mathematical experience beyond basic arithmetic, and includes numerous examples and discussions regarding actual elections from politics and popular culture.

Presidential Campaign Communication

The Quest for the White House

Presidential Campaign Communication

Major textbook introduction to the ways that the people of the US use the process of human communication to select their Presidents. Looks at the function and effects of talk about American presidential politics in everyday life.