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Berry 1 Tyler Berry Professor Flom WRD 104 14 May 2013

Conversation Analysis

Discussing the Electoral College and politics in general leaves much open for opinion and this has been clearly evident between three of my sources thus far. The bigger question regarding the Electoral College is whether or not the 200+ year old process should be abolished from the government. The answers among these three sources dont all give clear direct opinion, but aid in suggesting different possible proposals with information to aid in their statements. Some of these include the National Popular Vote Compact, which sets out to abolish the Electoral College all together. Likewise, all three articles agree and disagree on certain aspects of what should be done to ultimately provide everyone in the United States with a vote that directly affects who they believe will make the best leader of tomorrow. Some of these main points that get cross-examined by all three sources are acknowledgement of the negative effects that have been caused by the Electoral College, whether to abolish or reform the process and why this is a topic that should be in the forefront of the new generation. Likewise there is constructive conflict that also occurs between the sources that ultimately ends in two interesting and sensical points of view.

Berry 2 When reading all three articles, there was a negative connotation that one gets from reading what all three sources made sure to not leave out; all the past elections that have been negatively affected by the Electoral College. All three sources speak of the Electoral College as an outdated and rusty process. The Brigham Young University Law Review provides a perfect example of the 2000 election. They say that it was eye opening for many because the candidate Al Gore, who won the popular vote, ended up losing the election. This gives fundamental reason that the whole process is outdated, undemocratic and has evolved into a politically manipulative process, something that it was never intended to do. An overview of the big problem is summed up by the article in stating, the Electoral Colleges voting pattern does not necessarily track he national popular vote. Following this, the author provides a brief example of how the Electoral College had negatively impacted the 1936 election, where Alf Landon won the popular vote against Franklin Roosevelt but had only ended up receiving 8 of 531 electoral votes. The CQ Researcher article also expresses belief that this system is undemocratic and outdated and speaks in the context of yet another example where the Electoral College has burdened voters of selecting a new President and Vice President. The issue at hand is the 2000 election between Bush and Gore, specifically the voter count issue in Florida. The article takes a more humanistic approach in explaining how this undemocratic process negatively affects US citizens. The source authors Kenneth Jost and Greg Giroux explain, Americans accustomed to thinking that they were directly voting for president and vice president now know that they are really voting for a number of electors from their state equal to the size of the state's

Berry 3 congressional delegation (Electoral College). It is clear that both sources show distaste for the Electoral College by describing the obsolete techniques and how they directly affect the US. CQ Researcher renders the process as An antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose while Anna Johnson of California State University Chico states It is an indirect method of selecting a president that does not necessarily comport with the will of citizens at the state of national level. (The Vote That Counts). All three sources use real world examples of elections to first support their claim and then follow this evidence with their view of the Electoral College, which provides concrete opinion. Now that the sources have stated their viewpoints on the Electoral College, the next important topic that all three touch on is whether this governmental process should be abolished or just heavily reformed. Norman Williams of Brigham Young University takes a very rational tone and says that abolishing the Electoral College just isnt realistic and unsafe to the health of American Democracy. However the author then goes on to explain that he is also not in support of reform, which gives opposite but well-rounded insight. He mainly presses on the issue of not abolishing the Electoral College and does not spend much time talking about his unsupportive opinion towards reforming the process. This shows that the author is somewhat open-minded to the concept of change and states that it would actually get rid of the winner-take-all mentality that campaigns ensue. This general open mindedness towards reform as opposed to abolishment is upheld by the CQ Researcher article as well, where the authors claim that abolishing the Electoral College is highly unlikely given the given the results of past attempts. It seems like

Berry 4 the moral of what theyre saying is that its better to focus on reforming the Electoral College because theres a much higher chance at getting something done. Both articles indirectly claim that there still is a need for the Electoral College to be present; its the voting system that needs to be reformed. Anna Johnson of UC Chico agrees and says that its the disaster in Florida in the 2000 election that really sparked the US citizens concern over how flawed the process is. Increasingly concerned, she says The Electoral College has confounded citizens almost since its creation (The Vote That Counts, Pg 2). Relating to the new generation of 18-28 year olds, the three articles all end their pieces in a way that is meant to hit home and connect with the reader. They do this by explaining the importance of this topic and how it relates to the new generation of voters that are entering the world of politics. This is a particularly special time in the world where change is accepted and encouraged. All three sources play off this idea and give insight as to what role this new generation of voters play. Various sources describe the reform of the Electoral College as a movement which is associated with the younger generation. Enforced by quantitative data, CQ Researcher says that, Throughout the 19th century, more than 200 proposals to revise the Electoral College were introduced into Congress (Electoral College). Anna Johnson pushes this specific subject further by also mentioning that the National Popular Vote Organization was formed because of this movement. Even though it has not gained enough support, she does not go without saying that they have achieved enormous amounts of support. Although damaged, the framework of the Electoral College is important to the election process and that

Berry 5 its the details that need to be reformed. Kenneth Jost and Greg Giroux do this competently by listing off in visual boxes what the Electoral College does to help us in major ways as well as what it doesnt do that needs to be worked on. As a new generation of Americans learn about the election process, they are realizing how much more complicated, confusing and undemocratic it has become. What all three articles suggest is that since change is such a societal norm in this generation, it is us who has the best chance of restoring our constitutional right to vote directly for who we most believe in. My perspective of this topic has molded into a concrete opinion due to these and other sources. It was compelling to point out conflict between sources so that I was given both positive and negative aspects to formulate my own stance from. I firmly believe that the Electoral College needs to be reformed and that it has caused great concern for the constitutional rights of American voters. I feel as though these sources have infinitely helped strengthen my argument my providing rational insight on the cause and effect of the Electoral College as it was created in the 1800s, what it has become now and what it may hold in the future if reformed. Absorbing perspectives from different learning discourses has provided me with well-rounded points of view from economic, fundamental and humanitarian backgrounds. Being able to analyze opinions from such diverse discourses has not only allowed me to comfortably reach own personal perspective, but to actually believe in it as well.

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Work Cited

Johnson, Anna. "The Vote That Counts: How the Electoral College threatens the will of the majority and an assessment of the likelihood of reform through an Interstate Compact." Thesis. California State University, Chico, 2012. Calstate.edu. Fall 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.

Jost, Kenneth, and Greg Giroux. "Electoral College." CQ Researcher 8 Dec. 2000: 9771008. Web. 1 May 2013.

Williams, Norman R. "Why The National Popular Vote Compact Is Unconstitutional." Brigham Young University Law Review 2012.5 (2012): 1523-1583. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 May 2013.