Your Views: Letters to the Editor

Electoral College Works

A recent piece calling for the abolition of the Electoral College [“Electoral College should be eliminated,” Oct. 31], while admirable in discussing a matter of national import, gives puzzlingly short shrift to the reasons for which our nation’s founders included this critical underpinning in the American system of government.

It is an often forgotten fact that the United States are exactly that—a federation of independent governmental entities, each responsible to a well-defined populace, united around a common purpose. The government best able to protect its citizenry from unjust interference and from infringement of their individual rights is that which is most closely connected to them.

This was a fact well understood by the framers of the Constitution, who valued highly the maintenance of a distinction between decisions and authority vested on a national level, and those where local customs, values and motivations were the best guide for action. In electing a President, we are acting not as the people of a nation, but as the nation itself.

Our system of checks and balances was constructed because of a fundamental distrust of the empowerment of groups with authority over others: “ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” in the words of the Federalist Papers. The framers were concerned with the protection of minority viewpoints, with countering the possibility that the will of the majority would restrict and suppress the ideas and rights of groups with less popular opinions, many of which have been vindicated by history.

By vesting rights in Electors we put trust in them that they will take a long-term view that is good for the nation as a whole, and for their individual states. The Electoral College prevents presidential candidates from appealing [to] the lowest common denominator. It ensures that the president considers the interests of small states, rather than focusing on California, New York and Texas.

A president elected directly by the nation as a whole, without the counterbalance of differing opinions amongst the states, would be little better than a modern day Louis XIV.

William Welch

ISYE 2007

In response to “Electoral College should be eliminated,” states can (and some are through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact) change their laws to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national election. The Founding Fathers gave us a system that can be changed and amended [and] was devised through much reasoning and discussion.

One reason for the continued use of the Electoral College is to prevent mob rule, whereby 51 percent of the population could deprive 49 percent of the population their rights. Property rights could be deprived of 49 percent of the voting population through a greater confiscatory taxation scheme (than already occurs).

The Electoral College forces candidates to the center to form broad coalitions of the population and regions of the country in order to win. It appears that Obama may have very leftist views but tries to appeal to a center in order to achieve both the popular vote and broad consensus.

Kris Erickson

MGT graduate student

Parking and Transportation fails students

If you mention these two words, “parking and transportation,” it is almost guaranteed to get a heated response from any student. It is sad that an organization that should be aiding students and vouching for them appears to constantly be doing the contrary.

I realized that the only efficient aspect of these organizations are the parking officers who happily hop from car to car giving as many tickets as they possibly can. Imagine if the Stingers operated like that. You would never see a Stinger drive past you at a stop and the Stingers and Trolleys would come every six minutes, like their website indicates.

I find it maddening that I recently got a ticket for failure to display my permit. My permit was displayed at the time. I appealed it and they said they are upholding their unjust charge. This does not surprise me.

I am sick of paying unjust tickets to fund their inefficient organization. I do not want to contribute revenue to an organization that does not do its part for me. I am sick of Stingers nearly running me over on crosswalks, Trolleys closing their doors on me, Stingers never being on time, seeing three blue or red routes in row, having drivers randomly abandoning the buses, having to risk walking across campus at night because there are not any buses and the Stingerette operator won’t answer the phone.

I feel that if these organizations actually did their jobs and supported students then the students on campus would be a lot happier and less depressed.

Lauren Weisheit

Third-year MGT