Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A More Perfect Union?: Rawls and the Electoral College

Attacking the democratic inequality of the Electoral College and of the Senate is becoming quite popular nowadays. I've posted a couple of times on the subject matter. However, a recent article by Joseph Grcic adds a new twist. He argues that the Electoral College is no longer justified given the concerns the Founders had about mob rule, direct democracy, and the power of small states over more populous ones. Most important, he argues that the Electoral College violates the standards of a well-ordered liberal democratic society as depicted by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice (perhaps the most influential work of political philosophy in the 20th century).

Larry Sabato's new book "A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country" also calls for the abolition of the Electoral College. You can get a sense of this views here.

However, it seems clear that if Grcic's argument holds against the College, then abolition of the Senate is also called for. That is, if we truly think that civic equality is a value worth upholding...

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