kalipsocs wrote:...or simply because a national election, in the time of oil lamps and quill pens, was just impractical.
You make a decent case, but you conveniently left out that second part of the same sentence. My simple answer to the flaw in this logic is the 2004 election. Shoot me down for using wikipedia, but their numbers state Bush netted 62,040,610 votes and Kerry 59,028,444. Thats is a difference of 3,012,166 votes a narrow margin when you are talking about 121+ million votes. If you ask me, thats about as middle of the road as you get. Based on that phenomenon, I don't see how your argument for the electoral college makes much sense.
And ye have little faith in ratifying a new amendment. The last amendment (27th to be precise) to be ratified was in 1992 by a student from UT. Granted, it was presented 100+ years previously, but unless a time limit is specified for such matters a proposed amendment may go on indefinitely as provided in Supreme Court case Coleman vs. Miller. So all you would have to do is make a good case! But I am not going to argue over what isn't and over something I am not going to spearhead.
I have no problem with using Wikipedia. It's not a perfect source, but it's an adequate one. The numbers are probably correct, because if the author fudged the figures, it would be too easy to fact check and edit the entry to correct the numbers. And yes, you're right that Bush/Kerry was close enough in the popular vote that the effect of the electoral college was not so noticeable. But it could just as easily have happened the other way - and had it done so, then what I wrote would come into play.
As far as the oil lamps and quill pens, so what? It was only incidental to the main thrust of why the electoral college system was created. The main reason was exactly as I described it.
Regarding the 27th Amendment, I find two different sources, one claiming that it was Michigan's ratification that put it over the top, the other claiming that it was Alabama's that did it. I don't suppose it really matters which it was. I didn't know that it was a UT student who discovered it and renewed the push for its ratification. In any case, the fact that the 27th took 203 years to ratify makes it an out of the ordinary example. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 went out for ratification with a 7 year deadline. It failed to be ratified. Congress granted an extension until 1982. It still failed to be ratified. It has been reintroduced in Congress every year since, and it still has not been ratified (this last time without any time limit) - largely because expanded interpretations of already existing laws and constitutional provisions which provide more equal treatment between men and women. They are persistent. I'll give them that.
Be that as it may, I still think that you would find that it would not be nearly impossible to get the 38 state ratifications necessary to abolish the electoral college because those states whose interest would least be served by abolishing it are not likely to ratify it, and they probably number more than 12.