The United States is all-atwitter with news of the Presidential elections today. While the citizens of the country eager await the results, do take a moment to realize how far this country has come in respects to the election process.
In the beginning, George Washington was nominated as the first President of the United States, but he was not an eager president. There was not any campaigning and stumping common in the decades that followed. It began with the second place contestant becoming Vice President. This did not bode well for the government as often times the president and vice president were of different parties or grossly diverging values. The men had difficulty being in the same room with one another let alone work together for the common good. As it happened, sabotage and purposeful delay stymied hope for progress.
Fortunately, this set up did not last and running mates were introduced to the party system. However, it was the party choosing the running mates of the candidates. The running mates were not tied together however. Therefore, the vote did not necessarily mean one party candidate was pre-determined to be vice president, the way it is now.
When choosing the third president, it became evident this system would not work. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, running mates and thus of the same party, both received 73 electoral votes. In modern terms, it would be similar if Obama and Biden tied for president. It was very confusing. It took the senate 36 re-votes before Jefferson was declared the winner and new president. To prevent this from happening again the system was changed.
Is our government now perfect? No. At least it is flexible and evolves with the time by the right of democracy and the voter’s choice. Let freedom ring!