The Electoral College system as utilized by the US imposes two very reasonable requirements on candidates for the presidency:
[b]1) that the winner obtain a sufficient amount of the popular vote to enable him to govern (even when that amount does not constitute an absolute majority), and
- that such a popular vote be sufficiently distributed across the country to enable him or her to govern effectively.[/b]
This arrangement ensures a regional balance of support, which is vital in governing a large and diverse nation.
Look, despite colleges and universities around the world offering classes in “political science”, politics is anything but a science, at least in any type of a democracy. Effective politics in any democracy is actually an art, rather than a science… and it is an art which requires the ability to compromise.
If the US were to use a pure democracy and elect presidents based on the majority of the popular vote, why should states such as Alaska or Wyoming remain part of the United States? After all, if presidential elections were decided by simple majority of the popular vote, the populations of a few states (New York and California, for example) would determine who would run our executive and what issues would be important and how those issues would be decided. Why, in such a situation, should the people of Alaska or Wyoming remain states in union with the United States?
The US style of democracy is a representative style (or a republic), and IMO, the primary distinguishing characteristic of the US style of democracy is that it allows generally rule by the majority with protection of the minority, or, stated another way, rule by the majority with the consent of the minority.
A pure democracy would merely permit 51% of the population to oppress the other 49%.
This is the reason that the abolition of the electoral college would require ratification by a certain number of States, and since many States have only several electoral votes, they are not likely to give up the leverage that they do have in dealing with their more populated sister States.