Day 16: Revamping presidential selection

Up in the air, © 2016 Susan Barsy
How can the US improve on the way it selects a president?  What process could the nation use to move toward a system that is more efficient, less disruptive, and that produces presidents of the highest caliber?

Personally, I would be in favor moving away from our current system, which essentially abdicates most of the decision-making to extra-constitutional bodies, a. k. a. the political parties.   I would love to see a movement to increase our reliance on the electoral college.  That is, let political delegates selected at the state level get together in the electoral college, consider a range of their favored candidates, and vote until one attains the Constitutionally mandated number of votes.

Over the centuries, Americans have moved farther and farther away from the nation’s original method of presidential selection.  We have moved toward an ever greater reliance on the two major parties and on the results of direct votes in the primaries.  The results on the Democratic and Republican side this time around have hardly been satisfactory.  On the Republican side, the winner is a figure who has never held public office and will not command much influence with other national politicians.  On the Democratic side, we have a more seasoned candidate who might well have been supplanted were it not for the machinations of the national party committee, which makes direct voting seem like a sham.

If the states’ citizens delegated this power to electors, could they not perform the work well on the public’s behalf, perhaps producing a better and more efficacious result?