For 225 years, the citizens of the United States have elected one person to serve as their president – one person to serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and to serve as the chief executive. Considering the amount of power that someone in this position holds, the United States would be better served by electing a federal council with seats divided up between political parties based on popularity in the voting booth similar to the system used in Switzerland.
According to the CNN’s 2012 election results table, President Barack Obama won the election with 51 percent of the popular vote. This means that the president was elected to support the views of a majority of the country. Yet this leaves 49 percent of voters unrepresented in the executive branch of government.
It is unreasonable to expect every single voter to be adequately represented since there is such a broad range of views, but if representatives held seats in an elected executive council then a higher percentage of people would be represented.
Electing a council to the executive branch would likely result in better decision making as well. A majority of representatives would have to come to a consensus before any action could be taken.
As a result of this the executive branch’s decisions will be thought through and debated thoroughly by the council before being made, as is done in the other branches of government.
A disadvantage to electing a council of executive representatives would be that the country would miss out on a unifying face. People may know who the president is, but many polls show citizens are unable to name their congressman or senator. The president serves as the face of the United States in the rest of the world and electing a council to the office would lose some of that familiarity. But if we adopted a system similar to the one used in Switzerland, then the role of president could be rotated annually among the council and be seen as “first among equals,” instead of as a leader.
Another disadvantage to having an elected council is that the council has to appear unified in its decisions. A divided council promotes an adversarial mindset and results in less efficiency. This problem could be avoided by making a rule similar to one in Switzerland’s constitution that the council takes executive decisions collectively, putting their personal beliefs aside once a consensus has been reached and supporting the consensus publically.
For 225 years the United States has elected one person to serve as the president. But for 225 years there has been a losing side that has gone unrepresented in a major branch of government.
Therefore the United States population would better represented by an executive council than by one man.