I got into an argument with one of my friends here in town this weekend about the Electoral College, that august institution currently responsible for electing the US President. This friend asserted that it was a good thing because a direct election of the President would further strengthen the executive branch at the expense of the legislative by giving the executive a mandate to act in the name of the people. I countered that the exectuive, not just this administration, already behaves as such and the Electoral College primarily frustrates the majority will and strengthens the effects of local majorities on the national election. We both ended up stubbornly clinging to our points, and changed topics wwhen it was clear we weren't getting anywhere.
What do other people think? Is the Electoral College a good thing? A bad thing? Irrelevent?