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JLeslie's avatar

What if we voted in the Vice President?

Asked by JLeslie (65335points) July 9th, 2017 from iPhone

In America a Presidential candidate chooses his or her running mate, but what if the citizenry were able to vote on who it will be instead?

If you like the idea, would you have the candidate running for president narrow the choice to 3 people? Or, would you entertain the idea of the public voting on its own in some way from start to finish?

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11 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

I believe it would be asking for trouble.
On the one hand, you would like to approve the choice. However, VP has a tight relationship with POTUS. If we voted it could be a huge disaster of sniping, distrust, instability.
I think it would be best to leave things as they are.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Or how about the candidate who lands in second place becomes vice president? LOL. Imagine what the present presidency would be like with Hillary in the West Wing.

We’ve had it both ways in the US. In the beginning, the runner up became VP. Then, in 1804, the president and vice president were elected on separate ballots as specified in the Twelfth Amendment which was adopted in that year. As more and more states began to choose their electors by popular election instead of appointment, candidates began to realize they could run together as a team for president and vice president instead of running separately for each office.

The practice of a presidential candidate having a running mate was solidified during the American Civil War. In 1864, in the interest of fostering national unity, Abraham Lincoln from the Republican Party (popular predominately in the North) and Andrew Johnson of the Democratic Party (popular predominately in the South), were co-endorsed and run together for President and Vice-President as candidates of the National Union Party.

The National Union Party disbanded after the war ended, with the result that Republican Lincoln was succeeded by Democrat Johnson; the states began to place candidates for President and Vice-President together on the same ballot ticket, making it impossible to vote for a presidential candidate from one party and a vice-presidential candidate from another party, as had previously been possible.

If we dispense with the electoral college, we could go back to voting for both positions separately and that is one of the reasons both parties resist it.

CWOTUS's avatar

What if we killed and symbolically consumed the loser in all political contests?

There are all kinds of things that we could do differently from how we already do. If we’re going to think outside the box, then let’s think outside the warehouse, too.

ucme's avatar

Vice president sounds like the Boss Pimp in the seedy side of town & who voted for him eh?
The criminal underworld types that’s who…yeah, how’d ya like them apples?

rojo's avatar

@ucme that is the thing. Nobody votes for him/her. They get selected by the party and the country gets stuck with the winners choice. Doesn’t really seem very democratic to me.
Personally, I like the idea of a P and VP from different parties. It would help reinforce the need for the parities to work together for the betterment of the country.

Darth_Algar's avatar


On the other hand, historically, vice presidents have often had very little importance or influence. FDR, for example, met with Truman exactly once for like 5 minutes. For his entire tenure as vice-president Truman had about as much significance to the administration as a tablecloth.

I could see a a VP from a different party than the president easily being relegated to a virtually useless role again.

zenvelo's avatar

I think it is a good idea to run separately. The Vice -President’s primary duty is President of the Senate.

I would much rather have an independent Vice President running the Senate on a daily basis, and have the VP independent of the Executive.

Remember when LBJ forgot who Humphrey was?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I think that VP should or could be the leader of the other party.

Pandora's avatar

I would prefer to have the second runner up as VP. Think about it. It would force them both to meet in the middle but the President would still have final say.

It would be close to make the Presidency a bi-partisan seat. Think about it. The President is suppose to represent all the citizens in a bi-partisan way, but you know that never happens. He does what he has to do to win the next election, so he only swings for one team.

A double race would just mean double the money and bull. Lets’ keep it down to as few as possible.
Everyone acts like the President is suppose to have a friend next to him. No. He or she is suppose to have someone who will always work in the best interests of the country. They shouldn’t have to agree on everything, but they should agree on that. If they did that. If every politician just did that. Then imagine how much better this country would be. It would be amazing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Pandora “It would force them both to meet in the middle but the President would still have final say.”

Or it would just result in the president effectively shutting the vice-president out, relegating the VP to an ornament to display at ceremonial functions.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

As stated above, from the beginning the runner up became VP, until that was changed in 1804. The last time a president served with a VP of the other party was in 1865.

In his second run for president, Lincoln took the southern democratic senator from Kentucky, Andrew Johnson as his VP. The war was nearly over and Lincoln was interested in uniting the country once again rather than having a punitive process take place—which is what his Republican cabinet had in mind.

Six days after Lee surrendered the southern army to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Lincoln was assassinated and the US had a southerner as president. The country freaked out, people were asking why they had even fought the war, conspiracy theories were abound, and Congress spent the next four years trying to impeach him. They succeeded, but Johnson was saved from conviction, on charges that had no relation to his political stance, by one vote. LOL. Shit happens.

And that was the final instance of a VP ever serving with a president from another party.

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