Re: American democracy
The paint by numbers thing is (I believe) a result of trying to bring separate states into the union. No sparsely populated state would join if it knew it would always be out-voted by big cities.
Hamilton thought the constitution ensured "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications".
Well, he was obviously wrong.
The 12th amendment basically required partisan elections and it was the change from proportional allocation for each state in the EC to winner-take-all that set up such an absurd system.
No, the EC system was not so states would join the union. Direct election wouldn't have worked for the south - slaves couldn't vote, but WERE counted at at 2/5 rate under the electoral college.