A system that can put into power the candidate for whom the majority of the electorate did not vote is not a "counterbalance." It's just a subversion of the will of the people. It is tyrannical, and nothing more.
You do realize that, agree or disagree, the effect of the electoral college is by design? The American system was designed from the ground up with the idea that the straight "will of the majority" should not always be the deciding factor. There is a fundamental belief that the states, as entities, should have power in the system as well. Hence the reason why senators were originally elected by the state legislators (a system to which I think we should return) rather than directly by the people. And also the reason for the electoral college. Because it was believed that the states with the most people should not automatically run the show, but that the smaller states should have an important say too.
Like I say, you can agree or disagree, but the US system of state power was definitely by design.