The electoral college is a medieval relic. Only the U.S. still has one.

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tags: election 2016, Electoral College



The U.S. electoral college is a medieval relic. For several centuries, many political communities in Europe and the Americas used electors chosen from different territorial and political units to select a main magistrate. The United States is the only country in the world to still use the system to elect a president.

But it may nevertheless survive for a long time to come.

The Founding Fathers did not invent the electoral college. It goes as far back as the 11th century, when it began to be used to elect Frankish, Carolingian, Bohemian, Hungarian and Polish kings. These princes were elected by their peers, gathered in colleges of electors formed by dukes, marquises, counts and bishops. Similar formulas were used to elect high magistrates in the city-republics of northern Italy, and abbots and abbesses in the Dominican and other monastic orders.




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