Electoral college
Overview
 
An electoral college is a set of elector
Voting
Voting is a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion—often following discussions, debates, or election campaigns. It is often found in democracies and republics.- Reasons for voting :...

s who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

. Often these represent different organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

s or entities
Entity
An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, although it need not be a material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate.An entity could be viewed as a set...

, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way. Many times, though, the electors are simply important people whose wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 would ideally provide a better choice than a larger body. The system can ignore the wishes of a general membership.
Germanic law stated that the German king led only with the support of his nobles.
Encyclopedia
An electoral college is a set of elector
Voting
Voting is a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion—often following discussions, debates, or election campaigns. It is often found in democracies and republics.- Reasons for voting :...

s who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

. Often these represent different organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

s or entities
Entity
An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, although it need not be a material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate.An entity could be viewed as a set...

, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way. Many times, though, the electors are simply important people whose wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 would ideally provide a better choice than a larger body. The system can ignore the wishes of a general membership.

Origins of electoral colleges

Germanic law stated that the German king led only with the support of his nobles. Thus, Pelayo needed to be elected by his Visigothic nobles before becoming king of Asturias
Asturias
The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

, and so did Pepin the Short by Frankish nobles in order to become the first Carolingian king. While most other Germanic nations had developed a strictly hereditary system by the end of the first millennium, the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 could not, and the King of the Romans, who would become Holy Roman Emperor or at least Emperor-elect, was selected by the college of prince-elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

s from the late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 until 1806 (the last election
Imperial election
The election of a Holy Roman Emperor or King of Germany was, from at least the 13th century, accomplished by a small body of the greatest princes of the Empire, the Prince-electors. Appointment as Emperor was normally for life...

 actually took place in 1792).
Church
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

, both the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 and laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

, elected the bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 or presiding presbyter
Presbyter
Presbyter in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, then a synonym of episkopos...

. However, for various reasons, such as, perhaps, a desire to reduce the influence of the state or the laity in ecclesiastical matters, electoral power became restricted to the clergy and, in the case of the Church in the West, exclusively to a college of the canons
Canon (priest)
A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule ....

 of the cathedral church. In the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

's case, the system of people and clergy was eventually replaced by a college of the important clergy of Rome, which eventually became known as the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...

. Since 1059, it has had exclusive authority over papal selection.

Modern electoral colleges

Nations with complex regional electorates may elect a head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 by means of an electoral college rather than a direct popular election
Direct election
Direct election is a term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons or political party that they desire to see elected. The method by which the winner or winners of a direct election are chosen depends upon the...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is the only current example of an indirectly elected executive president
Executive president
An executive president is a president who exercises active executive power in a certain systems of government. Executive presidents are active in day-to-day governance of a nation, and are usually popularly elected....

, with an electoral college comprising electors representing the 50 states and one federal district
Federal district
Federal districts are a type of administrative division of a federation, under the direct control of a federal government. They exist in various countries and states all over the world.-United States:...

. Each state has a number of electors equal to its total Congressional representation (in both houses), with the non-state District of Columbia receiving three electors and other non-state territories having no electors. The electors generally cast their votes for the winner of the popular vote in their respective states. However, there are several states not required by law to do so.

Similar systems are used or have been used in other president
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

ial elections around the world. For example, the short-lived Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 (1861-1865) provided for election of its president in virtually the same manner as set out in the U.S. Constitution. The President of Finland
President of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland is the nation's head of state. Under the Finnish constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people of Finland for a term of six years....

 was elected by an electoral college between 1919 and 1987. In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, the members of the lower house of Parliament together with an equal number of members (Germany) or weighted votes (India) from the state parliaments elect the non-executive President of the Republic, while in Italy the presidential electoral college is composed of the members of both houses of Parliament and three members elected by each of the regional assemblies.

Another type of Electoral College is used by the British Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 to choose its leader. The college consists of three equally weighted sections: the votes of Labour MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

s and MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

s; the votes of affiliated trade union
Affiliated trade union
In British politics, the term affiliated trade union refers to a trade union that has an affiliation to the British Labour Party.The Party was created by the trade unions and socialist societies in 1900 as the Labour Representation Committee...

s and socialist societies
Socialist societies
A socialist society is a membership organisation that is affiliated with the Labour Party in the UK.The best-known socialist society is the Fabian Society, founded in 1884, some years before the creation of the Labour Party itself . The Society's membership is relatively small , but in Labour...

; and the votes of individual members of Constituency Labour Parties.

During Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

's military rule period, the president was elected by an electoral college comprising senators, deputies, state deputies, and lawmakers in the cities. Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 had an electoral college established by its original 1853 constitution, which was used to elect its president during that country's periods of democracy. The constitution was reformed in 1994 and the electoral college was replaced with a direct election by popular vote with runoff round
Two-round system
The two-round system is a voting system used to elect a single winner where the voter casts a single vote for their chosen candidate...

.

Other countries with electoral college systems include Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (for the French Senate
French Senate
The Senate is the upper house of the Parliament of France, presided over by a president.The Senate enjoys less prominence than the lower house, the directly elected National Assembly; debates in the Senate tend to be less tense and generally enjoy less media coverage.-History:France's first...

), the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 (for Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann is the upper house of the Oireachtas , which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann . It is commonly called the Seanad or Senate and its members Senators or Seanadóirí . Unlike Dáil Éireann, it is not directly elected but consists of a mixture of members chosen by...

), Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, Pakistan
Electoral College of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is chosen by an electoral college, in Pakistan. According to article 41 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, this electoral college consists of the Senate, the National Assembly of Pakistan, and the Members of the Provincial Assemblies. Members of the National Assembly...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, and Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

. Within China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, both Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

and Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 each have an Election Committee
Election Committee
The Election Committee is an 800-member electoral college in the politics of Hong Kong. It was established by Annex I of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. This article defines the method of electing the Chief Executive. It is renewed every five years when the sitting Chief Executive's term has expired...

 which functions as an electoral college for selecting the Chief Executive and formerly (in the case of Hong Kong) for selecting some of the seats of the Legislative Council
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
The Legislative Council is the unicameral legislature of Hong Kong.-History:The Legislative Council of Hong Kong was set up in 1843 as a colonial legislature under British rule...

.

Ecclesiastical electoral colleges abound in modern times, especially among Protestant and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches
Eastern Rite Catholic Churches
The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous, self-governing particular churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Together with the Latin Church, they compose the worldwide Catholic Church...

. In the Eastern rite churches, all the bishops of an autocephalous church elect successor bishops, thus serving as an electoral college for all the episcopal see
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

s.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK