Presidential elections in other countries work well without an electoral college

How do other countries elect presidents without an electoral college? Pretty easily. David Weigel notes that plenty of countries elect presidents, and none of them use an electoral college system.

Want to see how presidential elections work if people don’t have to hunt in swing states? Lucky for you, we have hundreds of case studies, and the quick answer is “they work pretty well.” In countries with free and fair elections, presidential races look a lot like our own, with candidates stumping everywhere to drive up favorable turnout and flip voters their way.

Weigel says, “There is only one office in this country you can win without the popular support of most voters, and it happens to be the most powerful one in the world.”

There are four years before this will matter again, and there’s absolutely no hint that it will change. But it might be telling that when we’ve advice a country on how to write a constitution, we have never told them to copy the electoral college. Nor have we told them to let state legislators draw their own boundaries. In 2012 our system elected a House of Representatives that lost the popular vote and in 2016 it elected a president that lost it, too. That has massive distorting effects on how our country works. For all our gifts, it’s something no other presidential democracy has to worry about.

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