Winner-take-all is an electoral system (used generally in the United States and Canada) in which a winning candidate receives a majority of votes at the general election. The United States inherited the majority election system from Great Britain, where the process for parliamentary elections is termed first past the post. Forty-eight of the fifty United States generally receive all of that state’s electoral votes (that is, the majority rules at the state level, with the exceptions being Maine and Nebraska). The electors assigned to the candidate who is the winner of the major ity of votes in their state are all represented in the Electoral College. The casting of votes against the winning candidate at the state level is negated by the delegation of electoral votes. The federal principle in presidential elections is a fundamental structure of the U.S. Constitution. All of the national elective offices are based on the federal principle, or elections based on the state, in accordance with the national motto, “e pluribus Unum. «The federal principle in presidential elections forces candidates to focus attention on smaller states, which may be otherwise ignored, by developing extensive cross-national political coalitions. Consequently, the president of the United States will have the ability to govern because of the ability to develop widespread cross-national support. The notion is to protect the freedoms and prerogatives of the few (as opposed to the many). As former British colonies, Australia and India also utilize majority voting. Continental European countries—in addition to Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea—have implemented forms of proportional representation.
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