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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

A proposal of electoral system in a democratic China: Electoral College

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

As an observer of U.S. presidential elections, as well as a scholar of American political systems and Presidency, I propose a revised version of Electoral College (EC) to elect China's President in the future.

Electoral College

Regardless of the criticism at home or the likelihood of being adopted somewhere oversea, EC in the U.S. has existed for more than 200 years and made a difference in a country’s political and economic development. As countries with a large population and similar geography, the similarities between the U.S. and China might make the Electoral College a suitable electoral system for China’s economic and political development.

Design of Electoral Votes in China

Building on the U.S. standard, there are 538 Electoral Votes (EV), which would be allocated among the provinces based on the most recent (2010) Census in China. Each of the 31 provinces (including municipalities and autonomous regions) is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of senators (supposed the Chinese congress also uses the bicameral system; surprisingly, the Chinese Senate did exist in history as a part of the National Assembly of the Republic of China founded in 1913) and representatives in its Congressional delegation—two votes for its senators plus a number of votes equal to the number of its members in the House, which is based on their percentage of population. See the allocations below:

Total Electoral Votes: 538; Majority Needed to Elect: 270

*Under the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution, the District of Columbia is allocated three electors and treated like a state for purposes of the EC. Therefore, I allocate Tibet four electors, the same at the other provinces with the least electors.

** The census data of Taiwan is not available and Taiwan holds its own presidential election. Therefore, Taiwan is not assigned EV.

All provinces have a winner-takes-all rule for the EC. That is, a candidate who receives a plurality of the popular vote takes all of the province’s EVs.


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