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An element of chance

by npcole

Cite as: Dr Nicholas Cole, ‘An element of chance’ in N. P. Cole, Grace Mallon and Kat Howarth, The Creation of the Electoral College, Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, 2016), item 75.


Wilson's proposal here introduced an element of chance to the selection of the chief magistrate, amid what appear to have become increasingly difficult disputes over almost every aspect of the election which had been agreed to this point. Aside from a classically-inspired use of the lot, this proposal represented an attempt to return to the idea of selection by the national legislature, and it is difficult to see why Wilson thought this proposal had a greater chance of success or was superior to proposals that simply allowed the national legislature to make the choice of executive magistrate.

Approved for publication