In a parliamentary system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.
In presidential systems, the term refers to a regularly-scheduled election where both the president, and either "a class" of or all members of the national legislature are elected at the same time. A general election day may also include elections for local officials.
The term originates in the United Kingdom general elections for the House of Commons.
Famous quotes containing the words general and/or election:
“When General Motors has to go to the bathroom ten times a day, the whole countrys ready to let go. You heard of that market crash in 29? I predicted that.... I was nursing a director of General Motors. Kidney ailment, they said; nerves, I said. Then I asked myself, Whats General Motors got to be nervous about? Overproduction, I says. Collapse.”
—John Michael Hayes (b. 1919)
“What a glorious time they must have in that wilderness, far from mankind and election day!”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)