A poster on the very popular and informative forum hotcopper.com.au has suggested that
"The reason there is such a long interval between the election and the inauguration of a US president is so he/she has enough time to ride a horse from the other side of the country to Washington."
Very romantic ...I like it...and it is partly true..it actually used to be twice as long because of the slowness of transport..
It was amended in 1933 because of the then financial crisis!And in this current crisis ridden world the gap seems an extraordinarily long time for the American political processes to be all but paralysed.
But there is another reason as well. The American system unlike our Westminster system has no provision for a shadow cabinet . The president-elect needs time to select his cabinet members and all those other executive roles which are a feature of US governance. And all then needs to be be confirmed by the Senate. So time is needed...and right now time is short.
Perhaps something to be said for our system where the alternative government is ready to go immediately..and does!!!
I am sure the current gap will be under review in the USA