Is there a specific reason why leadlinks are appointed instead of elected? Are there any examples of organisations that have their leadlinks elected as well?
From what I was told / what I remember / my perspective, Lead Links are appointed by default because a Lead Link is just a role to the above Circle. You do not elect Lead Links because you do not elect every other role within your circle. Remember that in the Super-Circle, the Lead Link of a Sub-Circle is simply a normal Role holder just like everyone else. You are appointed to that role by the Lead Link. The only difference is that the person eventually says, "My work is greater than one person and needs to be made a circle." So, in the Super-Circle, it is just a Role that does work like any other role. That person (the Lead Link of the Sub-Circle) just needs to break down their own role into further levels to accomplish their work.
Hopefully that makes sense. It is also important to remember that this is just the default setting for ease-of-use. If your Circle and/or Organization finds it more beneficial to have Lead Links be an elected position, you could choose to do this with a Policy. We have a Policy at our GCC that allows a Lead Link to be elected, but it can only be used as a last ditch effort to resolve Tensions with the Lead Link that nothing else (especially a lot of discussions and conflict resolution) has been able to fix.