GOVT311 Lecture 8 Vote Choice

GOVT311 Lecture 8 Vote Choice - Vote Choice GOVT 311...

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Vote Choice GOVT 311 Lecture 8
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Down’s theory of voting Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Left Right Voters Voters and Candidates are placed on a left-right ideological continuum
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Voters Choose Nearest Candidate Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Left Right Voter chooses candidate 2
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For the theory to work… Voters must… Know their own stands on issues Must know the stands of the candidates Must believe that the vote will affect government policy
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Evidence that Down’s Theory Works Voters tend to select candidate closest to them in presidential elections 1972-2004 (E & T p.292).
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The Median Voter Theorem Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Left Right Both candidates make appeals to the middle (or median) voter in order to win the election. Explains why single member districts tend to produce two centrist political parties.
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Problem with the MVT Voters must link their stands, the candidates stands, and government policy Candidates do not perfectly align in the center They have ideology of their own
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