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PS 51A 7-19-2010

PS 51A 7-19-2010 - PS51A7192010 ,majoritygovernments( o...

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PS 51A 7-19-2010 Elections – Institutional Design Consequences of electoral system design Plurality   two-party system, majority governments (or pre-electoral alliances) o Duverger’s law – you see 2 big parties usually in plurality. The mechanical  compenent says that small parties recognize that they have little to no chance so  they join other parties or disband. People know that casting a vote for a small  party is a waste because casting that vote will get you nothing. You end up  choosing between the 2 bigger parties.  o Advantages and Disadvantages  Dis – small parties have little to no chance, don’t last or survive for long. In  general, you end up with a 2 big party-system (US is repub vs. democrats) PR (proportional Representation) System – multi-party system, coalition governments  (difficult  to obtain single party majority) Dis – why doesn’t just every country adopt the PR system? In these, because small parties can  survive, there will be a lot of small parties and that means that no single party will get a majority  of seats. That will in turn will require some kind of coalition in the legislature to get anything  passed. A lot of times these coalitions involve backroom deals between parties. The 
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