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Intro to Comparative Politics - Intro to Political...

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Intro to Political Science *Get scantons for test on the 7 th ! ELECTIONS Chapter 10 Electoral Participation “Paradox of voting” – No one who is sensible should vote. Appeal of Elections - …cause many to assume democracy - …can actually serve many non-democratic objectives Functions of Elections - Select leaders/policies - Mobilize - Build support/show support to leader Tough Questions (to see if valid election) - Is the outcome in doubt? - Are the choices significantly different? - Do the mechanics of the elections reinforce or undermine the citizens’ choices? Elections in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea/North Korea) Types - Choosing leadership or policies - Typical labels: “election” or “referendum” France has the plurality system, but… - A run-off election occurs if no candidate gets the majority the first time - Some other countries follow this system, esp. those that were French colonies (Vietnam, Haiti, Mauritania, Central African Republic) Accountability - How does it vary between SMDP & PR o Single Member District Plurality: For each district, there is 1 winner. o Proportional Representation: There are multiple seats available per district So, minorities prefer the PR method The SMDP method is more able to allow for accountability PR systems are used in most of the world’s democracies. We are an exception. PARTIES Political Parties - Party: A group of officials or would-be officials who are linked to a sizable group of citizens in an organization designed to ensure that its officials gain or retain power. General functions of parties
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- Linking and leading Specific functions - Mobilization - Recruitment - Socialization (upward mobility) - Source of political identity - Channel of control (party keeps extremists in line) 2-Party system - 2 parties dominate (even though others might exist) Problems with 2 party systems - In presidential systems, gridlock if exec. and legislature are controlled by different parties - Parties are centrist (middle of the road) alienation - Some say 3-5 would be best. UNDP on multiparty systems - “In a multiparty system, a political party may win more seats than each of the other party, but not more than all or some of the other parties combined. In this case, parties may form coalitions to achieve a majority.” - Coalition government compromise o Dominant party can probably easily pass legislation it wants and black legislation it doesn’t. However, to survive, coalition member parties have to give and take. - Instability? o Multiparty systems (more than 2) are criticized for lacking stability. 1-Party systems - “…it is argued that they (legislators) will be more likely to work together in a legislature toward a common purpose” (UNDP) Problems with 1 party systems - In practice, 1 party systems tend to promote executive domination of the legislature and reduce its autonomy.
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