Lecture+15+November+16

Lecture+15+November+16 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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Unformatted text preview: Today in Comparative Politics Geography quiz: Eastern Europe Elections and Electoral Systems The growing popularity of elections Virtually every independent country in the world has held elections at one time or another. Only 6 countries had not held legislative or presidential elections by 2007: Bhutan, Brunei, China, Eritrea, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia Elections: An Overview Electoral systems Countries around the world use a vast array of different electoral systems. An electoral formula determines how votes are translated into seats. These formulas produce results that range along a continuum from Majoritarian (e.g., plurality method common in U.S. and elsewhere) to Proportional (e.g., proportional representation systems in numerous countries) Majoritarian-Proportional Dimension What varies along this dimension? Threshold of exclusion : Maximum support that a party can attain without winning even a single seat in a district Majoritarian: just under 50% Proportional: can be much smaller Countries using election system families Changes to electoral systems for national legislatures, 1993-2004 Source: Electoral System Design: The New International IDEA Handbook , 2005 Questions about electoral systems Why are there so many electoral systems? What are their relative merits? What effect does the electoral system have on the party system? Does the electoral system determine the number of political parties? What determines a countrys electoral system? What makes countries change systems? What is the effect of the number and structure of parties? Does the electoral system affect economic outcomes? Majoritarian Electoral Systems A majoritarian electoral system is one in which the candidates or parties that receive the most votes win. Several members of this family S ingle-member District Plurality A single-member district plurality (SMDP) system is one in which individuals cast a single vote for a candidate in a single-member district. The candidate with the most votes wins. Examples: United Kingdom, India, Canada, Nigeria, Zambia First past the post S ingle-member District Plurality 2005 Parliamentary Returns Harrow West 0.9 427 Independent B.J. Daver 1.2 576 UK Independence J. Cronin 17.1 8,188 Liberal Democratic C.D. Noyce 38.3 18,270 Conservative M.W. Freer 42.5 % 20,298 Labour G.R. Thomas Share Votes Party Candidate S ingle-member District Plurality Advantages Simplicity Accountability is straightforward....
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Lecture+15+November+16 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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