Lecture 15 November 22

Lecture 15 November 22 - 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 National elections scheduled in the next few weeks 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 Single-member District Plurality SMDP: individuals cast a single vote for a candidate in a single-member district. Candidate with the most votes wins. Examples United Kingdom India Canada Nigeria Zambia First past the post Single-member District Plurality May 2010 Parliamentary Returns Harrow West 1.4 625 Green R. Langley 2.1 954 UK Independence H. Crossman 16.2 7,458 Liberal Democratic C.D. Noyce 36.8 16,968 Conservative R. Joyce 43.6 % 20,111 Labour G.R. Thomas Share Votes Party Candidate 9 Single-member District Plurality Advantages Simplicity Accountability is straightforward. Result: High level of constituency service Disadvantages Can win with very little support Invites strategic voting Single-member District Plurality 1.4 625 Green R. Langley 2.1 954 UK Independence H. Crossman 16.2 7,458 Liberal Democratic C.D. Noyce 36.8 16,968 Conservative R. Joyce 43.6 % 20,111 Labour G.R. Thomas Share Votes Party Candidate 9 Suppose for voter i: UKIP P i Conservative P i Labour Single-member District Plurality...
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course 790 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture 15 November 22 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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