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Campaigns, Elections, Participation

Campaigns, Elections, Participation - PSC 101 Campaigns...

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PSC 101 Campaigns, Elections, Participation Thursday, September 30, 2010 Campaigns and elections - The process looks like this o Setting the stage Legal context Times o People choose whether to enter the race o Candidates start fundraising o Formal campaigning starts o People decide whether to vote o People decide who to vote for o We elect someone Setting the stage - Two important parts of context o Legal Method of election Defining the electorate Defining the election process Financing laws o Times What have things been like lately? Scandals? Economy? Who’s retiring? So? - Contexts matter because (many) politicians are strategic o LGS don’t pay much attention to this - Have longer-term goal in mind, working to achieve it - Ask themselves – what are my odds... o FOR THIS OFFICE o IN THIS DISTRICT o IN THIS YEAR - Election results are often more about elite decisions than anything in the electorate o People who choose not to run can’t win (very often) o How Bill Clinton got to be President Methods of election - Several different types of elections in US o Plurality SMD (Single Member District) o Plurality MMD (Multi Member District) o Runoff SMD or MMD o Proportional representation o Various weirdo - All are biased (can’t not be)
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- Other distinction: partisan vs. nonpartisan elections o Nonpartisan only means that no party labels appear on the ballot o Candidates are still usually affiliated with a party Defining the electorate - Classic question in American democracy: who can vote?
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