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Thursday January 17th poli lecture.docx

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Brock University
Political Science
Bozidar Mitrovic

Thursday January 17 , 2013 Poli Lecture Elections Slide 1: Elections - most obvious and important manifestation of democracy - about 2/3s if humanity pick their own leaders - authoritarian states have elections too - Soviet Union, China, Iraq - Mexico “electoral alchemy” ensured 70 year rule of PRI - In the US the people don’t pick the president, the electoral college does - The electoral commission in mexico would manipulate it so that one part would win every election Side 2: 2013 elections (not on exam) - Iran - Pakistan - Israel (next week) - Kenya - Germany - Italy - British Columbia (Ontario) - Australia - Chile Slide 3: types of democracy - direct democracy : exemplified by 5 century BCE Athens - representative democracy: emerges in 18 century Europe - digital democracy?? o Worry about whether or not stuff works o Fraud o Intergenerational gap (older people use computer less) o Not everyone has a computer or wifi Slide 4: Why representative democracy? - expansion of franchise - citizens lack time for legislation - idea is indirect rule through elected agents – representative democracy - 18 million Canadians wont fit in the House of Commons Slide 5: Digital democracy?? - a return to the Greek ideal? - Used in leadership contests - But… technological problems, favors wealthy - 2.1 billion internet users (30% of world population) - china has their own internet Slide 6: Purpose - elections are a technology for converting the preferences of the electorate into sitting governments - current issue: o what electoral system is best? o Turnout o Depends on your normative o What are the 2 main types of electoral? Which one is best? (exam question) Slide 7: features of electoral systems in democracies - accountability - universal adult franchise - (theoretically) competitive - conduct of actual election: no bribes or threats; secret ballot; accurate and speedy counting; appeal possible… Slide 8: what do elections do? - Positive view: allows citizens to select government; influence public policy; acquire representation - Sinister view: elections used to channel dissent; participation limited to occasional, sanctioned ceremony, legitimize ‘the system’ Slide 9: do elections perform these functions? - in many democracies voters don’t directly select executive (US presidential election; Canadian PM) - accountability; undermined by party discipline in Canada. On what basis does MP vote? As trustee? Party loyalist? Constituency representative? Slide 10: Do elections perform these functions? - legitimacy: ‘ we have a mandate to govern’ - 1988 federal election: A mandate to negotiate FTA? Only 43% of votes - 1993 federal election: Liberals elected but did not get rid of GST Slide 11: Electoral rules (p.269) - chan
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