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Lecture 7

PSCI 2003 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Gerrymandering, Compulsory Voting, Real Change


Department
Political Science
Course Code
PSCI 2003
Professor
J Malloy
Lecture
7

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1 November 2016
PSCI 2003
Lecture 7 Elections and the Electoral System
Malcolm Rowe
o New Supreme Court Justice
Process of choosing him
Questioning the nominee
Overview of Single-Member-Plurality (SMP)
o Who can vote?
o Do some votes count more?
o Who votes?
o What is happening now?
Rules of the game: Elections
There are 338 Electoral districts in Canada
o
o Electoral districts also called: constituencies, ridings, seats
Single-Member Plurality System
o Whoever gets the most votes in a riding, wins.
o Other otes are asted
o Example:
Cabot 3000 votes
Cartier 4000 votes
De Vercheres 2000 votes
Secord 3000 votes
Three main alternatives
o Alternative vote (AV) Australia lower house
Voters rank all candidates
o Single-Transferable vote (STV) Australia upper house
Cartier wins the seat with 33% of
vote.
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Voters rank multiple candidates
o Mixed-member Proportional (MMP) New Zealand
Two votes; one for constituency; one for party
Who can vote?
o Extension of the Franchise
1918: Women (white)
1948: Asian Canadians
1953: Inuit
1960: Registered Indians
1970: 18-20 year olds (previously age 21)
1988: Judges and people with mental disabilities
1999: Returning officers
2002: all prisoners
o Restrictions:
People not resident in Canada for 5+ years (controversial: new government said
it would look into it but has not)
Greater procedural restrictions (ID, etc.)
o Possible further extensions
Landed immigrants/permanent residents
Since they pay taxes and use services
Found in some European countries at municipal
16 & 17 year olds
Could establish voting habits before leaving high school
Do some votes count more?
o How are electoral districts distributed?
o Comparing to USA
Gerryaderig
Boundaries drawn by incumbent politicians
Canadian boundary commissions non-partisan; generally very fair
Malapportionment of Seats
o But… U.“ distrits otrolled for populatio size
o In Canada, there is more unequal distribution by population
Between provinces
Small provinces overrepresented
Complicated rules promote disproportion
Electoral Districts
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Within provinces
Different populations between urban, suburban, rural and remote
ridings
Visile iority ote dilutio
o High-population districts more likely to be ethnically and racially diverse
o Low-population districts more likely to be ethnically and racially homogenous
o One vote out of 150,000 has half the importance of a vote out of 75,000
o Example of systemic discrimination?
Who actually votes?
o Turnout also went up slightly to 52% in 2014 provincial election
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