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Lecture 8

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Political Science
POLI 222
Christa Scholtz

Electoral Systems Elections Importance Democracy serious = elections serious To ensure democracy legitimacy Express our desires, intentions, needs Voters are directly asked their opinions about something Tabulated and calculated opinions Primary way to hold our representatives to account Specific electoral rules Cairns 1968: The electoral system is to the politician like the price system is to the business person We must have representatives Electoral rules translate to votes into seats Create distortions No perfect translator How to pick between electoral rules? Less bad system vs the one that has less distortions Not choosing between 2 opposite poles but a hybrid and create a balance Those who are in charge are those who have won under the existing system So to change an electoral system, it has to include more than those in power The incidence of attempts at electoral changes contains more failures than successes It is very technical Successes: New Zealand Moved from the same kind of system we have to a mix-systems Had a referendum recently on questioning if continuing with the new system; answer was yes Proportional vs Non-Proportional NP "Winner takes all" One member who will go to the legislature to represent his district Plurality rule FPTP/SMP First-past-the-post Single member plurality The one with the most vote, even if not 50%+1 Majority rule Preferential voting Need 50%+1 vote Run off Another election because no one got 50%+1 of votes Usually single member districts Pure FPTP Canada and USA Majoritarian French presidential election They have run-off's Who had the most first rank; if no majority, then people will vote again but among the remaining top parties/candidates Instant run-off voting (IRV) Rank candidates on one ballot P Allocate seats in a district according to a proportion of votes won by the party Single transferable vote (STV) Preferential voting List of candidates from whate
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