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Lecture 8

POLI 212 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Tactical Voting, Proportional Representation, Ballot


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 212
Professor
Hudson Meadwell
Lecture
8

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Topic&6:&Coalitions&
- Coalitions:&
o What&happens&“the&morning&after”?&
o Why&are&coalitions&more&common&in&Europe&than&in&North&America?&
o How&do&parties&with&different&priorities&come&together&and&govern&effectively?&
- Types&of&Electoral&Systems:&
o Mechanism&for&translating&votes&into&seats&
§ Single-Member&Plurality&(SMP)&(first-past-the-post)&
§ Proportional&Representation&(PR)&
§ Majoritarian&Systems&
SMP&get&lumped&into&this&but&is&different&
§ Mixed&Systems&
SMP&Electoral&Systems&
- Commonly&used&in&British-influenced&systems&
o E.g.&Canada,&India,&Singapore,&UK,&US&
o But&not:&Australia,&Ireland,&New&Zealand&
- Involves&getting&the&most&votes&for&a&single&seat&to&be&filled&
- Easy&to&understand&and&easy&to&count&
- Direct&lines&of&accountability&between&representative&and&electors&à&voters&know&who’s&
responsible&(who&is&my&MP?)&
- Tends&to&return&majority&governments&
- No&majority&(just&plurality)&necessary&to&win&
o Is&this&really&‘democratic’?&
- Results&in&fewer&political&parties&
o Think:&median&voter&(if&most&ppl&in&the&system&identify&in&the&middle)&
o Good&thing&or&nah?&
- Can&distort&the&translation&of&votes&into&seats&
o May&encourage&‘strategic&voting’&
- Leads&to&the&perception&of&‘wasted’&votes&
o “my&vote&doesn’t&count”&
o linked&to&the&issue&of&low&turnout&
&
PR&Electoral&Systems&
- Commonly&used&in&Europe&
o E.g.&Belgium,&Czech&Republic,&Finland,&Netherlands,&etc.&
- Various&methods&for&calculating&seat&allocation&
o E.g.&Germany’s&MMP&system&or&Australia&and&Ireland’s&STV&system&
- Often&involve&a&‘threshold’&
- May&or&may&not&involve&the&use&of&(open/closed)&party&lists&
- Sometimes&combined&with&FPTP&
- Reduces&the&number&of&wasted&votes&
- Do&not&allow&for&direct&lines&of&accountability&between&representative&and&electors&
- Blues&the&lines&of&accountability&for&political&actors&
o “Who&is&my&MP!?”&
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