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November 14, 2012- Ballot Structure.docx

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Political Studies
POLS 110
Jonathan W Rose

Ballot Structure: Three kinds of ballots  Categorical o Either/or choice o Pick one o Easy to understand o Simple to vote/intuitive  Ordinal o Ranking choice o Greater choice o More complex voting  Mixed ballots o Ballots sometimes use come combination of categorical and/or ordinal o Given more choice o More complex How many politicians per district?  Voter representation/ representation by population o One person one vote one ballot  Local representation is important  Interests may be different in different regions  Disproportional When vote number doesn’t match seat number  The more seats there are in a district o The more proportional the results will be o The more smaller parties will get representation  Proportionality is the match between the vote share and the seat share Strengths and weaknesses of different formulas  Plurality o Strengths  Clear winner  Allowed for local accountability o Weaknesses  You can win with much less then 50 percent of the vote  Assumes a correlation between the interests of people and where they live  Majority o Strengths  Allows for greater legitimacy  Still has accountability o Weaknesses  More complicated  More time consuming  Proportionality o Strengths  Vote share is equal to the seat share  Better reflects voters’ preferences o Weaknesses  Don’t have local representation  Less accountability  You don’t get to choose the candidate; party chooses  You never get majority; government has to find other way to get majority  Minority government (rely on support from other parties)  Form coalitio
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