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Lecture 15

POLS 1150 Lecture 15: Elections in Democratic and Non-Democratic Regimes (I) (February 13)

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 1150
Mark Yanisziewski

Lecture 15: Elections in Democratic and Non-Democratic Regimes (I) – February 13 Reading: People, Politics, and Government, pp. 305-314 Constitutions Cont’d The MainAdvantage of Making It Difficult to Change a Constitution • Changes in a country with a rigid constitution tend to reflect the will of a significant portion of the population o Ensures changes are evolutionary, not radical, and hopefully more thought out and less impulsive Elections • The way people express their political ideologies and put them into action Elections in Non-Democratic Regimes • North Korea holds regular elections • Authoritarian, especially totalitarian regimes manipulate the elections that they do hold Tactics to Manipulate the Electoral Process • Only certain candidates may run and stand for office o Others are disqualified for whatever reason o e.g. Iran – very strict procedure which makes many candidates disqualified before elections begin • Manipulate the media coverage • Vote buying • Repression o Arrest/death of individuals from opposition – leaders or key activists • Electoral fraud o Stuff the ballot box, or just choose number outcome • Totalitarian/authoritarian regimes must be wary of how they manipulate the electoral process, the more overt they are – it can delegitimize the regime Insteadof Ridding of Elections Entirely (Totalitarian/AuthoritarianRegimes Hold Them) Because: 1. As a Response to Growing Norm of Democracy (Globally) o From 20 century on, every ideology claims to be operating in will of the people o Give out request for will of people in hopes of fooling people 2. Mobilize/Indoctrinate Public o Mobilizes opinion to the values the regime wishes to convey 3. Send Message o Message t
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