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Lecture

Political Parties and Electoral Systems


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL 1101
Professor
Andre Lecours

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Party: Formal organization whose primary purpose is to place and maintain in office people who will
control the government.
-'Catch-all' and 'ideological' parties.
-Parties in authoritarian regimes.
Functions of Political Parties in Democracies:
-Aggregation and articulation of interests
-Training ground for leaders
-Make elections work
Crisis of Political Parties:
-Decline in membership
-Loosening of party identification
-Anti-party parties
Parties and their Rules: Discipline, Nomination, Organization.
Types of Party Systems:
-Single party system
-One party dominant system
-Two-party system, two party plus system
-Multi-party system
Electoral Systems:
-FPP (First-Past-The-Post)
-PR (Proportional Representation)
Advantages/Disadvantages
FPP
- Favours big parties at the expense of small parties.
- Favours regional parties at the expense of national parties.
- Looses a lot of votes
- Tends to produce two-party or two-party-plus systems,
PR
-More representative of popular votes
-Every vote counts which can possibly encourage participation.
-Favours national parties at the expense of regional parties.
- Usually leads to multiparty systems,
- Weaker link between citizens and representatives
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