Chapter 9 and 10- Political Participation and Election
and Voters 16/12/2012 10:14:00 AM
Political participation is activity by individuals formally intended to
influence who governs or the decisions taken by those who do.
Conventional participation takes place within formal politics.
Unconventional participation is, to a degree, outside or even against
Intensity of political engagement- Pyramid.
Gladiators- campaign workers (5-7% of the population)
Spectators- they vote activity and monitory the system (60%)
Apathetics- people who are disengaged in politics (33%)
Forms of political engagement
Who participates, and why/why not?
Male – high status
Why do people participate?
Education, money, status, communication, and time
―Interest‖ – get involved so you can get stuff for yourself
The ―law of increasing disproportion‖ seems to apply to nearly every
political system; no matter how we measure political and social status, the
higher the level of political authority, the greater the representation of high-
status social groups. Political versus social movements
Political parties- interest groups
Social movements are groups emerging from society to pursue non-
establishment goals through unorthodox means. Their objectives are broad
rather than sectional and their style, often referred to as new politics,
involves a challenge by traditional outsiders to the existing elite.
Are less conventional
Relative deprivation: arises when people believe they are receiving less
(value capability) than they feel they are entitled to (value expectations).
Relative deprivation breeds a sense of resentment, which contributes to
political discontent. Absolute deprivation, by contrast, leads to a struggle for
survival and a lack of interest in wider political issues. See J-curve.
Chapter 10: Elections and voters
Scope and franchise: how many elected offices? Second- order elections.
Who can vote? Should criminals, the insane and non-citizens resident be
excluded? Flexibility for non-citizens within the EU.
Elements of electoral systems
Electoral system denotes all the rules governing an election. However, the
term is usually restricted to three aspects: first, the structure of the ballot
(e.g. how many candidates are listed per party); second, the electoral
formula (how votes are converted into seats); third, districting (the
division of the territory into separate constituencies)
1. Ballot (# of candidates per party)
Instances of proportional you can vote for
You spilt the voting between two different people in the party, senate
2. Electoral formula (translating votes into seats)
o PR – plurality/majority
o How to
3. Districting (outlining ridings) Different electoral formulas (know the basic differences)
1. Plurality and majority systems
Plurality system: Person with the most votes, FPTD, you can win without
Majority systems: person with the most votes and with the majority of
2. Proportional systems
Parties get % of seats in the proportion to votes
3. Mixed systems
Election a parliament
Electoral systems: Legislatures
Plurality and Majority Systems
1. Single- member plurality: first past the post
Procedure: The candidate securing most votes (not necessarily a
majority) is elected on the first and only ballot within each single-member
Where used: 47 countries including Bangladesh, Canada, India, UK, and
2. Two- round system
Procedure: If no candidate wins a majority on the first ballot, the leading
candidates (usually the top two) face a second, run-off election.
Where used: 22 countries including Egypt, Iran, Mali, and Vietnam.
3. Absolute majority alternative vote (AV)
Procedure: Voters rank candidates. If no candidate wins a majority of first
preferences, the bottom candidate is eliminated and his or her votes are
redistricted by second preferences.
4. List System
Procedure: Votes are cast for a party’s list of candidates, though in some
countries the elector can also express support for individual candidates on
Where used: Seventy including Brazil, Czech Republic, Israel, the
Netherlands, and Russia. 5. Single transferrable vote (STV)
Procedure: Voters rank candidates in order to preference. Any successful
candidate needs a set number of votes—the quota. All candidates who
exceed this quota on first preferences are elected. Their surplus voters
are then distributed according to second preferences. When no candidate
has reached the quota, the bottom candidate is eliminated and these
votes are also transferred. This continues until all seat are filled.
Where used: Ireland, Malta.
6. Mixed member proportional (MMP)
Procedure: Electors normally have two votes. One is for the district
election (which uses the plurality method) and the others for PR contest
(usually party list). The two tiers linked so as to deliver a proportional
outcome overall. The party vote determines the number of seats to be
won by each party. Elected candidate are dawn first from the party’s
winners in the district contests, topped up as required by candidates from
the party list.
Where used: 9 countries including Germany and New Zealand.
7. Mixed member majoritarian (MMM)
Procedure: As for MMP, except the two tiers are separate, with no
mechanism, to achieve a proportional result overall.
Where used: 21 countries, including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
Tactical voting: occurs when electors vote instrumentally for party or