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POL112H5 (65)
Lecture

Elections Lecture

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL112H5
Professor
Graham White
Semester
Fall

Description
FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS? PREMISES: NO SINGLE “RIGHT” WAY 1) MUCH DEPENDS ON VALUE JUDGEMENTS (many alternatives ways to have one’s elections conducted) 2) APPARENTLY MINOR ARRANGEMENTS MAY HAVE SUBSTANTIAL IMPLICATIONS (2000 US election where Bush and Al Gore were running against each other and the voting system was flawed and many votes were not taken into consideration- if Bush had lost then it could have made substantial implications to US). 3) RULES ARE NOT NEUTRAL ===> NO RULE CHANGES ARE NEUTRAL (favor one type of person/group/process over another) 4) MAY BE SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FORMAL/LEGAL RULES AND REAL-LIFE SITUATION (US had the right to vote- including black people, but if you were a black person living in the south it would be really hard for you to vote as many barriers would be put in place to stop them) MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE ELECTORAL REGIME  FRANCHISE  METHOD OF COMPILING VOTERS LIST  PARTY/CANDIDATE FINANCES  DETERMINING CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARIES  METHOD OF TRANSLATING VOTES INTO SEATS THE FRANCHISE  WHO CURRENTLY HAS – OR DOES NOT HAVE – THE VOTE  HOW THE FRANCHISE HAS EXPANDED VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESSES 1) ENUMERATION WAS THE CANADIAN NORM UNTIL RECENTLY 2) “PERMANENT VOTERS LIST” REASONS FOR ADOPTION UNDEMOCRATIC RESULTS? POLITICAL/PARTISAN OVERTONES? DETERMINING CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARIES EXAMPLE OF APPARENTLY MUNDANE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS WITH POTENTIALLY HUGE – AND UNDEMOCRATIC – IMPLICATIONS NECESSARY BECAUSE OF POPULATION GROWTH/SHIFTS TWO SETS OF CONCERNS: 1) SIZE (i.e. POPULATION) OF RIDINGS: (separate pg) RURAL/URBAN CONSTITUTIONAL RULES FAVOURING SMALL PROVS/TERRS 2) LOCATION OF BOUNDARIES (“GERRYMANDERING”)  UNTIL 60s/70s, CONTROLLED BY GOVERNMENT PARTY (STILL UNDER PARTISAN CONTROL IN U.S.)  Parties would try to maximize their boundaries, to benefit their parties (so they would win certain districts) (redraw boundaries in their favor) NOW DONE BY NEUTRAL COMMISSIONS PARTY/CANDIDATE FINANCE LEGISLATION/REGULATION NON-EXISTENT UNTIL 1970s PREMSES/OBJECTIVES 1) REDUCE/ELIMINATE INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN POLITICS (no one is giving money to the gov. to benefit them with permits, future jobs, etc) 2) LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD ... OR ESTABLISH BARRIERS TO ENTRY? (some parties had better connections with mone
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