POLB52 – Lecture 10 – March 21 , 2013.
Countries have different political systems but you’ll notice certain general movements. Try to
take theories to understand Canadian politics.
Elections and Electoral Systems
Majority means 50% plus 1 vote is the majority.
Plurality – More than everybody else.
There’s no direct translation to vote to power in Canada. There are certain tendencies
and properties of plurality system
o Single member plurality tendency is to reward the first place party – to provide
higher seat of House of Commons than votes. Single member plurality gives
majority party/ majority seats.
o Its tendency is to reward political party’s regionally concentrated support and
punish parties that have votes spread evenly in Canada – lower shares of seats in
the House of Commons.
We can think of this of political strategies – parties are incentives to appeal to 1 narrow
regional part of Canada.
If you look at differences of regional votes– comparative small. Seats with perfectly
Canada is not really divided regionally. It’s not the people, and not the culture. It’s
usually the rules of the votes that create regional divides.
Responsible government – they have the power to get it down and they’re accountable
for what they do.
Last semester POLB50:
Democracy – representation – how representative is the government, does the
government include minorities, women, conservatives, etc.
Other side of democracy side is accountability – if you don’t have this, then what ever
government you select have little incentive to respond to Canada as a whole.
Representative and accountability can conflict.
Plurality – maximizes accountability Proportional system – minority government guarantee, parties have to agree after the
election to make a coalition.
Yung people are less likely to vote there’s a lot going on, they don’t have the knowledge,
There are differences between not knowing about politics and caring about it AND not
knowing about politics and not caring about it
Why do young people not care about politics? We might lose sight of the importance of
the struggle of the vote- taken for granted, less mature, free riders, etc.
Focus on young people rather than things not from young people
A common mistake – young people don’t vote for political parties and are not engaged
politics system doesn’t accurately see their views.
Some people would say youth don’t vote – electoral system distort their vote and if we
have a PR than it would work.
Disengagement doesn’t make sense
Voting behaviour reflects to uncertainty of party loyalty.
Issue of duty and towards choice – Is it a life cycle effect or a generational effect on why
young people don’t vote?
We don’t have answers to them.
It could be politics is more boring today. Maybe political parties are not attracting
people as much today. They’re doing less of a job. New immigrants are less likely to vote
People could say there’s not really that much differences between liberal and
Graph which shows across time the % of people voting through time versus the eligible
people who can vote. Eligible voter who actually voted and eligible voters who didn’t
vote. There’s increase in voting through time. Voting turnout (red line) – it decline
somewhat. They are more likely to vote now because the Canadian population is
getting older. We have an aging population which means more people are able to vote.
Why Turnout is is so Low
Age – younger people are able to vote. If you want to change this, put the age is much
Education – people with stronger education are much more likely to vote. Income and class – There is a social mobility, there a fundamental class differences – no
opportunities, lower education, child care responsibility, low wages, insecure
employment, there are people like in Canadian society. They really do reflective in
If you’re a political party that appeal to poor people and young people, you’re more
likely to lose.
Poor people don’t vote :
o Political correct: They have so many thi