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Lecture

POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Party System, Instant-Runoff Voting, Elections Canada


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Nelson Wiseman

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Monday, January 10, 2011
The Electoral System and Parties
1. BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM
2. COURTS, PARTIES AND THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM
3. THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM AND THE PARTY SYSTEM
last term evolution of party system etc, this term issues related to parties like funding/voting
electoral/leaders/members and focus on regional/provincial party politics.
provinces started to look at changing electoral system but havent born any fruit
john courtney building blocks of electoral system, 5 of them
courts and const have impacted electoral system. then we look at method of election and
how it influences party system/types of parties and how they behave
method of election what usually comes to mind, MMP or FPTP or SMP, alternative vote,
single transferable, Courtney wants to look at electoral system more broadly
1. BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM
5 Building blocks:
a) franchise, who has right to vote
b) drawing boundaries
c) registering voters
d) administering election, who runs it, is it neutral fair and nonpartisan
e) functions of elections/ method
elections aggravate voices, give representation to different voices.opinions in society, permit
opinions to be expressed. if done well contributes to legitimacy of governing system. important
in tying ppl to regime/state. provides us with rulers-winners and losers and indication of what
policies will be implemented
1. Franchise: only about 15% could vote at beginning of country, now 75% can vote because
those under 18 cannot vote and non-citizens cant vote. expansions of franchise , women have
vote now, also in early days many property qualifications for vote couldnt vote unless owned
property now waived. in the past as long as you were british citizen you could vote and that
lasted till 1977, except in nova scotia. in past property requirement was that you could vote in
all locations you had property. *1921(important year in electoral system/party system because
it was first year that Canada acted under dominion elections act which created chief electoral
officer who is officer of parliament, till this act the rules of voting left up to provinces) .eg.
manitoba used to have literacy requirement to voting. also had staggered elections historically.
had open ballot as well. dramatic thing that happened in 1921 is franchise was dramatically
expanded, women got vote, happened because of :
a). perceived great unfairness in 1917 election leading up to 1921 election, wartime election
Borden de-franchised anyone speaking enemy language or from austro-hungarian empire
couldn’t vote at same time vote given to women who were related to 650000 soldiers in war
ie Mother/sister/daughters of soldiers you could vote because borden assumed that since his
party was most pro-war theyd get most of those votes. borden gvmt also gave vote to
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