Reading: andre blais, criteria for assessing electoral systems . Marx: reality you think you see is not real reality; real reality is exploitation. Democratic institutions: democracy is a method for choosing leaders. Universal franchise, secret ballot, majoritarianism: emerges out of different pre-democratic contexts, but there are different kinds of democratic political institutions, different way of organizing democratic government. These have profound implications for how government is carried out, how social interests are channeled into politics, what political competition looks like, what kind of parties you get, what the flow of legislation is etc. Parliamentary vs. presidential systems: constitutions: rules of the game, britain vs. The us: ancient (set of practices) vs. modern (specific document written at a specific time, recording) constitutionalism. Significant acts of parliament and documents: 2. Important interpretations of law: law evolves through system of interpretations. Importance of common law, judicial precedent and interpretation. United states: written document, enumerated rights, rules of game clearly articulated.