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POL201Y1 (221)
Lecture

lec. feb. 07

5 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL201Y1
Professor
Sophia Moreau

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POL201 LEC FEB. 02
ELECTION PROCESS
The work that voting does, is that it supposed to, the reason that voting matters, is that voters
lodges sovereignty in the people, and if sovereignty rests in the people, two conditions are
satisfied:
1. Legitimates governments, leaders, and legislation. I mentioned before that in older
systems of govnerment, legitimacy was established through god, political leaders would
say I am the hand of god, god is speaking through me, that is the job monarchs were
doing on earth, carrying out the will of god. When that link between political leadrs and
god gets severed, they need a new form of legitimacy, so after this link is severed,
legitimacy was made through the will of the people.
2. It obligates citizens to abide by govnerment laws and policies, if you are voting for
something, you hav ehte right to criticize. This is where this tradeoff between rights and
responsibility comes from. The right to vote creates or generates the responsibility to
abide by the laws of leaders that you hav eparticiapated in electing.
Oting, elections, electoral systems, and modes of repsresneition, is modern democratic systems.
So what we are talking about is REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. In direct democracy,
people literally discuss issues and laws, and gets passed when there is consesnsus. However the
growth of democratic states has required that we change from direct to rep. democracy. But even
within rep. democratic systems, there are instances, moments of direct democracy, the most
common is the referendum, referendum is never the primacy mechanism is decision making, but
it is not that uncommon either.
If you live in California, before the election you would receive a book, which includes the written
text of all the refferendums that you can vote on, these are called proposition eg. Proposition 8:
amendement of marriage in which only marriage between a man and a women is valid or
recognized in California. Proposition 8 required a certain number of people to sign this
proposition. Campaign for and against proposition 8 was done through millions of dollars. The
proposition passed by a margin of 4 percentage points. Most propositions are not as well known.
-most propositions are about rules of taxation, and schoolboard voting rules, and its hard for
people to think about how this affects them. Thats why you get this phonebook- it lays out the
propositions. Its very hard to work out whether you care about these issues, you have to read all
of this, so it renews your commitment to rep. democracy because it shows that you have to know
about all these issues in order to make a decision. It makes people appreciate rep. democracy.
In rep. democracy voters elect leaders, and leaders make decisions on their behalf.\
Historically, most democracies came about through a slow process of EXTENDING THE
FRANCHIse, which means enlarging the population of voters.
So inititianally voters were limited to male white property owners. This was because only they
were considered full and responsible ctizens. We are exclusidding along lines of gender, race,
and class.
-but then at different times of different countries, property ownership was abolished. So class
was taken away and white men who dont own property were allowed to vote.
www.notesolution.com
-in most countries the franchise was then extended to race, in countries where there were
numerous races. And lastly, gender was dropped after WWI.
The way democracy was historically expanded was by extending rights to vote.
If a country demcoratiszes it has to extend the vote to everyone simultaneously, democratic now
means that everyone above a certain age has a vote. So elections, voting, represpsinatitons etc.
these are the basic concepts of democratic systems.
But there are different types of electoral ssytems, and each type has a particular effect, both for
the outcome and principles of elections.
Electoral systems are NEVER NEUTRAL, the electoral system a country chooses will affect the
outcome of an election. Non of the elections we look at today, all of hem are systems of
insittuiuionalized uncertainty, the idea that the outcome has to be absolutely uncertain in order
for it to be a democratic system.
Nevertheless, given the distruubtion of interests in any country, each electoral system will make
some outcome more likely than the other. The electoral system a country chooses affects the way
power id distrbutted.
Two main variants: proportional and majoritarian.
MAJORITORIAN SYSTEM
-in 1993 83 out of 150 coutnries used majoritarian systems to elect govnerment. In fact most
majoritarian systems arent majoritarian they are really plurality system.
-if a system is majoritiatiran that means each candidate needs a majority.
-but in a plurality system all you need a plurality, meaning that you just have to win more votes
than any other party, its also called the FIRST PAST THE POST system, whichever party wins
the largest number even if they dont have majority, wins the election.
Both systems are called winner takes all system, the idea is, if there is only one office that you
are voting for, then you automatically have a winner take all system, meaning that the candidate
that has the most votes wins and all the other candidates wins. Only the winner gets to walk into
the office, and everyone else goes home.
But you can also have elections for parliament and congress, in this case a country is divided into
single member districts.
-in Canada the districts are called RIDINGS.
Each riding is rep. by a single member of parliament, so when elections occur different canddates
compete to get elected to get to go to parliament.
How are riding boudnaries drawn?
-made to equalize population in each riding, it maximizes the concept of equal represnation.
Each member of parliament rep. the same number of people.
-so whats relevant about this map, is the logic of that the ridings are going to be geographically
different size. Eg. Trinity spadina is much smaller than scarbrough rouge river. So you need to
carve out territories in order to equalize the number of people that each riding represents.
Ridings in urban areas are smaller than ridings in rural areas.
On the output side this doesnt have equal representation. Eg. Say there is a liberal and
conservative candidate standing in the same district, the liberal candidate wins 52 percent of the
vote, the conservative won 48 percent of the vote. What are the pros and cons?
www.notesolution.com

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Description
POL201 LEC FEB. 02 ELECTION PROCESS The work that voting does, is that it supposed to, the reason that voting matters, is that voters lodges sovereignty in the people, and if sovereignty rests in the people, two conditions are satisfied: 1. Legitimates governments, leaders, and legislation. I mentioned before that in older systems of govnerment, legitimacy was established through god, political leaders would say I am the hand of god, god is speaking through me, that is the job monarchs were doing on earth, carrying out the will of god. When that link between political leadrs and god gets severed, they need a new form of legitimacy, so after this link is severed, legitimacy was made through the will of the people. 2. It obligates citizens to abide by govnerment laws and policies, if you are voting for something, you hav ehte right to criticize. This is where this tradeoff between rights and responsibility comes from. The right to vote creates or generates the responsibility to abide by the laws of leaders that you hav eparticiapated in electing. Oting, elections, electoral systems, and modes of repsresneition, is modern democratic systems. So what we are talking about is REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. In direct democracy, people literally discuss issues and laws, and gets passed when there is consesnsus. However the growth of democratic states has required that we change from direct to rep. democracy. But even within rep. democratic systems, there are instances, moments of direct democracy, the most common is the referendum, referendum is never the primacy mechanism is decision making, but it is not that uncommon either. If you live in California, before the election you would receive a book, which includes the written text of all the refferendums that you can vote on, these are called proposition eg. Proposition 8: amendement of marriage in which only marriage between a man and a women is valid or recognized in California. Proposition 8 required a certain number of people to sign this proposition. Campaign for and against proposition 8 was done through millions of dollars. The proposition passed by a margin of 4 percentage points. Most propositions are not as well known. -most propositions are about rules of taxation, and schoolboard voting rules, and its hard for people to think about how this affects them. Thats why you get this phonebook- it lays out the propositions. Its very hard to work out whether you care about these issues, you have to read all of this, so it renews your commitment to rep. democracy because it shows that you have to know about all these issues in order to make a decision. It makes people appreciate rep. democracy. In rep. democracy voters elect leaders, and leaders make decisions on their behalf. Historically, most democracies came about through a slow process of EXTENDING THE FRANCHIse, which means enlarging the population of voters. So inititianally voters were limited to male white property owners. This was because only they were considered full and responsible ctizens. We are exclusidding along lines of gender, race, and class. -but then at different times of different countries, property ownership was abolished. So class was taken away and white men who dont own property were allowed to vote. www.notesolution.com
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