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Oct 22 Lecture.docx

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Political Science
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Jeffrey Kopstein

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Oct 22 Lecture PROBLEMS ON DEMOCRACY  huge increase in democracy over recent years  same time: 53 breakdowns in democracy  half of those did not return to democracy  while they have grown, there have been a serious number that have broken down  therefore: democracy is fragile; relatively new set of political institutions  we’ll look at challenges within democracy, internally Democracy and Equality Virtues of Democracy  *rules of the game – quite variable in different contexts  rule of law- not rule of man, therefore they are predictable  *managing diversity- people have different contending political interests, inclusive, recognizes that society’s are diverse  *institutionalized uncertainty- the presence of always more alternatives, you can vote the gov out, no guarantee of a winner-> always alternatives, this in turn creates stability  *variations of democracy  flexible to accommodate new contexts, adaptable to many different circumstances  *equality I Equality of OPPORTUNITY  political equality: ex, separation of church and state, all equal under rule of law  procedural democracy: “rules of the game- how do we create rules of the game that facilitate political equality” (right to vote)  polyarchy (Robert Dahl) - public contestation (we should expect the realm of public descendation, people can protest, provision of pluralism in the public sphere) - inclusive participation (not exclusive, we live by rules of inclusive participation)  democracy assures that equality is a process II Equality of OUTCOME  political-economic equity  procedural versus substantive democracy (rules only important when they have equitable outcomes)  example: democratic welfare state (what kind of outcomes do we want? What do we consider fair?)  not focus on rules on game, focus on outcome-> equitable outcome Which is more important to you? A. Equality of opportunity: equal rights, procedural fairness, rule of law B. Equality of outcome- are the outcomes fair?: equity, quality of democracy, re- distribution  equality is a form of democracy  equality as a process- introduces challenges Equality of Opportunity- Challenges Challenge 1. Collective Action Problem Is it important to you who our next PM will be? A. It is VERY important to me B. It is MODERATELY important to me C. It is NOT AT ALL important to me My single vote matters in the outcome of election A. Agree B. Disagree Will you vote in the next federal election? A. Yes B. No Voter Turnout Rate  Toronto- 50.6% in 2010  Ontario- 49.2% in 2011  Canada voter turn out rates- 2/3s (/97) sliding down to 59% (/08) US Presidential Elections  voter turnout rate (53% in 1984, 57%)  it is so important for political equality to recognize the right to vote  voting turnout rates hover below 50% Collective Action Problem  no more than 60% of eligible voters will actually vote in the election  this is the collective action problem ^  when it comes to self-interest, 40% won’t go to the ballot box yet collectively we care about who the next PM will be  we all believe in collective goods but individually we don’t make the effort/ care  this is the reason for the lack of voting ^  (i) costs : having to study elections etc that take up your time, costly to cast vote  (ii) benefits : so miniscule that cost to engage in that act is irrational; benefit not worth the cost  (iii) free- riding : “somebody else will do it, somebody else will vote, then I’ll gain the benefits”  it is not “rational” to vote, it is only through collective interests  costs outweigh benefits, you can free-ride  serious challenge to equality of opportunity in democracy Challenge 2- The Fallacy of Democratic Pluralism  democratic pluralism- assumes political equality  example: US health care reform  if individual voice was heard- why did this
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