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POL101 Criteria.doc

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Semester
Fall

Description
Criteria for Assessing Electoral Systems - the choice of an electoral system hinges on two sets of judgements: o empirical judgements about the likely consequences of the various options o normative judgements about how “good” or “bad” and “important” or “trivial” these consequences are - electoral system: the set of rules which govern the process by which citizens’ opinions about candidates and parties are expressed in votes and by which these votes are thereafter translated into the designation of decision makers - an electoral system comprises the constituency structure, the ballot structure and the electoral structure - two major reasons why we may be better off with elected representatives than with a dictator o the policies adopted by elected representatives are more likely to reflect the views of the majority o conflict is more likely to be dealt with peacefully in a democracy - first mechanism is accountability it should be easy for voters to determine who is responsible for the decisions that have been made an to dismiss those people if they have not performed adequately - second mechanism is representation by reflection if opinions in the legislature accurately reflect those in society, the decisions that legislators make should resemble those that citizens would have made in a direct democracy - elections allow citizens to resolve their conflicts peacefully -
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