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Problems of Democracy - Lecture Notes.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Kenichi Ariga

Lecture Notes – Oct. 22 Problems of Democracy PositiveAspects of Democracy: 1. Rules of the Game a. Law states what is allowed and not allowed b. Political institutions: electoral system, judicial system 2. Managing Diversity a. Society + law recognizes diversity 3. Institutionalized Uncertainty a. Allows for officials to be kicked out + can return 4. Variations of Democracy a. Presidential system or parliamentary system b. Same core principles, specific rules of game differ 5. Equality a. Of Opportunity (process) b. Of Outcome (consequence) Equality of Opportunity Focuses on: • The right to vote, dissent, deliberate, mobilize without any discrimination • Polyarchy – many different governmental institutions working together to make choices Challenges: • Collective Action Problem: Want good ruling but low voter turnout rate – we have collective interest in protecting our rights but no individual interest in going out to vote o Costs: Since costs are high (take time off work, travel etc.) we lose motivation o Benefits: When thinking of benefits, we become “rational thinkers” who see benefits really low (one vote won’t make a difference = no action) o Free-Riding: let someone else vote = ↓ cost + ↑ benefits Lecture Notes – Oct. 22 • The Fallacy of Democratic Pluralism: Procedurally Fair Rules = Implementatio
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