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Lecture 6

Lecture 6: Problems of Democracy

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

12152011 44200 PM Problems of DemocracyDemocracy and Equality y Rules of the game o The political institutions that make up democracy o Parliamentary vs presidential o Electoral systems o Rules that govern how the political parties function o Laws o Laws that protect our human rights o The institutionalization of these rules and laws are the foundation of democracy y Managing diversity o Moderating power o Voters tend to vote near the centre o The medianvote theorem o They try to appeal to the centre o As a result our parties have a moderating effect o Democracy through the rules reflect the general will the majoritys will o The norm of inclusion y Institutionalized uncertainty o Seems to be destabilizing but it is actually what makes democracy stable not knowing who is going to win o Losers can still compete next time y Variations of democracy o No two democracies are the same o Because democracy has entailed these other conditions and political institutions o The institutions are tailored to each social and economical state and content o Democracy is a broad concept o Its applied to reflect individual social economic situation o It is also dynamic democracy is a process not an ends in and of itself o Its evolves as societies do o Even old democracies are continually reinventing themselves o Allows for change o It is a principle concept y Equality o At the core of democracy is the notion of equality o Individuals particularly liberal variant are treated equally o Your 1 vote is equal to anothers 1 vote o The rules of democracy apply as equally as anybody elseI Equality of opportunity y Political equality o Democracy in its application of the principle of equality is the equality of opportunity o The rules of democracy are applied equally y Procedural democracy o The political process o The rules of the game o The constitution o Provisions of the bill of rights charter of rights and freedoms o Political institutions put in place o All of these are to strengthen procedural democracy so that it delivers equality of opportunity o free and fair elections optimal procedural democracy that affords us equality of opportunity y polyarchy Robert Dahl o public contestationthe process of democracy encourages public contestationwe as individuals have the rights to fight for our own views verbally not violently o inclusive participationfair processII Equality of Outcome y political economic equityo the consequences of democracy in action
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