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Problems of Democracy.pdf

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Semester
Fall

Description
Problemsof Democracy October-22-12 12:10PM • ArabSpring,OccupyWall Street-peopleuprisingtotheproblemsofDemocracy-itisdemocracyin Action • 1975 - 2010 - 46 -114 democraciesarouse • However,duringthattime,therewere53democraticbreakdowns • Around1/2ofthe53 did notreturn • Democracy=fragile DemocracyandEquality • Rulesofthegame-politicalinstitutionsarepoliticalrulesthatgovernthegame ○ Keyvirtue=ruleoflawoverthe ruleofman • Democraciesarealotmorepredictablethananautocraticregime • Democracy-helpsmanagediversesocieties ○ Weliveincolonies/areaswherepeoplehavesimilarinterests ○ Democracyhelpsmakecompromiseandmediatesvoters ○ Democracyimplicatesthenormsofinclusion ○ Democracies-recognizethatsocietiesarediverse,thereforetheyareabletofacilitateforthese differencebetter • Institutionaluncertainty ○ Thereisalwaysnewalternatives-youcanvotethegovernmentout  Coreprincipleofdemocracyisrealizingthatyoucanlose ○ Uncertaintyisagood thing  Itcreatesaccountability&responsivenesstothepeople • VariationsinDemocracy ○ Thereisnotonefixedmodel-not2modelsarealike  Theyalladheretothevirtuesofdemocracy,buttheyareflexible  Theydifferduetohistoryofsocietiesandsocialeconomicstatus ○ Democracyisan adaptabletomanydifferentcircumstances • Equalityiscoretodemocracy ○ Itisabsolutelyfundamentaltodemocracy ○ 2waysto thinkaboutequalityindemocracy 1) Equalityofopportunity-thinkingaboutthedemocraticprocess  Politicalequality-everyoneisequalundertheruleoflaw □ Asindividuals,weareallpoliticallyequal -weallhaveonevote  Equalityofopportunity=proceduraldemocracy  Polyarchy(RobertDahl)-2conceptsof polyarchy □ Publiccontestation -peoplecancompete inpublic-theprovisionofpluralism □ Inclusiveparticipation -democracyincludeseveryone-youneeduniversalsuffrage 2) EqualityofOutcome  Political-economicequity □ Proceduralvssubstantivedemocracy  Doesthedemocracyhavesubstancetoit  Willdemocracycreatebettereconomicoutcomes? □ Ex:DemocraticWelfareState-whatisconsideredfairfortaxation □ BeganinEuropewiththeriseofCapitalismandtheRiseoftheworkingclass  Unionswereabletobecreatedduetothe abilitytovote • Toronto2012 - 50. 6 % ofvotersvotedforthemayor • Canada'svoterturnoutrateis declining • Voterturnoutratesfortheunitedstateshoversataround50% ChallangesofDemocracy • DemonstratestheCollectiveActionProblem ○ Weallbelieveinthecollectivegood,butdon'tbelieveonthingsattheindividuallevel 1) Costs Thereisanenormouscostthat isassociatedwithvoting 1) Costs ○ Thereisanenormouscostthat isassociatedwithvoting  Timecost 2) Benefits  Thebenefitstotheindividualaresominisculethattheactionofvotingbecomesirrational  Thebenefitisnotworththecost 3) Free-riding  Somebodyelsewillvote  othersirrationaleffortswillhelpyourindividualneeds ○ Itisnot rationaltovote ○ Youare abletofreerideoverthevote ○ Evenifwehavetheequalityofopportunity,,wedon'texerciseit • TheFallacy ofDemocratic Pluralism ○ Aslongas wecan expressouropinion,itisgood ○ Ex:usHealthCare - AmericansbelievethattheyshouldhaveNationalHealthinsurance,butall effortstomakehealthcarepublichasfailed  Iftherulesofthegamewerefair,theUS wouldalreadyhaveNationalhealthcare  Peopleblametheinstitutionalfragmentationtogetthingsdoneinaprocedurallyfairway □ Theinstitutionalfragmentationprivilegesminorityacts  Richareableto overrulethepoor-a tyrannybytherich minority  55peopleaccountfor75% offundsforCampaigns □ Therefore,pluralismfails  Proceduralfairnessisrunbytheeliteinsocietyforpowerfulinterests • EliteDemocra
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