Class Notes (836,680)
Canada (509,870)

Types of Electoral Systems

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

1 June 17, 2008 Types of Electoral Systems First Past the Post (Single-Member Plurality System)  Canada, the U.K • One-seat districts • Winner is one who wins a plurality of votes in a district • System tends to overcompensate winning parties or parties that are strongly regional o Ex: Bloc-Quebecois in Quebec • System penalizes small parties and independents • Often produces “landslide” victories for parties with less than 50% of the popular vote • Can tempt politicians to draw up electoral districts in such a way as to favour certain parties o “Gerrymandering” • Advantages o Usually produces “majority governments”  Those with more than 50% of seats in the legislature o Does not usually give small, extremist parties parliamentary power • Disadvantages o In a party system with more than 2 major parties, it tends to poorly reflect the popular vote o Encourages regional parties instead of broad-based parties o May encourage “gerrymandering” • Example o A country has 100 ridings  100 ridings = 100 seats in legislature o 4 main parties run in each riding  Riding 16 Results • Party A: 35% • Party B: 31% • Party C: 26% • Party D: 8%  Party A candidate is elected in Riding 16 o All ridings decided like this, and this is the outcome:  Party C: 56 seats (38% of vote) MAJORITY  Party A: 34 seats (32% of vote)  Party B: 4 seats (24% of vote)  Party D: 6 seats (6% of vote) o **NOTE**: popular vote (all votes for a party across the country) may not reflect the percentage of seats 2 • In Canada o House of Commons = 308 seats Run-Off System  France • Like “first past the post”, winner must win a majority of votes in district o Majority = 50% + • If no candidate has a majority, lowest ranking candidate is dropped and another ballot is held o Ballots continue to be held until one candidate has a majority • Advantages o Better reflects the popular vote • Disadvantages o Time-consuming o Expensive  Ex: In France, they have a maximum of 2 roundsndf voting • All except top 2 candidates dropped for 2 round • Example o Riding 87  Candidate #1: 40%  Candidate #2: 37%  Candidate #3: 23% o No winner, so Candidate #3 is dropped nd o New Results for Riding 87 after 2 Ballot:  Candidate #2: 57%  Candidate #1: 43% o **NOTE**: Candidate #2 won because most of the supporters of Candidate #3 switched to her 3 Preferential/Alternative Ballot System  Australia • Like “first past the post” but voters rank choices • If no candidate has a majority, lowest ranking candidate is dropped nd o Candidate’s votes examined to see which candidate ranked 2 o Process continued until a candidate has a majority • Advantages o Votes are not spilt and lost between parties which are similar  Voters can vote in a strategic manner • Ex: the Reform and PC party largely gave Ontario to the Liberals in 1993 and 1997 because “right-wing” voters split their votes between these two parties, leaving all “left
More Less

Related notes for Political Science 1020E

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.