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Political Science 1G06 2012 Sample Exam questions.doc

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Political Science
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Todd Alway

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Political Science 1G06 2012: Sample Exam Critically answer three (and only three) of the following six questions. Your answers should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of both the lectures and the required readings. Below is a list of 11 questions. Six and only Six of these questions will appear on the December exam. You will be required to answer Three. To do well in this exam your exam answers MUST demonstrate an explicit awareness of the academic debates that we discussed in class. You are also advised to draw upon the required readings (PARTICULARLY THE ACADEMIC JOURNAL ARTICLES) in your answers. Relying on the overheads posted on Avenue is insufficient. They can provide a good start for your exam preparation - but they MUST be supplemented if your goal is to do well. The exam is scheduled for three hours. All of the questions provide the opportunity to explore sophisticated debates – one page responses are not going to be able to fully explore these debates. You should, therefore, be writing for the entire 3 hours. ****1. Is the Indirect Democracy of the modern era the most democratic form of democracy possible? How else has democracy been practiced, historically? Does that fact that every citizen has one vote on Election Day mean that all citizens have equal input into the political process? If there is inequality in influencing the political process, where does that inequality exist and why? (Could include something brief about the First Past the Post) *** 2. According to Freedom House, a total of 117 countries are now electoral democracies. We live in a world where more and more states have chosen democracy as their governmental system. This is good news. However, given the “globalization” of social relations is this trajectory of state-level democracy enough? According to David Held, “national democracies require international democracy if they are to be sustained and developed in the contemporary era. Paradoxically, perhaps, democracy has to be extended and deepened within and between countries for it to retain its relevance in the twenty-first century.” What do you make of this argument? Do we need democracy beyond the nation-state? If so, what should this look like? (Wouldn’t really be a question on the exam) ****3. In a 2007 referendum, voters in Ontario were given the opportunity to modify the Province’s existing electoral system. The referendum question asked: 1 Which electoral system should Ontario use to elect members to the provincial legislature? - The existing electoral system (First-Past-the-Post) - The alternative electoral system proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly (Mixed Member Proportional) Ultimately the referendum failed to pass. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the first-past-the-post system? What are the advantages and disadvantages of alternative electoral mechanisms (like Proportional Representation an
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