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
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
- The existing electoral system (First-Past-the-Post)
- The alternative electoral system proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly (Mixed
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