34 views2 pages
16 Feb 2011
October 4 – Reading Notes
Comparing Democratic SystemsHorowitz
Attacks Linzs claims that parliamentary systems are better for a nation than presidency
1. Linzs sample is highly selective and skewed, principally from Latin America
2. His claims rest on exaggerated notions of presidency
3. They assume a particular system of electing the president, which is not necessarily the best system
4. By ignored the functions of a separately elected president, they defeat Linzs own admirable
pur poses
Linz argues there is generally no lawful way to get rid of a failed president in the middle of his term,
while parliamentary governments are forced into re-election (confl i ct is routinized and need not
escalate to a crisis)
Horowitz responds wit h the notion that presidents need not be elected on a plurality or majority-
1. A system where presidents are elected on broadly distributed support alleviates the problem
of the narrowly elected president who is disillusioned to a broader mandate
Argues that Linzs analysis is too heavily based on electoral assumptions
Criteria for Assessing Electoral SystemsBlais
Asks: Why is it a good thing that legislators be chosen by the people in fair and honest election?
Identifies two major benefits which come from democratic elections:
The policies adopted by elected representatives are more likely to reflect the views of the majority
Conf lict is more likely to be dealt with peacefully in a democracy
Holding elections increases legislators sensitivity to public opinion and congruence is created as a
Accountability is the first mechanism; politicians will propose policies which reflect the wants of the
majority to maximize their chances of being re-elected
Representation; electors will vote for the candidates who best represent their views, the decisions
made by legislators should resemble those that citizens would have made in a direct democracy
Fairness; losing parties will not resort to violence since they view their loss as legitimate (no evidence
of institutional bias)
Unlock document

This preview shows half of the first page of the document.
Unlock all 2 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
Booster Classes
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
Booster Classes