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Flashcards in Elections Deck (44):

What are the 5 primary functions of elections?

1) Elections provide a means of selecting those who will hold public office and exercise the authority attached to such positions
2) Elections extend participation in that task to the citizens at large
3) Elections allow for the transfer of political offices in a peaceful manner
4) Elections establish the basis for what is considered "legitimate authority" through consent of the governed
5) Elections serve as a means for holding popularly elected publish officials accountable to those they represent


How are elections tied to the following terms of "authorization" and "accountability"?

Authorization: What is authorized?
-Who holds and exercises power
-Reestablishes individuals to have power
-Individuals who sit on or behalf
Accountability: Limited mandate
-Accountable to electorate
-Fall or maintain given public choice


What is the electoral system according to Mintz et. al?

The system is used to translate the votes that people cast into the composition of the legislature and the selection of government.


What are the 5 essential components to an electoral system?

1) Franchise
2) Electoral Districts
3) Voter Registration
4) Electoral Administration
5) Rule of Voting


If inclusion is a principle that guides us in determining how democratic a society is, what is a good indicator?

the issue of franchise


What is "universal suffrage"

-Inclusion is sustained
-Vote isn't exclusive
-Legal age and status required and those who do have the right to vote.


What is franchise?

the right to vote


What counteracts the idea that the US is more progressive with franchise evolution?

-Civil rights movement
-Racism in South
-Franchise was not practised


In 1867, what percent of those who resided in Canada were eligible to vote?

about 15%


In 1867, which group was allowed to vote in Canada?

Male "British Subjects", property owners who were thirty years of age.


When were women excluded from the franchise in Canada (federally)?

Until the end of WWI


What groups were excluded from voting in Canada?

-Immigrants from Austro-Hungarian Empire


When did Aboriginals get the right to vote inCanada?



What three groups of people (not races) were denied franchise inCanada?

-Mentally Infirm


Why were judges denied franchise?

-Independence of court


Why were prisoners denied franchise?

-Broken social contract
-Certain rights removed


When was the charter used to challenge the legality of judges and mentally infirm?



When did Parliament enact legislation that gave prisoners serving less than 2 years the right to vote? When did the Supreme Court use that prisoners had the right to vote given the Charter?



When were African Americans and women granted the vote in the US?

Through the period 1869-1920


When were Aboriginals given the vote, and when were Chinese given the vote in the US?



What is the situation with prisoners and the vote in the US?

-Prisoners remain different according to state law. There is no equivalent guarantee in the US Constitution--it is statutory and determined by states.
-States have authority over electoral laws
-Different laws given where you are a prisoner in the US


Estimates in Florida are that about ___of the adult population in___had served or was serving a prison sentence. If state law suspends the right of prisoners and past felons, their___is removed and___an impact on the results.

-1 in 10 (10%)


What was the 2000 election fiasco in the US?

Recounts in Florida where GW Bush defeated Al Gore.
-Mainly African Americans imprisoned who labour democrats
-Al Gore maybe would have won


What are the number of electoral districts dependent upon?

Geographic size and population


What do electoral boundaries begin to define?

Identities and even political culture.


Boundaries inherently___and___individuals.



What happened with electoral boundaries in Saskatchewan?

-Recently were redrawn
-Idea that in Saskatchewan we had dual constituencies (both urban and rural)
-More difficult to represent a constituency that was both urban and rural


What ss Gerrymandering?

The manipulation of the division of the country into electoral districts so as to benefit a particular party


What does the process of gerrymandering stipulate the need for?

An independent process--one that is credible, transparent, and independent.


How did Canada deal with gerrymandering?

In Canada, Elections Canada is responsible to Parliament and managed independently by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada (est. 1920).


What is the problem with gerrymandering in theUS?

Both democrats and republics redrawing boundaries to suit their need--benefit them
-Lack integrity
-Efficacy reduced


In the caw of the US electoral system, gerrymandering is a particular problems as the 435 Congressional Districts are determined at the___level.



Why is voter registration a challenging aspect to any democratic system?

A highly mobile and fluid population presents clear problems.


In Canada, how did voter registration info used to be gathered federally and still is for provinces?

Gathered door to door during the period before and election through enumeration.


How accurate was the information for voter registration that was gathered door to door?

Considered very accurate at 95%.


What is the new system for voter registration federally in Canada?

Now we have a National Register of Electors which in effect creates a permanent voters list.


How does the National Register of Electors work? How accurate is it considered?

-Info is fed from the provinces and through Revenue Canada and is maintained all the time.
-90-91% accurate


What percent of voter information changes each year in Canada?



How is voter registration handed is the US?

Each state is responsible for managing the electoral system (franchise, electoral districts, and registration etc.)
-There is no national standard of what is required


Int he US, the___is on the individual to get on the voter's list which is problematic?

the onus


Why is the fact that the onus is on the individual to get on the voters list in the US problematic?

-Repress the vote
-One common practice: identification requirements
-Drivers license
-Some citizens don't drive
-Affects minority groups more
-Lawful way to exclude
-By design it excludes, restrictive, discriminatory.


Why do the outcomes of the electoral vary in the US?

Because the process varies from state to state


Who is the Chief Electoral Officer who deals with electoral administration in Canada? (IOW, how does the Chief Electoral Officer deal with electoral administration in Canada?)

He reports to Parliament and not exclusively to Government.
-Excluded from voting
-Non partisan
-Appoints all Deputy Returning Officers and equivalent individuals who exist in provides for federal elections.


What is electoral administration in the US (where is is operated, who appoint, where is administration devolved to, how many administrative units)? What is the problem with this?

-Operated at the state level
-Individuals appointed by the state (partisan) --> problematic
-The administration is also devolved to counties--each with their own set of rules
-Some 17 000 different administrative units
-Problem because there is no uniformity