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Flashcards in Electoral Systems Deck (48):

What are the two types of voting systems?

1) Non-proportional
2) Proportional


What is first past the post also known as?

Single member plurality


What kind of system of voting is FPP?



Is FPP simple or complex system of voting?



How does FPP work?

The winning candidate it the one that gets more votes than anyone else, regardless as to whether this amounts to more than 50% of the votes cast


Out of 212 states, how many use FPP?

68 (or less than 33%)


What are the three ingredients of FPP?

1) plurality rule (more votes than any other candidate)
2) single member district (SMD)
3) simple ballot


What are the strengths of a single member district?

-advantage to electing one and only one member
-no question as to who is your representative


What are the advantages of FPP?

-It's simple to understand
-Representation and accountability
-Majority governments
-Centrist catch all parties thrive


What are the two results of the FPP (also advantages)?

-It is decisive--clear results are normally obtained (no question as to who wins)
-With two candidates it creates a majority winner (quick determinate though you rarely have only two candidates)


Why is representation and accountability a pro for FPP?

-This system has the potential to contribute a strong relationship between member and constituents
-It is also clear who serves in that capacity and can be held accountable in subsequent elections
-Enables representation with integrity


Why are majority governments a pro for FPP?

-Create laws


What is it a pro that centrist catch all parties thrive with FPP?

-These parties are, in turn, less likely to implode over divisive and controversial issues (less fragmentation)


What are "catch all" parties?

The so-called "catch all" party has been relatively successful and manages to bind together groups from different regions, languages, ethnic groups, and do so with a stable organization/institution.


What is the major criticism of FPP?

the major criticism is that majority governments are "manufactures" ones in the sense that a majority of seats may be won by a party with less than a majority of the valid votes having ben cast for the party
-this effectively undercuts the claim to 'majority rule'


Why do critics argue that FPP is discriminatory?

-Critics also argue that plurality formula discriminates against minorities or small parties unless their vote is concentrated in a few districts.


What type of systems a majoritarian system?



What is a majoritarian system?

Majority rules prevails where a candidate must have a simple majority--they need at least one more vote than the sum of the votes that other candidates have won
-Yet, in many cases, it is possible and even likely that no one will gain a majority of the votes leaving the election indecisive


What is the alternative vote system?

-Voters make their favourite and alternative chose(s) in advance (preferential voting).
-Any candidate getting more than 50% of first choice votes is elected outright.
-Otherwise the candidate who comes last is eliminated and the people who voted for them have their next choice allocated out to the appropriate candidate
-This process is repeated until a candidate gets over 50%


What does preferential voting tend to make more difficult?

tends to make it more difficult for obscure or extreme parties to gain representation


What does preferential voting encourage?

the electorate to find out more information on additional parties and candidates as there is greater potential value in their vote given the importance of second preferences


When is a second ballot utilized in a majoritarian system?

in lieu of indecisive results


What is the first version of a runoff?

Only the first and second place candidates are kept while the rest are dropped from the second ballot.


What is the second version of a runoff?

A second method is to hold a runoff election but on the second ballot the winner needs only a plurality of votes. Those candidates who poll above 12.5% are entered in the second round (or the two candidates with the highest voter support) and the individual with the msg votes is declared the winner.


Why do advocates for Proportional representation believe?

that the main purpose of elections is to represent accurately the diverse interest and opinions in the electorate
-In effect, the share of seats of part wins should be as closely equal to th share of votes it won as mathematically possible


Where is party list ballot often used?

In large districts where every party supplies a list of candidates and voters choose among the several party lists


There are"___" and "___" list ballots?



What takes in place in "closed" lists?

Votes select party. Seats won by a party are assigned to individual candidates in the order they appear on the party list--thus the party official drank candidates before hand and have a good degree of say in representation.


What happens in open list ballots?

The voter ranks candidates according to preference and given a particular threshold of votes, candidates are elect using the PR principle.


What is the single transferable vote?

-Voters choose among candidates and rank their candidates according to preference
-A quota determines the number of votes required in order to be elected


What does STV rely on?

Relies on a multi-member district so multiple candidates are elected in each constituency


What does initial counting look at in STV? What happens with second preferences and so on?

-Initial counting looks at first preference only; any candidate meeting the quota are elected
-Second preferences of any surplus votes (in excess of quota) are then transferred to any remaining candidates. Candidates who then meet the quota are elected.
-If seats are still vacant, the weakest candidate is dropped and the second preference from those ballots are allocated to at the remaining candidates until the quota is met and all seats are allocated


What are the 3 types of non-proportional voting system?

-majoritarian system
-alternative vote system


What are the 2 types of proportional representation systems?

-Party list ballot
single transferable vote


What are the 5 advantages to the proportional representation systems?

-boost participation
-participation increases?
-favours competition
-favours pluralism
-identification of interests


how do women and minorities view the PR system?

Women and minorities who tend to get raider representation see it as correcting a bias that generally works against them
-more diverse possibilities
-more representation


How does PR system boost participation?

-PR systems seem to increase citizen participation in elections
-there are correlations with higher turnouts in PR systems than FPP
-Interest and effcacy


According to Keith Carty and Andre Blais, how much higher was voter turnout in PR systems?



How does a PR system favour competition?

Elections become more competitive leading parties to campaign more widely which, in turn, increases voter turnout.


How do PR systems favour pluralism?

PR systems also encourage more parties to compete, since every vote they gain increases the share of seats they might win.


How is identification of interests a pro for the PR system?

PR systems also increase the likelihood that voters will find parties with which they "fit".


What are the 4 cons to the PR system?

-the splinter effect
-issue of representation and accountability
-goodbye majorities
-excessive party control


What do critics of PR systems argue?

that PR systems are a source of instability as PR leads to a proliferation of minor parties by granting representation to parties that gain only minuscule support from the electorate


What is the splinter effect?

PR systems encourage splintering of party support rather than moderating the partisan division already present


What are issues of representation and accountability in the PR system?

-MMD makes it difficult to single out specific elected officials as one's representative and hold them accountable
-passing the buck


Why is "goodbye majorities" a bad thing with PR systems?

Since seats are shared over a number of parties a single party rarely gains a majority of seats to form a government and that leads to political instability.


How is excessive party control a con with PR systems?

Closed party lists take choices away from voters


What is the mixed member proportional system?

-This system allows individuals to cast two votes on a ballot
-One vote is cast for a particular party and these candidates are elected via a proportional method that correlates with the popular vote. These candidates occupy a portion of the legislature
-A second vote is cast for a n individual representative in a specific district. The winner is the candidate with the most votes (a plurality). These individuals occupy the remainder of the legislature.