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  • Created by: Tashie7
  • Created on: 30-03-16 19:12
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  • Elections
    • Types of elections
      • General elections: these are held every five years to elect representatives to the House of Commons and to decide upon the governing party and PM. This uses FPTP.
      • Devolved assembly/Parliament elections: Held every four years in Scotland, Wales (using AMS) and Northern Ireland using (STV)
      • European eleections: held every four years in England, Scotland and Wales to elect members to the European Parliament by Proportional representation. Northern Ireland use STV.
      • Local elections: held every four years to elect members of local councils and some local mayors. England and Wales use FPTP. Scotland and Northern Ireland use STV.
      • By-elections: held whenever there is a need to fill a vacancy as an elected representative has passed away, stepped down or been disqualified.
    • Types of Voting Systmes
      • FPTP is where each voter is allowed to cast one local vote. The candidate with the most votes becomes a member of Parliament for that constituency.
        • Used in the UK for general and by-elections.
          • Simple for voters, easy to get results and usually produces a one party government.
          • Results aren't proportional and small/minority parties are often underrepresented.
      • AV is where voters rank candidates in order of preference indicating their first choice, second choice etc. Candidates are elected outright if they gain more than half. If not, the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated and their votes redistributed based on second preference.
        • Used in Labour and Liberal Democrat leadership elections and by-elections for the House of Lords.
        • Voters can put forward alternative choices and constituency link is retained.
        • May produce disproportionate distribution of votes into seats.
      • SV combines the two-stage ballot used in France and AV. If no one candidate wins the election outright, the second choice votes of all other candidates are split between the top two so one candidate has an overall majority.
        • Used in London Mayoral Elections
          • Likely to result in a majority government and avoids multiple counts as only 1st and 2nd are recorded.
          • Parties may not be rewarded for the amount of votes they gain.
      • CLS is where each voter has one vote for the party of their choice. Parties present lists of candidates; seats are awarded according to the parties share of votes. Seats in each region are awarded in proportion to the number of votes cast.
        • Used for European Parliamentary elections.
          • Leads to better representation for small parties and strong connection between votes and seats won.
          • No choice of candidates for voters and may be no clear link between MP and constituency.
      • STV is where voters indicate their choice of candidates in order of preference. A candidate is elected outright when they reach a certain number of first votes.
        • Used for local, devolved and European elections in Northern Ireland.
          • Offers voters a choice of candidates from the same party and has a good connection between votes and seats won.
          • Complicated system to administers and no clear link between MP and constituency.
      • AMS is where voters has two votes; one vote for their local constituency member(counted using FPTP) and the other for the choice of their party, used to select regional members.
        • Used for Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections.
          • Retains MP- Constituency link and leaders to fairer representation
          • Results aren't as proportional as in proportional representation
    • Functions of elections
      • To choose representatives.
      • To choose government
      • To provide political participation and influence policy.
      • To educate the electorate and recruit a political elite.
      • To hold politicians to account.
    • Electoral Systems
      • Majoritarian is where the winning candidate has an absolute majority of votes cast in a single member constituency.
      • A mixed system is where a proportion of representatives are elected under majoritarian/plurality system in a single member constituency and others as elected as 'additional members'.
      • Proportional is where the number of votes is in proportion to the number of MPs.
      • Plurality is where the candidate with the most votes is elected.
    • Party System in the UK
      • Used in most democratic countries to allow the electorate to vote for representatives.
      • Since 1945, two party system: Conservative and Labour govts.
      • Multi-party system due to an increase in votes for smaller parties such as SNP and UKIP.
    • A competitive process in which a designated group of people, known as the electorate, select individuals to fill particular posts.
    • Referendums
      • A form of direct democracy.
      • A vote by the whole electorate on a single policy.
      • Allow the demos to register their view on a policy or issue.
      • The government doesn't always get its way. But are bound by convention to honour the results.
      • Turnout rates are often low and the issue is not understood.
    • Referendums
      • Most direct form of democracy, represent the demos, the government are more likely to accept the decision when the demos have registered their consent, can prevent unpopular decisions and they effectively entrench constitutional change.
      • The issue is often too complex, campaigns are expensive, demos may express dissatisfaction witht eh govt. and not take it seriously, low turnout rates, danger of tyranny of the majority, government may ignore result and the media has too much influence over the campaign and the result.


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