Elections and Voting January 2013

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  • Elections and Voting January 2013
    • a) What is meant by the term party system?
      • A party system examines political parties in the political structure and attempts to place them in to various categories or types
      • The party system attempts to define the relationships within the politicalstructure as to how parties function and operate and importantly how close they are to acheiving governing status/power
      • A two party system is where only two of the parties who contest the election have any chance of achieving governmental power
      • A two and a half party system is where there are two major parties who can have a significant take in government plus a minor or third party, this one is similar to the current situation in the UK
      • Other party system categories include multi-party systems and one party dominant systems
    • b) Explain how and why party represtnation may be affected by any three different electoral systems
      • First past the post ensures a winner bonus whereby the governing party enjoys a higher percentage of seats that their vote collected, it also can discriminate against parties who have a geographical spread of votes as opposed to a concentration of votes
      • The closed party list ensures a more accurate percentage of the vote the percentage of seats than other systes and is very proportional. It benefits smaller parties. The closed list serves to reduce the bias to the large parties enjoyed under first past the post. Smaller parties who fair badly under first past the post may have an imporved representation under the closer list system e.g. UKIP
      • The list component of AMS conspensates parties who have not been succesful under the constituency element of the system. The Conservative Party has benefitted from this in the Scottish Devolved elections
    • c) Assess the advantages of using proportional representation electoral systems
      • Represents peoples views
      • Under the current first past the post system, power tends to end up with one party no matter how small its majority, MPs have neem elected despite 75% of their constitency voting against them
      • A more proportional system would give minority parties and independent candidates a better chance of getting into parliament
      • Introduces different voices to our national political life
      • People supporting Labour in a traditional conservative stronghold would not be wasting their vote, this means that the parties would have to appeal to their core supporters
      • The current first past the post electoral system is condisered un-represetnative as candidates can be elected with a very small share of the votes while all other votes cast in the constituency are wasted

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