Mid length response questions

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  • Mid-length response questions (10-12 minutes)
    • Distinguish between majoritarian and proportional electoral systems
      • Proportional representation is any electoral system that apportions seats in the legislature in close proportion to the popular vote for each party e.g. 20% of the vote=20% of seats
      • An example of a majoritarian system is alternative vote, the system requires 50%+1 of the vote
      • If no candidate secures an absolute majority of first preferences, the lowest placed candidate is eliminated the second preferences of his or her votes are transferred to the remaining candidates
    • Explain the ways that elections promote democracy
      • Representation: enhance representation by articulating the interests or concerns of a group
      • Education: they educate the broader public and helps the government to avoid mistakes and unnecessary conflict
      • Participation: the representative model of democracy says MPs should be free to use their judgement once elected
    • Outline and explain 3 advantages of first past the post electoral system in the UK
      • Simplicity: its easy to understand and to operate, the ballot paper is simple
      • Clear outcome: produce a clear winner, the party securing the largest number of votes achieves a majority of seats
      • Strong and stable governments: favouring the main parties, giving the winning party an additional bonus
    • Outline and explain the role played by the media in influencing elections in the UK
      • Reinforcement: newspapers reinforce views that already are held by their readers, some say newspapers reflect political views but they still rely on TV for a non-partisan coverage of politics
      • Influence: the perspective suggests that newspapers have a direct influence over the voting behaviour and attitudes of their readers. The Sun claimed to have influenced the outcome of 1992 election and 1997 when it switched support to Labour
      • Agenda shaping: the press is unlikely to have a direct influence on voting but the newspaper coverage does help shape the political agenda

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