Elections

What is an election? What are the different functions? what electoral systems are used?

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Functions of Elections

  • To represent the electorate, in elections the electorate chooses thier representatives
  • To choose a government- Party with most elected MPs in HOC wins power. Also to choose the best manifesto (or most charismatic leader- Blair 1997)
  • Participation- chance for electorate to participate in politics.
  • Influence over policy- citizens able to five thier preferences on polieces, election defeat could course party to re-think policies.
  • Government accountability- election every 5 years is a way to hold the govt accountable of its performance. E.g. Lab re-elected in 2001 because electorate satisfied. 1997 cons kicked out (Major's economic mistakes) Labour in.
  • Citizen education- Election campaigns provide citizens on major political issues.
  • Legitimacy- Free and fair elections proivde legitimacy for the political system.
  • To give a party the electoral mandate to carry out thier promises. E.g. Blair Reform HOL+ devolution 1997.
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