Politics - Elections

Functions of elections, different types of elections, pros and cons of various elections.

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Why do we have Elections?

  • Pass judgement on the Current governement
  • To elect a Prime Minister
  • To elect a Mp for your constituency
  • To show support for a party's polices
  • To elect a new governement

The government is given authority to act in the name of the people through the House of Commons; this is called a Mandate

Functions of Elections

  • Voters can choose who they want to be PM
  • Voters can Choose who they want to be their Local MP
  • Voters pass judgement on the Present PM
  • Voters can pass judgement on the Policies/Performance of the Offical opposition
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FPTP electoral system

First past the post is the electrol system we use in the UK. It is a plurality system which means that the winner does not require an overall majority but merely needs to win more votes than any other candidate.Voters have one choice of candidate and simply place a 'x' next to their desired choice.

Strenghts of FPTP

  • There is a strong, unique relationship between an MP and his/her constituency
  • Produces a strong, single party government.. usually
  • It is simple to vote/count.

Weaknesses of FPTP

  • Its disproportional, the number of votes does not represent the number of seats gained
  • Votes are worth more in marginal constituencies
  • FPTP favours larger parties
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Party list electoral system

Party List system is used to elect MPs from Britain to become MEPs (Memeber of the European parliament) Voters have a choice of which party to vote for and not a individual candidate. The constituencies used in the party list system are much larger than FPTP as well, Bristol would be part of South West for instance.

Strenghts of Party List

  • Very proportional, the number of votes reflects the number of seats won.
  • Therefor smaller parties are better represented
  • There is threshold that a party needs to reach to be elected, therefor stopping extremists getting elected

Weaknessess of Party List

  • Personal connection with MP/MEP is lost
  • Doesn't produce a one party, effective government
  • Cant go to a MEP about a problem
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Chidi Boy


Good stuff!

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