AS politics unit 1 elections

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  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 04-05-13 17:51

Elections

Functions

·         Mechanism of legitimacy- the right for gov and MPs

—  To give a mandate to government (local, regional and national and its policies)

—  Mechanism of accountability (gov-running country, MPs-as representatives for their constituency)

—  Choice between policies, representatives and government

—  Education due to the campaigning about major issues that the state has

Elections are democratic

—  Democracy is about choice - elections give that choice

—  Citizens are all equal- everyone has just 1 vote

—  Free for everyone to vote or stand in- you just need a deposit

—  There are many elections and therefore many chances to influence the agenda

Elections are undemocratic

—  The choice is limited- 2 party system- same policies

—  Not all votes are equal- safe seats

—  Only 1/3 of MPs win 50% or more of votes and no gov for over 80 years got more than 50% (coalition 59%)

—  Lack of legitimacy- turnout

FPTP

—  Simple plurality or majoritarian system

—  ‘x’ in box next to favourite candidate

—  1 more vote than next person

—  Single member constituencies (650)

—  UK general elections

Advantages:

—  Simple

—  Clear outcome- strong and stable government

—  Responsible gov

—  Effective representation

—  Clear accountability

—  Keeps constituency link

Disadvantages:

—  Disproportionate outcome- 2 party system

—   under-representation- 2010 UKIP 3.1% 0 seats- bias to larger parties

—  Elected on minority of votes Lab 2005 35.2% votes

—  Tactical voting- wasted votes

—  Black campaigning

—  Lack of legitimacy of MPs- less than 1/3 get 50%

Effects:

—  Single party government

—  Disadvantages 3rd party- 120,000 votes…

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