Elections

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Lecture slide deck on Elections.

This was for a class on Philippine Politics and Governance that I taught between 2003-2005.

http://brianbelen.blogspot.com

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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  • Note:
    Suffrage = The right to vote
    Electorate = Those who vote
  • Leadership Selection
    It is a process by which the electorate select who best represents their interests
    In this sense, it is a means of gaining the consent of the ruled to lead them (i.e. gaining legitimacy)
    Performance Review
    They are measures of accountability
    They provide the people with a means to “reward” or “correct” public officials for their performance
    Renewal of Consent
    Pertains to the retention of public officials in office
    Elections per se facilitate the orderly transfer of power
    Indices of Political Currents
    Gauge of political alignments (who is associated with whom)
    Measures of pockets of resistance (who will oppose what / with respect to an issue, how far can it be peddled?)
    Sampling of the probable behavior of the electorate (how will the electorate respond to certain issues/positions; what do they expect of their candidates?)
    Having said all this, does it mean that public officials must only do what the electorate demands of them?
    Access Channels
    They make public officials (politicians seeking office) accessible to their constituents through the campaign process
    Constituents are afforded a means of having their interests articulated in a substantial way
  • Note: there are many procedural details that vary among electoral systems. For instance:
    Single Ballot (one person, one vote) versus some other arrangement (e.g. Lee Kwan Yew or the German political process)
    Run off election procedure (primaries, etc.)
    Bloc Voting
  • Identity  Of course, each political party must be distinct
    Organizational structure
    Every political party must have established procedures and mechanisms for getting things done
    Hence, the term “party machinery”
    Candidates and platform of government
    This is what the party has that it offers to the electorate
    Each party must present itself as a viable alternative to others
    Desire for popular support  They are committed to working within and through the electoral system
  • In this respect, we can understand why the requirements to run for public office are so accommodating. In theory, a party system is the mechanism that weeds out aspirants for political office.
  • “Competitive relationships”
    How parties compete with each other to gain support for their programmes of government and candidates
    How parties recruit their members
    How parties select their candidates
    The number of political parties may arise as a specific institutional arrangement (e.g. in the constitution) or as a function of custom and the laws (e.g. in the US, where political parties will be funded by the Federal Budget if they garner 10% of the popular vote)
  • Elections

    1. 1. Elections: Concepts and Terms
    2. 2. Overview • What are elections and what purpose(s) do they serve? • What is an electoral system? • What are political parties? • What other concepts are related to elections?
    3. 3. Review • Elections are vital to republics and democracies –Procedural meaning of democracy: “free and fair elections” –Republicanism: rule of/by representatives
    4. 4. Two Key Terms • Suffrage –The right to vote • Electorate –Those who vote DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO!
    5. 5. Functions of Elections 1. Leadership Selection 2. Performance Review 3. Renewal of Consent 4. Indices of Political Currents 5. Access Channels
    6. 6. Electoral System • As the term implies, refers to the system through which elections take place (manner of election) • May be a majority or plurality system –Majority = 50%+1 number of votes –Plurality = Most votes among candidates
    7. 7. Political Parties • Groups of individuals intending to attain government office through the electoral process • Characteristics: –Identity –Organizational Structure –Candidates and platform of government –Desire for popular support
    8. 8. Political Parties: Functions • They help articulate the electorate’s feedback with respect to government policies • They effectively influence government and societal decision- making • They serve as a breeding ground for future leaders
    9. 9. Party System • The network of competitive relationships between and within political parties in a given political situation • May be classified according to the number of political parties –One-party –Two-party –Multi-party
    10. 10. Party System • The network of competitive relationships between and within political parties in a given political situation • May be classified according to the number of political parties –One-party –Two-party –Multi-party

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