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Elections unit 4


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This is my presentation on elections in the UK, USA and.....wait for it.... Belgium. Yes... Belgium. How exciting is that?

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Elections unit 4

  1. 1. Elections<br />
  2. 2. What elections are held in the UK ?<br />General Election<br />European Parliament Election<br />Scottish Parliament Election<br />Welsh Assembly Election<br />Northern Ireland Assembly Election<br />London Mayoral Election<br />Local Council Election<br />
  3. 3. What voting system is used in each of these?<br />FPTP, plurality system<br />List system<br />Additional Member system<br /> AV system<br />General Election<br />European Parliament Election<br />Scottish Parliament Election<br />Welsh Assembly Election<br />Northern Ireland Assembly Election<br />London Mayoral Election<br />Local Council Election<br />
  4. 4. What elections are held in the U.S. ?<br />Presidential <br />Presidential Primaries<br />Presidential caucuses<br />House of Representatives<br />Senatorial <br />State Governor <br />County Sheriff <br />and others……<br />
  5. 5. What voting systems are used in these elections?<br /><ul><li>Electoral College (Indirect system)
  6. 6. Plurality system OMOV
  7. 7. Plurality system OMOV
  8. 8. Plurality system
  9. 9. Plurality system</li></ul>Presidential <br />Presidential Primaries<br />Presidential caucuses<br />House of Representatives<br />Senatorial <br />State Governor <br />County Sheriff <br />and others……<br />
  10. 10. What elections are held in Belgium?<br />Chamber of Representatives<br />Senate <br />European Parliament<br />Brussels <br />
  11. 11. Elections in Belgium<br />ELECTORATE: It is compulsory for all people 18 or over to fill in a ballot sheet.<br />ELECTORAL SYSTEM: Proportional representation, with 5% minimum threshold.<br />PARLIAMENT STRUCTURE: The Chamber of Representatives (150 seats) and the Senate (71 members of which 40 are directly elected). The Chamber is the more powerful of the two, with control over state finances.<br />VOTING: Two votes - one for the Chamber, one for the Senate. Voters are given a list of candidates from each party and can either vote for this list or choose specific candidates from it, potentially pushing that person up the pecking order.<br />
  12. 12. Elections in Belgium<br /><ul><li>CONSTITUENCIES: For the Chamber, parties have lists for each of the 10 provinces and the Brussels region. The no. of seats depends on each province's population.
  13. 13. For the Senate, there are two lists -- one for the Dutch-speaking Flanders and one for the French-speaking Wallonia. Residents of Brussels choose from one of the two lists. The German-speaking community select from the Walloon list.
  14. 14. While the Chamber has more power, politicians seeking to become prime minister are placed as the leading candidate for the Senate because it is a clearer demonstration of their popularity. The Senate vote is effectively a prime ministerial popularity contest.
  15. 15. GOVERNMENT FORMATION: After the election, the monarch typically appoints a senior politician (informateur) to investigate whether potential political coalitions are viable.
  16. 16. The monarch subsequently appoints a person (formateur) to form a new government. This person will typically be the next prime minister.
  17. 17. The entire process can take from a few weeks to a few months.
  18. 18. The government is in power for four years.</li></li></ul><li>What are the advantages and disadvantages of these different voting systems?<br />
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  22. 22. How does STV work?<br />
  23. 23. STV ballot paper<br />
  24. 24. If this had been applied to the 2010 UK General Election....<br />
  25. 25. Suggested reforms to the UK General election voting system<br />On May 5th 2011, a referendum will ask Britain’s voters if they wish to change to a proportional representation system in the next General Election.<br />It will be for an AV system.<br />What do we know about the AV system?<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. The suggested AV system for the UK General Election<br />Under AV, candidates are still elected, as at present, from single-member constituencies under the Alternative Vote (AV) system.<br />Instead of putting a cross next to one person on a ballot paper as at present, voters rank candidates in order of preference. (They can just vote for one person, if they want.)<br />If none gets a majority of first preference votes, the candidate who comes last is eliminated. The second preference votes on the loser’s ballot papers are then given to other candidates. <br />This continues until one candidate has more than 50% of votes and is declared the winner.<br />
  28. 28. What an AV ballot paper might look like<br />OK it came from a Feminist website!<br />
  29. 29. Pros and Cons of the AV system<br />Advantages of the AV System<br />AV would require relatively minor modifications to the existing system and would maintain single-member constituencies.<br />AV would be more likely than entirely proportional systems to prevent extremist parties or fringe parties from winning seats .<br />AV would lessen the problems of "split voting" and tactical voting.<br />Many argue that AV is too modest a reform, is not true PR, and could even lead to less proportional results as a result of exaggerating swings against an unpopular government. It is still a "winner takes all" system, as with the FPTP system.<br />
  30. 30. Criticisms of the AV System<br />From FPTP supporters: <br />It is more complex for voters than FPTP.<br />From STV (Single Transferable Vote) supporters:<br />It is not sufficiently proportional.<br />It is too likely, as with FPTP, to lead to one-party government.<br />It will not eliminate "safe seats".<br />From AMS supporters:<br />It is not proportional enough.<br />It is still likely to lead to one-party government.<br />
  31. 31. The referendum campaign has already begun<br />Why are Conservatives against AV now?<br />
  32. 32. Suggested reforms to the Electoral College in the U.S. <br />
  33. 33. Is my vote for President and Vice President meaningful in the Electoral College system?<br />Within your state, your vote has significance. <br />Under the Electoral College system, we do not elect the President and Vice President directly. <br />We select electors, who pledge their electoral vote to a specific candidate. <br />In December, the electors of each state meet to vote for President and Vice President. <br />The Presidential election is decided by the combined results of the 51 (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) state elections. <br />It is possible that an elector could ignore the results of the popular vote, but that occurs very rarely. <br />Your vote helps decide which candidate receives your state's electoral votes.<br />
  34. 34. Why do we still have the Electoral College?<br />The Electoral College process is part of the original U.S. Constitution. It would be necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment to change this system. <br />Note that the 12th Amendment, the expansion of voting rights, and the use of the popular vote in the States as the vehicle for selecting electors has substantially changed the process. <br />Many different proposals to alter the Presidential election process have been offered over the years, such as direct nation-wide election by the People, but none have been passed by Congress and sent to the States for ratification. <br />Under the most common method for amending the Constitution, an amendment must be proposed by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the States.<br />
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  36. 36. Is the Electoral College fair?<br />The “winner takes all” system also distorts the results – in 2008 Obama got 52% of the popular votes but 68% of the ECVs – obtaining 365 of the 538 ECVs. <br />Many argue that a more proportional system would be fairer, representing the electorate’s wishes more accurately and giving third parties a greater chance of success. <br />In 1992, Ross Perot won 18.9% of the vote nationwide but he did not receive a single ECV. This is surely another reason why reform is necessary.<br />