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REPRESENTATION, ELECTIONS & VOTING

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eury sociology

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of REPRESENTATION, ELECTIONS & VOTING

‘If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish It’ Title of book by Ken Livingstone (1987) says
"The representative process is intrinsically
linked to elections and voting." experts state
Based on particular ideological & political assumptions differing theories of representation come to fore
Do you think a man can be a feminist?
ELECTIONS-should I stay or should I go?
Theories of Representation
Elections-continued
Trusteeship (vesayet/vekillik):
What do people say about trusteeship?
Joseph Schumpeter (Capitalism, Socialism Democracy) argues "democracy means only that the people have the opportunity of accepting or refusing the men who are to rule them."
1.25 TL
March 7-14, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Experts warn people about the meaning of representative democracy
REPRESENTATION, ELECTIONS & VOTING
Functions of Elections
democracy= demos+kratos
direct democracy vs. representative democracy
1. recruiting politicians:
2. making governments:
how do you think representation can be possible? On which grounds does representation take place? Which qualities make the MP's your representative? Do you think there could be other ways than the current form of representation? Do you think representative democracy is a good form of rule? Any alternatives?
what does representation mean? political scientists ask...
representation is a relationship through which an individual or a group stands for or acts on behalf of, a larger group of people.
self-government
distinction between government& governed
continues on page 2
Trustee is a person who is vested with formal responsibility for another's property or affairs.

For Edmund Burke (18th ct) representation is a moral duty of the 'enlightened'/'educated' people.
Mass people do not know their own best interest.


J.S. Mill argues that although all individuals have the right to be represented not all political opinions are of equal value. Proportional voting
rational voters would support politicians who could act wisely on their behalf rather than ones who reflect voters' views
1. Trusteeship might have anti-democratic implications. If people cannot decide for themselves or do not know what is best for public why do they elect in the beginning?
2. The link between education & increased moral judgment capacity may be wrong. There is less evidence on correlation betw. altruism & education level.
Altruism:
A concern for the welfare for others, based on either enlightened self-interest or a recognition of a common humanity
Based on particular ideological & political assumptions differing theories of representation come to fore
Theories of Representation
Experts say delegate model comes close to the ideal of popular sovereignty, the principle that there is no higher authority than the will of people
2. Delegate model (delege/elçilik)
A delegate is a person who is chosen to act for another on the basis of clear guidance or instructions. A delegate has no capacity to exercise his or her own judgement or preferences. Ambassadors. Rules are clear& representatives are strictly monitored.
Thomas Paine--regular elections & short-terms in office enables control of representatives.
radical democrats advocate the use of initiatives & the right of recall
initiative:
A type of referendum through which the public is able to raise legislative proposals
recall:
a process whereby the electorate can call unsatisfactory public officials to account & ultimately remove them
1. when delegates receive their instructions from constituents conflict might be promoted.

2. delegation limits the scope of leadership & statesmanship
Based on particular ideological & political assumptions differing theories of representation come to fore
Theories of Representation
In practice there are various problems with the party mandate model 
1. The compromises struck in the process of government formation may compromise the party mandate.

In 2010 Liberal Democrat MPs were elected for a party that 
promised to abolish university tuition fees in England but, in a 
coalition government with the Conservatives, the Liberal 
Democrats have increased tuition fees 
 
2.Circumstances may change significantly midterm in a way the mandate  theory cannot accommodate 

There was no party mandate for an invasion of Iraq in the US

3. Voters are assumed to vote for policies & programmes but this assumption may not be correct all the time.


3. Mandate model
Both trustee & delegate model were formulated before party politics.

mandate is an instruction or command from a higher body that demands compliance.

MP's today are not elected because of their personal qualities rather for their membership of a party.
By winning an election a party gains popular mandate that authorizes it to carry out its policies/programmes outlined during elections.
An emphasis on party-unity & discipline rather than personal initiative or qualifications. MPs become loyal to the party not to the people.
i)Political parties develop public policies and select candidates 
ii) Voters choose between the parties 
iii)The winning party or parties carries out the mandate in parliament 
iv)Candidates stand for parliament as ‘partisans’, are elected on a set of party promises and carry out the party mandate in parliament 

Based on particular ideological & political assumptions differing theories of representation come to fore
Theories of Representation

resemblance model seems to be portraying representation in narrow or exclusive terms.

a microcosmic representation might suffer from the conflicts present in society


a microcosmic representation is only possible with secial arrangements such as quotas

the electorate might be classified on the basis of gender, ethnicity, class (who will vote and whom they should chose? can representation be limited with identity?)

4. Resemblance model
suggests that only people who come from a particular group, and have shared the experiences of that group, can fully identify with its interests. This is the difference between ‘putting oneself in the shoes of another’and having direct and personal experience of what other people go through.
microcosmic representation: a representative government would constitute a microcosm of the larger society, containing members drawn from all groups & sections in society (in terms of social class, gender, religion, ethnicity, age & so on).

socialists & radicals--under-representation of groups such as working class, women or minorities at senior levels in key institutions make their interests marginalized.
how can we explain women who are against feminism?
seksi resimleri için tıklayınız!/check out the sexy pics!
POLITICAL NEWS WEEKLY
HABERİ DE BİZ BİLİRİZ!
Referendums: Are they really good indeed?
A referendum is a vote in which the electorate can express a view on particular issue of public policy. Differs from election (which aims at filling public offices) by not being a method of influence on polity.
Referendums may be advisory (İstişari Referandum) or binding (Tasdiki Referandum)--they may also raise issues for discussion (initiatives) (halk teşebbüsü) or be used to decide policy questions (propositions or plebiscites)
check the power of elected governments
promote political participation-informed electorate
strengthen legitimacy-public expression of opinion
means of settling major constitutional questions or of public opinion on issues that were not on the agenda during the elections
uninformed and manipulated electorate
a snapshot of public opinion-no debate bu a choice on the proposed alternatives
manipulation is possible-do people really vote for ideas /policies or leaders or parties?
simplification of political decisions
It is a method of choosing the rulers as a result of competition.
election:
A device for filling an office or post through choices made by a designated body of people -the electorate
POLL:
do you think elections are competitive?
can everyone compete? can every post be voted? how do people vote? can we trust elections?
either directly or in an indirect way
3. providing representation:
4. influencing policy
5. educating voters
6. building legitimacy
7. strengthening elites
bottom-up functions of elections
Ginsberg (1982) portrays elections through which
government and political elites can exercise control over their populations, making them more docile
top-down functions of elections
Voting Behavior
The study of voting behavior is closely related with behavioral sciences. The assumption underlying this study is that we can understand why certain groups of people vote for certain parties
Voting behavior is determined by ST & LT influences

The most important ST determinant is economy (unemployment, inflation & income level)

Another ST factor is personality & public standing of party leaders.

Style & effectiveness of electoral campaign

Media
There are 4 important models
Theories of Voting
1. Party identification model
argues that people are motivated by their psychological attachment to parties.

electors identify themselves with the party

voting is a manifestation of partisanship; is not a result of calculation of factors listed above

a stress on early socialization--most of the time family is important in forming party identification

attitudes, party leaders, policies are explained on the basis of pre-existing loyalties & attachments

voting behavior=stable & continuous; deviations may occur due to ST impacts
partisan dealignment: decline in partisanship due to increased education, geographical & social mobility, reliance to other sources of info.
....
Theories of Voting
2. Sociological Model
voting behavior is linked to group membership

electors adopt a voting pattern in line with their economic & social position

social alignment is important--divisions on the basis of gender, class, race, ethnicity

group interests are more important than individual interests

Give me examples of sociological model....
...
Theories of Voting
3. Rational Choice Model
The emphasis is on individual (not socialization not group behavior)

Voting is a rational act; individual vote on the basis of their self-interest

Voting might express an evaluation of performance (with reference to past) or an expectation with regards to future

Issue voting: Voting behavior shaped by party policies & calculation of self-interest
4. Dominant ideology model
resembles sociological model on voting behavior

differs from it in terms of its interpretation of individuals' understanding of their social position-the way it has been presented to theö through education, government etc .

Newspapers, magazines, television and radio(mass media) influence voting behavior.
The media is the means whereby voters form opinions on the ability of political leaders.

Dunleavy and husbands (1985) have argued that individual choices are influenced by media misrepresentation. I their view , the newspaper and television distort the process of political communication.


In the dominant ideology model of voting behavior it is argued that the mass media [and in particular the press] have traditionally been supportive of Conservative political opinion and that mass media influence has persuaded large swathes of working class voters to vote Conservative when in reality it has not been in their interests to do so.
...
Electoral Systems
Majoritarian systems & proportional systems
Majoritarian system: Larger parties win higher proportion of seats than the proportion of votes gained in election--ends up with two party system

Proportional system: Seats are arranged on the basis of the rate of votes (Pure proportional system)--ends up usually with coalition governments or multi party systems.

the choice of electoral systems largely depends on the governments' (public's or parties') desire for either the quality of representation or the effectiveness of government

majoritarian systems are not representative enough-unfair to small parties
defenders emphasize the effectiveness of government

proportional system suffer from the representative power in implementing policies
defenders emphasize the greater basis of legitimacy
SINGLE-MEMBER PLURALITY SYSTEM (SMP)
Electoral Systems
used: the UK (House of Commons), the USA; Canada & India
Type: Majoritarian
country is divided into single-member constituencies, usually of equal size
voters select a single candidate, marking his/her name
winning candidate needs plurality (the first past to the post rule)
advantages:
clear link between representatives & constituents
offers the electorate a clear choice of potential parties of government
allows the govts. to have a clear mandate
enables strong & effective government
enables stability
disadvantages:
many votes cannot be transferred to representation
distorts electoral preferences
offers limited choice because of duopolistic tendencies
undermines legitimacy because of minority support
creates instability in case of change of govt.
unaccountable government-strong executive controlling everything
SECOND BALLOT SYSTEM
Electoral Systems
Used: France (changes are common) Type: Majoritarian
single-candidate constituencies & single-choice voting
candidates needs majority to win on the first ballot
in case of no majority, two leading candidates run on the second ballot
advantages:
broadens electoral choice-your preference on the first round and a more practical approach on the second round
candidates try appealing more people for they need majority
strong & stable governments
disadvantages:
more proportional than FPTP yet still unfair in terms of representation
run-off candidates may prefer popularity and leave principles aside
second ballot may be detrimental for voters' interests
ALTERNATIVE VOTE SYSTEM; SUPPLEMENTARY VOTE
Electoral Systems
Used: Australia (House of representatives); and the UK (London mayor) Type: Majoritarian
single-member constituencies
preferential voting. In AU people rank the candidates; in UK only one alternative is stated
winning candidate must gain 50%
votes are counted acc to first preference; if no one gets 50% last candidate is deleted, his/her voted are distributed acc to second preference. Goes on until someone gets 50%

advantages:
lesser waste of votes than FPTP
outcome cannot be influenced by the candidates as it was the case in the second ballot
still possibility of having a single-party
disadvantages:
not more proportional than FPTP
outcome may be determined by the votes of small parties
candidates may enjoy little first preference support
ADDITIONAL MEMBER SYSTEM (AMS)
Electoral systems
used: Germany, Italy, Russia, (state Duma), New Zealand &the ULL (Scottish & Welsh Assembly) type: proportional
a proportion of seats (50% in Germany) are filled by FPTP system
remaining seats are filled using a party list
electors cast two votes: one for candidate in constituency election & one for party
advantages:
hybrid -aims to balance FPTP with party list process
proportional yet single party rule is still possible
it is possible to elect someone from another party yet vote for another party
recognizes that constituents & ministerial offices are different
disadvantages:
50% FPTP is still preventing representativeness
two classes of representatives
parties are more centralized & powerful
SINGLE-TRANSFERABLE-VOTE SYSTEM (STV)
Electoral systems
used: Republic of Ireland, the UK (Northern Ireland Assembly) type: proportional
multimember constituencies, up to five members
parties put candidates for the empty seats
electors vote preferentially (AVS)
candidates are elected if they reach a quota--droop formula: quota=(total # of votes cast) / (# of seats to fill+1) +1
100,000 voters 4 seats: quota-->100,000/5=20,000+1
votes are counted in acc with first preference. the system is the same of AVS
advantages:
system is capable of achieving proportionality
competition among members of same party enables more choice

disadvantages:
degree of proportionality varies on the basis of party system
strong & stable government is not likely
intra-party competition may be divisive
PARTY-LIST SYSTEM
Electoral systems
Used: Israel, European countries like Belgium, Switzerland Type: Proportional
either the country is single constituency or in case of regional party list there are a # of constituencies
parties form candidate list in their own order
tors vote for parties
parties are allocated seats in acc with their proportion of votes-seats are filled on the basis of part list
a threshold may exist (5 % for Germany; 10% for Turkey)
advantages:
potentially proportional-fair to all parties
system promotes national unity rather than regionalism
minorities & women can be elected (as long as they are on party list)
representation of large number of parties requires bargain& consensus
disadvantages:
weak governments in case of existence of many small parties
link betw. representatives & constituencies is broken
party list rules it all
parties are centralized and dependent upon leader's decision
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