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Electoral systems (Essay Sample)

Citation & Style Guides: Please see the College¡¯s site on this and/or a writing guide. For this course use the American Political Science Association (APSA) author-date style ¨C do not use APA or MLA. Be sure to include a page number(s): http://citesource(dot)trincoll(dot)edu/apsa/apsa.html Topic: Electoral systems: should countries with non-proportional electoral systems (e.g., single member plurality) adopt more proportional electoral systems (e.g., proportional representation or mixed-member proportionality)? Research essay instructions: - Minimum length: 8 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font. The title page and bibliography may not be included in the word count or page length; - You must consistently and properly cite (reference/document) all sources using the APSA parentheses author-date style. Direct quotes, indirect quotes (paraphrased material), and information not widely known must be cited. Note: you MUST include page number(s) when you cite. A direct quote should look like this: Given this literature there are several reasons for a fresh look at the recruitment process (Norris and Lovenduski, 1995, p. 7). An indirect quote should look like this: the need to update recruitment literature has been well established (Norris and Lovenduski, 1995, p. 7). Failure to include the page number(s) will result in a failing mark. NO exceptions. For more information see: http://citesource(dot)trincoll(dot)edu/apsa/apsa.html - You must frequently cite a minimum of 5 academic (scholarly) sources in your research papers. Encarta, Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias do not count as academic sources. Nor does your course text count as an academic source; however, you may still reference it; - Research papers must define all relevant terms (for example, if writing on social media you must define social media ¨C consult your course textbook for definitions rather than Wikipedia); - Research papers must present: 1) a clear central thesis statement; 2) a logical organizational structure; 3) a diverse range of supporting evidence; 4) analysis linking the evidence presented to the central thesis statement, and; 5) a relevant introduction and conclusion; - Research papers must be well written (e.g., complete sentences, appropriate use of paragraphs, proper grammar, and correct spelling), and; source..
Proportional and Non Proportional Electoral Systems
Electoral system is an institution in itself that provides for the methodology and practice of voting in leaders into power. Elections are carried out in each and every country and/or state by citizens (electorates) in exercising their rights and freedoms to choose their leaders. It is through this exercise that a country’s population exerts influence on the individuals they would want to govern them and the process by which citizens participate in government formation (Lijphart 2000 p.1). Electoral systems decide on the methods that will be used in voting, how the voting will actually be conducted, equipment to be used, how tallying of the votes is done and finally how a winner is decided upon. These processes differ among nations in the world in terms of outcome determination. Electoral systems are usually influenced by the political set up of that country, electoral processes of their colonizers and the electoral systems of the neighboring countries. Electoral systems have been associated with the successes of countries in exercising and spreading democratic practices within the country and/or state. This is because electoral systems not only dictate outcomes of an election but also the political alignment of the country, and ultimately politics influences the democratic realization of a country. Farrell (2001, p.4) notes that the proportionality or non proportionality of electoral systems is in the way that the outcome of the election reflects the fairness in allocation of electoral seats to parties and the overall votes achieved. There are three main components of an electoral system as noted by Farrell (2001, p.6). These include:
District magnitude- this is the magnitude or size of the electoral province, state or constituency. The district magnitude is determined by the number of representatives to be chosen in each constituency, region etc. or the amount of seats/vacancies that are open in a particular region. Some countries have numerous seats to be filled within a region/constituency while others which have the single member plurality system have only one vacancy to be filled.
Ballot structure-this describes the method by which voters exercise their voting right. There are two common ballot structures i.e. ordinal ballot structure where voters can vote for all the candidates on a ballot paper in order of preferential ranking or categorical ballot structure where voters are given a choice of candidates on a ballot paper and asked to vote for their preferred candidate.
Electoral formula- this is the method by which tallying of votes is done and seats allocated depending on the outcome of the election. Although these three components of electoral systems are all important in classifying electoral systems, electoral formula is the main distinction between most electoral systems. There are basically three categories of...
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