(4) Which electoral system is best?


A level People and Politics (Elections and voting) Mind Map on (4) Which electoral system is best?, created by Marcus Danvers on 04/04/2014.
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Marcus Danvers over 9 years ago

Resource summary

(4) Which electoral system is best?
  1. FPTP
    1. Systematic bias of FPTP
      1. Larger parties benefit at the expense of smaller parties.
        1. Winner takes all effect means that 100% of representaion is gained within a constituency by a single candidates and party
          1. Winning candidates tend to come from larger parties due to plurality support
            1. Voters discouraged to vote for smaller parties as they will not gain seats = wasted votes
            2. (4)
            3. FPTP is a single member pluality system (SMP)
              1. It is criticized due to its disproportionality - the system focuses on the election of individual members, not the representation of parties
                1. 1951 Conservatives formed a majority parliament but won fewer votes than Labour
                  1. Today liberals forming a coalition with Conservatives but Labour won more votes
                  2. (1)
                  3. Two-party system is a consequence of the FPTP system and leads to dominance of the major parties
                    1. Whilst the proportion of the votes has started to fall from 95% in 50's to 65% in 2010, 85% of MPs were either the Labour or Conservative in 2010
                      1. As such political elections have become a "two-horse race". Marginal seats are where battles are fought over potential constituencies with no significant political leaning
                        1. (2)
                        2. Systematic bias of FPTP
                          1. parties with geographically distributed support are more likely to gain more seats
                            1. This is becasue geographical concentration makes a party more effective to gain plural support, and where they are not winning support, they are not wasting as many votes
                            2. Conversely if they are too distributed they may come second or third
                              1. Liberals suffer due Labour and Conservatives over-representation and concentration due to class bais of voters
                              2. (4)
                              3. Single party governments are a consequence of the two-party system and are more likely using FPTP
                                1. This means that a single party forms the government, with the second "major" party forming the opposition
                                  1. In Feb 1974 and May 2010 the system failed to produce a single party government, encouraging arguments for electoral reform
                                  2. (3)
                                  3. FPTP tends to produce a "winner's bonus"
                                    1. This means that relatively small shifts in voters gained can lead to dramatic numbers of seats awarded
                                      1. Leading to landslide victories
                                        1. 1983 Conservatives won a 143 majority, up 44 seats in 1979
                                          1. In 1997 and 2001 Labour experienced the same
                                          2. (1)
                                          3. Tactical voting and targeting seats
                                            1. Lib Dems saw increase in performance in 2010 due to tactical voting and targeting of seats in election campaigns. This enabled them to "artificially" concentrate their support to ensure the votes were more effective
                                              1. (4)
                                            2. Proportaional representation
                                              1. (1) Greater proportionality
                                                1. Proportional voting systems are seen to offer greater proportionalit because they reduce the landslide or winners bonus effects of FPTP
                                                  1. 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, Labour won just over half the constituency seats (37/63) on the bais of 32% of the vote, its overall representation in parliament was corrected by distributing party-list seats
                                                    1. So Labour had 36% of seats, in second place behind the SNP
                                                  2. (2) PR leads to government's to compromies
                                                    1. It can be that case that consensus building is required for single-party minority governments, which need informal support of the other parties to maintain control of parliament
                                                      1. Thus, policy cannot be driven through by one party
                                                        1. Scotland and westminster have broken apart on a number of isses - tuition fees, provion of non-medical care for the elderly
                                                      2. (3) PR means coalition government are more likely
                                                        1. The Scottish Parliament, before the SNP majority executive formed in 2011 they saw Labour-Lib Dem coalitions, or in 2007 a minority SNP executive
                                                          1. The Westminster coalition raises question about the implications of PR
                                                            1. Welsh Assembly formed a bried Labour minority executive after the 1999 election, with a Labour-Lib Dem exective being formed in 2000, and a grand coalition being formed in 2007 between Labour and Plaid Cymru
                                                            2. (4) PR allow minor parties representaion
                                                              1. Multiparty systems allow for minor parties to gain represnetation, broading the basis of party representation
                                                                1. In 2010 the Green Party had one representative in Westminster, despite having gained 250,000 votes in some previous election. But are represented in Scotland (2), Greater London Authority (2) and 2 in European Parliament
                                                                  1. UKIP won 600,000 votes in 2005 but gained no seats - but has 13 seats in European Parliament
                                                              2. Differents
                                                                1. Elections
                                                                  1. Fill office / form government
                                                                    1. Vote for candiate / party
                                                                      1. General issues
                                                                        1. Representative democracy
                                                                        2. Referendums
                                                                          1. Helps to make policy decisions
                                                                            1. Select yes/no option
                                                                              1. Ad hoc (decided by governmen)
                                                                                1. Direct democracy
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