Elections and Voters

First edition

by Cees van der Eijk and Mark Franklin

Review questions for Chapter 3

  • What is the overriding requirement for free and fair elections? (p. 58)
  • What was "the last great franchise extension of the 20th Century"? (p. 59)
  • How does the nature of the electoral system affect the coherence of campaign promises in elections for a country's legislature? (p. 61)
  • What role does party discipline play in permitting policy-centered elections? (p. 61)
  • What, strictly speaking, is the difference between a majoritarian electoral system and a plurality system? Why is the distinction seldom made in practice? (p. 63)
  • What is the difference between List PR electoral systems and Single Transferable Vote systems? In what important respect are these two systems similar? (p. 63-64)
  • What type of electoral system constitutes a compromise between List PR and majoritarian? How does it work? (66)
  • What are the three overlapping trade-offs that encapsulate the practical differences between electoral systems? (p. 69-71)
  • Why is it is so hard to change electoral institutions? (p. 71-73)
  • Describe three reforms of electoral systems that have taken place since 1990 and, in the case of one of these, explain what it was that made the reform possible. (p. 71-74)
  • What three features of coalition governments, found in actual coalition governments more often than not, appear to dominate the process that leads to coalition formation? (p. 76)
  • Why is each of these features important? (p. 74-78)
  • What role do voters play in encouraging the compromises that are needed in the formation of coalition governments? (p. 78-81)
  • What are the "two great visions of democracy" identified by Bingham Powell? What are the major advantages that proponents of each vision ascribe to political systems that accord with their vision? (p. 81-83)
  • What is the difference between dispersed and concentrated power? When we take this distinction along with the difference between proportional and majoritarian electoral systems, how does this help us to resolve the problem of classifying the United States in terms of the two great visions of democracy? (p. 83-84)
  • What role in parliamentary systems is played by a monarch or president? How prevalent are parliamentary systems of each type? (p. 85-86)