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Alternatives to FPTP DO NOW Read through the extract about the first-past-the- post voting system and bullet point answers to both the 5 and 10 mark questions.

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Presentation on theme: "Alternatives to FPTP DO NOW Read through the extract about the first-past-the- post voting system and bullet point answers to both the 5 and 10 mark questions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alternatives to FPTP DO NOW Read through the extract about the first-past-the- post voting system and bullet point answers to both the 5 and 10 mark questions. You should include the detail you would use to support each point you give in answer to the questions.

2 A new class record Humza scored 20 out of a possible 25 marks in his mini essay on the expanding powers of the European Parliament. Congratulations, Humza.

3 It’s Democracy Day 2015 marks the 800 th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta; also the 750 th anniversary of the first parliament The BBC is running a series of articles and features online, on radio and television to celebrate these events This includes commissioning research from the EIU on the state of democracy in the UK and Europe Thursday’s quiz will be based on the ‘Democracy Day’ articles and research

4 Resources All lesson resources are live on the wiki They can be accessed by going to egapolitics.wikispaces.com and following links to G&P Resources egapolitics.wikispaces.com The wiki also includes links to news sites and other valuable online resources

5 Resources We will make increasing use of the official course textbook and 2015 update Students should consider buying copies of the unit guides

6 Resources We have greatly expanded the range of resources available through the academy library

7 Research task Each group is responsible for researching their key topic and reporting back to the class. Reports will take the form of regular 5 minute updates on a key topic related to the election.

8 The role of the party leaders Loretta Hanah Ellis Humza The party manifestos: key promises Abigail Dale Abdi Clinton The big issues: economy, health service, immigration Loshell Troy Tyreek Daniel Opinion polls and the role of the media Tolu Shaquille Tanique Allan Research task

9 Learning objectives To explain how the various voting systems used in the UK work in practice To evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each system

10 The proportionality conundrum The chart on your tables shows the breakdown of the popular vote in 2010 vs. the division of seats in the HOC under the FPTP and three other voting systems that you have not yet covered. Which of these systems seems inherently most fair? Why? What questions would you ask of each of these systems in order to make a more informed judgment? SV

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12 How do they work? Alternative vote (AV): Voters rank candidates according to preference. If no candidate secures a majority of first preference votes, then second preference votes of the candidate who finished last are distributed. This process is repeated until a winning candidate emerges. Additional member system (AMS): Voters can vote both for a constituency representative and, separately, for a closed regional party list. The second vote is used to elect ‘additional’ members who serve to align the share of the vote with the share of seats in the legislature. This system is used in Scotland and in Wales. The Supplementary vote (SV): Each voter gets one vote, which can be transferred from their first-preference to their second- preference. Candidates don't need a majority of votes to be elected, only a plurality based on first and second preference. This is the system used in London Mayoral elections.

13 Systems used in the UK EnglandScotlandWalesNorthern Ireland General/local - FPTPGeneral – FPTPGeneral/local - FPTPGeneral - FPTP European Parliament – closed list European Parliament London Mayoralty – SV Devolved gov – AMS London Assembly - AMS Local – STV

14 Comparing electoral systems The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has an extensive online resource comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different voting systems Go to reform.org.uk/voting-systems and make a list of the top three pros and top three cons for each system.http://www.electoral- reform.org.uk/voting-systems

15 Key questions – sample Why is there such strong cross-party support for the constituency system in UK politics? Why do the major parties prefer electoral systems which retain a predominance of FPTP votes? How might the status of a ‘top-up’ member elected under the proportional element of AMS differ from one elected under the constituency element?

16 Homework Read through the extract. Answer the 5 and 10 mark questions in full

17 STUDENT RESOURCES

18 First-past-the-post Elections have a key role to play in modern democracies. They are the main mechanism by which the ‘will of the people’ is to be measured. The people cannot be consulted on each and every issue. A representative democracy provides for voter choice in the selection of those individuals who will make decisions on behalf of the citizens. If we are to ensure that the ‘will of the people’ is achieved, the operation of the electoral system is of paramount importance. There can be little dispute that the system used for UK general elections fails to fulfil this basic and essential purpose. That is to say, first-past-the-post does not accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’ because it results in large numbers of wasted votes. For example, at the May 2010 General Election, the Liberal Democrats only won 57 seats (8.76%) despite securing 23% of the popular vote across the UK. The Liberal Democrats secured an average of 119,788 votes nationally for every Commons seat won, compared with Labour’s 33,350 and the Conservatives’ 34,989. Source: adapted from M SIMPSON, ‘Electoral reform – Is FPTP defensible?’, Politics Review Vol 19, No 2 Explain the term wasted votes used in the extract. (5 marks) Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, consider why the first-past-the-post system disadvantages some parties. (10 marks)

19 Majority and coalition governments Although it is generally accepted that elections play a crucial part in representation, different electoral systems represent the views of voters in different ways. Whereas some systems seek to translate votes into seats with a high degree of proportionality, often leading to multi-party coalition government, others tend to result in single-party majority government. Those arguing against the introduction of the Alternative Vote system (AV) in elections to the Westminster Parliament at the time of the 2011 referendum argued that it would be more likely to result in coalition government than First-Past-The-Post. In 1998, however, the Jenkins Commission had concluded that ‘there is not the slightest reason to think that AV would reduce the stability of government; it might lead to larger parliamentary majorities’. Indeed, detailed research on the 1997 General Election suggested that Labour’s landslide majority would have been even larger had AV been employed in that contest. Plurality and majoritarian systems tend to favour larger, more established parties over those whose support is smaller or more evenly spread. Explain the term representation as used in the passage. (5 marks) Using your own knowledge as well as the passage, explain why the First-Past-the-Post system has rarely resulted in coalition government at Westminster. (10 marks)

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21 How do they work? Alternative vote (AV): Voters rank candidates according to preference. If no candidate secures a majority of first preference votes, then second preference votes of the candidate who finished last are distributed. This process is repeated until a winning candidate emerges. Additional member system (AMS): Voters can vote both for a constituency representative and, separately, for a closed regional party list. The second vote is used to elect ‘additional’ members who serve to align the share of the vote with the share of seats in the legislature. This system is used in Scotland and in Wales. The Single transferable vote (STV): Each voter gets one vote, which can be transferred from their first-preference to their second- preference, and so on. Candidates don't need a majority of votes to be elected, just a known 'quota', or share of the votes. This is the system used in London Mayoral elections.

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