Presentation on theme: "Voting and electoral reform DO NOW Work in pairs. Each pair should have a mark scheme for 10 mark questions spelling out the examination requirements under."— Presentation transcript:
Voting and electoral reform DO NOW Work in pairs. Each pair should have a mark scheme for 10 mark questions spelling out the examination requirements under AO1: Knowledge and Understanding. Each pair should also have two example answers to last week’s homework question. Using this portion of the mark scheme, agree between you which level the example answers would achieve and why. Then use the mark scheme to decide on a Level for your own answer.
Level 4 (4 marks) The student demonstrates an excellent knowledge and understanding of political concepts/theories/institutions and processes. The student deploys relevant knowledge and understanding fully to address the question and produces accurate and/or relevant examples to illustrate points made. Level 3 (3 marks) The student demonstrates good knowledge and understanding of political concepts/theories/institutions and processes. The student addresses the question and produces examples and/or evidence to illustrate points made. Level 2 (2 marks) The student demonstrates limited knowledge and understanding of political concepts/theories/institutions and processes. The student makes a limited attempt to address the question and produces few or inaccurate examples and/or limited evidence to illustrate points made. Level 1 (1 mark) The student demonstrates little knowledge and understanding of political concepts/theories/institutions and processes. The student makes little attempt to address the question and produces few examples and/or little evidence to illustrate points made. AO1 – Knowledge and understanding
Explain why the first-past-the-post electoral system has rarely resulted in coalition government at Westminster. (10) First Past the Post system rarely results in a coalition government at Westminster. This is because with the FPTP system there is an unavoidable by-product of a 2 party system – where there are only two major groups with a chance of winning at Westminster: Labour and Conservatives. In addition, with the FPTP system the better the third party does the more it ensures it’s not going to win. 69 words The First Past the Post system is the current system of voting used in UK general elections. This method of voting entails citizens voting for the party member they want to represent their constituency at Westminster. This means that the majority of voters may not have voted for the government in power. This system of voting is unlikely to result in a coalition government because the party with the most votes becomes the party with power in a ‘winner takes all’ situation. This means that parties with marginally less votes do not end up in government. A party may be more likely to win a majority, such as the Labour Party in 1997. 113 words
Explain why the first-past-the-post electoral system has rarely resulted in coalition government at Westminster. (10) FPTP has rarely resulted in coalition government because it enables bigger parties to win comfortable Commons majorities with a relatively small share of the popular vote. FPTP is a disproportionate system in which bigger, more established parties tend to gain a significantly larger share of the seats in Westminster than they do a share of the popular vote. This is because parliamentary candidates only need win a simple plurality of votes to take a constituency; all other votes are ‘wasted’—they fail to affect the electoral outcome. In 2010, for example, FPTP resulted in 433 MPs being elected with a minority of popular support in their constituency. FPTP has traditionally favoured ‘two party’ politics and single-party government (‘Duverger’s law’). This is because the Labour and Conservative parties have the voter recognition, resources, and national platform to campaign effectively across virtually all 650 constituencies. One or another of these parties can typically win enough seats to form a government. This is very different from elections across most of Europe, where coalition governments have been necessary in order to command effective majorities in national legislatures. However, the bigger parties’ share of the popular vote has now declined to such a point where coalition governments become a more likely ongoing feature of British politics. 211 words
Learning objectives To develop our knowledge and understanding of the electoral systems used in the UK To analyse the case for electoral reform in the UK To practice answering mid-length response questions (10 marks)
Electoral reform? Calls for electoral reform have grown louder over the past two decades, fuelled by falling turnout levels and the increasing likelihood of hung parliaments There were significant attempts at electoral reform in 1997 (Jenkins Commission) and 2011 (referendum); both effectively failed However, with another coalition government the most likely outcome of May’s General Election, the cause of reform is far from spent
Electoral reform? We have identified four key shortcomings of the FPTP system: −Disproportionality in Westminster −Lack of representation at the constituency and regional level −‘Wasted’ votes −Tactical voting and the disproportionate weight of ‘marginal’ seats Using the planning grid, try to identify how each of the three alternative voting systems attempts to address these shortcomings
Alternative Vote - recap The Alternative Vote (AV) is a preferential system where the voter has the chance to rank the candidates in order of preference. The voter puts a '1' by their first choice a '2' by their second choice, and so on, until they no longer wish to express any further preferences or run out of candidates. Candidates are elected outright if they gain more than half of the first preference votes. If not, the candidate who lost (the one with least first preferences) is eliminated and their votes are redistributed according to the second (or next available) preference marked on the ballot paper. This process continues until one candidate has half of the votes and is elected.
How to address...AMSAVSV Disproportionality in Westminster Lack of representation at the constituency and regional level ‘Wasted’ votes Tactical voting and the disproportionate weight of ‘marginal’ seats
Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, outline the likely consequences of adopting the closed regional party list system in elections to the Westminster Parliament. (10 marks) The Alternative Vote (AV) referendum Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, has accused his Conservative Cabinet colleague Lady Warsi of descending to Goebbels-like propaganda after she claimed that the Alternative Vote system on offer would benefit extremists such as the British National Party (BNP). “If Baroness Warsi thinks that AV will benefit fascism, she has to explain why the BNP wants to stick with what we have whilst Operation Black Vote supports AV. The BNP knows the present system is its only chance of election. This is another example of the increasingly Goebbels-like campaign from the anti-AV people, for whom no lie is too idiotic. AV makes lazy MPs work harder and reach out beyond their tribe. It is what Britain needs to clean up politics.” Earlier in the week, Huhne had exposed the tensions inside the Cabinet over the AV referendum when he accused Warsi, the Tory party chairman, of gutter politics over her claim that the introduction of AV would cost more than £250m – so leading to the closure of hospitals. Source: adapted from P WINTOUR, Chris Huhne accuses cabinet colleague of Nazi tactics over AV referendum, Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2011