Plurality voting system works against third-party candidates

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Reference no: EM13684705

1. Go to the website of FairVote, The Center for Voting and Democracy. Click on Who We Are and read the Overview.

Read the article "The Case for Proportional Representation: by Robert Richie and Steven Hill. Focus on the introduction to the article and the section titled What's the Problem.

In the space below, briefly summarize the problems that FairVote identifies with the two-party monopoly and the whiner-take-all system.

2. Explain how the combination of winner-take-all and the plurality voting system works against third-party candidates and discourages citizens from voting for those candidates.

3. Complete the table below by specifying the percentage of the popular vote each candidate would need to receive in the first primary election to produce a runoff election between candidates A and B, and then the percentage of the popular vote candidate A would need to win the runoff election. (Many percentage figures will produce the result you are seeking.)

4. Under which system, plurality or runoff, would a minority candidate-for example, an African American-have a greater chance of winning? Explain and support your answer. (Remember that the runoff is used in party primaries, so there is no two-party monopoly.)

5. Consider these five candidates running on the ballot for a seat in your state legislature: Candidate A: Democrat, liberal, prochoice

Candidate B: Democrat, moderate, prochoice
Candidate C: Republican, moderate, prochoice
Candidate D: Republican, moderate, prolife
Candidate E: Republican, conservative, prolife

Consider the position of an independent voter strongly in favor of abortion rights (prochoice) and moderate to conservative on most other issues. For which candidates would this voter cast her or his votes under the approval voting system? Explain your answer.

6. What type of candidate would the approval voting system tend to favor-one that is broadly acceptable to the electorate or one that attracts deep and enthusiastic support from a narrow segment of the electorate? Explain your answer by citing specific features of the approval voting system.

7. Would the approval voting system tend to make it more or less difficult for minority group candidates such as African Americans to win office? Explain your answer.

8. Consider the following candidates on the ballot:

Candidate A: Democrat, left-wing liberal, white, female Candidate B: Democrat, liberal, white, female
Candidate C: Democrat, moderate, black, female
Candidate D: Republican, moderate, white, male
Candidate E: Republican, conservative, black, male
Candidate F: Republican, right-wing conservative, white, male

How would a lifelong left-wing liberal Democrat, active in the party and favoring liberal and feminist causes, most likely cast his or her six votes? Explain and support your answer.

9. What type of candidate would the cumulative system tend to favor-one that is broadly acceptable to the electorate or one that attracts deep and enthusiastic support from a narrow seg¬ment of the electorate? Explain your answer by citing specific features of the approval voting system.

10. Would the cumulative voting system tend to make it more or less difficult for minority group candidates such as African Americans to win office? Explain your answer.

11. Put yourself in the position of a voter who is strongly committed to the Green.Party and the prin-ciples it stands for. In your election district for the House of Representatives, only about 5 percent of registered voters are members of the Green Party. Democrats, Republicans, and independents each make up about 30 percent of the registered voters. The remaining 5 percent is distributed among other minority parties. Because of the two-party monopoly, there is no chance that a Green Party candidate will win a seat in the House either under the plurality election system or under the trans¬ferable-vote system. Given that situation, which of those two systems would you, as a voter strongly committed to the Green Parts prefer to participate under and why?

12. Make one argument against the transferable-vote system.

13. Pill in the right-hand column of the table below by allocating the 100 seats in this hypothetical parliament on a proportional basis-in other words, according to the percentage of the vote each party received. Assume that parties that win less than 6 percent of the vote receive no seats in the legislature.

14. Identify the possible coalitions of parties that would achieve majority control of Parliament.

15. Return to the FairVote article, "The Case for Proportional Representation:' Study the section titled Why PR? and the subsections titled The Majority Argument and Other Reasons for PR.

a. Which argument in favor of proportional representation do you find most persuasive and why?

b. Which argument do you find least persuasive and why?

16. Which of the six voting systems examined in this exercise do you think is best? Explain and support your position.

Reference no: EM13684705

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