Contact UsSearch
Click for Search Instructions
Home > Learning Resources > Learning Materials > Week3

Learning Phase, Week 3

Here's a look at what happened during the third weekend of the members' Learning Phase, February 7-8, 2004. 

Handouts provided to members can be downloaded here:

Session 1: Democratic electoral systems

Handout (Word, 66K) (PDF, 233K)

Presentation (PowerPoint, 72K) (PDF, 152K)

Session 2: Majority electoral systems

Handout (Word, 114K) (PDF, 205K)

Presentation (PowerPoint, 246K) (PDF, 234)

Session 3: Plurality systems

Handout (Word, 115K) (PDF, 298K)

Presentation (PowerPoint, 67K) (PDF, 186)


The Agenda for Week 3:


Saturday February 7 

Morning: How are democratic elections organized?

How can we categorize electoral systems?
- Components (formula, ballot, DM) and their consequences
- Range of practice in democratic systems
- Families of electoral systems (Pl, M, PR, Mix, STV)

What are the big differences across families?
- Voting for people, voting for parties
- Basic impacts of electoral system families

Discussion Groups

* Review component concepts and interconnections
* Illustrate with country examples: ballots & counting
* Discuss dis/advantages of families

* Questions and discussion of presentation

Afternoon: Majority systems

- Principle of requiring a majority
- How do systems create majorities that do not exist?
   Alternative vote: Australia
   Second (sequential) balloting: France
- The costs and benefits of these 2 methods

 Evaluation of majority systems in terms of our criteria
- System: artificial majorities, party system concentration, government dominance
- Voter: expanded choice, local representation

Majority systems in the BC context – the 1950s; how might it work now?

Discussion Groups

* Examine French and Australian ballots
* Counting processes and outcomes
* Compare with plurality systems
* Questions and discussion of presentation

Sunday February 8 

Morning: The Plurality System

- Basic logic of the identifiable individual winner
- Consequence of first past the post
- Variations of the theme:
     Multi-member districts (block voting)
     SNTV- several ‘firsts’ (intra-party competition)

Evaluation of plurality system in terms of our criteria
- System: artificial majorities, party system concentration, government dominance
- Voter: limited choice, local representation 

Discussion Groups

* Examine plurality ballots
* Comparisons with other systems
* How important is local representation?
* Do other plurality systems work better than ours?
* Questions and discussion of presentation

© 2003 Citizens' Assembly on Electoral ReformSite powered by levelCMSSite Map | Privacy Policy