In this weeks Anthony Downs reading we were able to use the knowledge we have gained about the structure of institutions so far from our discussions and texts and apply it to voting in politics. In “An Economic Theory of Democracy” Downs focused on the calculus behind voting and voter turnout to draw the conclusion that there is no point in voting. When Downs was explaining the reasoning behind voting he spoke of the utility income that the government provides to us; these benefits of utilities are the incentives that should determine the way that we vote and show its importance. Using the idea of looking to maximize utilities to determine how you vote was a fascinating idea to me and make me question he inefficiencies that exist in voting today that cause people to vote based on different reasons. So the irrational ways we base our voting decisions on (instead of utility) is what I primarily focus on as these voting habits show how citizens vote off superficial issues, not campaign platforms.
If we are going to pay the costs of spending our time to go cast a vote, register, understand the candidate options, and pay for the gas to drive to the poles it makes sense to make the best choice you possibly can; to do so Downs recommends voting for the candidate that will provide you the most utility. I think Downs should have also included something about the benefit to society as too much personal interest and a lack of common concern will lead to personal benefit being
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The behavior of voters has great importance to politics as the people decide mainly who wins. The study of the behavior of the electorate has increased as politicians seek to appeal to the voters and find ways to gain followers and most importantly votes. The two articles Democratic Practice and Democratic Theory and The Responsible Electorate discuss the behavior of voters in the United States, and the importance of the electorate.
One reason why Americans shouldn’t be required to vote is because voting without background information might lead to wrong decisions. Evidence supporting this reason is, in document G (New York Times) (Randy Cohen) states that people that are uninformed, will end up voting for something that doesn’t endorse their interests. This evidence helps explain
The Funnel of Causality model describes voting behaviour in terms of socio-demographics, party identification, issues, and candidates. In this essay I will focus on issues because they can be compared between countries. An issue is essentially a problem that is perceived to be important, and there is an actor with “ownership” of the issue, meaning that there is someone who is thought to be “the best man for the job” so to speak. The economy isn’t an issue because you can’t have “ownership” over the economy. Issues are important because they explain a lot about voting behaviour.
A strong democratic government rest on citizens exercising their power of voting. Even though in many countries including United States, entitled voters don’t vote during Presidential Elections. This paper will explain that Federal Voting should be mandatory in United States. Many people in United States try their best to stay away from political affairs not realizing the importance politics. Voting is one of the most common ways to get involved in politics. Firstly this paper will state the main problems for the non-voters. Moving forward, why it is necessary and important to vote? And lastly the outcomes if people doesn’t voted. Votes determine who will be responsible in considering laws and their enforcement to all the Americans. By this
Voting in many countries is held in different ways. In The United States of America, voting is voluntary while the Australian citizen has to vote, it is compulsory. When an Australian citizen does not vote they receive a fine. Compulsory voting has now become a large political issue for many countries. Great Britain has seen a dramatic decline in the number of people voting in the last 15 years (Singh, 2014) and compulsory voting has become a large political and social debate. However, as with any political change, there are strengths and weaknesses. The Australian system is an excellent one to analyse as the question has to be asked when introducing compulsory voting what are the long term democratic, economic and social issues? Four key points can be outlined to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian compulsory voting system. The first, compulsory voting provides a clear and accurate representation of an entire electorate. Additionally, this system may influence an increase in support for the leftist policy in a current democratic institution. Another key issue to consider is, does an active and informed citizen have a moral duty and obligation to vote to protect and further society? Key constitutional changes brought about by referendums can prove that compulsory voting is essential and needed in society for every vote to count. Lastly, compulsory voting when being a secret ballot can turn into a more compulsory “turn up” for many citizens as they can
To every political system there are many positives and negatives and one critique of compulsory voting systems is that informal and uninterested voting is increased. It has been advocated that compulsory voting brings a large amount of “uninterested voters” to the polls and in turn cast votes that are clearly inconsistent with their own political values compared to those who are more informed and motivated voluntary voters (Selb and Latchat, 2009). In this case the primary concern is when people are forced to vote they will either pick a candidate at random or spoil their ballot which consequently, does not make the outcome of the election representative of the people’s interests. If certain individuals are not interested in politics they should not be forced to contribute in one of the most salient political statements practiced in Canada (Selb and Latchat, 2009). They have the right to choose their level of political participation.
In our system of government we are privileged with the option to take part in the political process that runs the country. It is our right to vote that lets the people influence change in policy and set the guidelines that politicians must follow to be elected representatives. This precious ability, which is most coveted in most non-democratic countries, is taken for granted in our own.
There is value in having and exercising the right to vote. Americans today have developed a mindset that their vote does not make a difference, and that voicing out their opinions is a waste of time. This is not the case, however, as the rights that Americans are neglecting are the same rights that our ancestors have fought for during the enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment. The laws that affect the average individuals, the influences of various platformed parties, and the importance of voting in society exemplifies why Americans should value their right to vote.
A voter can be defined as an individual who votes, or has the right to vote, in elections. Voting behaviour is explained using the concepts of expressive voting and strategic voting. A rational voter would act more strategically, that is, the voter would vote to produce an election outcome which is as close as possible to his or her own policy preferences, rather than voting on the basis of party attachment, ideology, or social group membership (expressive voting). Strategic voting has become more important than voting on the basis of political cleavages (expressive voting), so voters have become more rational in their approach, however there is always an element of expressiveness in their behaviour. Political parties were initially formed to represent the interests of particular groups in society however, as these parties became more universal in the appeal of their policy programmes, voting behaviour shifted from expressive to strategic. This essay explores the reasons behind the declining importance of political cleavages, and the rise of strategic voting.
It is worth a little of both our time and our energy to exercise the right to vote, and that personal investment should serve to make us a bit more conscious of the value of that
This text offers background information on disenfranchisement and gives a detailed explanation of the two different kinds of disenfranchisement: partisan and structural disenfranchisement how
Industrial Countries all over the world have seen a steady decline in voter participation; Great Britain is a great example of this. The country has witness turnout in elections falling slowly as time pass. However, the election of 2001 dropped the country from their average of 76% voter turnout to just a 59.4% turnout. Comparatively, Australia, a former colony of Britain, has enjoyed high and steady voter participation since 1924 because of the implementation of compulsory voting. This system has proven to be not only effective in bring voters to the polls, but also effective in improving Australia’s democracy. By evaluating these two countries with similar political structure; one can see the difference in compulsory voting turnouts
More than half of all citizens in the world are currently able to vote, however, many of them choose not to, leading to an increase of enforced mandatory voting in many countries. This essay will consider the role of compulsory voting and whether legally required voting reduces freedom. Compulsory voting is often supported due to the fact it considerably raises turnout, Birch 2009 found that mandatory attendance at the polls increased turnout by between 6 and 20 percent . Legally required voting is also considered to be an effective instrument to motivate citizens to express their voice in public life, thereby ensuring that their concerns will be heard, and potentially acted upon . However, opponents of compulsory voting argue that it violates freedom and reduces the legitimacy of the elected representatives . The first part of this essay will consider why compulsory voting was adopted, following this, I will consider the different types of freedom that may or may not be compromised with compulsory voting and how legally required voting could increase or decrease freedom.
The United States of America is one of the oldest contemporary democracies, is currently the second largest democracy, and is ranked the 16th best democracy in the world (Campbell et. Al, 2014). Yet there is a legitimate question over whether or not the United States can still truly be considered a democracy, with some studies even suggesting it has begun to resemble an oligarchy (Chumley, 2014). In this essay, I will use Dahl’s criteria of voting equality and effective participation to determine whether or not the United States are truly a democracy.
According to one of rational choice theory’s prominent and more thoughtful contemporary exponents, Peter C. Ordeshook, “four books mark the beginning of modern political theory: Anthony Downs’s An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957), Duncan Black’s Theory of Committees and Elections (1958), William H. Riker’s A Theory of Political Coalitions (1962), and James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock’s The Calculus of Consent (1962). These volumes, along with Kenneth Arrow’s Social Choice and Individual Values (1951), began such a wealth of research that political scientists today have difficulty digesting and synthesizing all but small parts of it. Consequently, the full value of this research often goes