Video Exercise

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In Chapter 2, we discussed how the rules for counting votes affect who wins the election. For example, we juxtaposed the American system, which relies on plurality voting—sometimes referred to as “first-past-the-post”—to a system of proportional representation. The following video provides another introduction to and a critique of the American system.
1.
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How does the narrator illustrate Duverger’s Law?
2.
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When voters select a candidate who is not their first choice, they are said to be engaged in “strategic voting.” How does strategic voting contribute to the development of a two-party system?
3.
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What are main points of criticism of the first-past-the-post system?
4.
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In Chapter 2, we noted that voter turnout is not necessarily higher in proportional representation systems, which typically have more than 2 parties, than it is in first-past-the-post systems, which tend to have 2 parties. How does this contradict one of the points of criticism? Why might having more parties not affect the level of turnout—or even contribute to lower turnout?

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