Electoral System in the Philippines

Topics: Elections, Voting system, Election Pages: 5 (1370 words) Published: September 2, 2007
The Electoral System
Elections: a device for filling an office through choices made by a designated body of people: the electorate; "very heart of the political process" A. Material Element: externalities involved in the organization and use of things (speeches, campaigns, the act of going to the election booth, writing the name of the candidate in the ballot) B. Discursive Element: how the material elements "fit into an existing wider pattern of meaning, symbols and understandings" (material elements can also be considered discursive) Electoral system: the set of rules that govern the conduct of elections Functions of Elections:

A. "Bottom-Up" or "People Government": elections provide the citizenry with a meaningful way of participating in the government; vertical mechanism channel, from people to gov't i. Mechanism for leadership selection

ii. An instrument for evaluating and changing governments
iii. A forum for interest articulation and socialization
B. "Top-Down" or "Government People": elections are used by people in the government to legitimize their rule and control over the people i. An instrument of rule legitimation
ii. A guide to political strategy
iii. An agent of political socialization and integration
Overall, an election is a "structural opportunity" for those in power and those who are not to influence each other Qualifications and Disqualifications for Suffrage:
A. Citizenship: immigrants, residents or transients usually are not allowed to vote; both natural-born and naturalized citizens have the right to vote B. Age: 18-21 is the minimum voting age in most states

C. Residence: to guarantee that the voter is familiar with the needs of the voting community D. Registration: for the purposes of official verification; ensure that voters can vote just once and only in their designated areas -some states consider gender, property and academic qualification The right to vote is not granted to: a. aliensb. certified insane persons c. persons convicted of certain crimes d. persons who are under the age of 18 years old Electoral Systems:

Electoral Systems vary according to:
1.The number of persons elected in each geographical district (or "constituency") 2.The number of votes needed for a candidate to emerge victorious A. Single-Party Plurality systems: treats the entire state territory as a single constituency, or dividing the state into districts, with voters in each district electing one representative -to win, a candidate must receive a plurality of votes (more votes than the other candidate, even if it less than 50%); the Philippines is an example Pro: claimed to facilitate the election of strong and stable governments Con: produce government with only minority support and mandate when it operates in a multi-party system B. Single-Member Majoritarian systems: mandates that a candidate's victory is dependent on him garnering an absolute majority of votes (more than 50% of total votes cast) i. run off system: for a presidential candidate to win on the first ballot, he must get more than 50% votes, otherwise, a run off election is held between the top two or three candidates Pros: winner will have a strong popular mandate, widens the options of the voting public Cons: increases the monetary and time cost of elections; compromising with defeated opponents to guarantee support ii. Alternative vote system (AVS): voters rank the candidates in an order of preference; in the first round, only the no.1 votes are counted and if he receives an absolute majority, he is elected. Otherwise, the candidate with the least no. of 1 votes is eliminates and his votes are given to the candidate ranked no. 2…and so on until a candidate receives absolute majority C. Multi-Member Proportional systems: allow for a closer linkage between the seat won by a party and the percentage of votes it won in an election i. List system: structured around parties

Pros: encourage a socially-broad...
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