Compare and contrast single-member districts and proportional representation. (See full question in the description)

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Full Question:

Compare and contrast single-member districts and proportional representation (PR). How effective is each electoral system in representing its people’s interests? How do they support the party systems around which they arose?

Grading Rubric:

Participation Requirements

  • Post a minimum of 3 substantive posts in each graded discussion: 1 initial post and 2 follow-up posts.
  • These 3 posts must be on 2 separate days Monday through Sunday. (Initial posts made before Monday will not be graded.)
  • The initial post in each graded discussion must be completed by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (MT).
  • The number of graded discussions may vary depending on the course.
  • Week 1-7 discussions must be completed by end of week, Sunday, 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (MT).
  • Week 8 discussion must be completed by end of week, Saturday, 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (MT).

Discussion

Criteria

Outstanding or higher level of performance

Very good or high level of performance

Competent or satisfactory level of performance

Poor or failing or unsatisfactory level of performance

Initial Post Content

Addresses all aspects of the initial discussion question(s), applying experiences, knowledge, and understanding regarding all weeklyconcepts.

Addresses most aspects of the initial discussion question(s), applying experiences, knowledge, and understanding of most of the weeklyconcepts

Addresses some aspects of the initial discussion question(s), applying experiences, knowledge, and understanding of some of the weeklyconcepts.

Minimally addresses the initial discussion question(s) or does not address the initial question(s).

Initial Post

Evidence & Sources

Integrates evidence to support discussion from assigned readings** OR online lessons, AND at least one outside scholarly source.*** Sources are credited.*

Integrates evidence to support discussion from assigned readings** OR online lessons. Sources are credited.*

Integrates evidence to support discussion only from an outside source with no mention of assigned reading** or lesson. Sources are credited.*

Does not integrate any evidence.

Follow-Up Post 1

Response furthers the dialogue by providing more information and clarification, thereby adding much depth to the discussion.

Response furthers the dialogue by adding some depth to the discussion.

Response does not further the dialogue significantly; adds little depth to the discussion.

Does not respond to another student or instructor.

Follow-Up Post 2

Response furthers the dialogue by providing more information and clarification, thereby adding much depth to the discussion.

Response furthers the dialogue by adding some depth to the discussion.

Response does not further the dialogue significantly; adds little depth to the discussion.

Does not respond to another student or instructor.

Professional Communication

Presents information using clear and concise language in an organized manner (minimal errors in English grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation).

Presents information in an organized manner (few errorsin English grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation).

Presents information using understandable language but is somewhat disorganized (some errors in English grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation).

Presents information that is not clear, logical, professional or organized to the point that the reader has difficulty understanding the message (numerous errors in English grammar, spelling, syntax, and/or punctuation).

Timeliness of Responses

Student posts an answer to the initial discussion question(s) by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. M.T.

Student does not post an answer to the initial discussion question(s) by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. M.T.

Frequency of Responses

Posts in the discussion on two different days.

Posts fewer than two different days OR does not participate at all.

Notes

*Credited means stating where the information came from (specific article, text, or lesson). Examples: our text discusses…., The information from our lesson states…, Smith (2010) claimed that…, Mary Manners (personal communication, November 2017)…

**Assigned readings are those listed on the syllabus or assignments page as required reading. This may include text readings, required articles, or required websites.

***Scholarly source – per APA Guidelines, only scholarly sources should be used in assignments. These include peer-reviewed publications, government reports, or sources written by a professional or scholar in the field. Wikipedia, Wikis, .com websites or blogs should not be used as anyone can add information to these sites. For the discussions, reputable internet sources such as websites by government agencies (.gov) and respected organizations (.org) can be counted as scholarly sources. Outside sources do not include assigned required readings.

Score: A zero is the lowest score a student can be assigned.

Lesson associated with question:

The Difference Between Interest Groups and Political Parties

Whether you follow politics or not, there is little doubt that you have heard of a particular interest group or political party. They are a fixture in our everyday lives. This is because within modern democracies, the idea of representing the people requires that the government listen to the people. But with so many voices demanding to be heard, a single voice can easily be lost in the crowd. Interest groups and political parties form to aid the individual in his or her attempt to be heard over the cries of the many. This is because as more and more people come together, their demands become stronger and louder, as in the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” So let’s take a moment to really understand these key components of the political process.

Interest groups and political parties have some similarities. They both attempt to sway public policy. Where they differ from one another is to whom they answer when all is said and done. An interest group answers only to itself and its members. It lobbies politicians and may even run ads to support particular candidates, but in the end, it is outside of government. This is because an interest group is not responsible to the public. It represents only the specific, and sometimes limited, goals of its particular interest. In contrast, a political party is comprised of representatives who ultimately answer to the public. Their goal is to win elections, not just promote their interests. In doing so, they must have a much broader platform than just one cause. It is kind of like the difference between working for the private versus the public sector. Although the job may have the exact same responsibilities, in the first, you represent the interests of your company, and in the second, you represent the interests of the people.

The Impact of Electoral Systems

As we discussed last week, there are different types of electoral systems, and their influence on political parties is essential to how these groups form. Single-member districts largely support a two-party system, whereas proportional systems allow for a multiparty structure. This is due to the power they must obtain to be elected. To receive a majority of the votes in a plurality system, where the winner takes all, the platforms of smaller parties must band together to become viable contenders in the race. This calls for the emergence of two strong parties as a means of obtaining enough votes to win the election. However, in a system where a portion of the vote goes to the percentage of votes received, two-distinct parties are not essential to being represented. This allows the smaller parties to retain their distinctive agendas during the election process, although it is important to note the need for coalitions in this structure. Whereas the smaller parties can achieve representation in government, a majority must still be obtained in order to pass legislation. To do this, the smaller parties form coalition agreements where representatives of each party agree to support the platform of the member parties. Coalitions require the complete support of all party members, because the loss of one representative’s vote can mean that the clear majority is lost.

Summary

This week, we had the opportunity to explore the difference between interest groups and political parties and their ultimate impact upon government. Although they both attempt to influence the acts of government, they do so from two different perspectives. The first is from the outside, and the second is from the inside. In addition, we also examined the role that electoral systems play on political parties. In the following weeks, we will continue to examine other structural influences on these groups.

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