All Questions

11
votes
1answer
845 views

In the U.S., why does the majority party in a new Senate session always approve the filibuster rule?

In the U.S. Senate, the Senate rules apparently do not apply to the first day of a new Senate session until the rules are voted in by a simple majority. Given this, and that the filibuster comes from ...
19
votes
1answer
949 views

In the U.S., how can the filibuster be invoked without continued speeches?

In the U.S. Senate, the filibuster allows a single senator to effectively block a vote by way of the senate rules that allow for unlimited debate, but now, the senate rules have somehow been modified ...
6
votes
2answers
366 views

Constitutionality of the Income Tax

There is a growing movement in the United States of Americans that call into question the constitutionality of the Federal Income tax in the modern age. Understanding that the income tax first came ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

What are the minimum requirements for a system to be called democratic?

I think the title is very clear, but I'll complete the question below: What are the minimum requirements needed for a system to be called democratic? Is holding elections every n years enough, or ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

How do independents choose a party to caucus with?

I know that several independents in the US Senate (ie. Bernie Sanders) caucus with the Democrats. Officially, what does that mean? How do independents choose whom to caucus with (both ideologically ...
6
votes
2answers
412 views

What are the conditions and benefits of U.S. insular properties like Puerto Rico?

I always wanted to know which is the legal status of the associated states of United States like Puerto Rico. Who is the state head, of this kind of territory? Why can't they vote for the United ...
10
votes
1answer
235 views

How is corruption measured?

The 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index was just published and according to it, Greece has the dubious honour of being the most corrupted member of the European Union. Naturally this stung a bit, and ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are political party memberships public in the US?

It seems strange that a country like the USA that has anonymous voting has the government knowing if you are a member of a political party: " In many states, election officials disclose how many ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

How does early voting work, and what are the pros and cons?

During the last American presidential election, it seemed to me like early voting was getting more attention than in previous campaigns. The Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, even voted early ...
9
votes
1answer
350 views

What are typical consequences for a political party of losing an independence referendum?

The signature policy of the devolved Scottish government's ruling party (the Scottish National Party) is that Scotland should be an independent state, separate from the United Kingdom. To that end, ...
35
votes
7answers
11k views

What are the key factors for the rise of nationalism in Europe?

In the past decade there has been a constant rise of nationalism in European politics, with nationalist parties gaining popularity in almost every member of the European Union. The canonical example ...
7
votes
1answer
690 views

In models of income distribution, is inequality a natural outcome?

From The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy (2006): Two of the more influential papers that examine inequality within a median voter context are Persson and Tabellini (1994) and Alesina and ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What criteria does a US Presidential candidate need to meet in order to appear on the ballot?

The eligibility requirements to run for the office of President are: You must be a native born citizen You must be at least 35 years of age You must have lived in the US for at least 14 years (...
30
votes
4answers
3k views

In the Electoral College, why can electors vote in contrast to their pledge ('faithless')?

The United States uses an Electoral College system, where electors pledge to cast their vote in a particular way. However, these electors have the ability to vote in a manner that directly contradicts ...
22
votes
4answers
72k views

Why do the supreme court justices have a life term period?

The justices of the Supreme Court of the United States is composed by chief justices which have a life-term period on that position after they are "elected". I have always asked to myself why some ...
5
votes
2answers
263 views

Why are those serving in armed forces prevented from voting in Hong Kong?

According to Wikipedia, armed forces personnel are prevented from voting in Hong Kong elections: Any Hong Kong permanent resident aged 18 or above may register as an elector in the geographical ...
29
votes
2answers
662k views

What is the difference between parliamentary and presidential governments?

What are the main differences between the parliamentary system of government versus the presidential system? For example, Germany's parliamentary system versus Mexico's presidential system. I'm ...
14
votes
3answers
18k views

Why and how is the Vice President elected in U.S?

Why is the Vice President elected in the US? Why isn't he chosen by the President like any other secretary? Is there any important reason why the writers of the Constitution made that choice? How is ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Does a quorum to enter parliament guarantee government stability?

An argument in favor of quora enforced during elections to enter parliament is that it guarantees more stability for the governing parties and thus for the government. I was wondering whether this ...
11
votes
2answers
479 views

What inhibits a winning candidate from doing exactly the opposite of what he promised?

In theory the citizens vote for candidate X because they share his/her electoral offers or promises, but sometimes those candidates don't do what they said. So my question is: What prevents a winning ...
20
votes
1answer
648 views

What is the “Fiscal Cliff” in the United States?

I've heard a ton of information on the Fiscal Cliff of 2013, and I was wondering what it is, and how it will affect the country?
11
votes
1answer
580 views

How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) differ from Massachusetts health care reform (Romneycare)?

These two laws at face value have many similarities, but it is difficult to spot the differences. How are these two bills alike, and how are they different?
4
votes
0answers
75 views

How does a mandatory voting system affect the outcome of elections? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the advantages/disadvantages of a mandatory voting system? There are many countries where you are free to vote, but not free to choose to vote. How does mandatory ...
3
votes
2answers
335 views

Does the Corporate tax rate negatively affect the economy?

I've heard from many sources that the corporate tax rate has a detrimental effect on the economy, and that lowering it not only has the effect of stimulating the economy, but actually raises more ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Which countries outside of the U.S. already have Freedom of Information laws?

Given that the U.S. has a history of Freedom of Information laws nationwide as well as statewide, I was wondering whether you could answer which other countries already have similar laws. Those can ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

What reforms have successfully avoided the issues of Gerrymandering?

In democracies like the United States, Gerrymandering to construct districts with artificial boundaries such that incumbents and their parties are favored to win has been a long standing issue. While ...
22
votes
3answers
767 views

Has range voting been successfully implemented anywhere?

To improve upon traditional democracy, various alternatives to the normal up down voting have been put forth such as range voting. (Range voting is a voting method for one-seat elections under which ...
15
votes
3answers
11k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of fixed-term elections?

Fixed-term elections are those whose date can not be set by politicians. The US presidential election is perhaps the most prominent example of this. There are also elections, such as that for the ...
16
votes
2answers
389 views

What are the practical implications of Palestine's new observer-state status in the United Nations?

Recently, The United Nations granted Palestine observer status. What, if anything, does this enable Palestine to do that they couldn't do before, or is the gesture simply a symbolic step?
12
votes
2answers
535 views

In the United States, what is the difference between a registered and unregistered lobbyist?

If a lobbyist in the US is simply an unelected person who advocates for legislation, what is the purpose in registering them? And with whom do they register? Are registered lobbyists given special ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the U.S.A. have separate legislative houses?

Why does the US have separate houses (House of Representatives and Senate) to form congress? (Put another way, what is the reasoning behind a bicameral legislature in the USA?)
8
votes
4answers
668 views

Why is the UK Administration not separate from the house?

In the UK, the lower house of parliament is also in charge of governmental bodies, as this web page shows. Why is the UK Government/Administration and House all rolled into one entity? The head of ...
27
votes
4answers
15k views

Who was the last US President to oversee a reduction in debt?

As of 2012, the United States currently has ~16 trillion in debt. The last five presidents have all added to the overall debt*. Who is the last US president to decrease the total amount of debt ...
16
votes
2answers
458 views

How can a small poll accurately model an election?

How can a pollster model or predict the outcome of an election in a large, demographically diverse populace with relatively small (one or two thousand people) sample sizes? Are people that ...
3
votes
0answers
611 views

What are some examples of “checks and balances” outside of the United States? [closed]

The three branches of the United States government (legislative, executive, and judicial) all participate in the governing process and in many cases can check the actions of another branch. Are there ...
29
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it possible to implement an electronic voting system which is as secure as pen-and-paper voting?

There is ongoing criticism of voting machines, due to the ease of manipulating the outcome of a vote that is counted digitally. I have heard the opinion that every computer-implemented voting ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How does Single Transferable Vote work?

I've heard that some elections use single transferable vote. What is this and how does it work? How does it differ from a standard majority vote election?
66
votes
11answers
4k views

What challenges remain for online voting?

In 2011, nearly a quarter (24.3%) of participating voters in Estonia cast their ballot by remote electronic voting (that is, on their computer/phone/tablet via the Internet). Several larger countries,...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the consequences of recalling ambassadors?

Two days ago there were rumors Britain and France may recall their ambassadors from Israel. Why is that a political action? Wouldn’t that rather harm the citizens of these countries in Israel?
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is the French democracy not using proportional representation for election of the assembly?

Proportional representation was used during the French Fourth Republic, while other kinds of voting systems were preferred during the French Third Republic and the French Fifth Republic (with an ...
22
votes
4answers
11k views

How does direct democracy compare to representative democracy?

Back in the olden days of Greece, direct democracy was practiced. All citizens could vote directly on every issue decided by the state. This is significantly different to the representative ...
12
votes
1answer
148 views

How do instant runoffs work?

I've read that some elections have instant runoffs. What are they and how do they work? How do they differ from a standard majority vote election?
76
votes
7answers
8k views

What is meant by the “left” and the “right”?

When discussing political issues and parties, I often hear mention of a party being "left", "centre-left", "right" or "extreme right". In broad terms, what do these designations mean?
41
votes
8answers
56k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a mandatory voting system?

Living in a country where mandatory voting exists and experiencing the results in another without mandatory, I'm wondering: What are the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory voting?
24
votes
4answers
7k views

Why can't voting be fair if there are more than two alternatives?

I've heard that mathematically it can be shown that given any voting system with more than two choices, voters can cheat the system by not voting their true opinions in order to game the system and ...
34
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the disadvantages of first-past-the-post electoral systems?

We all know the situation could arise in the U.S. where one candidate wins the popular vote but another one the electoral college. Given that the same could arise in the United Kingdom and other ...

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