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33
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
79k 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
339 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 ...
31
votes
2answers
844k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
695 views

What prevents a winning candidate from breaking their campaign promise after the election?

In theory, the citizens vote for candidate X because they share their 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
752 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
814 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
99 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
493 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
204 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 ...
24
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 ...
25
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
439 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
632 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does the US Congress have two chambers?

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
816 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
560 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
759 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
15
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?
75
votes
12answers
6k 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,...
21
votes
2answers
7k 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? It seems that that would harm the citizens of the sending countries in the ...
19
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
182 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?
83
votes
8answers
10k 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?
45
votes
8answers
68k 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?
26
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
40
votes
3answers
8k 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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