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19 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
  • 1,547
6 votes
2 answers
452 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
12k 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 ...
13 votes
3 answers
12k 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 ...
  • 393
5 votes
2 answers
653 views

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

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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
325 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 ...
  • 9,546
9 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
  • 794
9 votes
1 answer
12k views

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

During the 2012 general election, it seemed to me like early voting was getting more attention than in previous campaigns. The Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, even voted early himself (which is a ...
  • 693
11 votes
1 answer
472 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, ...
user avatar
39 votes
7 answers
16k 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 ...
  • 9,546
8 votes
1 answer
911 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 ...
  • 939
14 votes
2 answers
5k 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 (...
  • 708
32 votes
4 answers
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 ...
  • 708
26 votes
4 answers
80k 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
2 answers
343 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
2 answers
845k 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
3 answers
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
1 answer
199 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 ...
  • 5,305
16 votes
2 answers
712 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
1 answer
785 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
1 answer
823 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
0 answers
101 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
2 answers
526 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
1 answer
209 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 ...
  • 5,305
24 votes
5 answers
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 ...
  • 1,547
25 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
  • 1,547
16 votes
3 answers
14k 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
2 answers
463 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
2 answers
660 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 ...
  • 465
25 votes
4 answers
4k 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?
  • 1,062
8 votes
4 answers
824 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 ...
  • 1,062
31 votes
4 answers
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 ...
user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
570 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 ...
  • 465
2 votes
0 answers
764 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 ...
  • 465
31 votes
8 answers
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 ...
  • 413
15 votes
2 answers
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?
  • 599
75 votes
12 answers
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,...
  • 939
21 votes
2 answers
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 ...
  • 313
19 votes
2 answers
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 ...
  • 301
26 votes
5 answers
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 ...
  • 599
13 votes
1 answer
199 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?
  • 393
84 votes
8 answers
11k 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?
  • 1,203
46 votes
8 answers
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?
  • 5,305
26 votes
4 answers
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 ...
  • 1,547
43 votes
3 answers
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 ...
  • 5,305

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