For this discussion, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of the two major electoral systems (plurality and proportional)
1. Which of these electoral system options do you think is preferable and why? Be sure to explain what benefits you think are important. References to the course materials and additional research are encouraged! You should explain in 2 paragraphs
2. Additionally, please conclude by telling us if you think major changes to the U.S. system are possible? Why or why not? (1 paragraph) You can draw on your learning about current events and/or other course materials to support your answer.
NOTES (necessary information):
Electoral Systems and Representation in Congress
Electoral Systems Overview:
Legislatures are the representative body of a political system and in democratic systems, they are subject to elections which hold them accountable to the people they are supposed to represent. Across the political world, there are many different electoral systems. Almost all are a variation or combination of two major types of electoral systems (not to be confused with the Electoral College, which is a separate thing from the legislature altogether and is part of the electoral system for the President or executive).
The two major types of electoral systems used for determining who will sit in the legislature include:
1. Plurality or First-Past-the-Post or Winner-take-all system (these are all different names for the same kind of system and may include an instant runoff voting for the top two contenders if more than 2 people are in a race through the ranked choice voting method).
2. Proportional Representation system including variations like mixed-member proportional, party-list, parallel voting, and single transferable voting.
Please watch all 5 short videos on this webpage to get an understanding of the different kinds of electoral systems and their relationship to party systems and gerrymandering. Please note: the 3rd video on Gerrymandering has a bad link, so here it is on youtube:
After watching the video series above, please read in defense of First Past the Post voting systems.
Overview of representation in Congress:
The electoral system not only determines the ideological representation of different parties in a legislature, it can also affect the demographic make-up of legislatures. Whether this is a problem is a topic of debate in political science. Sociological models of representation suggest that a legislature should be as diverse as its people, representing all of the various characteristics present in the general population-race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. The logic behind this model is that there is a limit to how well a legislative body primarily made up of older, wealthy, white, Christian men can represent younger generations, the poor, minorities, people with non-Christian belief systems and women. On the contrary, the competing substantive model of representation suggests that a representative does not have to share the same demographic characteristics as the people they represent to act as a good delegate or trustee of their constituents’ personal interests. A representative simply has to ask, listen, and empathize to find out about how best to represent their constituents or voters.
Please look over of women representation in legislatures around the world. Make a note of where the U.S. is ranked. While the 2018 mid-term and 2020 elections saw substantial gains, the overall percentage has only crept up slightly. One estimate suggested that at the current rate in which women are gaining seats in the U.S. legislature, it will be over 100 more years before women will gain parity (i.e. it will be 100 years before Congress has the same percentage of women as the general population, currently about 51 percent).
Please read and use this about the make-up of the current Congress

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