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Moldova State University The Faculty of International Relations, Political Sciences and Public Administration Department of International Relations.

Report on
Electoral systems in tne USA and the UK.
Submitted By:Cotelea Tatiana. Scientific Adviser: Rogac Irina

Chisinau 2012

The electoral systems in the USA and the UK have many similarities and differences. I will compare these two systems in the following lines. In my opinion an electoral system is a method and rules of counting votes to determine the outcome of elections, and as a result is determined a winner. If to spoke about UK and USA, the American electoral system was developed from English thinking, but there are considerable differences. The British system of election is a parliamentary system and like the American system therea are two houses: House of Commons and the House of Lords, but the critical player is the House of Commons. Each member of Parliament represents his local constituiency, these are fixed to ensure aquitable representation in Parliament. In UK voters vote for their member of parliament, they dont vote exactly for the Prime Minister. But in the USA, President is the head of state and of government, this means that fullfils two functions simultaneously. He is elected indirectly through the Electoral College, but is far more directly than in the UK system and its because the President is elected separately that one party might be in control of the legislative brunch but another of executive. Elections are held every four years but in the UK every five years maximum. The US has perhaps the most complicated electoral system in the world, because votes are asked to make more decisions and asked to do so more frequiently than citizens of other semocracies. The UK system is more less direct, in the Parliament there is an election for Prime Minister amongst elected Members. And the result is that the party that controls the largest number of seats will elect the leader of their party to be the Prime Minister. So, for this reason, in the UK system the Prime Minister, who is head of government is always o member of the majority party in Parliament. As result, the heat of the state is monarch, whose powers are limited severely to mainly ceremonial functions. But the USA system and the UK system do have a significant factor in common. It consists in the fact that the results are calculated as winner take all or first past the post. Thus in order countries the system of proportional representation is tipically used granting seats based on the parties percentage of votes. In many countries this proportional representation has lead to multiparty systems, but the UK and USA models have resulted conversely in traditionally two party systems. The fact that the US has a twoparty system, which makes it very hard for anyone who is not a Democrat or a Republican to be elected. In America, the national election is between two candidates, a Republican one and a Democrate one. So, voters vote for a candidate. In the UK there is totally different approach. There is a vote for all 646 constituiencies and voters will probably vote for a party rather than for a candidate.In the UK general elections are held following a dissolution of Parliament. Traditionally the dates of general elections are not fixed in advance, at the time is chosen by the governing party to maximize political advantage. In USA the method of voting is first-past-the-post where the highest polling candidate is elected, and there is no legislative requirement that the successful candidate or party must obtain a majority of the vote, and this is 50 % or more. The number of seats allocated are not proportional to the overall vote. Futher there is no requirement or threshold in the number or percentage of voter turnout which is often below 50 % of the eligible voters.