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Real Democracy Now! a podcast

Real Democracy Now! a podcast answers the question: can we do democracy differently? If you're dissatisfied with the current state of democracy but not sure how it could be improved this is the podcast for you. You'll hear from experts and activists as well as everyday people about how democracy works and how it can be improved. Then you get to choose which reforms you think would make the most difference.
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Real Democracy Now! a podcast
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Now displaying: September, 2017
Sep 24, 2017
Welcome to episode 2 of Season 3 of Real Democracy Now! a podcast. Season 3 is looking at elections, electoral systems, electoral reform and alternatives.
 
In today’s episode, I’m talking with Professor Arend Lijphart about his work identifying two main categories of democracies which relate in part to their electoral systems. 
 
Arend is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California. His field of specialisation is comparative politics. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, with the two editions of his Patterns of Democracy from 1984 and 2012 being perhaps his most well-known and the subject of our conversation today. 
 
I spoke with Professor Lijphart about 
 
How he came to devote his life to the detailed empirical analysis of democracy in multiple countries around the world [1.10]
 
The relationship between his empirical work and his theory around patterns of democracy [5.30]
 
The variables he uses to demonstrate that consensual democracies outperform majoritarian democracies [18:35 ]
 
Criticisms that his approach does not apply to developing non-Western democracies [28.10]
 
In the next episode I’ll be talking to Professor John Gastil, a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State College of Liberal Arts, about a workshop he recently co-hosted with Erik Olin Wright, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, titled Legislature by Lot [32.37]
 
I hope you’ll join me then.
Sep 17, 2017
Thank you for joining me in episode 1 of Season 3 of Real Democracy Now! a podcast. Season 3 of the podcast is looking at Elections, electoral systems, electoral reform and alternatives. As you can imagine this is a huge area to cover and I would like to thank Anika Gauja from the University of Sydney who helped me develop a broad structure for this Season. 
 
I’m going to start looking at a few areas at a high level before moving into more detail in areas such as electoral systems around the world, negative campaigning and populism, compulsory vs voluntary voting, the various institutions and actors involved and alternatives to elections, where I’ll look at sortition and digital democracy.
 
In today’s episode, I’m talking to Professor David Farrell. David is a Professor of Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University College Dublin. He is a specialist in the study of parties, elections, electoral systems and members of parliament. His current research focuses on the role of deliberation in constitutional reform processes.
 
I asked David
How would you define the term ‘electoral system’? [1:45]
 
How do you approach comparing so many different approaches to electoral systems around the world? [4:20]
 
How do you characterise different families of electoral systems? [5.00]
 
Could you provide an overview of the key elements of different electoral systems? [6:00]
 
How can everyday people evaluate the different options? [15:05]
 
Are there electoral reforms that warrant serious consideration that are still only theoretical i.e. they haven’t been used anywhere? [20:25]
 
What do you think about the idea of using sortition to select a house of review? [22:15]
 
If you were asked to re-design the Irish electoral system what would it look like? [25:25]
Thank you for joining me today. In next week’s episode I’ll be talking to Emeritus Professor Arend Lijphartabout his lifetime’s work. [29:40]
 
I hope you’ll join me then.
 
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