Thursday, October 11, 2007

Voting simulation

This is not technically about Latin America, but it is related to political institutions.

Last semester, I conducted a voting simulation in several political science classes at Dickinson College. This year, I hope to expand that to a much broader cross-section of the student body. In addition, I’m hoping to rope in a few other US colleges & universities, if possible. I’ll be running the simulation at Dickinson from October 22 through November 2.

The simulation is pretty simple, and shouldn’t take more than five minutes of class. Basically, I hand out three different kinds of ballots. Each ballot is handed out, explained, and then collected (after students vote), before handing out the next ballot.

I am using the same three ballots types from last semester: simple plurality, alternative vote, and ley de lemas. Additionally, though not requiring another ballot, I may count the plurality votes by “district” (each class) and use them to calculate a winner based on which candidate wins the most districts (a modified form of an electoral college).

If you would like to participate, please let me know. I want to collect as much data as possible and am curious to see the results from a broader sample. Here are the ballots, as well as the instructions (both are in Word format).

1 comment:

Matthew said...

really like the blog. i'm a grad student in latin american studies at la universidad de salamanca, and one of my profesors sent me the link to the LASA political blog.

a side note, there was a pretty good article in the NY Times about the energy crunch in south america between argentina and chile. check it out: