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Subject: Social Studies Type of Lesson: Group activities, role play, discussion

Grade: 10 CSEC OBJ: Describe the electoral systems used to


elect a government in the
Commonwealth Caribbean

Term: 2 Unit Number 1 - Government


and Title:

Duration: 2 x 35 Week Number: 2

Lesson Number 5 Types of Electoral Systems: First-


and Title: Past-the-Post

Objectives
As a result of this lesson, the student will be able to:
1) define the concept electoral system.
2) identify the two main types of electoral systems in the Caribbean.
3) describe the electoral process of First-Past-the-Post in the
Commonwealth Caribbean.
4) demonstrate an understanding of how First-Past-the-Post process
works in electing government in the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Prerequisite Student Knowledge


The student should be familiar with:
1) the necessity for elections.
2) the purpose of national elections or any other type of elections.
3) the process of any form of elections that they may have
participated in.
4) the rights of citizens to exercise their franchise.
5) different types of governments and the types of leadership that take
place.

Important Points

1) The two main electoral systems within the Caribbean region are
First Past the Post and Proportional Representation. First Past the
Post is a system whereby a country determines the government of a
country based on the number of constituencies/seats that a party
wins after the votes are tallied in the elections. In a system such as
this the country is first divided into constituencies and then a

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representative from each political party is selected to represent the
party in the hope of being elected by majority votes to represent
the people in that constituency (geographical area). The party that
wins majority of the 63 constituencies in Jamaica for example will
form the government and the party with the second highest number
of seats will form the opposition. The Proportional Representative
system on the other hand in slightly different. The country in this
instance is treated as a single constituency. The country is however
divided into constituencies or electoral districts only for the
purpose of voting in an orderly fashion. Instead of selecting the
government of the country based on the number of seats, the
government is selected based on the percentage of votes received
which will determine the percentage or proportion of seats they
receive in parliament. In this system no one political party will
have full control over the governance of the country.

2) Democracy plays an important role in understanding the process of


electing government leaders in the Caribbean society. It is the right
of each citizen once they are 18 years and over, to exercise their
franchise which is the right to vote. Prior to 1944 only the rich or
persons who owned land had the opportunity to vote in an election.
With the advent of Universal Adult Suffrage every adult regardless
of colour or economic status has the right to One Adult One
Vote.
3) The electoral system in the Caribbean is structures similar to that
of Britain because of our history of colonialism. (commonwealth
countries)

Key Terms

Government Electorate Representative

Adult suffrage Franchise Electoral process

Electoral system First-Past-the-Post Constituency

Challenge Areas
Students will be directed to the following website to complete the
activity that is there. This puzzle entails finding the answers to the
clues given and then finding the concepts within the
maize.http://www.makeworksheets.com/activityofweek/html/election
maze.html

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Equipment/Materials Needed
Multimedia equipment set up before hand, computers and internet
connectivity enough for various groups of students to use.

Note to Teacher
Remind students of how important it is for them to revisit content
relating to government and the types of government systems. This is
important in understanding the process and system we use in electing a
government.

Teachers Lesson Notes

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Introduction
1) Introductory Activity

Discussion of Elections

a. Ask students to state the type of elections they participated


in, what they saw and did during the elections.
Expected Answer:
There was competition for the same post or position.
Persons gave speeches in an effort to convince others to
vote for him/her, individuals or placed a mark beside the
name of the individual they favoured for the post/position.

b. Connect to the link and project the video so that the class
can hear what is happening.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIM3ipmd5Zc
Instruct students to observe closely what they see in the
video and take note of some of things being said. Have the
students use the following questions as a guide in viewing
the video.
i. What is meant by free and fair elections?
Expected answer:
Free and fair election is where electors are allowed
the opportunity to cast their votes without feeling or
being intimidated in any way when going through
the proper voting procedures
ii. What is being done in the video to ensure a free and
fair election?
Expected answer:
An X voting stamp was used to ensure
consistency in the marking of the ballot. It promotes
fairness by ensuring more accurate placement of the
X beside the name and photograph of candidates.
It also reduces the percentage of spoilt ballots.
iii. Describe the steps that were taken to complete the
voting process.
Expected answer: Voters enter the polling station
and get requisite information on how to cast their
votes. The votes are cast secretly where no one is
able to view they voted for. Voter place an X beside
the name and photograph of the candidate of their
choice. Voter places the right index finger in the ink
to indicate that they have voted.

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c. Inform students that in this lesson they are going to learn
about the process that a country goes through to choose a
government to represent the citizens. They will learn about
the actual voting process that involves marking an X
beside the name of the party of choice, as they saw in the
video.

Body of Lesson
1) Definition of electoral system as well as relating concepts
Group work, internet use and discussions.

a. Instruct students to form groups of four and identify as


many terms as possible that are related to the concept of
electoral process or system in Figure 5.1.
Expected answers: supporters, campaign, voting,
democracy, free and fair elections, constituents,
nomination, electorate, age, political, geographic,
politicians, concerns, protect, power.

Figure 5.1: Concepts relating to elections

Challenge You
Play a game with your
friend to see who can
find as many words as
possible that have a
relationship to the
electoral process
Compete with your friend
and other classmates to
see who can define the
term electoral process by a.
using as many of the
concepts in the concept
back drop as is possible. b. For each of the concepts identified including electoral
process, direct students to the following website for the
definitions of these terms.
http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Election
http://www.wordiq.com/election
Guide students in using as many words as is possible in the
concept backdrop to define the term electoral process,
for themselves.

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2) How does the First-Past-the-Post electoral process work?

Warning. a. Tell students to visit this website and read the page in
Students have a
groups. They should use the questions that follow as a
tendency to confuse guide for their reading purpose and comprehension.
constituency with .http://news.bbc.co.uk/news/vote2001/hi/english/voting_sys
constitution because
they are so close in
tem/newsid_1173000/1173697.stm
spelling at a glance. i. What is the name given to the divisions in a country
Make sure to tell the before elections begin?
students to pay
close attention to
Expected answer: Constituencies
this. ii. List TWO countries that use this system of election.
Expected answer: Jamaica and Barbados
iii. What is meant by cast a single ballot?
Expected answer: One eligible voter is entitled to
one vote.
iv. How is a candidate declared the winner of a
constituency?
Expected answer: By winning the majority of votes
cast on the day of election.
iv. What is the interviewee promoting in the video?
Expected answers: The interviewee is promoting
free and fair elections.

b. Tell students to work in their groups to discuss and write


answers to the questions above. Facilitate sharing of
answers with the rest of the class.

Important Point
3) Demonstration of how the First- Past the-Post electoral
process works
Note that there are
some concepts that a. Instruct students to answer the following questions and
are different from
those used in the complete the activity in their groups after watching this
Caribbean such as video.
Ridings, meaning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKAAq_8Poqo
constituencies, MPP
meaning Member of i. Name one country outside the Caribbean that uses
Parliament and the First-Past-the-Post system.
Premier, meaning Expected answer: Canada
prime Minister or
President. ii. Create a story board explaining the process of First
Past the Post in the Jamaican context. OR
iii. Create a song explaining the First Past the Post
process in the Jamaican context.

b. Break down the First-Past-the-Post electoral system into


stages as shown in Box 5.1 below. Ensure that students
understand the process.

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Box 5.1: Stages in First-Past-the-Post electoral system
Important Point
1. The political infrastructure is in place, consisting of
It must be noted that democratic form of government and division of the
the winning party of country into constituencies as is shown in Figure
the election is
selected /chosen 5.2 below.
based on the 2. Candidates for each seat or constituency are
number of seats and selected by their political parties.
not number of votes.
There is a difference 3. Parties and candidates use campaign strategies to
because one party win respect, confidence and support of constituents.
can emerge with the 4. Voting takes place on the day of the general
largest number of
votes but have not elections.
gotten the largest 5. Votes cast for each constituency are tallied.
number of seats and 6. The party representative or candidate with the
so would not form
the government largest number of votes wins the seat or
under this system. constituency.
7. Whichever party wins the majority of seats or
constituencies in the general elections forms the
government.

i. Direct students to click on the link below for


illustrations of some electoral issues.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9f9UR-_p1o
ii. They are to identify at least one cartoon that
illustrates or refers to any of the stages of the First-
Past-the-Post system.

c. Students should write answers to the following:

Figure 5.2: Constituency divisions of Jamaica

Try This!
Use the map to right
and try to locate the
constituency in
which you live

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i. How many constituencies do we have in Jamaica?
ii. Identify your constituency based on the map above.
Important Point iii. According to the map of Jamaica above and using
the key as a guide, identify the party you think
Voting process
1. The voter enters the
would win the general elections.
polling station and gives
name and ID to the d. Assist students to develop a role play demonstrating the
presiding officer and the
poll clerk.
First-Past-the-Post electoral process. Role play should
2. After verifying that the include division of the class into two constituencies,
voters name is on the inclusion of two political parties, two polling stations, brief
voters list, the presiding
officer hands the voter a
campaigning strategies, the voting process as well as
ballot paper and declaration of the party that would form the new
instructs the voter how government. (See Important Point for voting process.)
the complete it.
3. The voter goes behind a
i. Facilitate presentation of the role play and whole
screen, makes an X class discussion after each to ensure that students
beside the name of the understand the concept of First-Past-the-Post
candidate of choice and
returns the ballot to the
electoral system.
presiding officer who
puts it into the ballot box.
4. The voter dips his/her
right index finger in the
ink and leaves the
polling booth.

Closure
In Class Assignment
1) Students are to complete the worksheet below.

Work Sheet 5.1


TRUE and FALSE
Indicate the most appropriate answer (TRUE or FALSE) beside the
statements below.
1. The country does not need to be divided into constituencies
when choosing a government using the first past the post
system. ___
2. The number of voted will decide if a candidate wins the seat in
a particular division________
3. The party with the most votes will form the government_____
4. Jamaica uses the system of first past the post _______
5. Guyana uses the first past the post system. ________

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Expected answers:
1. False
2. True
3. False
4. True
5. False

Supplemental
Out-of-Class Assignment
1) Visit the website below and complete the quiz which is there.
www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/le.../120502_flash_quiz_1_elections.
shtml

Glossary of Terms

Adult suffrage The right of ALL people to vote on reaching the


age of 18, regardless of status, colour or creed.

Constituency A body of voters in a specific geographical area


who elect a representative to speak on their
behalf in the house of representative

Electorate ALL those persons who are qualified and are


registered to vote in an election.

Electoral Process This is the step by step process used by a county


to select a form of government to represent the
people

Electoral System Use of a particular voting system to select one or


more option from many based on preference, this
can be First-Past The Post or Proportional
Representation.

First Past-the A system of determining the winner of an


Post election based on the number of
constituencies/seats that a party wins after the
votes are tallied in the elections.

Franchise The right of an individual to vote on the basis of


citizenship and having reached the age of

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eighteen (18).

Government A person/group of people who have the authority


to set goals, make laws and enforce compliance
in an effort to run a country/ nation/state
effectively.

Representation Position or status held by in individual who is


deemed as capable in speaking and acting on
behalf of the citizens that he/she represents.
CSEC Questions
1) Define each of the following term
Constituency
Eelectorate 4mks

b. General election results based on First-Past-the-Post system in


Country X
Constituency Political Parties
ATP SIP DAP
Westlink 200 250 Not contested
Parkhall 330 280 230
Batville 350 420 435
Spring Town 520 490 Not contested
Mew Town 110 100 Not contested
Total 1510 1540 665

i. Which political party won the most seats in the general


elections in country X 1mk
ii. Name the political party that will form the government
1mk
iii. Name the constituency in which the candidates received the
least votes 1mk
iv. Which political party won the constituency of Batville.
1mk
C. Suggest three strategies that the government can implement in
order to ensure a free and fair election within the First Past the Post
system. 6mks
Explain in detail why your suggestions are likely to work.
6mks

Recommended Materials
http://caribbeanelections.com/education/caribbean_systems.asp

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Bibliography

Brathwaite. S, Reynolds P, (2004). The secondary education


certificate: social studies. Location: Publisher.

Sandy.M.C, Grayson S.C (2000), Social Studies Essentials, Jamaica:


Carlong Publishers

Ramsawak.R, Umraw R.R, (2001), Modules in Social Studies,


Trinidad: Caribbean Educational Publishers

Ruddock L.C, Robinson-Glanville.S, (1998) Secondary Social Studies


Jamaica: Citizenship and Government, Jamaica: Carlong Publishers

Ruddock L.C, Robinson-Glanville S, (1994) New Civics for Young


Jamaicans, Jamaica: Carlong Publishers

Sandy, M. (2012) Social Studies Essentials, Jamaica Carlong


Publishers

Sources:

Figure 5.1

Figure 5.2
http://www.jamaicapage.com/jamaica-elections-2011-results/

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