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202 Useful Exercises for IELTS Side2-10-AudioTrack10

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   Narrator: Exercise 4.9. Lecture 4:
       Interviewer: Will you please welcome Vernon Applethwaite, a lecturer in political science at Worthington University, California, who is here today to discuss the types of voting systems in existence in various democraciesworldwide. The floor is yours, Vernon.
Vernon: It's a pleasure to be here. Well, first of all, as most of you know, countries such as Britain and theUnited States employ a ' winner-takes-all' system of voting. That means the candidate with the greatest percentageof votes wins the election. 'First past the post' we say; like a horse in a horserace. But that usually means thatthe majority of voters didn't actually vote for the winning candidate! Now is that fair? Some countries don't believe107202 Useful Exercises for IELTSit is fair, and there are numbers of other types of voting systems in use throughout the democratic world todaywhich attempt to better determine the will of the people. These other voting systems use what is called 'proportionalrepresentation', which is best explained by showing you a voting card. Here you can see that to the right of eachcandidate's name is a small box. In that box, a voter puts a number 1,2,3,4 etc. and so ranks his or her preferencefor each candidate in numerical order. Proportional representation ensures that parties with a majority of voteswill earn a majority of seats in government, but that voters in the minority will also earn their fair share ofrepresentation. At present, this doesn't happen in 'winner-takes-all' systems, where votes for minority partiesare virtually disregarded. The critical difference here is that in a proportional representation system supportersof minority parties realise their votes are not being wasted and, therefore, are more likely to exercise their rightto vote ... something they might not do - unless, of course, they are compelled to vote by law, as they are inAustralia, for instance, but not in Britain.
Now, there are 2 main types of proportional representation systems: those that are based on voting for candidates,and those that are based on voting for political parties who later decide - after the election - which persons willfill their party's share of the seats won - seats in government, that is.
Most well-established democracies use proportional representation - in all countries in Europe except France andthe United Kingdom - but such systems do vary enormously. Australia and Ireland are two countries which votefor candidates; the federal system in Germany, on the other hand, is a mixed system.
Of course, proportional representation is not without criticism. In countries such as Israel and Italy, proportionalrepresentation is responsible for the large number of small political parties and ensuing confusion and division.
Another criticism is that ticking long lists of preferences for lesser-favoured candidates requires far greater politicalknowledge than most voters have or wish to have. Therefore, the accuracy of preferences can be called intoquestion. However, in the main, proportional representation has decided1 advantages.
Interviewer: Thank you Vernon. That was quite illuminating2. Next week, Vernon will return to discuss theproblematical issue of whether voting should or should not be compulsory3. Now, any questions?


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1 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
2 illuminating IqWzgS     
a.富于启发性的,有助阐明的
参考例句:
  • We didn't find the examples he used particularly illuminating. 我们觉得他采用的那些例证启发性不是特别大。
  • I found his talk most illuminating. 我觉得他的话很有启发性。
3 compulsory 5pVzu     
n.强制的,必修的;规定的,义务的
参考例句:
  • Is English a compulsory subject?英语是必修课吗?
  • Compulsory schooling ends at sixteen.义务教育至16岁为止。
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