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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

Political Legitimacy and Elections

For a democracy to be considered legitimate, it must have the consent of its citizens. The ultimate test of this consent occurs at each election. This paper investigates the 2000 United States presidential election and the 2006 Mexican presidential election to evaluate the historical and ideological differences between the two countries, their definitions of democracy, and level of legitimacy of each country’s democracy. Both elections were extremely close and were ended only with court decisions. After the court decision in México, protests sprung up in most of the major cities. In the United States, Al Gore conceded and the American people accepted the results. This thesis focuses on what is different between American and Mexican perceptions of democracy to make citizens’ reactions so different to the court decisions.

Presenter: Kaylea Happell (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Political Science
Location: 120 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)