- Peter Ferdinand, Peter FerdinandEmeritus Reader in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
- Robert GarnerRobert GarnerProfessor of Politics, University of Leicester
- and Stephanie LawsonStephanie LawsonProfessor of Politics and International Studies, Macquarie University
This chapter explores the interrelationships among votes, elections, legislatures, and legislators in the context of politics. It first considers the two basic paradoxes of voting before discussing elections and their outcomes, which tend to have different virtues: stronger government versus more representative government. It then describes the functions of legislatures as well as measures for establishing quotas to increase gender equality in legislative recruitment. It also introduces a classification of legislatures based upon their capability to stand up to the executive branch of government before concluding with an analysis of the internal structure of legislatures as well as the backgrounds of members of parliament in various countries, focusing in particular on the criticism that lawmakers constitute a ‘political class’.