Chapter 5 - Democracy Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5 - Democracy Deck (38):
1

Define: Democracy

Political power exercised directly or indirectly through participation, competition, and liberty.

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Liberal Democracy

A political system that promotes participation, competition, and liberty.

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Electoral Democracy

A political system where elections are held, but competition is limited, majority party tends to win all the time, and liberty is restricted. Transparency, accountability, and liberty are highly restricted.

4

Republicanism

Roman origins. Emphasis on separation of powers within a state. Representation of the plebeians through elected officials.

5

Direct Democracy

Full participation from the people. Low accountability, difficulty to organize meetings, open to negative influence, tyranny of the majority with no checks and balances.

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Representative Democracy

Elections of representatives. Accountability on the politicians.

7

Magna Carta

Document king of England forced to sign in 13th century restricting his powers.

8

Civil Society

Organized life outside of the state. A fabric of organizations not necessarily political. Church groups, volunteer organizations, sports teams, companies. Believed to precede democracy, as it is powerful incentive to want to be represented.

9

Executive

Head of State and Head of Government. Branch that carries out the laws and policies of the state.

10

Head of State

Representation of the people, nationally and internationally. Embodies the articulating goals of the regime. Conducts foreign policy and wages war (though doesn't always declare it).

11

Head of Government

Deals with everyday tasks of running the state. Formulates and executes domestic policy alongside a cabinet of people.

12

Legislature

The body where politics is debated. Charged with forming and passing legislation.

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Bicameral Legislature

Two bodies of legislatures. Generally higher and lower houses. The higher house a check on the lower house. Fear that the lower house would have emotions too close to the voters.

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Unicameral Legislature

One body of legislatures.

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Parliamentary System

Two elements: PM (and his cabinet) and legislature. PM and his ministers come from the legislature. PM is head of government with head of state (monarch) being largely ceremonial.

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Vote of no confidence

At any point the legislature can remove the Prime Minister from government at any time with a vote of confidence. Can lead to new parliamentary elections.

17

Plurality of seats

When party has more seats than any other party but still less than 50% of the seats. Generally cause for COALITION

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Presidential System

President is head of state and government. Directly elected by voters.

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Semipresidential System

PM and President with roles split between them. (PM head of gov't, President head of state)

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Pros Parliamentary

PM has confidence legislation can be passed. PM can be removed easily in case it needs to be done. PM can stay in power as long as he's doing a good job.

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Cons Parliamentary

Corruption easy. Less checks and balances. Public does not directly choose executive.

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Pros Presidential

President directly elected and can draw on national mandate to create and enact legislation.

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Cons Presidential

President can legislature can be different parties, causing divided gov't. Office does not allow for power sharing and president may not be easily removed from office except through elections.

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Pros Semipresidential

Cool

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Cons Semipresidential

Possible conflict between PM and president.

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Political Party

Group of people with similar interests that seek to control government.

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Roles of Party

Coordination of ideas, organization of people, compromise. Representation of our ideas. Selection and recruitment of leaders.

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Constituency

A geographic area that an elected official represents.

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Single Member District

aka "first past the post". One representative from each constituency. Can lead to two party systems.

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Proportional Representation

Multimember Districts. More than one seat in gov't for each district. Reduces disparity between votes cast and seats held.

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Closed PR

Voters vote for party.

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Open PR

Voters vote for either party or candidate.

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Free PR

Voters vote for candidate.

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Mixed electoral system

Voters given two votes. One for party one for candidate.

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Civil Rights

Promotion of equality.

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Civil Liberties

Promotion of freedom.

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Referendum

Option for voter to vote directly on legislation.

38

Initiative

Citizen collects signatures to put a question to a national vote.