Flashcards in Democratic and Non-Democratic Systems Deck (45):
What does a liberal democracy combine?
The ideology of liberalism, which advocates a high level of individual freedom with a democratic system of governing based on the election of representatives.
What four principles does a liberal democracy include?
1) limits on what gov't can do
2) freedom of expression and organization
3) freedom for communications media
4) free competition for political power
What is the good society acc. to a liberal?
free and autonomous
What relationship are liberals concerned with?
the power of the state and the power of the individual
What does expression and organization do?
protect and secure
Individuals make gov't___. Government should serve___.
What is contestation?
can they freely compete and contest
What things define the limits of state in a liberal democracy?
-expression and organization: protect and secure
-freedom of speech
-communications: you need access to info
-free competition: contestation
What are the two foundations for liberal democracy?
1) political pluralism
2) the rule of law
What 3 things are included in political pluralism?
1) centres of power independent of gov't
2) open contestation for political power
3) means and ways of challenging gov't of the day
What is the main idea of political pluralism?
that gov't is not centre, other powers in society that have ways of influencing gov't
What are two examples of powers in society that can influence gov't?
1) Industry: advocate and bring to bear their own interests
2) Academic institutions (policy, research, innovation)
What are the three parts to the Rule of Law?
1) the law is known, or knowable
2) the law applies equally to all
3) even the gov't that makes the law can be made to obey the law (an independent courts system is essential in this respect)
Are there ways the rule of law can be thwarted?
those who are wealthy can extend the court process
What can democratic governments be held accountable for?
their actions and inactions
What do democratic governments need to continue in office?
their citizen's approval
What do people need in order to hold gov't accountable?
access to information
___exists to the extent that gov't operations are visible to the people in a democratic gov't.
What happens in the absence of transparency?
secrecy, will not lead to good outcomes
Gov't are___to the interests of the public, notably by holding___.
What are the 4 advantages of a democratic gov't?
3) Popular Participation
4) Government Responsiveness
Why is there something healthy about elections and power turn over?
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
What does a representative democracy involve?
Citizens electing representatives to the legislature to make decisions on their behalf.
Does extending the right to vote and hold office to all citizens guarantee the legislatures will be representative? Example?
-women are under-represented in most countries
Representation is more by___than___representation.
What is the challenge with representation?
that we are more diverse
What is the challenge with diversity and representation?
how to fairly represent diversity
Why do we need political parties to run things?
they are functional
What is the criticism of political parties?
lend themselves to create a small number of elites. Liberal democracies, it is argued, create oligarchies
Why is representative democracy limited?
It does not allow citizens to be directly involved in making veering decisions
What suggests that there is a democratic deficit?
level of public dissatisfaction with gov't and politicians even in established democracies
What are some suggestions to fix public dissatisfaction?
-different ways to elect parties
What is a democratic deficit, acc. to Mintz?
"The substantial level of public dissatisfaction with the performance of democratic gov't and politicians exhibited in declining levels of voter turnout, low levels of trust and confidence in gov't and politicians, increased protest activity, and a feeling that ordinary people have little influence on gov't."
What is the danger with democratic deficit?
shift to apathy
What id democracy closely associated with the ideals of?
equality and inclusion
What has the struggle for democracy often been associated with?
no only with demands for equal political and legal rights, but also for greater social and economic equality
Beyond legislative representation, greater social equality can be pursued by what?
What does the broader issue of inequality of wealth and income create some tension between?
the liberal and democratic aspects of liberal democracy
What are the 5 significant ways non-democratic political systems differ from democratic ones?
1) they cannot reliably be controlled by their citizens and lack accountability
2) they seek to restrict citizens' participation in politics
3) they limit pluralism and only allow organizations that are aligned with the regime
4) justice is politicized and partial
5) access to information and the media are often consorted.
What is pluralism? Examples?
government will be checked by other institutions
-capacity at the institutional level to challenge government-industry
What does pluralism challenge?
-the concentration of power
What is the court supposed to be?
an institutional check on the power of the state
What happens if you have a supreme court that is not independent?
It questions the integrity of the constitution
Is it an issue for liberal democracies if media has become a commodity to be caught and sold?
-Is it biased if owned by corporate entities?
-the media we consume is restricted by the market model, access to local and new sources because they need to stay competitive