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Flashcards in Key Concepts Deck (20)
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The ability to make something happen or to do something.


What is the difference between absolute power and persuasive power ?

Absolute - unlimited ability to do as you wish
Persuasive - ability to persuade others that a course of action is the right one



The right to take a particular course of action.


What is the difference between Legitimate power and coercive power ?

Legitimate - as a result of an election ~ involves others accepting an individuals right to make a decision
Coercive - pressing others into complying using laws and penalties


Political Culture

The ideas, beliefs and attitudes that shape the political behaviour within a given area. Describes the relationship between status and role within a political system.


Liberal democracy

A style of democracy incorporating free and fair elections and the importance of the rights of individuals for example grantee freedom of speech



The right given to the governing party to proceed with policies layed out in their manifesto


What is legitimacy

The legal right or authority to exercise power. A government claims legitimacy as a result of the mandate it secures at a general election.


Differential Turnout

The national turnout figure recorded at a given election masks the differences in turnout by constituency or by region


Pluralist democracy

A system that encourages participation and allows free and fair competition between competing interests
- diverse range of competing interests
- numerous access points
How is Britain a Pluralist democracy ? Or Nah



A competitive process in which representatives are voted for by individuals that form the electorate. Members of the legislature are elected.



A contested concept usually equated with rightfulness. A political system is legitimate when it is based on the result of an election. Citizens in a liberal democracy accept the legitimacy of the government.


Party System

The set of political parties in a political system and the relationship between them.
- Two-Party system
- Multi-Party System ~ which leads coalition or minority government.


Is Britain a two-party system ?

Yes: - 67.5% vote Labour+Conservative got 86% 2005
No: - a party that can mobilise 41% of non-voters in 2001 they could break the two-party system



The idea voters abstain from voting as a result of happiness with the way in which they are being governed.
- Electoral commission in 2005 showed that 29% that were 'satisfied with Democarcy' didn't vote whereas 59% who were 'dissatisfied with Democracy' did vote


Pressure Groups

A group of like-minded individuals who come together on the basis of shared interests or a commonly help cause in order to put pressure on policy-makers at Westminster and beyond


Internal party democracy

A measure of the extent to which rank-and-file members have genuine power within a given political party.
Ways of assessing Internal Democracy:
- Which leaders are chosen
- Candidates for Parliamentary elections selected
- Party policy formulated


Affiliated Organisations

Groups that are formally linked to the Labour Party without their members holding regular membership. Most Trade Unions are affiliated members of the Labour party


Short Money

Comprises those funds given to opposition parties to help them cover administration costs and thereby provide for proper scrutiny of the government. Available to Parties with at least 2 MPS/ 1 with over 150,000 votes.
Labour received £5,917,159 under the scheme


Cranborne Money

Payments to opposition parties in the house of Lords