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Government and Politics Unit 1 > Key Terms > Flashcards

Flashcards in Key Terms Deck (38)
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1

Democracy

Rule by the people. A democratic system of government give citizens a say in choosing the politicians, and in some cases even policies, that will shape their everyday life

2

Representative democracy

Citizens elect representatives to formulate legislation and make decisions on their behalf

2

Referendum

A single vote on a simple issues put forward to the public by the government of the day. Yes/No question. Referendums are a form of direct democracy.

3

Direct democracy

Citizens are given direct input into the decision making - Referendums

4

Initiative

A process by which citizens can call a refrendum, normally by collecting a predetermined number of signatures on a petition.

6

Recall

A device that allows citizens to unseat an elected official before the end of their term in office.
- 'Recall Gray Davies' campaign was launched only week into the Democrat governor second term in office there was evidence it had been funded by unhappy Republicans

7

Homogeneity

The belief that citizens shared a common heritage and identity; a sense of togetherness that transcended what divided them.
The UK is characterised as multiculturalism rather than a homogeneity.

8

Consensus

Where UK citizens accepted the basic 'rules of the game'.
These rules included the need for toleration, pragmatism, peaceful negotiation and compromise

8

Deference

The idea that people deferred to an elite that was regarded as being 'born to rule', that there was a natural willingness to accept an ingrained,class-based inequality and a rigid social hierarchy

9

Political Participation

Collectively refers to range of ways in which citizens can involve themselves in the political process

10

Franchise

Franchise the right to vote as established by parliamentary statute. The vast majority of adult UK citizens have the right to vote.
In 1831 only 5% of adults able to vote
In 1969 99% were able to vote

12

Turnout

The percentage of registered voters who cast a ballot in a given election.

13

Canvassing

Where local party activists go from door to door in an effort to assess (I.e. Canvass) the strength of support and win over floating voters.

14

Participation crisis

The view that declining levels of political participation in the UK threaten to undermine its democratic systems.

14

Power Inquiry

An inquiry into the state of political participation in the UK initiated by the Joseph Rowntree Trust. The inquiry resulted in the publication of the POWER report: Power to the people: The report of POWER - An independent inquiry into Britain's Democracy.

15

Subsidiarity

The principle that decisions should be taken at lowest tier of government possible.

17

E-democracy

The greater use of internet, mobile phones and other electronic media as a means of enhancing the operation of existing political institutions and processes and encouraging greater political participation.

18

Manifesto

A document in which a political party sets out its policy programme at an election.

18

Turnout

The proportion of the electorate that vote in an election.

20

Delegate

An individual authorised to act on behalf but who is bound by clear instructions

21

Trustee

An individual who has formal responsibility for the interests of another (in law this will often be property).

22

Constituency

A geographical territory for which representatives are chosen in an election.

22

Representative

An individual who acts on behalf of a large group but us free to exercise their own judgement; (b) adjective: exhibiting a likeness or being typical

23

Representation

The process by which an individual or individual act on behalf of a larger group.

24

Majoritarian system

An electoral system in which the winning candidate must achieve an absolute majority of votes cast in a single-member constituency.

25

Simple plurality system

An electoral system in which the candidate with the most voter in a single-member constituency wins.

26

Proportional representation

An electoral system using multi-member constituencies in which an electoral formula is used to match the percentage of seats won by each party to the party to the percentage of votes they won.

27

District magnitude

The number of representatives elected from a particular constituency under a majoritarian/plurality system in single-member constituencies, and the others are elected as 'additional members' using a proportional system in multi-member constituencies

28

Wasted votes

A vote for a listing candidate in a single-member constituency, or a vote for a winning candidate that was surplus to the plurality required for victory.

29

Safe seat

A constituency that normally elects an MP from the same political party at every election