Unit One - PALS.docx - Introductory Political Principles Politics Government Politics is the activity of making shared public decisions It is the means

Unit One - PALS.docx - Introductory Political Principles...

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Introductory Political Principles Politics & Government Politics is the activity of making shared public decisions. It is the means by which we create and modify our political and legal structures, as well as deciding on specific laws and public policies. Government is a general term that covers our political and legal structures and the roles and powers that we give to those structures. It includes the institutions of parliament, the role of Ministers and all government employees, and the framework of law, the courts and the judiciary. Roles of Government Keep Order – pass and enforce laws to deter crime - establish courts Provide Security – establish armed forces - protect citizens from foreign attacks Provide Services – protect public health - protect public safety - provide public welfare Guide the Community – develop public policy - manage the economy - conduct foreign relations Features of good government 1. Limiting Government – these ideas lead to changes that sought to limit the power of government. Includes the concept of the separation of powers, sovereignty, constitutionalism, citizenship and the rule of law. 2. Checking Government – this concerns the processes that are intended to make government accountable to the people. E.g. the British idea of responsible government and the presidential model of the US. 3. Voice of the People Principals – these concepts include representative government, democratic voting rights and the idea of a democratic society. Democratic & Non-democratic Governments Democratic – view is that rulers should be clearly representative of the people. Leader’s authority to rule comes from the people and they are answerable to the people. Non – Democratic – authority to govern is given to the ruler by their god/s or they assumed control by force. Rulers were answerable to no one. E.g. single individuals, dictators, monarchs.
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Democracy: definition Democracy is a form of government in which citizens participate in government and therefore have a say in government. Representative Democracy: Definition Representative democracy is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy. Direct v. Representative Democracy Direct – citizens meet in one place and take care of government issues themselves, just like in Ancient Athens. Does not work with large populations Representative – citizens vote for representatives to take care of government matters for them. General features of democratic and non-democratic societies Democratic – free and fair elections - majority rule - representative parliaments - accountable executives - open political participation - just and equitable legal systems Non – Democratic – leader had unlimited power, not accountable - right to be leader given at birth or physical power - individuals are subjects, status given at birth - little to no human rights - law as the will of the leader, leader was above law - controlled communication, limited new ideas
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  • Fall '18
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