lecture3 - LECTURE NOTES UCLA PS 40 Department of Political...

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1 LECTURE NOTES UCLA Department of Political Science Fall 2007 PS 40 Introduction to American Politics Prof. Thomas Schwartz Hunk 3 Types and Traits of Government The following typology of governments provides a vocabulary for later discussion. Representative : Governed by officers responsible to an electorate. That electorate may be small: not necessarily all the people get to vote. Opposite: Authoritarian (government’s will is imposed on people; it is not responsible to those it governs). Democratic : Ultimate power held by the mass of people. In this comparatively narrow sense, democracy is not a bundle of all possible virtues, just this one. Opposite: Autocratic (one-man rule), oligarchic (self-appointed ruling clique), or aristocratic (rule by nobility based on birth). There are two types of democracy: Direct : People vote directly on all questions of policy. Example: New England towns run by town meetings. This is rare in pure form, but some democracies, notably Switzerland and California, are partly direct: many important decisions are made by referendum , and in California many referenda are initiated by voters through petition.
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