Test1 - 31/08/200913:53:00 Democracy 1. Value the...

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31/08/2009 13:53:00 January 16, 2009 Democracy 1. Value the individual Only type of government that protects the value of the individual and encodes it in the Constitution. Human beings are entitled to life, liberty, property, and equal protection under the law—John Locke. Locke also believes in Natural Laws—morally superior to government-crafted laws. He argues that it is government’s responsibility to protect our rights. We form a social contract with our government. We sacrifice some individual freedoms for the overall concept of protecting our freedom. 2. Political Equality Equality before the law; equal opportunity to influence public policy; equality of opportunity 3. Majority Rule One person, one vote. The will of the majority of the people determines the direction of the country. There are many safeguards against the reach of the majority, however. 4. Minority Rights Political minorities have the opportunity to influence policies. Minorities have the opportunity to win the acceptance of the majority. You have a voice in democracy. Minorities are not excluded. The majority can become the minority at any moment. Things change, and can change quickly. 5. Either Direct or Indirect Direct or Indirect Democracy? Direct Democracy- everyone participates; equal voice. The essential problem is too many people. The population and area of the country is too large for everyone to state their opinion. It would work in a small, homogenous society. Indirect Democracy- Representational Democracy. o 1. Requires freedom to join or form organizations o 2. Freedom of expression
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o 3. The right to vote o 4. Eligibility for public office o 5. Political leaders compete for votes o 6. Alternative sources of information o 7. Free and fair elections o 8. Institutions of government depend on votes and other expressions of preferences for their policies. Institutions of government have to respond. Everyone has the opportunity to seek information other than that presented; people can join parties, etc. What is politics? Politics is about who gets what, when, and how. It is the determining factor of how we exist as a country. What is government? What makes it different? 1. The decision that the government makes extends to the whole society—laws, taxes, etc. 2. Only government can legitimately use force. (go to war, enforce laws) The American experience with democracy is not unique. We are the new country on the block when it comes to democracy. However, we think we are the best at it. January 21, 2009 Majoritarian democracies focus on majority rule. It comes close to what we consider the democratic ideal. The majority determines the direction of the country. It is a 2 party system; it uses a plurality type of election, and will essentially create a 2 party system. Majoritarian democracy usually has a homogenous population. Consensus
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Test1 - 31/08/200913:53:00 Democracy 1. Value the...

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