Chapter 5 - Chapter 5: Political Institutiona set of rules...

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Chapter 5: Political Institution—a set of rules or a purposive organization created to establish or influence rules that apply across society – political systems are made up of political institutions; governing bodies; seek to control the actions of people who do not necessarily participate in the institutions themselves Regime Types: o Democracy—a regime type that involves the selection of government officials through free and fair elections, a balance between the principle of majority rule and the protection of minority interests, and constitutional limitations on government actions Free and Fair Elections—remain the central vehicle for mass involvement and the essential force for holding government officials accountable for their actions Free: o Individuals have the ability to vote; their votes are made in secret; candidates have the ability to run for office; candidates have the ability to campaign for office by providing information to voters Fair: o Voters have access to impartial coverage of the campaign in media; voters to have reasonable access to polling places; the vote of each eligible voter to be counted; the vote of each eligible voter to be counted equally; the losing candidate to acknowledge and accept the results; the electoral process to be administered and monitored by an impartial body of electoral specialists o Types of democracy: Unitary democracy—the central government has complete autonomy over all lowers levels of the government, and no powers are reserved for those lower levels Federal democratic state—lower levels of government retain designated powers that the central government cant take away Presidential—executive and legislative branches are separated both in their selection by voters and in the exercise of their powers Parliamentary—legislative and executive branches are fused and the chief executive serves only with the consent of the legislature First-Past-the-Post (FPTP_-- democracies can elect their legislative reps through the use of FPTP district systems, in which the candidate with the most votes in the district wins a seat in the government PR—proportional representation—in which political parties receive seats in a legislative body in proportion to how well they do in the elections o Variants: Majoritarian democracy—strong executives, few checks on power of the majority to pass laws and mend the constitution, and conflictual politics between 2 major political parties—ex: UK
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Consensus Democracy—a democratic system that unites proportional representation elections, a multiparty system, and diffusion of power across branches and levels of government – Germany o Most believe that consensus democracy provides better representation and protection of minority views, but that majoritarian democracy leads to greater efficiency European Model—democratic systems that combine parliamentary and PR arrangements Westminster Model—combines parliamentary approach with FPTP
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2012 for the course POL 221 taught by Professor Ganev during the Fall '08 term at Miami University.

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Chapter 5 - Chapter 5: Political Institutiona set of rules...

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