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What is democracy's central idea?
that ordinary people want to rule themselves and are capable of doing so
Define democracy. Where did this idea originate?
originated with ancient greeks.
a system of govt in which the people rule; rule by the many
Compare and contrast direct and representative democracies.
they are both "rule by the many". self-rule by ordinary people understanding that govt must serve all its people
direct: policies are decided by people themselves, not representatives, such as face-to-face assemblies
representative: people rule through elected representatives
What are New England town meetings an example of?
Thoroughly describe the fundamental principles of representative democracy.
- 1) Popular sovereignty: people are the ultimate source of government authority and that what the government does is determined by what the people want
- - govt leaders are selected in competitive elections
- - elections are free and fair
- - people participate in the political process
- - high-quality information is available
- - the majority rules
- - govt policies reflect the wishes of the people
- - govt policies are effective
2) political equality: each person carries the same weight in voting and other political decision making. sometimes called civil rights
3) political liberty: basic freedoms essential to the formation and expression of majority opinion and its translation into public policies (includes "social contract", a belief that govt is result of an agreement among people to form one and have the right to create a new one if the terms of the contract have been violated by the existing one.
Name some examples of political liberties.
basic freedoms essential to the formation and expression of majority opinion and its translation into public policies
freedoms of speech, of conscience and religion, of the press, and of assembly
Understand the significance of majority tyranny and why was it feared?
There have been many instances during our history of majority tyranny (in which the majority violated the citizenship rights of a minority). For instance, communist hysteria in 50s, muslims after 9/11, etc.
It is feared that majority rule due to popular passions is bound to undermine freedom and threaten the rights of the individual.
How does your textbook use an analytical framework?
It visualizes the world of Amer politics as a set of interrelated actors and influences - institutions, groups, and individuals - that operate in three interconnected realms: the structural, political linkage, and government sectors.
Name examples of a political-linkage actor and a structural-level actor.
political-linkage: public opinion, news media, interest groups, social movements, elections, political parties
structural-level: economy, society, political culture, international system, constitutional rules