All the definitions for Edexcel Government and Politics unit 1

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Politics Unit 1- People and Politics- Mr. Newton- Definitions by Sub unit
Democracy and Political Participation:
Democracy a very general description of various political systems, which are
organised in the best interests of the people.
Liberal Democracy it is expected that citizens should influence decisions, or make
decisions themselves. It is also expected that government should be accountable, in
various ways, to the people
Legitimacy Refers to the degree to which the state or its government can be
considered to have the right to exercise power. A state or govt can be said to be
legitimate if it has a valid claim to rule
Authority the right to exercise power rather than the exercise of power itself
Authority is granted to rulers and those in power by those over whom the power is
to be exercised. Without authority power becomes mere force.
Representation The political idea is that the people elect or appoint
representatives to make decisions on their behalf, rather than making those
decisions themselves. On a social level, it implies that political institutions should
have a membership that is broadly a social cross section of society in general
Direct democracy a political system whereby the people take part themselves in
the running of the country and deciding laws e.g. referendums, public consultation
and focus groups.
Representative democracy representatives elected by people who take control of
decision-making, as it is more practical and the representatives are better
Parliamentary democracy a parliamentary democracy means that the political power
is held by an elected parliament representing the people.
Political participation, opportunities for, and tendencies of, the people to become
involved in the political process. At a minimum level this will involve voting, but
may also involve active work in political parties and pressure groups. At the
highest level it implies standing for public office
Referendum a popular vote where the people are asked to determine an important
political or constitutional issue.
Party Policies and Ideas:
Political party an association of people who have similar political philosophies and
beliefs. Normally a party will seek power and develops an organisation whose
purpose is to fight elections
Left/right the two sides of the political spectrum being conservatives and
conservatism on the right with lib Dems in the left with liberalism.
Liberalism a state of political mind or political movement that places freedom,
rights and tolerance high on its scale of values.
Conservatism a state of mind and political movement that is naturally adverse to
excessive change and reform. It is sceptical about strongly held political views,
prefers the known to the unknown and generally supports the retention of
traditional institutions and values
Socialism a state of mind and political movement that places such values as equality
of opportunity, social justice and collectivism high in its scale of values. It is either
opposed to free market capitalism or proposes measures to moderate the effects
of capitalism.
Factionalism where inside of a political party there is a difference in opinion of an
issue in the specifics of an issue such as Bill cash and the EU sceptics inside the
William Smith

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Politics Unit 1- People and Politics- Mr. Newton- Definitions by Sub unit
larger Conservatives party which are also against the EU but not as much as Bill
Consensus politics A circumstance where two or more major political parties
broadly agree on most basic policies. In other words a period where there are a few
or no major political conflicts. It may also refer to a single issue where different
parties agree to support the sample policies.
Adversary politics the opposite of consensus.…read more

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