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Unit 1 (key terms)
State: Collective name for permanent institutions that administer a country. Refers to a country whose jurisdiction is
recognised by other states. Includes armed forces, law enforcement, civil service (neutral/stay in office when govts
change), local authorities, devolved powers etc. In UK ­ plus NHS, BBC, Royal Mail.
Government: Process of organising state and giving it political direction/ institutions that apply political principles to
running of state.…read more

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Democracy: various political systems organised on the basis that govt. should serve the needs of the people as well
as been accountable to them. In liberal democracies, citizens are expected to influence/make decisions themselves.
Of the people ­ Getting involved with the process.
By the people ­ The people making the important decisions or a govt. extremely sensitive to public opinion.
For the people ­ Govt not acting in their own interests but representing the people.
Democracy is important because...…read more

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Comparing direct and representative democracy
Direct Representative
Decisions are made by the people ­ participation is direct. Elected reps use superior knowledge and judgement to
Avoids decisions being made by reps in their own make decisions as to hasty decisions by the people
Unmediated ­ the people are the government. No Able to mediate between different sections of society,
separation btwn them and politicians.…read more

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Parties ­ policies and ideas
Party ­ an organisation developing a set of political goals/policies which it seeks to convert into action by gaining
political influence, office or share in government. In a democratic system parties do this by putting up candidates for
election, in the hope of gaining representation & governance.
Three main features:
- Exercise government power by winning political office (small parties may use elections as a means of gaining
exposure rather than power).…read more

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Traditional conservatism:
- Human nature: 1Mankind is driven by desire for power, property, prosperity, avoidance of depravation etc. 2In
need of firm government from benevolent rulers with best interests at heart. 3Humans cannot be trusted with
government to act unselfishly. 4Govts shouldn't slavishly follow people's wishes but use their own judgement to
make decisions.
- Order: Mankind's most basic need is order and security.
- Tradition and preservation: `accumulated wisdom of the past'.Conserve good and reform undesirable.…read more

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Social democracy three key policies:
Under the Atlee government. OLD LABOUR.
A mixed economy: Nationalise `commanding heights of the economy': railways, gas and electricity.
Economic management: Economy regulated by the govt. Keynesian model - John Maynard Keynes: Economic growth
and employment higher public spending: `Tax and spend' policies.
Social welfare: Welfare state's basis was the Beveridge report (1942). Attack the `five giants: Want (poverty), Disease
(illness), Ignorance (lack of education), Squalor (poor housing), and Idleness (unemployment).…read more

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Purpose of elections:
- Delivers verdict on incumbent party. If satisfied with them, we'll vote for them - if not, someone else, or perhaps
not vote at all.
- Decides between different party policies, manifestos and teams of political leaders.
- Grants electoral mandate (right to govern and exercise power - authority) to whichever party wins.
- Allows political issues/philosophies to be subjected to public scrutiny.
Electoral mandate: Authority to govern granted to the winning party by the voters.…read more

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AV, Alternative vote ­ majority system.
Voters cast a ballot in order of their most preferred candidates. They can leave some fields blank.
Round 1: All first preferences are counted up and if someone has a majority, they're elected and election is over.
Round 2: If not, the least supported candidate is eliminated and votes are redistributed according to the next
preference on the ballot.
So on, until one person has 50%.…read more

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PL, Party list. proportional
Used in British elections to European Parliament.
The country is split into regions that elect multiple candidates. Parties compile a list of members in order of preference
of who they want elected. Seats are awarded in exact proportion to votes cast ­ 40% for 40% of seats.
Open list: electors can see who they're voting for. They're elected according to the popular vote.
Closed list: Electors cannot see the preference list.…read more


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