Edexcel Unit 1: Notes on Democracy, Elections and Pressure groups

I didn't bother with political parties because its long and you only really need to revise 3 anyways :) 

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
Pages
Democracy 17
Elections 814
Pressure 1526
Groups
Democracy
Consent and legitimacy
John Locke on consent ­ you cannot be put under a political power
without your consent
Thomas Jefferson on consent ­ you have a right to life, freedom and your
earnings. To secure these rights we have
Government to get power and consent from
those governed.
Legitimacy ­ the way in which a government gains
legitimacy
Power Legitimation Authority
People obey because you Weber ­ People obey you because
have the power to o Charismatic you have legitimacy ­
reward or punish them o Traditional the right to command
o Rational obedience
o Democratic consent
o Charismatic ­ charm, something that makes others want to support them
o Traditional ­ "its what we've always done" e.g. monarchy
o Rational ­ people obey because the people have a right to have power
o Democratic consent ­ winning an election freely, fairly and frequently gives
the right to authority
Democracy
Government of the people, by the people, for the people ­ A. Lincoln 1863
Of the people ­ not separate or above ­ among the people
By the people ­ drawn from the people and voted for by them
For the people ­ acting in the best interest of the people
Types of Democracy
o Athenian
o Direct
o Indirect/Representative
1

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
Athenian Democracy
Democratic Undemocratic
o Any citizen could attend and speak o Only male, pure Athenians could
at government meetings vote
o People chosen by Lot o Women, children, slaves and
o Ostracism was voted on resident "aliens" could not vote
o Debated would often be won by
the most educated and the best
speaker
Direct Democracy
o People are directly involved in government
o No representatives
o Direct involvement in government and legislation
Advantages/Benefits Disadvantages/criticisms…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
Majority ­ more than half ­ 50% +1
Qualified majority ­ higher proportion of the vote ­ often 2/3rds
Arguments for Referendums Arguments against Referendums
o allows people to make their views o phrasing of the question can
heard when they fell that parties determine the outcome
no longer represent them o Can all political issues be reduced
o clear and final answer to to a yes or no?
controversial questions o Public opinions can be…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
o From 19112992 there were 1187 attempts, 290 went to ballot and 99
were voter approved.
o E.g.…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
Montesquieu democratic government should be based on the separation of
powers (3 branches)
Jefferson US Declaration of Independence ­ governments are established
to protect people's rights and people have a right to get rid of
them if they become destructive of these rights.
Characteristics of representative democracy
Election of representatives The people are not directly involved in the
governments business ­ people are elected
to do this on their behalf. Individuals are
representatives NOT delegates.…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
in the hands of one individual meaning the executive and
institution legislature overlap
HoC and HoL can slow to stop Judges are appointed by the Lord
legislation Chancellor (cabinet member) and
Rule of Law ­ government is subject top judges sit in the HoL meaning all
to ROL and can be ruled as acting 3 branches overlap.…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
Official secrets act ­ prevents
government workers from releasing
info
There is rule of Constitution asserts that govt is No separation of powers ­ limited
law and a free subject to the law in the same degree of Judicial Independence
and sense as individuals Judges are highly
independent Judges are fiercely independent and underrepresentative of society as
judiciary hard to remove form offices they are rarely working class or
women, often conservative in both
senses and…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
The electoral commission
o When you vote in elections you decide who represents you and make
decision on your behalf on a range of issues
o Everyone in the UL has a local council, an MP who sits in the UK parliament,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ­ devolved bodies
Functions of elections
1) Representation
o Elections exist to allow the electorate to choose representatives who will
carry out the business of government on their behalf…read more

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Politics Unit 1 ­ People and Politics Retake Notes
However less than 50% is a minority government and may need to form
a coalition in a hung parliament, like that of the current ConLib Dem
government
3) Participation
o Elections provide legitimacy to:
The British political system as a whole as it allows citizens to cast a
vote and express their consent to be governed by this system, (even if
the party they don't vote for wins)
The government who can argue that they have…read more

Comments

Jeb Bush95

Thanks very consise!

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