Government and Politics Unit 1 and 2.

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Government and Politics - Unit One and Two.
1.1 Democracy and Political Participation.
1.2 Party Policies and Ideas.
1.3 Elections.
1.4 Pressure Groups.
2.1 The UK Constitution.
2.2 Parliament.
2.3 The Prime Minister and Cabinet.
2.4 The Judiciary and Civil Liberties.

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Democracy and Political Participation
Politic refers to the activity of managing the affairs of the state. A state is a
collective name for the institutions that administer a country. A government
means the process of organising the state and giving it political direction.
It can also mean:
Government: in this theory, politics is all about certain people. Eg: MPs,
Parliament, Civil Servants and World Leaders.
Public: in this theory, politics is anything that involves participation in public by
anyone wishes to be involved.…read more

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Power is the ability of an individual or an institution to force people to do things,
whether they wish to or not.
Power, authority and sovereignty -
1. Power.
Power means the ability to make other people or groups do what one wants
them to do, even if this is against their will.
Coercive power is the strongest form. This can be described as FORCE.
Coercion can involve the use of execution, torture, terror and imprisonment of
opponents.…read more

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Institution Main Sources of Authority
Parliament. The authority of the House of Lords is
TRADITIONAL. The commons' main authority is by
election, therefore, the people.
The government. Their authority is ELECTIVE.
The monarch. The power of monarchy is limited, so the Crown is
The prime minister. Much of their authority is traditional, but can also
be indirect elective authority.
Sovereignty -
Sovereignty means ultimate political power and the source of all political
There are three main types of sovereignty.
1. Legal sovereignty.…read more

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Government. Refers either to the activity of governing or the institutions that
make up the central executive.
There are different branches of the government. Such as,
* Legislature: in broad terms, this means the law-making body. However, in UK,
this does not normally make law.
* Executive: this has three main roles. Firstly, to develop new legislation and
present it before the legislature for approval. Secondly, arrange for the
implementation of the laws. Thirdly, the executive runs the state and so
administers the country.…read more

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Democracy and Political Participation -
Democracy is giving the people a choice.
There are two kinds of democracy:
1. Indirect democracy. Choosing someone to make a choice for the people.
2. Direct democracy. Giving the people a choice to do as they wish.
Direct democracy Indirect democracy
Everyone has a right to vote. Time consuming and also impractical. Society
needs quick decision making.
Representative democracy creates a system of Elected officials are chosen to make unpopular and
elites who rule over the population. difficult decisions.…read more

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Examples of the citizen's rights and obligations:
Rights Duties
To be a resident in the state To obey the laws
To vote in free elections To accept the legitimacy of the properly
constituted government
To stand for public office To pay taxes
To be given a fair trial if accused of a Possible to join the armed forces
The enjoy the modern concept of civil
liberties such as freedom expression etc
Political participation takes a number of different forms, such as:
· simply being…read more

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Evidence of lower levels of active participation:
1. Turnout. Elections have been falling as:
Election Year Turnout
1979 76.0%
1983 72.7%
1987 75.3%
1992 77.7%
1997 71.4%
2001 59.4%
2005 61.3%
2010 65.2%
2. Part membership. Has been declining as:
Year Membership of all parties Membership % of total
1980 1,693,156 4.12
1989 1,136.723 2.63
1998 840,000 1.92
2006 560,000 1.28
2008 476,000 0.95
2010 397,000 0.80
3. Partisan dealignment.…read more

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The growth of e- or or digital democracy.
E-petitions, petitions that are organised through variety of internet sites.
There are many, such as: online forums, blogs and networks.
E-democracy is a term used to describe various methods by which political
opinion and demands are expressed through the use of the internet.
How can political participation be increased?
* Voting can be made compulsory. For example: Australia.
- Compulsory voting may force citizens to make themselves more aware of
political issues.…read more

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Makes more votes count and offers more choice to voters.
Why is political participation important?
- We live in an representative democracy where we have given up a role in
decision making, therefore, it is important to represent our views.
- Raises political education of people e.g. referendums raise citizens'
knowledge of subject.
- Another mean of making government accountable.
- Minority views expressed.
The Use of Referendums.…read more


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