Government and Politics Definitions

AS Level - Government and Politics Definitions


Democracy and Participation

Democracy - Rule by the people

Liberal Democracy - A style of democracy incoroporating free and fair elections

Referendum - A vote of a single subject put to a public ballot. Generally Yes/No questions

Initiative - A process which citizens can call a referendum. E.g A Petition

Recall - A device that allows citizens to unseat an elected official

Franchise - The right to vote by parliamentary statute

Turnout - The Percentage of registered voters who cast a ballot

Legitimacy - The legal right or authority to excerise power

Mandate - The right of the governing party to pursue the policies it sets out in its general election manifestio

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Democracy and Participation

Political Apathy - A state of passivity or indifference towards political institutions and their associated processes, linked to a decline in political participation.

Canvassing - Where local party activists go from door to door to strengthen their support and win over floating voters.

POWER inquiry - An independant inquiry into Britains Democracy

Donkey Votes - Where votes are simply numbered in order they are on ballot paper.

Informal votes - Ballots which are completed incorrectly under a system of compulsory voting.

Pluralist Democracy - A government which encourages participation and allows for free and fair competition between competing interests.

Subsidiarity - The principle that decisions should be taken at the lowest tier of government possible.

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