Democracy and political participation - Unit 1

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Democracy and political participation 

A definition of democracy 

Democracy is when the government is of the people, by the people, for the people. 

1. GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE

  • We expect the most that most citizens are able to participate in political activity. - Does not mean just standing for elected office or voting in elections, but being active in parties or pressure groups and being aware of political views be known. 
  • In modern democracies, many people remain politcally inactive, but the majority are active. But everyone has the opportunity to participate. Particaptory democracy.
  • It is now claimed that if citizens cease to be active in politics, democracy will wither and die.

2. GOVERNEMENT BY THE PEOPLE 

  • State of affairs where the people themselves make the important decisions that affect them.
  • Direct democracy, an arrangement that would entail constant use of referendums or direct consultaion processes. 
  • The government has to be intensly sensitive to public opinion - in  practice this would be virtually direct democracy. All democratic governments consult the people, so this is a useful part of our definition.

3. GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE 

  • Whoever governs us does so in the broad interests of the people. They are not governing

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