Week 1 Lecture notes - American National Government
Week 1 Lecture notes - American National Government PSCI 101 - 02
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nkechi Nnachetta on Sunday September 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 101 - 02 at University of Indianapolis taught by Laura Merrifield Albright in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 96 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at University of Indianapolis.
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Date Created: 09/20/15
PSCI 101 American National Government Dr Laura Albright Week I Issues and Politics Government deals with political issues e g the national debt budget crises and so on What is an issue It is a con ict between interests ideas or beliefs of different citizens One form of issue is the salient issue A salient issue is a current topic of controversy eg gay marriage immigration etc Politics itself on the other hand refers to the con icts and struggles over the leadership structure and policies of governments It is through politics that an issue is agitated or settled Power Authority and Legitimacy Power the ability to get another person to behave the way you want them to Public officials in particular hold political power Authority this is simply the right to use power An elected president in a representative system of government for example has authority Legitimacy this is the acceptance and recognition of a system of government by the law and by the people It is belief in the validity of political authority conferred by a state or a constitution Democracy Democracy is the rule of many It necessitates participation and competition A political system of government is only nondemocratic to the extent that it denies equal rights and limits civil or political freedoms There are two forms of democracy which are 0 Direct democracy and 0 Representative democracy Direct democracy is a government in which citizens participate directly It originated in Athens Greece The polis ie city was usually small Direct democracy in the US is primarily at the local level e g New England Town Hall meetings It can however also take place at the state level through referendums A referendum is a direct vote in which the public ie the electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal which could result in the adoption of a new law Referendums can come from the legislature or as an initiative from the executive Representative democracy is a government in which citizens elect representatives to make decisions for them One of the merits of this system is that it is more practical in that it is more efficient in terms of time and information People like Plato and George Washington preferred the representative democracy to the direct because of the fear of the demos ie the people They feared that the people would not know what is right for them and would thus make bad decisions Both forms of democracy have their advantages and disadvantages