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POL 128 Lecture Notes - Direct Democracy, Athenian Democracy

Politics and Public Administration
Course Code
POL 128
Joseph Zboralski

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Greek Demos
“We the people”
Athenian Democracy
- Direct democracy
- Citizens Direct control over government decisions
- Practiced in Switzerland
- Common in US
> Referendum
government asks people what they want done
vote, and whichever way the vote goes, the government does
(example: Quebec, 2 incidents, WWI and WWII about drafting young
men to go to war, Election systems in Canada)
(example: used a lot in US about everything)
citizens initiative
- group of people that want an initiative
- get names from across the state (petition)
- government HAS to ask question about initiative to state
> Recall
o Elect bad leader, sign a petition, force politician to resign
Arnold shawarinegger
> Initiative??
Representative Democracy
- people don’t have direct say over the decisions that happen
- representatives are elected to speak on the behalf of the people
- Representatives supposedly smarter then the people
- look for what is better about the country in the long term
- average person selfish Plato
Key Features/ Characteristics of Democracy
1) Political Equality
a. Everyone is equal under the law
b. Everyone has the right to vote
c. Vote is of equal value
d. Not mean equal incomes
e. Not materialistic democracy
2) Principle of Majority Rule
a. The largest number of ppl in society get what they want first
b. Problem majority might make wrong decision
i. could lead to harm other members of society
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