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Lecture 2

POL 128 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Direct Democracy, Wireless Telegraphy, Protestantism

Politics and Public Administration
Course Code
POL 128
Joseph Zboralski

of 2
State- institutions of political authority, the only institution that can use force, confiscate
your property (e.g. capital punishment). The world is divided into approx. 200 states.
Tend to have legal recognition (often members of the UN). States must have 4
1) Territory (resources, neighbors, etc.)
2) Population (cooperation among citizens, education level, etc.)
3) Sovereignty (independent, self-governing, powerful)
Canada’s sovereignty is compromised in that:
-It does not have enough power (military) to hold it’s own and defend itself
-the majority of Canadian economic decisions are made out side the country by others
(it is the only developed country where this is the case)
-Canadian culture is virtually the same as american (entertainment, food, etc.)
Nation- a group of people with a common identity (usually based on race, religion,
ethnicity, language, history, etc.) that draws them together.
1) Nationalism is either ethnic (leads to racism and prejudice) or civic (based on political
symbols, ideals)
Government- the active part of state (members who get elected), where decisions are
made. Must protect the sovereignty, provide education/health care, regulate taxes, pass
Democracy- ‘Demos’ (greek, meaning ‘people’): government by the people. Two forms:
1) Direct- the people have direct control over the decisions of government (ie. ancient
Athens). Today there are still a few remnants of direct democracy: referendums,
citizens initiative, recall
2) Representative
Characteristics of Democracy:
1) Political Equality- everyone under the law, can vote
2) Popular Consent- the people must agree to the government they have (vote)
3) Personal & Political Rights & Freedoms- religion, freedom of the press, freedom of
expression, freedom of assembly
4) Principle of Majority Rule- way of making decisions, the larger group of people gets
what they want (not always a good thing). >>Minority Rights:
5) High Levels of Political Participation- ability to vote, run
A democracy is characterized by the rule of law
Two views on the distribution of power: elitist and pluralist (*definitions pg. 15*)
!-elitist: more of a pyramid>imbalance of power (usually economic)
Mass Media
-humans are communicative by nature
-early 1500‘s: revolutionary invention of printing press, eliminated copying writing by
hand. Fueled scientific studies, exploration, social/political/economic/religious
(protestant) changes.
-mid 19th-century: telegraph marks the start of electronic media. For the first time,
information traveled instantaneously. Changed economy, business, and ease of
communication. Around WWI, the wireless telegraph (essentially radio) was invented.
1940s: television taking off. Late 1940s: major networks formed.