POL 128 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Direct Democracy, Ancient Philosophy, Political Philosophy

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Politics and Film Sept 24th 2015 – Week 3
Democracy – Demos (in Greek) meaning ‘The people’
1. Direct
a. System where people have direct control over gov’t decision making
b. Rare but also the oldest form of democracy
Ways direct democracy is executed
1. Referendum
a. Citizens are to vote between decisions X and Y : Gov’t addresses issue to the people
1. Eg. Vote to determine if Quebec will separate from Canada or not
2. Used a lot in the US
2. Citizens’ initiative
a. Citizens can force Gov’t to address issues and start a referendum
b. One way this can occur is through petitions
3. Recall
a. Way of dealing with bad politicians
b. Go through a recall petition
c. After enough signatures, politician loses his/her job
d. Another vote happens to re-elect another politician
2. Representation
a. Barrier between citizens and full Gov’t power
b. Filters public demands
c. Representative should be wiser and devote all their time to politics
d. MPs are told how to vote by their party leader, if not, they will be punished : MPs are heavily
controlled, don’t really represent the people
e. Parliament isn’t very representative of gender or ethnicity
a. Over 50% of population are men, but only 20 or so % of people in parliament are
25th September 2015
Mass Media
1. Printing press (1500’s)
a. More books were being created
b. Reading levels went up
c. Transformed society
d. Had a big impact on science – able to publish and share research
e. Knowledge increased
f. Galileo was able to share his idea of the earth rotting around the sun
g. Maps of different parts of the world were printed more accurately and frequently
h. Travellers were more common, easier to travel across oceans and find land, more conquering
i. Europeans had advanced a lot in military power and technology due to print and conquered the world –
all European countries had colonies
j. Before printing, all of Europe was catholic – after printing, people began reading the bible, realized the
churches weren’t following the bible and that there was corruption.
k. Groups of Christians broke away from the catholic churches
l. Caused religious wars
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