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Lecture Notes - Participatory Democracy (1/4)

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Political Science
PSCI 101
Gerard Boychuk

Lecture Notes - Participatory Democracy October 23, 2012 Pre-Lecture Talk - Models offer different levels of mass participation and protection of individual rights - Majority of the assumptions of human nature of liberal and elite democracy seem reasonable - Participatory must have some meaningful way for individuals to vote on issues - The group is likely to reflect their own interests Participatory Democracy - Has a high focus on mass participation, and general welfare - If you have enough meaningful participation, that will define the general welfare - Participatory Democracy o Most important goal is maximizing mass participation o Mass participation will result in decisions that maximize general welfare - Participatory VS Other Models o Elite Democracy  Agree on general welfare, but mass participation is not the way to do it  Want to limit mass participation  Believe that elections are a substantial means of participation, then elites have a mandate to protect general welfare o Liberal Democracy  Mass participation is neither good or bad, more focussed on maximizing individual rights  Limits the range of issues that can be decided by government  Individuals are protected from the group  Argue for a narrow range of decisions to be decided by collective (ie. Government should not have a say in the bedroom)  Participatory argue for expanded range of decisions to be subjected to collective decision-making for all political decisions - Assumptions About Human Nature o Humans are rational and capable of being oriented toward community (ie. ALTRUISTIC)  VS views that humans are self-interested and rational (liberal democracy). People cannot be entirely altruistic  VS view that humans are self-interested but irrational (elite model of democracy)
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