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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Nikola Milicic

Democracy, War, Peace Lecture #4 Democracy and its Institutions: + Democracy: a method for choosing leaders. Universal franchise, secret ballot, and majoritarianism. Should not be confused with eternal bliss. It does not create a utopia of sorts. Entails basic rights and freedoms as shown in Constants reading. But in no way does it have to contain equal distribution of wealth etc. It CAN have it but it does not HAVE to have it. -Emerges out of different pre-democratic societies: Dictatorships, Tribal, etc. ANY society can spawn a democracy, but it takes a wealthy nation to KEEP one. Poor nations can very well create a democratic society but it is very difficult to keep it. (Of every democratic nation with a GDP over $6000, only one has reverted to something other than democracy, Argentina). -There are different ways of organising a democratic society: Example: Canada and U.S have two major parties, while in Europe there are many parties with similar amounts of influence. +What is an Institution? The rules of the game: How we vote, how laws are passed, how long representatives serve, etc. -The rules can be changed in order to keep up with changes in society. +Parliamentary vs. Presidential Systems -Constitutions: lay out the big macro rules of the game. Britain vs. The US -Ancient vs. Modern Constitutionalism Ancient: The way politics are actually practiced and performed day to day so it works well. Britain conforms with this model, (there is no written constitution in G.B) Modern: A specific document written at a specific time by people who decided how the country should be run from then on. (Such as the US) Great Britain:
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