PSC 150 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Divided Government, Gerrymandering, Direct Democracy

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Democracy: political power exercised either directly or indirectly through participation, competition and liberty. Liberty - freedom to vote and participate (no exclusions), freedom of expression and speech in order to advocate to tell the government what you want. Main difference between democratic systems and non-democratic systems is accountability. Head of state: represent country internationally; fulfills symbolic functions. Head of government: manages daily business of governing. These may be the same person (e. g. - united states president) or different people (e. g. - united kingdom: prime minister & queen) Legislature: debate and pass legislation - makes the law. Bicameralism: different chambers may have different functions and powers. Strong bicameralism: the two systems have more or less equal powers (e. g. - united states) Weak bicameralism: one of the two systems has more power than the others (e. g. - united kingdom) Common in federal states, but not only these (e. g. - united states) Scotus is both a high court and a constitutional court.

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