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Political Science
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Chapter 1 Ideologies - based on age of enlightenment when people began to believe that they could improve their lives by taking positive action instead of passively accepting life - interrelated concepts that try to describe reality - used to mobilize people - political ideologies come from rational reasons for the brutal methods and confusion that result from urbanization/ industrialization IDEOLOGIES ARE : 1) political term 2) view of present and vision of the future 3) action oriented 4) directed towards the masses 5) simplified to be motivational/ relatable Chapter 2 The Political Spectrum The Political Spectrum Place on spectrum can change according to the issue at hand Place on spectrum depends on 1) age – young are more likely to be liberal 2) psychological – liberals are more open minded and tend to deal with disorder better 3) nature of the person- do you think people are naturally good or evil? 4) Economics 4 main elements of political change direction  progressive or retrogressive depth  major or minor adjustment in society speed  more upset= more rapidly they want to see change method  official/unofficial, legal/ illegal, smoothly/ abruptly, peacefully/ violently Radicals - discontent with status quo - favor revolutionary change/ immediate change - extremists change societies most cherished values Liberals  want to maximize human rights  fast change  egalitarianism (classlessness)  suspicious of police oppressing the common people  Internationalists  Government should protect against the economic elite  appreciate laws more than radicals so less likely to use violence  rationalists  CLASSICAL LIBERAL: natural law, private property, government oppresses people  CONTEMPORARY LIBERAL: private property is a social right, but government can improve life through social engineering (invasive policies for = start) Moderate  satisfied with society yet understand there is room for improvement and recognize areas in need of modification  gradual change without disturbing social order Conservative  defends status quo  change will make things worse because human reason can’t solve society’s problems  authoritarian control  police power controls the threats to status quo  nationalists  property rights above all else, oppose government involvement in economy  irrationalists  TORIES: advocate ruling of the upper class but to govern in society’s best interest  ENTREPRENEURS: government should not be involved in economy so the cream of the crop can rise to the top Reactionists  retrogressive change  war is good  favor unequal distribution of wealth  the entire reactionists side = the entire left side basically satisfied nominally satisfied dissatisfied extremely dissatisfied Chapter 3 Nation State Nation (union) State (structure) Nation State Sociological term for Nation= unity people united by some or Political term for State= struture all: - People (citizens/ Hard balance - Language subjects) Example Quebec - Ethnicity - Territory (defined boarders) - Culture - Geography - Recognized gov’t - Proximity - Sovereignty (legal - Political values authority) Natural Theory - definition of humanity is based on the existence of the state - people are human only within the state (through expression of political organization) - organic society = instinct to interact  community  state (formal community), therefore state is the natural environment Force Theory - state is a result of the strong imposing their power over the weak - NEGATIVE  conquest over the weak so no legitimacy - POSITIVE  force is a primary value in society (statism) used to justify actions allowing the arranging of affairs to be in order Divine Theory - particular group of people were chosen by God - the state paves the way to paradise providing peace and order, creating the atmosphere in which people could best serve God - at some point in all states’ history they see themselves as chosen by God - divine selection is self identified - this status leads to justified conquest Divine Right Of Kings - monarch as the personification of the state - original donation = Adam’s fall from grace was his power over all other creation so all other kinds are his heir Social Contract theory - ruler and ruled have obligations to one another - may not always be democratic - against all other theories - all legitimate authority = people - state created by people agreeing to come into a community together Chapter 4 Development of Democracy Process Democrats Principal Democrats Whatever majority wants majority Civil liberties must be protected first should get to insure democratic objectives, then majority vote Democracy - everyone is essentially equal - each person has a say in who governs - legitimate political power comes from the government and the people therefore it is only legal when there is consent by the governed = SOCIAL CONTRACT Social Contract Philosophers - gov’t is not a natural circumstance, people used to live in the state of nature - natural rights = rules that are absolute, universal, eternal measures of human conduct - people are rational therefore gov’t is a rational attempt to solve problems Thomas Hobbes John Locke J.J. Rousseau Classical LIB RAD Human Self interested Moral, equal because entitled to Shy Nature natural rights (not physically equal) State of Brutish, short, solitary life People are equal to one another Avoided conflict, but it was not Nature where people would clash but disputes starts once private fulfilling, no moral life over property comes and when war a) competition for starts there is no one to stop it resources b) dishonor c) fear driven + self preservation Freedom in Free when subordinated to a Natural rights = Life, liberty anPrivate property is as social the move to monarch estate right not a natural right social The original society formed contract through the social contract only led men to wear chains as it became more sophisticated so it needed to be completely destroyed and a new one must be created founded on equality  called “public person “ = organic society Government Monarch (superior Parliamentary Republic Direct Democracy (no one can individual) who abided Allowed private property but speak for others) social contract but who could not more then is needed Leg> Executive force men to cooperate Separated executive and unlike the state of nature legislative power Chapter 5 Liberal Democracy vs. Social Democracy - difference between Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau is that they never had to put their theories into practice whereas these philosophers tried to establish new political thoughts in already democratic societies Neoclassical Liberal Democratic theory = economic/ private property driven Edmund Burke  Conservative, for tradition, no pure equality  OPPOSED DEMOCRACY BECAUSE  common people did not have the intelligence of the aristocrats  common people would be easily motivated by their passions so they did not have the ability to rule efficiently  people with property should rule  No single generation could completely change society  However recognized that some change was necessary but it should not disrupt society and should be gradual  Thought that the way to hold onto tradition was to keep the landed aristocrats around to guide the natural aristocrats (those who gained nobility through talent and competition)  Advocated the importance of history because people tend to romanticize the past which gives false ideas to what it was really like James Madison  Less pessimistic  Did not agree with pure democracy because although it was good, you can not always trust politicians because power corrupts  CHECKS AND BALANCES: Thought that government should be divide into 3 branches so that one branch could not have all the power  All three had to agreed because it was better to do nothing than something wrong  Founder of federalism, BofR  maintain minority groups so that majority could not suppress the minority, easier in large geographical areas with large populations  = democracy with limits ! Democratic Socialism [ ML ] – capitalism was bad movement from individualism to society as a whole, based on Bentham’s thought Jeremy Bentham Utilitarianism  pain and pleasure principle, human happiness occurs when pain is minimal and pleasure is maximized  Used to evaluate policies, greatest happiness for the greatest number, because not all policies are good  positive law= gov’t should take positive steps to max happiness John Stuart Mill  student of Bentham  advocated for women’s rights  even democracy could limit individual liberty  first to oppose private economy (laissez faire)  4 fundamental liberties that should be set in place but are not absolute  life, belief, association, speech Chapter 6 THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS Criticism of Democracy  hopelessly visionary, too idealistic, behind understanding of ordinary person  majority of people have average intelligence, leaving individual superiors to suffer  slow and inefficient, technology has complicated society and society has evolved faster then we could adjust 3 major democratic procedures 1) Direct Democracy  favoured by Jean Jacque Rousseau  people act as their own legislature making laws and voting directly  no one can truly represent the will of others  used by : ancient Athens, swiss provinces, and New England towns  before technology could not occur in large towns/states/countries but although it is possible now, advanced societies are so complex that they devote little time to public policy so it makes the probability of its success impractical even though it is not impossible 2) Republic  indirect/ representative  today it means democratic republic (democratic :voters choose, Republic: governed by representatives)  elected representatives remove people one step from legislative process  there is a balance that may differ in different societies because the more republican, the less democratic and vise versa. Need to maintain = balance 3) Pluralism  interest groups  large, diverse countries could not assume a single majority on most issues and a single ordinary individual is powerless to affect the system  Madison based  best interest is protected in interest groups (example: unions, organizations, associations regarding labor environment trade etc.)  removes the individual a step further from the legislative process risks encouraging public dissatisfaction ISSUES: only a small number of groups may be interested in certain issues so do not properly represent the rest of the country’s majority, yet they are most influential in determining the fait of the policy. Power of an interest group is based on money, charisma of leader, efficient organization, how relevant their issues are to dominant values of society and knowledge (politicians will turn to interest groups to better understand issues)  considered democratic still because we are supposing the interest groups are concerned with the interest of their members primarily . . . Elite theorism is when pluralism proves that leaders of interest groups are not taking their members needs into consideration. It critics American politics because it does not believe it is a democratic system. Rather it is an ORIGARCHY(system ruled by small % of ppl) . Therefore the people that control interest groups control policymaking. 2 levels of thousands of people 1) rich families, corporations, labor unions, institutions 2) politicians, jurists, military leaders, journalists. NOT apart of conspiratorial theories where people are phobic of politics and that an unseen, evil, powerful group is controlling everything. SYSTEMS OF GOV’T USA Federalism  divides power between the national gov’t and the state gov’t, both having the right to exist so that neither one can destroy the other  some powers are exclusive while others are shared (concurrent power ie taxation) Presidential- Congress System  legislature & executive branches are elected separately on fixed terms that cannot be interrupted  however, since public officials are elected separately, if from different parties they are unlikely to reach an agreement = gridlock  although the uninterrupted terms provide stability, it prevents change suddenly during times of crisis  separated by leg, exec, and judicial  overlapping powers between the 3 are called “checks and balances”  thought they are all equal, tend to conflict, but the system is designed this way to maintain order BRITAN/ Canada Unitary Government  centralize gov’t  allows for sweeping changes  local gov’t is only granted power by central gov’t = dependent/ no direct constitutional guarantees Parliamentary Cabinet System - KEY FEATURS  head of state monarch= symbol of history, political continuity  monarch has little real power and usually only acts at the request of the PM  head of gov’t Prime Minister= political leader  PM chosen from the majority party by HofC and only required to control the majority of Parliament and get any bill passed that they recommend  If fail to do so, must resign  PM and cabinet (monarch’s council) have to agree on policies = collective responsibility  Parliamentary opposition  multi party system  Legislature  HofC is the only body that is actually elected by the people + the senates appointed by governor general  political power is mostly given to Legislature  each of the 3 branches are part of the same whole  Other members are elected from holding positions already in gov’t  Centralizes gov’t power in the hands of parliament  More responsive than USA system because elections can be called at any time BUT it is more unstable during controversy  If no majority party is elected = COALITION gov’t emerges from 2 or more parties join a majority, leads to loss of confidence in gov’t  re-election new coalition same issue Elections 2 types of electorial districts 1)single member – winner takes all (single person) issue=if many different groups majority may not consider the addition of all other minorities 41%-39%-29%, party with 29% never has a fair chance 2)multimember (proportional)– several officals from a given district with , A B get 2 seats, C gets 1 Political Parties  goal is to gain control of gov’t single party system = one party takes majority for an extended period of time … dictatorship two party system = 2 parties have meaningful chance of winning, however tends to distort complexity of politics by only presenting 2 difference sides to issues multiparty systems = legislature is occupied by several different parties, majority is lost. Focus on max of 2-3 values so the voters have to choose what is more important to them Representation - can be based on territory not just population, example USA picks 2 senates form all states , big or small. Reactionary theory  Hobbes Monarch should be open to popular input but not hindered by it people support the state willingly in confidence that the politicians have acted in the public’s best interest (not really democratic besides the positive hope that public is being considered) Conservative theory Madison, Burke people choose who governs them but do not have the right to compel their representatives to vote or behave in a particular way If representatives do not meet their needs they replace them Liberal theory  Locke, Jefferson Representatives are messengers obligated to vote the way their constituents want them to Radical theory  Rousseau people represent themselves in direct democracy Chapter 7 ANARCHISM  oppose the state  left or right winged extremist  emerged in the 19 century  humans have outgrown the need for gov’t  gov’t hold people back from reaching their true potential  end forms of institutional gov’t (national) but supports local gov’t  conformity dehumanizes people  focuses on the fear of organizations promoting globalization ( world trade organization, world economic forum, group 8, etc), going to form a super gov’t  society will self organize because the weak will be eliminated as the species grows better  goal is maximize human liberties
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