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Political Science
Political Science 2246E
Robert W Waterman

Chapter 2 Politics is essentially about power conflict vs cooperation over limited goods Someonemust be designated to become the arbiter over the division of goods with the authority to exercise power and make decisions on behalf of society Public administration then is the mechanism by which political decision making occurs Power political administrationability to authorize influence or coerce behaviour through a legal position b status or c forceMax Weber theorized that authority is derived from one of three sources of legitimacy Traditional legitimacyrulecustom or habit Charismatic legitimacyrulepersonal qualities Legalrational legitimacyrulerationally created rules and statutes Modern societies operate on legalrational legitimacy Religious charismatictraditional leaders are no longer the most legitimate Accountability and the rule of law principle that no one even lawmakers are above the law define the legalrational systemPolitics arises out of scarcitythere are not enough resources for all people to satisfy their needs and wants at once Competition over scarce resourcespolitics Politics is also the resolution of conflicthow rival claims are settled Labour and hierarchycooperation is also part of politics It can also be defined as the authoritative allocation of values Authoritativeidea that there must be a legitimate authority to make decisions Valuesauthorities decide them and which will prevail Different definitions exist who gets what and when and how who does what to whom bloodless war doctrine of the possible political powerorganized power of one class oppressing the other etc These are all related to powerWhat is different about politics than other forms of cooperation and conflict resolution Politics is public and public authorities are needed to settle issues When private issues are politicized or have a public element they become within the public administrations concern It is necessary to clarify this publicprivate distinction to unearth our democratic rights and responsibilities The state is the only legitimate means of enforcing social orderDemocracyDemocracy is a contested concept Values held by an individual or society help determine what democracy is Democracythe people and authority Government by manyDirect democracypure democracypeople directly govern themselves Athenians had lottery voting to eliminate corruption Direct democracy is difficult bc societies are large and complex Some aspects of Canadian society resemble direct democracy For example a referendum expressing approval or disapproval through the vote is one means Plebiscite is another direct vote Recall firing as well as hiring other governmental actorsdirect democracy despite low involvement Representative democracyelected to public power choosing representatives Citizens are one step removed Public policies are made on a majority basis by representatives subject to effective popular control at periodic elections which are conducted on the principle of political equality and under conditions of political freedom Most modern societies operate through this systemDirect democracy can be either political or economicoPolitical democracy in the Canadian systemmajority rule one person one vote competitive elections cabinetparliamentary governmentintended for political
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