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politics/ democracy

politics the activity through which people make, uphold and revise the generL rules under which they l,ive
power the ability to influence the behaviour of others, usually through rewards and ppunishments
authority the right to influence the behaviour of others, based on an acknowledged duty to obey
legitimacy trightfullness- the right to rule
how many mps are there 650
3 parts of government -law making- legislation - carrying out laws- execution -interpreting laws- executiion - interpreting laws- ajudication
democracy - rule by the people -- political participation, decisions made by the people - -political equality, each dcitizen haveing free and equal oppurtunity to influence political decisions
platos viewss on democracy - the people would not respect others decisions = democracy tereats everyone as equal, in terms of knowledte and understanding, when they asre not - poeple should be ruked by their superior
direct democracy when people havce direct, unmediated and continuous participation in tasks of government -
representative democracy limited and indirect, representatives speak obn your behalf
levels of representation national government -> devolved government -> local councils -> parish or town councils
pros of direct democracy - everyone has say - equal weight rather thaN by size of constit. - encourages participation -less corruption -no need for trusted rep. -develops sense of community -encourages genuine debate
cons of direct democracy -people not qualified -not enough time -impract -people wont want to decide, activists will lead - manipulative people persuade people to support - will of majority not mediated so minority viewpoints disreguarded
pros of rep. democracy -qualified -save time -only practical system -pol groups= cohesive, pressure groups= rep diff. -reduces chances of minority rights being overridenby 'turanny of majority' -elections hold rep. accountable
cons of rep. democracy -not everyone -might not be a party the reps you -reduced partic. -parties run by elitists w/ other agenda -politicians good at avoiding accountability -politicians can be corrupt, incompetent and put party before responsibili9ty to electorate
4 ways to strengthen democracy - widening direct participation - cumpolsary voting 3- digital democracy -lowering the voting age
focus groups/ opinion polls : a small cross-section of people who are used to gain an insight into the wider views of the public. Increasingly used by Labour between 1997-2010, often to gauge public opinion on proposed policy changes.
referendums a vote in which the electorate can express an opinion on a particular aspect of public policy.
recall elections: This allows voters to force a by-election if a petition is signed by enough people illustrating a vote of no confidence.
e-petitions: When a proposal receives 100,000 signatures via the Number 10 Downing Street website it will be considered for a debate in the Commons
compulsory voting in Australia, Spain, Italy and France voting is compulsory although it is rarely enforced. In Australia there is a small fine of $20 payable within 21 days.
digital democracy alter to compuls. vote could be achieved in a var. of ways inc. use of post vote, moving poll stat. + switch voting day e-voting Online pet. ICT to publicise, organise, lobby interactive TV + socials to enable citizens to engage in political debate
reducing voting age The reduction of the voting age to 16 in the Scottish Independence Referendum has spurred many individuals and political parties to support votes at 16 including the SNP, Labour and Plaid Cymru.
pros of digital democracy -encourages youth vote - modernises -more frequent use of referenda bc more accessible
cons of digital democracy -ability to be hacked -discouraGes elderly to vote
arguments for compulsory voting q -force voters to be more politically informed -increasing turnout gives elec. result greater legitimacy -more sections of society involved, concerns raised in all parta of society -could be argued that voting is a civic duty
arguments against compulsory voting -may argue its basic right not to take part -ill informed voting -involve large amount of pub. expenditure to admin. andfd enforce system -favours larger parties
pros of lowering voting age -young better informed about pol than before -may encourage more people get involved bc voting age 18-24 turnout low -16 age to serve in army, getting married and pay tax, why not vote -radicalism of young voters balance out extreme cons of old
cons of lowering voting age -16 yr olds too young to make rational decisions -too complex for ~young minds~ -few people in group pay tax, stake low in society -argued young are radical bc not considered issues properly
pressure group an association who aims to influence policy but not to gain power
if a pressure groups decides to exercise power.. they become a party
trade unions helped to form labour
when did the ecology party become the green party 1990
when did ukip start putting uo candidates 1993
what purpose do pressure groups -promote unrepresented communities -protect minority group -educate public abt. big ideas -call gov. to account -alloes for different form of participation
intrest groups ar aka sectional
examples of sectional groups -trade union- NUT/BMA
what are sectional groups an association that has an identifiablr membership or supporting group. represent a section of society and often have a specific requirement to be in
cause groups aka promotional
examples of promotional groups Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Amnesty International, Shelter, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Electoral Reform Society.
what is a promotional group -an association whos main purpose is to promote a cause. no requirements for entry
criticisms of cause and interest catagoriesa -some pressure groups have sectional and promotional characteristics as all have sectional concerns e.g. chruches concerned with employers, buildings etc. -may contain members with sectional issues -some pressure groups mask sectional concerns
example of insider group british medical association
example of outsider group fathers4justice
status of pressure groups can change because trade unions have less power when conservatives aee in power
6 groups that cANT VOTE -non-british citizens -underage voters -lords -prisoners -guilty of election fraud in the past 5 years -psychiatric patients
inconsistencies in voling system before 1932 -types of constit- counties and boroughs. right to vote for counties depended on home ownership, boroughs= payment of tax -plural voting (e.g. if you lived in 2 diff places) -dis. of seats not kept up with growth -women excluded unless owned houses
the great reform act 1832 -underpop. places lost seats, big cities gained seat COUNTIES: tenant farmers and small property holders can vote BOROUGHS: male house owners worth at least £10/anum -5% pop vote
what happened between this and mejor reform anyone with house coukd vote
1867 borough householders (e.g. tradesmen, shopkeepers) enfranchised -electorate rises from 1-2million= 13% of adult population
1884 rural householders e.g. farm workers, miners put on some fooring as borough ones, electorate over 5 million = 25% of adult population
1918 all women over 30 and men over 21 enfranchised 75% of adult population
1928 terms for men and women equalised; both sexes can vote at 21 full adult suffrage
1948 end of plural voting
1969 voting age 18
the suffragists -led by millicent fawcet -favoured non violent methods such as peaceful demonstration
the suffragettes -led by emmeline pankhurst, preffered violent methods such as vandilism
6 ways to participate formally -standing for office -active party membership -pressure group membership -passive party membership - digital activists -voting
2009 parliamentary expenses scandals -the daily telegraph published evidence of widespread abuse of the systems that allowed mps to claim expenses for living costs. It resulted in 5 former mps and 2 lords sentenced to prison terms
the eu referendum is described as the mst democratic exercise the UK has undertaken- it was made clear that there would be noe 2nd vote
turnout 72.2%
majority 52%
divides in voting in the country - young and old - rich and poor - english and scottishq
percentage of 18-24 yr olds that voted leave 27%
% of 25-34 yr olds thaqt voted leave 38%
% of 35-44 yr olds that voted leave 48%
% of 45-54 yrs olds that voted leave 56%
% of 55- 64 yr olds that voted leave 57%
% of 65+ yr olds voted leave 60%
% of english people that voted leave 53%
% of scottish people that voted leave 38%
% of AB wealth group (richest) that voted leave 43%
% og C1 wealth group that voted leave 51%
% of C2 wealth group that voted leave 64%
% of DE wealth group that voted leave 64%
what is the EU refferendum an example of tyranny of the majority- will of 52% forced 48% to leave
SCOTTISH ELECTION turnout 84.65%
2010 VOTING SYSTEM REFFERENDUM - to change the voting system -didnt divixde country- 67.9% result -balanced and rational deba\te -low turnout
pros of eu referendum - high turnout - settled debate of friction - transcended the political community
cons of eu referendukm, - result divided - campaign fought in bad taste - too complex7 - destablished scootland
the 5 civic duties of UK citizens -jury duty -obey the law -pay taxes -voting -protecting the environment
habeas corpus right to trial
the 2 race relations acts were in 1965 +2010
the 2 equality acts were in 1970 + 2010
what 8 things did the equality act 2010 talk about -age -race -disability -religion/belief -gender reassignment -sex -marriage/ civil partnership -sexual orientation
problems with referenda -people are tempromental -hard to adopt changes -long winded
the innitiative people decide referenda should take place not gov (used in swithz and us, need 5% of pop in cali, 100k signatures in switz)
results of innitiative in us 2008: ban on same sex marriage passed 2012: make assisted suicide legal failed 2014: legalise recreational cannabis passed
results of innitiative in switz 1971: grant voting rights to women passed 2004: prevent mass immigration passed 2016: export all foreign criminals failed
social represtentation representatives should have characteristics in line with the whole population- should be a microcosm of society as a whole
representation of national interest sometimes have to chose national interest over constituency interest- represent the nation as well
constituency representation -thinking how bills will effect your constituency -redress of grievences -views of constituents on national issues
party representation voting according to party manifesto
strengths of mandate -strengthens legitimacy giving clear authority -holds gov accountable -demonstrates where gov overstep authority
weaknesses of mandate -parties in uk often elected on under 50% of vote -votersd might not support everything in manifesto -not clear whether gov has mandate to pass policy not in manifeso
peaceful transition of power those who lose power by democratic means respect the authority of the next elected
peacful transition of power in the uk uk is conflict free :)
free elections universal sufferage
free elections in the uk - all over 18 can vote -little fraud and strong legal safeguards -Hol and monarch unelected
fair elections -everyone has one equal vote -safeguards to avoid rigging -fair electoral system
fair elections in the uk -proportional systems in scot, wales, ni and eu parl elections -fptp = disproportional results + wasted votes
widespread participation political participation
widespread participation in the uk -extensive members of pressure groups, groeing level of edemocracy -turnout and party membership falling
freedom of expression no censorship
freedom of expression in the uk -press and broadcasting free, broadcast neutral, free access to internet -media owned by big companies
freedom of association allowed to associate w/ whoever
freedom of association in the uk -no restrictions on legal organisations -some groups banned based on terrorism or racial basis
protections of rights and liberties free and havre rights
protection of rights and liberties in the uk -echr, hol and judiciuary protect rioghts -echr not binding on parliament`
rule of law noone is above the law
rule of law in uk -strictly upheld by judiciary
limited gov an constitutionalism limits to gov in constitution
constitutionalism in uk -parl and court ensure gov acts w/in law -constitution is unentrenched
part membership of top 3 parties 1980 1,693,000
part membership 1989 1,137,000
part membership 1998 840,000
part membership 2006 520,000
part membership 2008 476,000
part membership 2010 397,00
part membership 2016 490,000
surge in labour membership in 2015 when ed miliband made joining labour £3
snp lmambership raised in 2014 after scot kndependence ref
turnout 1979 76%
turnout 1983 72.2
turnout 1987 75.3
turnout 1992 77.7
turnout 1997 71.4
turnout 2001 59.4
turnout 2005 61.3
turnout 2010 65.2
turnout 2015 66.1
turnout 2017 68.7
usa runouit 2012 54.9
usa turnout 2016 55
belgium turnout 2010/14 89
1998 london mayor ref turnout 34.1
scot dev turnoutq 60.4
wales dev turnout` 50
ni dev turnout 81
av turniout 42
scto in turnout 84
eu turnou 2016 72
epetition no of signatures for aagainst plan to introduce charges for using roads 2007 1.8,m sig
outcome of 2007 epetition gov dropped plan
no of sig epetition 2011 release of docs relating to hisborough 139k
outcome of 2011 epetition papers released inquest launched
no of sig epetition second ref 2016 3.8 million
outcome of 2016 epetit debate but no second ref allowed
succcess factors of pressure group -size-pressure -finance-affording campaigns -strategic position (sect) ifthey are vital gov will listen -public mood- determines size -gov mood- side of spectrum theyre on etc
failure factors of pressure groups -too small+ limited funds -unsympathetic gov -oppontents to powerful -pub opinion
CASE STUDY- ASH action on smoking and health
ASH founded in 1967 by academics and interested parties
ASH objectives -spread knowledge about harmfull effects of tobacco and press gov to make legislation reducing tobacco use
ASH methods -researvch and publicise research -lobbys lawmakers and gov using scientific data
ASH successes -restricted ads on tobacco -health warnings on cig packs -increasing tax on tobacco -law banning smoking in car w/ children
ASH failures -want further legislation -concern over e-cigs
why is ASH successful -supporters in gov -evidence behind cause
pros of press groups -disperse piower and influence - educate public -more oppertunity to participate in politics -protect intrests of minotiyird -publicise effects of policies
cons of press groups -eletist press groups -distrting info for own interest -undemocratic -wealh
neutral think tanks -respublica- general policy issues -chatham house-international affairs -centre for social justice- welfair issues -demos-current political issues
left wing think tanks -fabian society- social justic and equality -institute for public policy research- various left wing
right wing think tanks -adam smith institute- free market problems to economic issues -centre for policy studies- promotes thatcherite idears
liberal think tanks -liberty- promoting issues concerning the protection of rights and liberty -reform- concerning welfare, pub services and economic menagement
disputed citizens responsibility -serve in army when the country is under attack -vote -respect rights of all other citizens -respect values of society
civil society name for all associations that citizens belong to and may become active in, counterbalance to government
clickocracy taking part in democracy online
formal equality equality established by law
group politics the idea that political decision making happens by mediating views of different groups
hyperpluralism rapid growth in interest in particular issues leading to so many dfferent views that none are satisfied
functions of elections -transfer powe from one government to the next -create a link from politicians to constituents -legitimise government -hold government to account
criticisms of doctrine of madate -people dont vote rationally, could vote in protest -parties never unanymously agree on their policies -no way of forcing gov to carry out policies -impossible for parties to forsee emergency events
example of gov not carrying out their policy new labour war with iraq even though they promised they wouldnt
strong mp constituency link example Oona king hold accountable after voting for war with iraq despite constituents not wanting
clear winner example in germany it took a month to form a calition, the gov lacked effective leadership
ways political parties promote democracy -provied framework for elections -strong stable gov formed -people can participate beyond voting by joining parties -educate people and inform them about issues
example of political parties informing green party influentual in raising environment in gov agenda
ways political parties damage democracy -lack of rep for smaller parties so voters left with no choice -not rep of british electorate -centralisation of decision making to parties-whip -can be seen as corrupt e.g. tony blair and cash for honours
example of electorate have no choice both parties have some degree of austerity to help reduce national debt
features of pressure groups -seek to influence gov policy -attemot to addvance a cause or interest -operating at different levels of political life- putting pressure where it is needed
differences between parites and pressure groups -parties-power -parties have broader aims -parties use different methods -parties accept public accountability -parties have more responsibility
example of mp representing interest ken clarke represents British American Tibaco
example of pressure groups influencing EU NFU keep permanent reps at EU to influence agriculture lAsaw
resons why pressure groups enhance democracy -keep gov in touch with pub opinion between elctions -wider participation -voice to minority groups -educate
reasons why pressure groups dont enhance democracy -dont have equal power and influence -prevent demecratically elected gov from carrying out role -illegal methods -one sided views
example of pressure groups not being equal cash for honours affair made pressure groups wonder if they could bribe mps for interest
example of pressure group not allowing gov to carry out its role tu powerful role on labour economy in the 'winter of discontent' 1978-9
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