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How Can Citizens Influence Government?

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by

Spencer Purdey

on 16 October 2013

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Transcript of How Can Citizens Influence Government?

How Can Citizens Influence Government?
By Spencer Purdey
Civil Disobedience
The act of intentionally breaking, or refusing to keep, laws one considers unjust.
Examples:
-Martin Luther King, Jr. - the March on Washington
-Clayoquot Sound, BC - blocking logging roads
-Mahatma Gandhi - Salt March
-Extremadura campaign - land reform in Spain
Influence on Government:
Allows the people to resist against the government if they believe the government is being unjust.
Pressure Groups / Special Interest Groups
Groups who seek to influence government policies and decisions.
Examples:
-Consumers' Association of Canada
-Canadian Cancer Society
-Black Action Defence Committee
-Greenpeace
-Free the Children
Influence on Government:
Influences decision making within the government, usually by influencing public opinion so the government listens to the majority, but may also use other methods such as petitions, marches, and demonstrations.
civil disobedience and pressure groups often work in similar ways to accomplish similar goals.
Media
The main methods of communicating ideas and information in society.
Examples:
-Television
-Radio
-Newspapers
-Magazines
Influence on Government:
Citizens get most of their information about government actions from media reports. The government receives criticism and feedback on what people think of them from media.
Elections and Election Campaigns
Political parties share their ideas and try to convince citizens to vote for them in elections, in which citizens can vote for whom they think should be their leader.
Examples:
-Elections for federal and provincial parliaments are held at least every five years
-Municipal elections and usually held every two to three years
-A candidate needs money and plenty of volunteers to run an election campaign
Influence on Government:
Voting in elections is the most widely used method for citizens to influence government. If the person you vote for gets elected, they can help shape the government to your liking through their influence.
Media is the most common way to spread information about political parties campaigning for elections.
Joining a Political Party
Examples:
Influence on Government:
Non-Governmental Organizations
Examples:
Influence on Government:
Those who choose to join a political party can nominate and vote for candidates who will run in their riding.
-Some people join parties to improve the quality of life in the community, region, or nation
-Other people believe strongly in the ideology of the political party and act on their beliefs
-Some other people are attracted to the power and influence of politics
By being in a political party, you can have your say regarding policies and decisions that the party make, which could end up getting you power in government.
NGO's are non-profit organizations that work to improve some aspects of people's lives.
-United Way
-Canadian Red Cross
-Doctors Without Borders
Many NGO's work internationally, providing services and lobbying governments to change unfair laws or policies.
Joining a political party can influence elections and possibly help get your party elected.
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