Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM

Copy

Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.

DeleteCancel

Make your likes visible on Facebook?

Connect your Facebook account to Prezi and let your likes appear on your timeline.
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.

No, thanks

The Democratic Republic, Part I

No description
by

Christopher Arns

on 12 August 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of The Democratic Republic, Part I

What is POLITICS?
What's an INSTITUTION?
How does Government affect daily life?
SUMMARY
The Democratic Republic
The process of dividing power and deciding who gets what, when and how; or...
An ongoing organization, group or set of principles that performs functions for society
The United States is a
democratic republic
LIBERTY VS. ORDER
The struggle over power and influence within a group that can grant or withhold benefits or privileges; or...
Resolution of conflicts between competing interests
What’s a political interest?
A business or cause in which a person or group has a share, concern or responsibility
Examples: Development vs. conservation, tax cuts vs. increased education spending are examples of competing interests
Top Institution in a Society?
GOVERNMENT
Sets framework for rules of politics
Helps resolve conflicts of who gets what
Ultimate authority for making decisions and establishing political values
Government funds education and provides financial aid to students
pays for roads, bridges, infrastructure
....and what else?
regulates environment to protect resources like air,
water
and land
regulates voting and political process
Why do we need government?
Government provides order and security, which allows citizens to conduct business and feel safe to go about their lives.
Places with barely functioning government...and barely any order:
Somalia
Afghanistan
Syria
Egypt
Balancing act to preserve democracy
LIBERTY VS. ORDER
Too much order = not enough liberty
Too much liberty = not enough order
LIBERTY VS. ORDER CON'T
What’s allowed by the Constitution?
In U.S., post-9/11 era has highlighted clash between civil liberties and tighter security measures
Patriot Act, warrantless wire-tapping, NDAA, drone attacks, due process, military tribunals
LIBERTY VS. ORDER:
QUESTIONS
Should liberty be sacrificed for order?
Is it better to be safe than free?
LIBERTY VS. EQUALITY
Should equality be a right?
LIBERTY VS. EQUALITY
Different kinds of equality:
economic, social, equality of opportunity and treatment
Economic
Social
Equality of treatment
Equality of opportunity
Who was equal in 1800? What about in 1900? In 2000?
LIBERTY VS. EQUALITY CON'T
Why isn’t the U.S. more egalitarian?
For one reason, we would need to redistribute more wealth (not popular!)
Would infringe on private property rights and liberty
Americans have strong desire to own private property
AUTHORITY VS. LEGITIMACY
Is authority always legitimate?
Americans believe U.S. gov’t has legitimate authority...
...because that power comes from the people
In other words, the U.S. gov’t has consent of the people
The technical meaning of democracy comes from ancient Greek: demos (people) and kratos (authority)
TYPES OF GOVERNMENT
Totalitarian (government or dictator has total control)
Cuba, Saudi Arabia,
North Korea
Authoritarian (ruler controls government; others control economy, society)
Russia
, China, Venezuela,
Iran
Aristocracy
(royal family and nobles rule the country)
Gulf states
, Saudi Arabia, some Pacific Islander states
Theocracy (religious clergy rules country)
Iran,
Vatican
Oligarchy (a small group rules the country)
China,
Russia after fall of Soviet Union

narchy
(no authority)
Somalia, much of Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan; Greece soon?
Democracy (rule of the people)
U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, most of Latin America, South Africa
KEY PARTS OF A DEMOCRACY
Legislature:
a governmental body that’s responsible for making laws
Referendum:
an election in which voters decide on a measure created by a legislature
Initiative:
an election in which voters decide on a measure created by members of the general public
Recall:
an election to dismiss (fire) an elected official before his/her term is complete
Democracy has different forms....
Direct democracy:
people make all decisions directly (no representatives)
Examples:
Ancient Greece
;
California
(through ballot measure system)
Republic:
representatives make decisions in legislatures
U.S., Mexico, Germany, France
Representative democracy:
representatives make decisions, but country still has a ceremonial monarch or figurehead
Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Japan,
United Kingdom
Republic or direct democracy?
The American Founding fathers
didn’t trust the people
; thought voters were not informed and could be easily persuaded by potential dictators
"The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right."
"In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority."
Direct democracy
could lead to mob rule (
Athens and Socrates
) and budget deficits when people make tax and spending policy (
California budget
)
The Founding Fathers believed

that
republicanism
creates a
buffer
between the government and the masses while protecting political minorities
Example of direct democracy—Ancient Athens
Any
man
with two years of military experience could vote in the Athenian Assembly
Slaves
and
women
were forbidden from voting
Decisions made by
majority rule
; no political parties
The Athenian Assembly declared war, sent citizens into exile, elected officials to office and appointed judges
What could go wrong with a direct democracy?
It could descend into mob rule (like frontier justice in Wild West)...
...or the
majority
could use their power
to take away rights
(like in Ancient Athens) from certain citizens
DEMOCRACY IN THE UNITED STATES
Is the U.S. a
majoritarianist
country
?
This means government does what the
majority of the people

desire — winner-take-all
What about
elite theory
?
This theory suggests that a small number of people run a country to help their own interests

In the U.S., this system was more obvious when country was first founded. Today? Probably less so
What about
pluralism?
That means democracy is based on competition between
interest groups
...
...which is a very good description of modern U.S. democracy—but
not very ideal
for encouraging most amount of political participation
This country has a
legislature,

universal suffrage
and
a system that protects minority political rights
American government is a
pluralist system
, which means many
interest groups
compete for money and political power.
Examples: marriage, private property rights, education, law enforcement, justice system
Critics say this an unlikely model for the U.S. because of low turnout and the high number of uninformed voters
In U.S., government's
authority
is also legitimate because that power is
limited
by the Constitution
Compare to the United States....
The Founding Fathers wanted to limit political participation to white, male property owners.
Slaves and women were not allowed to vote or hold office
The U.S. Congress could declare war, raise taxes and confirm members of the federal government
Power was limited by Constitution; political majority couldn't dominate the political minority
Some facts about the Golden State...
Tenth-largest economy in the world
Home to 38 million people
Current governor is Jerry Brown; he last served as governor from 1975 to 1983.
Known as a "blue" state because a plurality of California voters are Democrats (44 percent)
California has a State Legislature that's sort of like Congress.
The Legislature, which is based in Sacramento, has 120 members who pass laws affecting all Californians.
Just like Congress, the Legislature is "bicameral." There are 40 senators in the Senate, and 80 Assemblymembers in the Assembly.
26.7 percent of Californians were born in another country (nation's average: 12.9 percent)
California has 55 members serving the state in Congress: 53 House representatives and 2 senators.
California is the 31st state, and entered the Union on September 9, 1950
99 problems but this state ain't one...
Some critics believe California to be "ungovernable"
Some of the state's problems include:
water shortages
overcrowded prisons
pollution
high cost of living
volatile state budgets
crumbling infrastructure
California has a "hybrid" government that combines direct democracy with republicanism
This system allows voters to participate directly in the political process, but is also chaotic
In California, direct democracy means that voters can put initiatives on the ballot and residents can make their own laws.
In 1978, California residents put Proposition 13 on the ballot, which prevents government from raising property taxes without a 2/3 majority
But direct democracy also means that voters and special interests can get laws passed that create expensive programs, leading to
budget deficits
Full transcript