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1000 - Class 17

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Kelly Blidook

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of 1000 - Class 17

Posc 1000 – Intro to Political Science
Forms of Government
Liberal Democracy

Elections do not (and cannot) decide questions of policy

Citizens delegate responsibilities to elected officials

Elected officials may not do what the citizens want OR what is best for them
Robert Dahl: Polyarchy

highly autonomous (independent) groups compete freely and openly in the political process

State doesn’t favour any groups - equality.

Link to classical liberalism

Pluralism: different views are acceptable, can compete
1.) Pluralist Democracy
Freedom: meaningful only if it extends to those whose opinions differ from those in authority

1 important test: the legitimacy of the opposition - the freedom to dissent
4.) Political Freedom
a. Referendum:

A decision on policy proposals by a direct vote of the electorate
can be binding or non-binding - “plebiscite”
Direct Democratic Practices
Basic principle of decision-making in democracies
derived from the principle of political equality.

2.) Majority Rule
Political system in which people rule themselves:

directly or indirectly (through chosen officials)

subject to constitutional restraints on the power of majority

Also called constitutional democracy
Liberal Democracy
Elites and organized interests play a special and distinctive role

In societies sharply divided along linguistic, ethnic, or religious lines

Segments have own social institutions and are usually separate
Schools
Media
Etc.
3.) Consociational Democracy
Groups/Interests are dealt with in hierarchical manner by state

Not a competitive “free-market” of groups and ideas
2.) Corporatist Democracy
Low or no autonomy for groups - actions are limited by government

State is dominant force in society - activities of interests/groups are subordinate
2.) Corporatist Democracy
Concerns with Liberal Democracy
Majority versus Minority Rights
“tyranny of the majority”
Parliament - protector of minorities?
Constitution and judicial process

Problem of catering to special interests at the expense of the general interest
Masses rule (majority ruling minority)
I.e. Fear that the majority would use political power to expropriate and distribute the wealth of the few

OR

Elite Rule (minority rules majority)
Concerns with Liberal Democracy
2.) Right to form associations, including opposition political parties
Aspects of political freedom
b. Initiative

The initiation of legislative action through voters’ petition

If a certain number of voters sign a petition on a particular issue, the government is required to act on it
Direct Democratic Practices
Problems of representative democracy
Getting everybody together to discuss and/or having quality debate upon issues

Quality of decisions made in such contexts
Problems of direct democracy
Equality:
right to vote, run for office, serve on a jury, speak on public issues
“Universal” suffrage
Canada:
1918: Females
1960: Registered Indians
1988: Mentally disabled
1993: Prisoners
1.) Equality of Political Rights
Mainly a pluralist democracy , with trace of corporatism and consociationalism
In some policy areas, groups and interests compete
In others, government structures the relationship
Canada
High autonomy among segments

Proportionality is followed in allocating positions, spending, and benefits

Segments tend to have veto on major changes by government

Government: coalition of some or all segments
3.) Consociational Democracy
Concerns with Liberal Democracy
Public versus Private Interests
Public: The interests of everybody, or those that are broadly shared

Private: Individuals, Business, Unions, Professors, etc.
3.) Right to vote without intimidation AND choose from a slate of at least two candidates
Aspects of political freedom
1.) Right to speak freely and criticize government
Aspects of political freedom
c. Recall
The ability of voters in a constituency to remove their elected representative from office by means of a petition
Direct Democratic Practices
2.) Representative Democracy (indirect)
A system of government based on the election of decision makers by the people
3.) Political Participation
1.) Direct Democracy
A system of government based on public decisions made by citizens meeting in an assembly or voting by ballot
3.) Political Participation
1.) Simple majority: 50% + 1

2.) Plurality: based on the largest number of votes, not necessarily a majority

3.) Qualified majority: (2/3, 60%, etc.)

4.) Concurrent majority: majority in two (or more) separate bodies
Bicameralism: In Canada, House of Commons and Senate (2 bodies of legislature).

5.) Unanimity: everybody
Types of Majorities
Patterns of Liberal Democracy
Patterns of Liberal Democracy
Patterns of Liberal Democracy
Four Operating Principles of Liberal Democracy
Four Operating Principles of Liberal Democracy
Four Operating Principles of Liberal Democracy
Four Operating Principles of Liberal Democracy
Full transcript