Democratic theory

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Democratic theory

  1. 1. <ul><li>May 12, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.jonathanmpowell.com/ps101.html </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>The process by which the actions of government are determined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtually every country is unique </li></ul></ul>
  3. 5. <ul><li>Joseph Schumpeter (1950) </li></ul><ul><li>“ institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which the individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote” </li></ul>
  4. 6. <ul><li>Dictionary.com: </li></ul><ul><li>“ a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system” </li></ul>
  5. 7. <ul><li>Lebanon – Compulsory for men; optional for women (must have elementary education) </li></ul><ul><li>Bhutan – one vote per house </li></ul><ul><li>Leichtenstein – women’s suffrage in 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>Saudi Arabia – local elections only, women cannot vote or run for office </li></ul><ul><li>Qatar – Women originally rejected the right to vote, but now can </li></ul>
  6. 8. <ul><li>Voting is only one of many characteristics of a democracy </li></ul>
  7. 9. <ul><li>Certain basic principles are necessary in any definition of democracy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free and fair elections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom of expression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom of assembly and the right to protest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much more emphasis on liberal norms, pluralism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Broad participation, equality, human rights </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 10. <ul><li>Direct Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aka Participatory Democracy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Representative Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Republican </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. <ul><li>δημοκρατία </li></ul>
  10. 12. <ul><li>Still present in US town hall meetings and in some small European nations to some extent. </li></ul>Images form wikipedia.org
  11. 13. <ul><li>Is this feasible on a large scale? </li></ul>Image form wikipedia.org
  12. 14. <ul><li>Problems : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tyranny of the Majority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexity of Issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability of Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it worth it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>V = PB – C </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 15. <ul><li>Delegate representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizens choose individuals to represent their interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is done through elections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizens choose politicians who share their personal beliefs, values, opinions, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representatives will also act as a check against majority tyranny </li></ul></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>Required assumptions for representative democracy to work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are aware. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 17. <ul><li>Required assumptions for representative democracy to work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are aware. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are rational. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>Required assumptions for representative democracy to work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are aware. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are rational. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are tolerant. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>Required assumptions for representative democracy to work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are aware. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are rational. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are tolerant. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters are informed. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. Image form wikipedia.org
  19. 21. <ul><li>Trustee Representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters should select those most able to run the government and trust that they will make the best decisions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only elites should have any real power over government policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Most individuals are too ignorant, unaware, or apathetic to have an informed role. </li></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><li>Is the United States a representative or elitist democracy? </li></ul>Public opinion shows that a majority of Americans believe that government serves the interests of a few elites.
  21. 23. <ul><li>Other arguments for elitism: </li></ul><ul><li>Americans are POORLY informed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinions are consistently inconsistent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Few participate in government </li></ul><ul><li>Few want to participate </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of participation is minimal </li></ul>
  22. 24. Attitudes on Spending, Taxes
  23. 25. <ul><li>When it comes to specific applications of the creed, support tends to fall off. </li></ul>
  24. 26. The paradox of democracy balances the principle of majority rule against the principle of individual liberty.
  25. 27. <ul><li>Name </li></ul><ul><li>Email address </li></ul><ul><li>~1 minute per question </li></ul>
  26. 28. <ul><li>How many stars are there in our flag? </li></ul>
  27. 29. <ul><li>What do the stars on the flag mean? </li></ul>
  28. 30. <ul><li>What do the stripes on the flag mean? </li></ul>
  29. 31. <ul><li>Who is the vice-president of the United States today? </li></ul>
  30. 32. <ul><li>Who elects the President of the United States? </li></ul>
  31. 33. <ul><li>What do we call a change to the Constitution? </li></ul>
  32. 34. <ul><li>What are the three branches of our government? </li></ul>
  33. 35. <ul><li>Who makes the laws in the United States? </li></ul>
  34. 36. <ul><li>How many members are there in the House of Representatives? </li></ul>
  35. 37. <ul><li>For how long is a member of the House elected? </li></ul>
  36. 38. <ul><li>How many members are there in the Senate? </li></ul>
  37. 39. <ul><li>For how long is a member of the Senate elected? </li></ul>
  38. 40. <ul><li>Who becomes President of the United States if the President and the vice-president should die? </li></ul>
  39. 41. <ul><li>How many Supreme Court Justices are there? </li></ul>
  40. 42. <ul><li>Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence? </li></ul>

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