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Democracy PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Democracy. a word used in at least three ways in the discussion of government democratic centralism direct or participatory democracy representative democracy. democratic centralism.

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  • a word used in at least three ways in the discussion of government

  • democratic centralism

  • direct or participatory democracy

  • representative democracy

democratic centralism

  • Authoritarian governments define democracy as - a system that represents the “true interests” of the people, whether or not they directly affect those interests.

  • The central leadership discusses among themselves and decide on what are the “true interests” of the people.

  • former Soviet Union operated on this theory – the central committee made all economic and political decisions.

  • In other authoritarian regimes, ruthless dictators, calling themselves democratic based on this concept, conduct the business of the country in the “true interests” of the people.

direct or participatory democracy

  • Based on Aristotle’s definition of the “rule of the many.”

  • Most practical in the Greek city states in which citizenship was extended to all adult male property holders.

  • These citizens met as a group to decide on issues affecting the polis.

  • New England town meetings.

  • However, as towns and cites become larger, they are opting for elected representatives to handle the town’s business.

  • initiativeand the referendum allow a substantial measure of direct democracy in modern political system.

  • Initiatives allow voters to place legislative issues directly on the ballot if enough signature are obtained.

  • This completely bypasses the legislative process in which a proposed bill goes through committee action in both houses.

  • The referendum allows the legislative branch to place a controversial piece of legislation already approved by them on the ballot.

  • Voters get the opportunity to reject or approve the particular bill.

  • These two methods allow the voting citizenry a sort of direct democratic participation.

representative democracy

  • representative democracy involves leaders acquiring power by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.

  • For representative democracy to exist there must be genuine leadership competition.

  • Sometimes this theory is referred to as the elitist theory of democracy

  • This sort of government is supported by those who feel that in a direct democracy it is impractical for the public to make policy across a vast array of issues.

  • They believe that people often decide large issued on the basis of fleeting passions. (ex. Propositions in California – will of the people vs. mass hysteria)

  • For the representative democracy to function, it is necessary that there be competing elites and free communications.

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