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108 Cards in this Set

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Unitary/federal system
unitary: state or country that is governed constitutionally as one single unit, with one constitutionally created legislature. The political power of government in such states may well be transferred to lower levels, to regionally or locally elected assemblies, governors and mayors ("devolved government"), but the central government retains the principal right to recall such delegated power.

federal: used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces).
Political Culture
values/attitudes of citizens about politics
and society
• legitimacy/cynicism
• pragmatism/ideology
ideology: the body of thought that guides a society
Newly industrialized countries; improving records of representative gov't; improving protection of individual rights; belief in human equality; freedom of speech; free-market economic system; relatively high quality of life; high HDI and Freedom House rankings

Notable countries: India, Mexico, Argentina; South Africa, Turkey
Less Developed Countries

low standard of living; low HDI ranking

mainly located in Africa, some in Asia
"Third World System"
coined by Alfred Sauvy, French historian

Breaks the world up into three categories, First (advanced liberal democracies), Second (communist-world), Third (countires at different level of development)

Since then, a "Fourth" world has been added to keep the concept relevant that contains the 40 poorest countries
“electoral democracy”
defined by Freedom House as having "positions of politcal power filled through regular, free, and fair elections between competing parties, and it is possible for incumbent gov't to be turned out of office through elections.

Other characteristics
- competitve, multiparty political system
- universal adult suffrage
- regularly contested elections conducted on the basis of secret ballots, reasonable ballot security and the absence of massive voter fraud
- significant public access of major political parties to the electorate through the media and through generally open campaigning
Liberal Democracy
a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution that emphasizes the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities (see civil liberties).
political power in society does not lie with the electorate but is distributed between a wide number of groups. These groups may be Trade Unions, interest groups, business organizations, and any of a multitude of formal and informal coalitions
Civic Culture
the degree of citizen participation in politics, esp. voting and municipal affairs
John Locke
Enlightenment thinker who heavily influenced Thomas Jefferson, a natural state all people were equal and independent, and none had a right to harm another’s “life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
Judicial review
established in Marbury v. Madison by Chief Justice John Marshall; does Supreme Court have the ability to overturn laws passed in congress
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
established Judicial review when Marbury challenged Jefferson's handling of Court appointment
Party Cohesion and Discipline
a measure of a party's ability to act as one unified body

principle is very important in British politics as having a unified party is necessary to have control of Parliment and hence the P.M. position
Bicameral legislature
two legislative or parlimentary chambers

usually lower house is stronger than the upper house
George W. Bush
43rd President, current President of the U.S.

Legacy: handling of country following 9/11, invasion of Afghanistan and Iran, increasing debt, increasing trouble with immigration, China emergence as the global economic power
Division of Power
model of government that gives different powers to different branches of government
Nancy Pelosi
Current speaker of the House of Representatives; highest ranking woman in U.S. politics ever
separation of power
model of government that gives different powers to different branches of government
Harry Reid
Democrat senate majority leader; is the face of his party
Checks and balances
Idea that different branches of the government have the ability to limit the power of any single government entity
Dick Cheney
Vice President of the United States, next in line to be President; President of the Senate, casts deciding vote in an event of a tie
Primary election
an election in which voters in a jurisdiction select candidates for a subsequent election (nominating primary). In other words, primary elections are generally when each political party decides its nominee for the upcoming general election. Primaries are common in the United States, but are generally rare elsewhere in the world.
Electoral College
who are empowered as a deliberative body to elect a candidate to a particular office; these people are chosen on the hope that their wisdom will help pick the right person
political action committee is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect or defeat government officials or to promote legislation
Liberal democrat party
3rd largest party in the UK, formed through merger between Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party; very pro-environment agenda
Robert Walpole
the first Prime Minister of U.K.; over the 21 years he was P.M., he had his cabinet oversaw the diminishing power of Monarch
Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister for 10 years; will be known for devolving power to Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the decision to go to war in Iraq; adopting the EU Convention on Human Rights; removing most of the hereditary peers in the House of Lords, and passing the Freedom of Information Act
Prince Charles
Next in line for the throne of England; would like to see the monarchy separate from the Anglican Church
David Cameron
head of the Conservative Party (Tories); serious threat of ending the Labour Party's run as the majority in the next elections
Anti-British terrorists who seek unification of all Ireland; since 2005 have disarmed and entered into a power-sharing agreement with Northern Ireland's Protestant community
TUC Trades Union Congress
a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, representing the majority of trade unions. There are sixty five affiliated unions with a total of about seven million members.; initiated the Labour Repressntation Committee in the late 19th century (which went on to become the Labour Party). The major TUC affiliated unions still make up the great bulk of the British Labour Party affiliated membership, but there is no formal/organisational link between the TUC and the party.
Menzies Campbell
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party
Member of Parliament; elected by voters to a Parliament
Gordon Brown
Current Prime Minister of U.K. and Head of the Labour Party
Common Law
no major codification of law and judicial precedent is binding; in contrast to the civil law system
“The City of London”
small city within Greater London; a large business financial center now; historic core of London and home to Westminister
"The Third Way"
small British political party formed in 1990

It advocates Direct Democracy along Swiss lines using referenda and citizens' initiatives. It supports small business and co-operative ownership. Third Way opposes over-centralised government and promotes decision making at the lowest practical level.
portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge; two elite universities of England who have consistently produced the leaders of the country; referred to as critics as an "old boy network"
proportional representation
a category of electoral formula aiming at a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies); current movement in England for it to replace the current winner take all situation
Margaret Thatcher
She was leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 until 1990. She is the first (and, to-date, only) woman to have been Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; deregulation of British business and broke up the unions, rescued Britain from stagnation at the cost of higher unemployment in the manufacturing sector
home to Parliament- House of Lords and House of Commons
on the site of the old palace, is the address of the most important government buildings.
public schools
a private or 'independent', fee-paying school, generally not coeducational; some are very selective and feed into Oxbridge
Anglican Church
started with the split of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic church during the reign of Henry VIII; currently tied together with the monarchy although Prince Charles has talked about a possible split
Queen Elizabeth II
current queen of the United Kingdom and the other commonwealth realms; only a figurehead
collective responsibility
members of the Cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them; occurs with a vote of no confidence when the entire government has to resign
head of state
role of the queen, ceremonial position
ministerial responsibility
a cabinet minister bears the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their ministry or department
unwritten constitution
a misnomer b/c most of it is written, a uncodified body of law which constitutes the rules for how the country functions; U.K. does have rules and statutes, but is not condensed into a single document
Shadow cabinet
a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition (or the leader of other smaller opposition parties) form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government. Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to pass criticism on the current government and its respective legislation, as well as offering alternative policies
vote of no confidence
results in the government being dissolved and new general elections
Chancellor of the Exchequer
title held by the British Cabinet minister responsible for all economic and financial matters; 2nd most important position in Parliament behind the minister
House of Commons
646 MPs; party leaders guide the voting; Committees are not very powerful b/c the major decision has usually been made; Parliamentary system depends on party cohesion; MPs don't have to live in constituencies
House of Lords
561 Life peers; 91 hereditary positions through election; spriritual leaders also have seats; screen bills but cannot vito; Blar has separated judicial aspect
Question Period
a weekly period of time in which the PM answers the questions of the Parliament
Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Oppositio
4 Lands of the United Kingdom
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England
The government front bench is on the right hand side as seen by the Chairman (typically the Speaker of the House of Commons or the Lord Speaker), and is occupied by Government ministers
Magna Carta
signed in 1215, most important effect was limiting the monarch's powers and making sure he/she stayed within the law; came about b/c King John was encroaching on the Noble's powers within their localities
granting of certain government powers by the centery to the periphery; Scotland and Wales have now setup their own parliaments
A province of Ireland- 6 of its counties form Northern Ireland
the extent to which a court respects the authority or validity of a government act or decision during the process of judicial review; currently the courts of the UK have high deference to rulings in Parliament
Sinn Fein
only political party to have seats in the parliaments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Sinn Féin is currently the third-largest party in Ireland by vote share
Tory & Whig
Tory- Conservative Party
Whig- Liberal Party and now Liberal Democrat Party
Plaid Cymru
political party in Wales. It advocates the establishment of an independent Welsh state within the European Union.
Conservative Party
current party Leader Dave Cameron, main opposition party in U.K., also known as the Tories
Scottish National Party
a centre-left political party which campaigns for Scottish independence; largest party in the Scottish Parliament
Labour Party
current Party Leader is Dan Brown, majority party of U.K.; grew out of trade union movement and social political parties of the 19th century
Third Republic
longest republic in French history, lasted from the defeat of Emperor Napolean III in the Franco-Prussian War until the invasion of France by the German Third Reich; fairly conservative and bourgeois
Fourth Republic
Only lasted 12 years following WWII; modeled after the Third Republic; the strong legislative branch led to massive political instability and governments constantly changing
Fifth Republic
Semipresidential System created by Charles de Gaulle; the president was first elected by electoral college, no directly elected
Dominique de Villepin
Prime Minister of France during the last two years of Chirac's presidency; in 2003 as Foreign Minister spoke out at the U.N. against the war in Iraq
Nicolas Sarkozy
current President of France; conservative stance on law and order issues and his admiration for a new economic model for France, combining labour-market reforms to bring France somewhat closer to a liberalised economy like that of the United Kingdom, with a policy of economic nationalism and protectionism
President and the Majority of Parliament are from two different parties
Constitutional Council
Assess laws in conformity w/Constitution; Jurisdiction over elections and referenda
Art. 16 of the French Constitution
the President has the power to suspend the constitution in times of emergency; de Gaulle only used this article once
Elysee Palace
official residence of the President of the French Republic, where the president's office is located, and the Council of Ministers meets
National Assembly
very weak; government controls the priority of bills; has a narrow "domain of law", "Gov't responsibility bills" can pass w/o a vote
Hotel Matignon
official residence of the Prime Minister of France.
even weaker than the National Assembly; elected by an indirect college; overrepresent rural France; senators hold multiple positions
dministrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to English counties
Council of State
assists the executive with legal advice and is supreme court for administrative justice
UDF(Union for Fr Democracy)
French centrist political party. It was founded in 1978 as an electoral alliance to support President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in order to counterbalance the Gaullist preponderance over the right.
RPR(Rally for the Republic)
a French right-wing political party. Originating from the UDR, it was founded by Jacques Chirac in 1976 and presented itself as the heir of Gaullism
Framcois Hollande
Since 1997, he has been the chairman of the French Socialist Party.
grand corps de L'Etat
bodies of senior officials of which members have to exert great responsibilities within the public office for State
island off of France, birthplace of Napoleon; has a an independence movement
grandes ecoles
higher education establishments outside the mainstream framework of the public universities
an indigenous people who inhabit parts of northeastern Spain and southwestern France; Basque nationalism has demanded the right of self-determination and even independence
ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administation)
school where many of France's senior officials are instructe; produces less than 100 graduates every year
province in Northwest France; one of six Celtic nations; has a nationalist movement: Breton nationalists include the desire to obtain the right to self-rule, whether within France or independently of it, and to acquire more power in the United Nations and other international bodies
Jacques Chirac
French politician and a former President of France; second longest serving French president; a Gaullist; one of the leading voices against U.S. invasion of Iraq
Napoleon Bonaparte
general during the French Revolution and twice emperor of France; his conquests led France to be in control of most of continental Europe at one point
National Front(FN)
a French far-right, nationalist political party, founded in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen

* A return to traditional values: to include making access to abortion more difficult or illegal; giving an income to women who do not go out to work; promoting certain local traditional culture.
* Greater independence from the European Union and other international organizations.
* The establishment of tariffs or other protectionist measures against cheap imports.
* Reinstatement of the death penalty.
Charles de Gaulle
led the resistance movement against occupied France;
Jean-Marie Le Pen
founder and president of the Front National (National Front) party; He advocates immigration restrictions, the death penalty, incentives for homemakers,[1] compulsory military service, and euroscepticism.
a French liberal party; has started to make a small comeback in French politics
secondary education; a stepping stone to a University degree; students take the baccalauréat upon completion of lycee
Rule of Incompatibility
This measure necessitated the institution of a substitute to stand in for a deputy appointed to serve in the government.
French Communist Party(PCF)
largest communist group in France; is the third largest party by membership; has been on decline over the past couple of decades
Vote of Censure
the power of the National Assembly to vote for the resignation of the government
French Socialist Party (PS)
one of the largest political parties in France; first gained power with Mitterand's victory in 1981 Presidential election
the chief means by which the policy or action of the ministry of the day is challenged; it is usually made the subject of a general debate, and generally ends with a vote of confidence or want of confidence in the ministry. The right of permitting or vetoing an interpellation rests with the chamber. In France a tendency has been growing among deputies to use the interpellation as a method of attack on or accusation against individual colleagues.
Segolene Royal
member of the Socialist party, lost by 7% in the 2nd round of voting to Sarkozy
Government Responsibility Vote
bill pass w/o vote
blocked vote(bloc vote)
no amendments, take it or leave it
Single-member district/two ballot system
a voting system in which a single winner is chosen in a given constituency by having the most votes, regardless of whether or not he or she has a majority of votes; France has a similar system/occurs when in the first round of Presidential voting no candidate receives 50% of the vote, then goes to a second round of voting which is a runoff between the two top vote-getters from the 1st round
Union for a Popular Movement (UMP)
main French centre-right political party; has the majority in the national assembly and has Sarkozy as president