Chapter One: The Study of American GovernmentWhat is Political Power?
Power is the ability of one person to get another personto act in accordance with the first person’s intentions.Power is often exercised in ways that may not beobvious to the participants.
Authority is the right to use power.B.The exercise of rightful power is ordinarilyeasier than the exercise of power that is notsupported by any persuasive claim to that right.What is Democracy?
The word democracy is used to describe those regimesthat come as close as possible to “the rule of the many.”A government is democratic if all, or most, of its citizens participate directly in either holding office or making policy.
This is called direct or participatory democracy.
The second definition of democracy is the principle of governance of most nations that are called democratic.This method, in which leaders compete for votes, iscalled representative democracy.Direct Versus Representative Democracy: Which is Best?
For representative government to work, there must be anopportunity for genuine leadership competition. Thisrequires in turn that individuals and parties be able to runfor office, that communication be free, and that thevoters perceive that a meaningful choice exists.II.Some people have argued that the virtues of directdemocracy can and should be reclaimed even in modernsociety. This can be done by allowing cities to governthemselves or requiring those affected by somegovernment program to participate in its formulation.A.In many states a measure of direct democracyexists when voters can decide on referendumissues.How is Power Distributed in a Democracy?I.Representative democracy is any system of governmentin which leaders are authorized to make decisions bywinning a competitive struggle for the popular vote.
In cases of majoritarian politics, leaders are sosharply constrained by what most people wantthat the actions of officeholders will follow the preferences of the citizens very closely. In thiscase elected officials are the delegates of the