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Good Government

Notes taken from Outlooks 6 Global Citizens by Sharon Sterling and Steve Powrie

Systems of Government
All governments have 3 main jobs: To make and enforce laws

To help people meet their needs and wants


To deal with other governments

Direct Democracy
Who has the power?

-everyone in the group (people) shares the power


-usually a leader to keep things organized, but everybody has an equal say in what goes on How do they get power? -voting is the main way decisions are made -not a practical way to get things done in a large group

Example:
-class votes on what to do for DPA and majority wins

Representative Democracy
Who has the power?

-elected representatives who are voted for by people


How do they get power? -by being elected by people to go to meetings and make decisions for them (vote on issues on other peoples behalf) Example: -candidate (a person who wants to be a council member gives oral presentations to tell people what she or he would do if elected and students vote for the candidate who they think will do the best job of representing their class on the school student council)

Dictatorship (No Democracy)


Who has the power?

-1 person or a small group controls the country


How do they get power? -by election, but then they dont want to give up the power in another election

-no election or the elections are unfair, so nobody else has a chance to win
-take power through force -often stay in power by imprisoning or even killing people who dont agree with their ideas Example: Countries under a dictatorship are Cuba, North Korea, etc.,

Hereditary Leadership
Who has the power? -a hereditary leader (person who becomes leader by being the son, daughter, or close relative of leaders in the past such as a chief or queen) How do they get power? -by being the descendent of a hereditary leader -many countries still have hereditary leaders who are respected and are an important part of their culture, but these leaders do not hold the power (honorary positions) Example:

-many Aboriginal groups in Canada have hereditary chiefs who are greatly respected in their communities although they may not hold all the power today, their opinions are valued when decisions are made

4 signs of Democracy
1. There are OPEN ELECTIONS in which anyone can run and people are free to choose from different political parties. 2. There is FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. This means that newspapers and other media can say what they want, even if they dont agree with the government. This helps people get true information about what the government is doing. 3. There is FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This means that people are free to speak out or protest when they dont agree with government decisions. 4. The JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS INDEPENDENT OF THE GOVERNEMENT. This makes sure that everyone gets a fair trial, even if they dont agree with the government.