Citizen Participation In each country, the people have different rights to participate in the government In some countries, any citizen can run for office or vote in elections In other countries there are restrictions placed on who can run for office and who can vote There are also countries where no citizen can vote and there are no elections
Types of Government are based on one key question: Who governs and what is the citizen participation ? There are three types of governments: Autocracy, Oligarchy, and Democracy
Autocratic Governments Has a single ruler with unlimited power People have no ability to participate in the selection of the ruler or in the creation of laws One benefit of this type of government is that decisions for a country can be made quickly However, the needs of the people may be ignored or unheard The leader may make poor or selfish decisions that hurt the people
Autocracy Generally the power to rule is inherited or by military force. There two main types: dictatorship & absolute monarchy.
Dictatorship The leader has not been elected and uses force to control all aspects of social and economic life. Examples: Adolf Hitler in Germany and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union
Absolute Monarchy A monarchy has a king, queen, emperor or empress. The power is usually inherited or passed down from family members. The monarch has absolute power meaning they can make all decisions without consulting anyone.
Oligarchic Governments “rule by a few” = country is ruled by a small group of people An advantage is that decisions can be made relatively quickly Compared to an autocratic system, oligarchies have more heads to think through problems and should make better choices However, the people do not have a voice
Oligarchy A government in which a few people such as a dominant clan or clique have power. The group gets their power from either military, wealth or social status.
Democratic Governments Puts the power of the government in the citizens of the country All citizens have the opportunity to be a leader, and all citizens have the opportunity to vote for leaders and laws All citizens are involved in the decision-making process of the government, and all groups are represented Can be slow to make decisions because all people must discuss & vote on the issues
This is a “Polity Data Series Map” It tries to measure a country’s true democracy in government It gives scores of -10 to +10. The countries in the lightest pink have the highest democracy score, the darker the color, the lower the democracy score
In a democracy…. Individual freedom and equality is valued. Free elections are held Decisions are based on majority rule. All candidates can express their views freely. Citizens vote by secret ballot.