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key political terms

KEY TERMS

Understand political terms (concepts) and terminology used by politicians, political candidates, ward councillors and members of parliament.

activist: A person who is politically active in the role of a citizen; especially, one who campaigns for change

adjourn: Temporarily ending an event with intentions to complete it at another time or place.

advertising regulation: The laws and rules defining ways products can be advertised in a particular region.

affirmative action: A policy or program providing advantages for people of a minority group with the aim of creating a more racially equal society through preferential access to education, employment, health care, social welfare, etc.

agenda setting: A theory in mass-communication stating that the media have the ability to determine which issues are important to the public.

amendment: An addition to and/or alteration to the Constitution.

amnesty: An act of the sovereign power granting oblivion, or a general pardon, for a past offense, as to subjects concerned in an insurrection.

appeal: (a) An application for the removal of a cause or suit from an inferior to a superior judge or court for re-examination or review. (b) The mode of proceeding by which such removal is effected. (c) The right of appeal. (d) An accusation; a process which formerly might be instituted by one private person against another for some heinous crime demanding punishment for the particular injury suffered, rather than for the offense against the public. (e) An accusation of a felon at common law by one of his accomplices, which accomplice was then called an approver.

apportionment: It is the process of allocating the political power of a set of constituent voters among their representatives in a governing body.

audit: An independent review and examination of records and activities to assess the adequacy of system controls, to ensure compliance with established policies and operational procedures, and to recommend necessary changes in controls, policies, or procedures

bicameral: Having, or pertaining to, two separate legislative chambers or houses.

bloc: a group of voters or politicians who share common goals

blog: A website that allows users to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal while readers may comment on posts. Most blogs are written in a slightly informal tone (personal journals, news, businesses, etc. ) Entries typically appear in reverse chronological order.

broadcasting: transmitting, sending out messages omnidirectionally

budget: The amount of money or resources earmarked for a particular institution, activity, or time-frame.

budget deficit: the difference between government revenues and spending, in which the government is spending more than it's earning

bundlers: Bundlers are people who can gather contributions from many individuals in an organization or community and present the sum to the campaign. Campaigns often recognize these bundlers with honorary titles and, in some cases, exclusive events featuring the candidate.

cabinet: In parliamentary and some other systems of government, the group of ministers responsible for creating government policy and for overseeing the departments comprising the executive branch.

campaign message: The ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters, often consisting of several talking points about policy issues.

campaign: An organized effort to influence the decision making process within a specific group when seeking election to political office.

campaign advertisements: Television ads sponsored by political campaigns to reach broad audiences and convince the masses to vote for the sponsoring candidate.

candidate: A person who is running in an election or who is applying to a position for a job.

caucus: A meeting, especially a preliminary meeting, of persons belonging to a party, to nominate candidates for public office, or to select delegates to a nominating convention, or to confer regarding measures of party policy; a political primary meeting.

certiorari: A grant of the right of an appeal to be heard by an appellate court where that court has discretion to choose which appeals it will hear.

civil society: All of the institutions, voluntary organizations, and corporate bodies that are less than the state but greater than the family.

cloture: In legislative assemblies that permit unlimited debate (filibuster); a motion, procedure or rule, by which debate is ended so that a vote may be taken on the matter. For example, in the United States Senate, a three-fifths majority vote of the body is required to invoke cloture and terminate debate.

conflict of interest: A situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, insurance adjuster, a politician, executive or director of a corporation or a medical research scientist or physician, has competing professional or personal interests.

conglomerate: A corporation formed by the combination of several smaller corporations whose activities are unrelated to the corporation's primary activity.

conservative: A political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions; often exemplified by the Republican Party in US politics.

constituent: a resident of a place represented by an elected official

consultant: A person whose occupation is to be consulted for their expertise, advice, or help in an area or specialty. Alternatively, a party whose business is to be similarly consulted.

criminal law: the area of law that regulates social conduct, prohibits threatening, harming, or otherwise endangering the health, safety, and moral welfare of people, and punishes people who violate these laws

cyberspace: Cyberspace is the electronic medium of computer networks in which online communication takes place.

defendant: In civil proceedings, the party responding to the complaint; one who is sued and called upon to make satisfaction for a wrong complained of by another.

deficit: A situation wherein, or amount whereby, spending exceeds government revenue.

delegate: A person authorized to act as representative for another; in politics, a party representative allocated to nominate a party candidate.

demogrants: Non-contributory benefits given to whole sections of the population without a test of means or need.

demographic: A demographic criterion: a characteristic used to classify people for statistical purposes, such as age, race, or gender.

denominator: The denominator refers to the number of voters eligible to vote.

diplomacy: The art and practice of conducting international relations by negotiating alliances, treaties, agreements, etc., bilaterally or multilaterally, between states and sometimes international organizations or even between policies with varying statuses, such as those of monarchs and their princely vassals.

disenfranchise: to deprive someone of a franchise, generally their right to vote

doctrine: A belief or tenet, especially about philosophical or theological matters.

electoral system: The detailed constitutional arrangements and voting laws that convert the vote into a political decision.

election: A process of choosing a leader, members of parliament, councillors or other representatives by popular vote.

electorate: The collective people of a country, state, or electoral district who are entitled to vote.

electoral college: A body of electors empowered to elect someone to a particular office.

endowment: The invested funds of a not-for-profit institution.

fact checker: A fact checker is the person who checks factual assertions in non-fictional text (usually intended for publication in a periodical) to determine their veracity and correctness. The job requires general, wide-ranging knowledge and the ability to conduct quick and accurate research.

federal system: a system of government based upon democratic rule in which sovereignty and the power to rule is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (such as states or provinces)

fiat: An authoritative command or order to do something; an effectual decree.

fiscal: Related to the treasury of a country, company, region, or city, particularly to government spending and revenue.

fiscal policy: Government policy that attempts to influence the direction of the economy through changes in government spending or taxes.

gender gap: A measurable difference between the behaviors of men and women.

gerrymandering: The practice of redrawing electoral districts to gain an electoral advantage for a political party.

habeas corpus: A writ to bring a person before a court or a judge, most frequently used to ensure that a person's imprisonment, detention, or commitment is legal.

horse race: An exciting and arduous competition (as in a political campaign).

human rights: The basic rights and freedoms that all humans should be guaranteed, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.

impeachment: the act of impeaching a public official, either elected or appointed, before a tribunal charged with determining the facts of the matter.

incarceration: The act of confining, or the state of being confined; imprisonment.

incumbent: Being the current holder of an office or a title.

independent: A candidate or voter not affiliated with any political party, a free thinker, free of a party platform.

indictment: An official formal accusation for a criminal offence or the process by which it is brought to a jury.

industrialization: A process of social and economic change whereby a human society is transformed from a pre-industrial to an industrial state

infrastructure: The basic facilities, services and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society

interest groups: The term interest group refers to virtually any voluntary association that seeks to publicly promote and create advantages for its cause. It applies to a vast array of diverse organizations. This includes corporations, charitable organizations, civil rights groups, neighborhood associations, and professional and trade associations.

issue voting: The type of voting that occurs when voters cast their vote based on political issues.

journalism ethics and standards: Journalism ethics and standards describe the principles of ethics and good practice journalists adopt in response to specific challenges.

labour union: A continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment; a trade union.

legislation: Law which has been enacted by legislature or other governing body

legislative: That branch of government which is responsible for making, or having the power to make, a law or laws.

libel: A written (notably as handbill) or pictorial statement which unjustly seeks to damage someone's reputation.

liberal: One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia on Liberalism for a description of the various and diverging trends of liberalism).

likeability: The property that makes a person likeable, that allows them to be liked.

lobbyist: A person remunerated to persuade (to lobby) politicians to vote in a certain way or otherwise use their office to effect a desired result.

lobby groups: The act of attempting to persuade a group of people that influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.

mandate: An official or authoritative command; a judicial precept.

mass media: The mass media are all those media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication, which includes broadcast media and print media.

media bias: A bias in journalistic reporting, in programming selection, etc., in mass communications media.

monetary policy: Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability.

narrowcasting: advertisements which are tailored to target specific audiences

numerator: In voter turnout, the numerator refers to the number of voters who cast votes.

partisan: An adherent to a party or faction.

partisan dealignment: Dealignment, in political science, is a trend or process whereby a large portion of the electorate abandons its previous partisan affiliation, without developing a new one to replace it.

patronage: granting favours, giving contracts or making appointments to office in return for political support

party platform: A statement of principles and purpose issued by a political party.

party voting: The type of voting that describes when voters cast their vote based on their self-identification with a particular political party.

per capita: shared equally among all individuals.

plaintiff: A party bringing a suit in civil law against a defendant; accusers.

planks: Planks refer to the goals and proposals in the platform of a political party.

political campaign: It is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group.

political ideology: A political ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals that explains how society should work, and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. It focuses on type of government and economy.

political party: A political organization that subscribes to a certain ideology and seeks to attain political power through representation in government.

pollster: A professional whose primary job is conducting pre-election polls.

print media: newspaper, magazines and other printed material that distributes news and information

privatization: The transfer of a company or organization from government to private ownership and control.

pocket veto: a legislative maneuver in lawmaking that allows a president or other official to unilaterally stop a bill by taking no action

podcast: A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device.

prosecutor: A lawyer who decides whether to charge a person with a crime and tries to prove in court that the person is guilty.

protest: A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies, or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy.

quadrennial: Happening every four years.

qui tam: A writ whereby a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed.

redaction: The process of editing or censoring.

referendum: A direct popular vote on a proposed law or constitutional amendment.

regulation: A law or administrative rule, issued by an organization, used to guide or prescribe the conduct of members of that organization; can specifically refer to acts in which a government or state body limits the behavior of businesses.

rhetoric: The art of using language, especially public speaking, as a means to persuade.

round table: An adversarial format in which representatives of opposing views comment on an issue. This approach theoretically allows diverse views to appear in the media.

salience: Salience is the perceived effect that an individual vote will have on how the country is run and has a significant effect on turnout.

sensationalism: The use of sensational subject matter, style, or methods, or the sensational subject matter itself; behavior, published materials, or broadcasts that are intentionally controversial, exaggerated, lurid, loud, or attention-grabbing. Especially applied to news media in a pejorative sense that they are reporting in a manner to gain audience or notoriety at the expense of accuracy and professionalism.

social media: Interactive forms of media that allow users to interact with and publish to each other, generally by means of the Internet.

state of emergency: A government decree that a particular situation requires the implementation of pre-arranged responses on a large scale.

statutory: Of, relating to, enacted or regulated by a statute.

subpoena: A writ requiring someone to appear in court to give testimony.

suffrage: The right or chance to vote, express an opinion, or participate in a decision.

titular: One who holds a title.

turnout: attendance; crowd

veto: A political right to disapprove of (and thereby stop) the process of a decision, a law, etc.

virtual communities: "Virtual communities" are being established online and transcend geographical boundaries, eliminating social restrictions.

vote: To cast a vote; to assert a formalized choice in an election.

voter turnout: Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. Exactly who is eligible varies by country, and should not be confused with the total adult population.

voter fatigue: voter fatigue is the apathy that the electorate can experience under certain circumstances, one of which could be that they are required to vote too often.

voter registration: Voter registration is the requirement in some democracies for citizens and residents to check in with central registry specifically for the purpose of being allowed to vote in elections.

voter suppression: Voter suppression is a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing people from exercising their right to vote.

Youth vote: The youth vote is a political term used primarily in South Africa to describe 18 to 29-year-olds and their voting habits.