The government of the United States of America, established by the U.S. Constitution, is a federal republic of individual states. The laws of the United States are laid out in Acts of Congress (especially the United States Code and Uniform Code of Military Justice); administrative regulations, and judicial cases interpreting the statutes and regulations. The federal government has three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers, each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its authority, in turn, regulated by one or two other branches.

 

 

The highest court is the Supreme Court, which currently consists of nine justices. The court deals with matters pertaining to the Federal Government, disputes between states, and interpretation of the United States Constitution, and can declare legislation or executive action made at any level of the government as unconstitutional, nullifying the law and creating precedent for future law and decisions. Below the Supreme Court are the courts of appeals, and below them in turn are the district courts, which are the general trial courts for federal law.

Separate from, but not entirely independent of, this federal court system are the individual court systems of each state, each dealing with its own laws and having its own judicial rules and procedures. The supreme court of each state is the final authority on the interpretation of that state’s laws and constitution. A case may be appealed from a state court to a federal court only if there is a federal question (an issue arising under the U.S. Constitution, or laws/treaties of the United States). The relationship between federal and state laws is quite complex; together, they form the law of the United States.

The federal judiciary consists of the Supreme Court of the United States, whose justices are appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and various “lower” or “inferior courts,” among which are the United States Courts of Appeals and the United States District Courts.

With this guide, the first Congress divided the nation into judicial districts and created federal courts for each district. From that beginning has evolved the present structure: the Supreme Court, 13 courts of appeals, 94 district courts, and two courts of special jurisdiction. Congress today retains the power to create and abolish federal courts, as well as to determine the number of judges in the federal judiciary system. It cannot, however, abolish the Supreme Court.

There are three levels of federal courts with general jurisdiction, meaning that these courts handle criminal cases and civil law suits between individuals. The other courts, such as the bankruptcy courts and the tax court, are specialized courts handling only certain kinds of cases. The bankruptcy courts are branches of the district courts, but technically are not considered part of the “Article III” judiciary because their judges do not have lifetime tenure. Similarly, the tax court is not an Article III court.

The United States district courts are the “trial courts” where cases are filed and decided. The United States courts of appeals are “appellate courts” that hear appeals of cases decided by the district courts, and some direct appeals from administrative agencies. The Supreme Court of the United States hears appeals from the decisions of the courts of appeals or state supreme courts (on constitutional matters), as well as having original jurisdiction over a very small number of cases.

The judicial power extends to cases arising under the Constitution, an act of Congress, or a treaty of the United States; cases affecting ambassadors, ministers, and consuls of foreign countries in the United States; controversies in which the U.S. government is a party; controversies between states (or their citizens) and foreign nations (or their citizens or subjects); and bankruptcy cases. The Eleventh Amendment removed from federal jurisdiction cases in which citizens of one state were the plaintiffs and the government of another state was the defendant. It did not disturb federal jurisdiction in cases in which a state government is a plaintiff and a citizen of another state the defendant.

The power of the federal courts extends both to civil actions for damages and other redress, and to criminal cases arising under federal law. Article III has resulted in a complex set of relationships between state and federal courts. Ordinarily, federal courts do not hear cases arising under the laws of individual states. However, some cases over which federal courts have jurisdiction may also be heard and decided by state courts. Both court systems thus have exclusive jurisdiction in some areas and concurrent jurisdiction in others.

The Constitution safeguards judicial independence by providing that federal judges shall hold office “during good behavior”. Usually they serve until they die, retire, or resign. A judge who commits an offense while in office may be impeached in the same way as the President or other officials of the federal government. U.S. judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Another Constitutional provision prohibits Congress from reducing the pay of any judge—Congress could enact a new lower salary applying to future judges, but not to those already serving.

 

 

 

The Executive branch consists of the President of the United States and his delegates. The President is both the
head of state and
head of government, as well as the
commander-in-chief of the military, and the
chief diplomat. The President, according to the Constitution, must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” To carry out this responsibility, he or she presides over the executive branch of the federal government, a vast organization numbering about 4 million people, including 1 million active-duty military personnel. In addition, the President has important legislative and judicial powers. Within the executive branch itself, the President has broad constitutional powers to manage national affairs and the workings of the federal government, and may issue executive orders to affect internal policies.

The President may sign or veto legislation passed by Congress. He may be impeached by a majority in the House and removed from office by a two-thirds majority in the Senate for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The President may not dissolve Congress or call special elections, but does have the power to pardon criminals convicted of federal offences (though not crimes against a state), give executive orders, and (with the consent of the Senate) appoint Supreme Court justices and federal judges.

The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the government. As first in the presidential line of succession, the Vice President becomes the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the President, which has happened nine times. His only other constitutional duty is to serve as the President of the Senate and break any tie votes in that chamber, but over the years the office has evolved into a senior advisor to the President

All executive power in the federal government is vested in the President of the United States, although power is often delegated to his/her Cabinet members and other officials. The President and Vice President are elected as ‘running mates’ for four-year terms by the Electoral College, for which each state, as well as the District of Columbia, is allocated a number of seats based on its representation (or ostensible representation, in the case of D.C.) in both houses of Congress.

The relationship between the President and the Congress reflects that between the English monarchy and parliament at the time of the framing of the United States Constitution. Congress can legislate to constrain the President’s executive power, even with respect to his or her command of the armed forces; however, this power is used only very rarely—a notable example was the constraint placed on President Richard Nixon’s strategy of bombing Cambodia during the Vietnam War. While the President can directly propose legislation (for instance, the Federal Budget), he must rely on supporters in Congress to promote and support his or her legislative agenda. After identical copies of a particular bill have been approved by a majority of both Houses of Congress, the President’s signature is required to make these bills law; in this respect, the President has the power—only occasionally used—to veto congressional legislation. Congress can override a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote from both houses. The ultimate power of Congress over the President is that of impeachment or removal of the elected President through a House vote, a Senate trial, and a Senate vote (by two-thirds majority in favor). The threat of using this power has had major political ramifications in the cases of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.

The President makes around 2,000 executive appointments, including members of the Cabinet and ambassadors, which must be approved by the Senate; the President can also issue executive orders and pardons, and has other Constitutional duties, among them the requirement to give a State of the Union address to Congress from time to time (usually once a year). (The Constitution does not specify that the State of the Union address be delivered in person; it can be in the form of a letter, as was the practice during most of the 19th century.) Although the President’s constitutional role may appear to be constrained, in practice, the office carries enormous prestige that typically eclipses the power of Congress: the Presidency has justifiably been referred to as ‘the most powerful office in the world’. The Vice President is first in the line of succession, and is the President of the Senate ex officio, with the ability to cast a tie-breaking vote. The members of the President’s Cabinet are responsible for administering the various departments of state, including the Department of Defense, the Justice Department, and the State Department. These departments and department heads have considerable regulatory and political power, and it is they who are responsible for executing federal laws and regulations.

 

Cabinet, executive departments, and agencies

The day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws is in the hands of the various federal executive departments, created by Congress to deal with specific areas of national and international affairs. The heads of the 15 departments, chosen by the President and approved with the “advice and consent” of the U.S. Senate, form a council of advisors generally known as the President’s “Cabinet”. In addition to departments, there are a number of staff organizations grouped into the Executive Office of the President. These include the White House staff, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. There are also a number of independent agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, there are government corporations such as Amtrak.

 

 

 

 

The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States. It is bicameral, comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members, each of whom represents a congressional district and serves for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population; in contrast, each state has two Senators, regardless of population. There are a total of 100 senators (as there are currently 50 states), who serve six-year terms (one third of the Senate stands for election every two years). Each House has particular exclusive powers—the Senate must give “advice and consent” to many important Presidential appointments, and the House must introduce any bills for the purpose of raising revenue. However, the consent of both Houses is required to make any law. The powers of Congress are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution; all other powers are reserved to the states and the people. The Constitution also includes the “necessary-and-proper clause”, which grants Congress the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.”

Members of the House and Senate are elected by first-past-the-post voting in every state except Louisiana and Washington, which have runoffs.

The Constitution does not specifically call for the establishment of Congressional committees. As the nation grew, however, so did the need for investigating pending legislation more thoroughly. The 108th Congress (2003-2005) had 19 standing committees in the House and 17 in the Senate, plus four joint permanent committees with members from both houses overseeing the Library of Congress, printing, taxation, and the economy. In addition, each house can name special, or select, committees to study specific problems. Because of an increase in workload, the standing committees have also spawned some 150 subcommittees.

The Congress has the responsibility to monitor and influence aspects of the executive branch. Congressional oversight prevents waste and fraud, protects civil liberties and individual rights, ensures executive compliance with the law, gathers information for making laws and educating the public, and evaluates executive performance. It applies to cabinet departments, executive agencies, regulatory commissions, and the presidency. Congress’s oversight function takes many forms:

 

  • Committee inquiries and hearings;
  • Formal consultations with and reports from the President;
  • Senate advice and consent for presidential nominations and for treaties;
  • House impeachment proceedings and subsequent Senate trials;
  • House and Senate proceedings under the 25th Amendment in the event that the President becomes disabled, or the office of the Vice President falls vacant;
  • Informal meetings between legislators and executive officials;
  • Congressional membership on governmental commissions;
  • Studies by congressional committees and support agencies such as the Congressional Budget Office, and the Government Accountability Office, both of which are arms of Congress.

 

Responsibilities of a Congressman

Each individual Congressman must assume five roles. These roles include: legislator, committee member, representative of their constituents, servant of their constituents, and politician.

Powers of Congress

The Constitution grants numerous powers to Congress. These include the powers: to lay and collect taxes in order to pay debts, provide for common defense and general welfare of the U.S.; to borrow money on the credit of the U.S.; to regulate commerce with other nations and between the states; to establish a uniform rule of naturalization; to coin money and regulate its value; provide for punishment of counterfeiting; establish post offices and roads, promote progress of science, create courts inferior to the Supreme Court, define and punish piracies and felonies, declare war, raise and support armies, provide and maintain a navy, make rules for the regulation of land and naval forces, provide for the militia, arm and discipline the militia, exercise exclusive legislation in Washington D.C, and make laws necessary to execute the powers of Congress.

 Government

A government is the body that has the power to make and
enforce laws within an organization or group. In its broadest sense, “to
govern” means to administer or supervise, whether over an area of land,
a set group of people, or a collection of assets.

Definitions

One approach is to define government as the decision-making arm of the state, and define the latter on the basis of the control it has over violence and the use of force within its territory. Specifically, the state (and by extension the government) has been considered by some to be the entity that holds a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within a territory. This view has been taken by the political economist Max Weber and subsequent political philosophers. The exact meaning of it depends on what is understood by “legitimate”. If we use the term in an ethical sense, then this definition would suggest that an organisation might be considered a state by its supporters but not by its detractors. An alternative definition is to take “legitimate” violence to be simply that which has active or tacit acceptance by the vast majority of the population. In this view, the presence of insurrection or civil war against an entity would jeopardise its claim to be a state, provided the insurrection enjoyed significant popular support. Similarly, an entity that shared military or police power with independent militias and bandits could be considered to have a monopoly on “legitimate” violence but to be failing to enforce it, reducing its claim to statehood. In practice, such situations are often described as “failed states”.

Government can also be defined as the political means of creating and enforcing laws; typically via a bureaucratic hierarchy. Under this definition, a purely despotic organization which controls a territory without defining laws would not be considered a government.

Another alternative is to define a government as an organisation that attempts to maintain control of a territory, where “control” involves activities such as collecting taxes, controlling entry and exit to the state, preventing encroachment of territory by neighbouring states and preventing the establishment of alternative governments within the country.

In Commonwealth English, the word “Government” can also be used to refer only to the executive branch, in this context being a synonym for the word “administration” in American English (e.g. the Blair Government, the Bush Administration). In countries using the Westminster system, the Government (or party in Government) will also usually control the legislature. The French use of the word gouvernement covers both meanings, whereas Canadian French generally uses it to mean the executive branch. The German word Regierung refers only to government as the executive branch; the wider meaning of the word, government as a system, can be translated as Staatsgewalt.

Forms of government

 

Main article
Various forms of government have been implemented. A government in a developed state is likely to have various sub-organisations known as offices, departments, or agencies, which are headed by politically appointed officials, often called ministers or secretaries. Ministers may in theory act as advisors to the head of state, but in practice have a certain amount of direct power in specific areas. In most modern democracies, the elected legislative assembly has the power to dismiss the government, but in those states that have a separate head of government and head of state, the head of state generally has great latitude in appointing a new one.

Theories

There are a wide range of theories about the reasons for establishing governments. The four major ones are briefly described below. Note that they do not always fully oppose each other – it is possible for a person to subscribe to a combination of ideas from two or more of these theories.

Greed and oppression

Many political philosophies that are opposed to the existence of a government (such as Anarchism, and to a lesser extent Marxism), as well as others, emphasize the historical roots of governments – the fact that governments, along with private property, originated from the authority of warlords and petty despots who took, by force, certain patches of land as their own (and began exercising authority over the people living on that land). Thus, it is argued that governments exist to enforce the will of the strong and oppress the weak.

Order and tradition

The various forms of conservatism, by contrast, generally see the government as a positive force that brings order out of chaos, establishes laws to end the “war of all against all”, encourages moral virtue while punishing vice, and respects tradition. Sometimes, in this view, the government is seen as something ordained by a higher power, as in the divine right of kings, which human beings have a duty to obey.

Natural rights

Natural rights are the basis for the theory of government shared by most branches of liberalism (including libertarianism). In this view, human beings are born with certain
natural rights, and governments are established strictly for the purpose of protecting those rights. What the
natural rights actually are is a matter of dispute among liberals; indeed, each branch of liberalism has its own set of rights that it considers to be
natural, and these rights are sometimes mutually exclusive with the rights supported by other liberals.

Social contract

One of the most influential theories of government in the past two hundred years has been the social contract, on which modern democracy and most forms of socialism are founded. The social contract theory holds that governments are created by the people in order to provide for collective needs (such as safety from crime) that cannot be properly satisfied using purely individual means. Governments thus exist for the purpose of serving the needs and wishes of the people, and their relationship with the people is clearly stipulated in a “social contract” (a constitution and a set of laws) which both the government and the people must abide by. If a majority is unhappy, it may change the social contract. If a minority is unhappy, it may persuade the majority to change the contract, or it may opt out of it by emigration or secession.

Operations

 

Main article
Governments concern themselves with regulating and administering many areas of human activity, such as trade, education, medicine, entertainment, and war.

Enforcement of power

Governments use a variety of methods to maintain the established order, such as police and military forces, (particularly under despotism, see also police state), making agreements with other states, and maintaining support within the state. Typical methods of maintaining support and legitimacy include providing the infrastructure for administration, justice, transport, communication, social welfare etc., claiming support from deities, providing benefits to elites, holding elections for important posts within the state, limiting the power of the state through laws and constitutions (see also Bill of Rights) and appealing to nationalism. Different political ideologies hold different ideas on what the government should or should not do.

Territory

The modern standard unit of territory is a country. In addition to the meaning used above, the word state can refer either to a government or to its territory. Within a territory, subnational entities may have local governments which do not have the full power of a national government (for example, they will generally lack the authority to declare war or carry out diplomatic negotiations).

Scale of government

The scale to which government should exist and operate in the world is a matter of debate. Government spending in developed countries varies considerably but generally makes up between about 30% and 70% of their GDP.

Democracy is, literally, rule by the people (from the Greek demos, “people,” and kratos, “rule”). The methods by which this rule is exercised, and indeed the composition of “the people” are central to various definitions of democracy, but the general principle is that of majority rule. Useful contrasts can be made with oligarchies and autocracies, where political authority is highly concentrated and not subject to meaningful control by the people. While the term democracy is often used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to other areas of governance.


Kinds of democracy

Direct democracy, classically termed

pure democracy[1], is a political system where the people vote on government decisions, such as questions of whether to approve or reject various laws. It is called
direct because the power of making decisions is exercised by the people directly, without intermediaries or representatives. Historically, this form of government has been rare, due to the difficulties of getting all the people of a certain territory in one place for the purpose of voting. All direct democracies to date have been relatively small communities; usually city-states. The most notable was the ancient Athenian democracy.

 

 

Representative democracy is so named because the people do not vote on most government decisions directly, but select representatives to a governing body or assembly. Representatives may be chosen by the electorate as a whole (as in many proportional systems) or represent a particular subset (usually a geographic district or constituency), with some systems using a combination of the two. Many representative democracies incorporate some elements of direct democracy, such as referenda.

 

 

The one party Communist states describe or described themselves as democratic, like the German Democratic Republic. They explicitly gave the political power to the members, or to some of the members, of the ruling Communist Party, following the principles of democratic centralism and vanguard party.

 

 

Liberal democracy

 

Today, democracy is often assumed to be liberal democracy, a form of representative democracy where the ability of elected representatives and the will of the majority to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution which emphasizes the protection of liberties, freedoms, and rights of individuals and minorities. This form of government has become increasingly common in recent times, so that almost half of the world’s population now lives under liberal democratic regimes.[1]

 

 

Conversely, an illiberal democracy is one where the protections that form a liberal democracy are either nonexistant, or not enforced. The experience in some post-Soviet states drew attention to the phenomenon, although it is not of recent origin.

 

 

History of democracy

 

 

The history of democracy is made complex by the varied concepts and definitions used in different contexts and discussions. Democracy can range from the very broadly based institutions in which adult universal suffrage is used to elect representative, to very informal assemblies in which the people voice their opinions, and leader act upon those feelings, to elected representatives who have limited power under an unelected monarch.

 

 

Athenian democracy is the earliest well-documented democratic system, and the word democracy was coined in Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. Records are intermittent from the time before this era, although there is contemporary documentation from Chios, probably from 575- 550 BC, of a council and assembly. It appears that voting rights were gradually expanded from a small group of landed aristocracy to eventually all eligible males who had completed mandatory military training, usually at the age of 20. Women, slaves, and metics were excluded from this citizenship, which leads to estimates that around one tenth or less of the population of Athens was eligible to vote. All Athenian citizens were free to vote on creation of laws, a segment could vote on when to go to war, and anyone could speak in the Assembly. This type of government is known as a form of direct democracy. Athens also had representative leaders, most selected by allotment rather than elected. Athenian democracy was effectively ended by the city’s defeat by the Macedonians who abolished it in 323 BC.

 

 

The seeds of representative democracy were arguably started in the Roman Republic. During the middle ages, there were various shades of democracies varying from very inclusive oligarchies to attempts at full democracy. Such are the Althing, in Iceland, the Italian city-states of medieval Italy, the tuatha system in early medieval Ireland, the Veche in Slavic countries, and Scandinavian assemblies. And, democratic principles or elements have also been claimed for societies ranging from the early Indian republics (c. 500 BCE) to the Iroquois Confederacy in North America (second millennium CE to the present).

 

 

The Parliament of England was the first major step towards a fully democratic system during the Middle Ages. It had its roots in the restrictions on the power of kings written into Magna Carta. The first elected parliament was De Montfort’s Parliament in England in 1265. Parliament was initially elected by only a few percent of the population and the system had problematic features such as rotten boroughs. The power to call parliament was at the pleasure of the monarch (usually when he or she needed funds). After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, England became a constitutional monarchy with regular sittings of parliament, although still subject to the monarch. During this time the two party system of the Whigs and Tories also developed. Parliament then gradually gained more decision-making and legislative powers until the reign of Queen Victoria at which time the monarch essentially became a figurehead.

 

 

The United States can be seen as the first liberal democracy, [2] with a relatively wide franchise (although initially limited by property and gender restrictions, and the existence of slavery) and the United States Constitution protected rights and liberties.

 

 

A few years later, Revolutionary France adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and, although short-lived, the National Convention was elected by all males.

 

 

Liberal democracies were few and often short-lived before the late nineteenth century. Various nations and territories have claimed to be the first with universal suffrage.

 

 

20th century waves of democracy

 

20th century transitions to liberal democracy have come in successive “waves of democracy”, variously resulting from wars, revolutions, decolonization and economic circumstances. World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires resulted in the creation of new nation-states in Europe, most of them nominally democratic. The rise of fascist movements, and fascist regimes in Nazi Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain and Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s regime in Portugal, limited the extent of democracy in the 1930s, and gave the impression of an “Age of Dictators”. The status of most colonies remained unaffected.

 

 

World War II brought a definitive reversal of this trend in western Europe. The successful democratization of the occupied Germany and the occupied Japan served as a model for the later theory of regime change. However, most of Eastern Europe was forced into the non-democratic Soviet bloc. The war was followed by decolonisation, and again most of the new independent states had nominally democratic constitutions.

 

 

In the decades following World War II, most western democratic nations had a predominantly free-market economy and developed a welfare state, reflecting a general consensus among their electorates and political parties. In the 1950s and 1960s, economic growth was high in both the western and communist countries, later it declined in the state-controlled economies. By 1960, the vast majority of nation-states were nominally democracies, although the majority of the world’s populations lived in nations that experienced sham elections, and other forms of subterfuge (particularly in Communist nations and the former colonies.)

 

 

A subsequent wave of democratization brought substantial gains toward true liberal democracy for many nations. Several of the military dictatorships in South America become democratic in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was followed by nations in East and South Asia by the mid- to late 1980s. Economic malaise in the 1980s, along with resentment of communist oppression, contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the associated end of the Cold War, and the democratisation and liberalisation of the former Soviet bloc countries. The most successful of the new democracies were those geographically and culturally closest to western Europe, and they are now members or candidate members of the European Union. The democratic trend spread to some nations in Africa in the 1990s, most prominently in South Africa.

 

 

The number of liberal democracies currently stands at an all-time high, and has been growing without interruption for some time. As such, it has been speculated that this trend may continue in the future to the point where liberal democratic nation-states become the universal standard form of human society. This prediction forms the core of Francis Fukayama’s “End of History” theory.

 

 

Major theories of democracy

Conceptions of democracy

 

Among political theorists, there are many contending conceptions of democracy.

 

 

On one account, called minimalism, democracy is a system of government in which citizens give teams of political leaders the right to rule in periodic elections. According to this minimalist conception, citizens cannot and should not “rule” because on most issues, most of the time, they have no clear views or their views are not very intelligent. Joseph Schumpeter articulated this view most famously in his book

Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy [2]. Contemporary proponents of minimalism include William Riker, Adam Przeworksi, and Richard Posner.

 

 

A second view is called the aggregative conception of democracy. It holds that government should produce laws and policies are close to the views of the median voter — with half to his left and the other half to his right. Anthony Downs laid out this view in his 1957 book
An Economic Theory of Democracy. [3]

 

 

A third conception, deliberative democracy, is based on the notion that democracy is government by discussion. Deliberative democrats contend that laws and policies should be based upon reasons that all citizens can accept. The political arena should be one in which leaders and citizens make arguments, listen, and change their minds.

 

 

The three conceptions above assume a representative democracy. Direct democracy, a fourth conception, holds that citizens should participate directly, not through their representatives, in making laws and policies. Proponents of direct democracy offer varied reasons to support this view. Political activity can be valuable in itself, it socializes and educates citizens, and popular participation can check powerful elites. Most importantly, citizens do not really rule themselves unless they directly decide laws and policies.

 

 

Another conception of democracy is that it means political equality between all citizens. The typical modern democracy relies on the assumption that the majority of the votes establishes the will of the people, as opposed to majority rule of the entire demos (population). This can be used as an argument for making political participation mandatory, like compulsory voting, or for limiting the influence of the wealthy, like Campaign finance reform.[3][4]

These conceptions of democracy are based on the question of what a democracy
ought to be. A fifth and quite different conception of democracy is based on the assumption that a democracy performs a
function for the members of a collective who create it and that individuals in a democracy play
roles. This conception assumes that the actual people who occupy these roles and perform this function in a real democracy are self-interested. The conception was invented by economists and is sometimes called an economic approach to democracy. It is represented by the field of Public Choice.

Another conception of democracy is that it is majority rule and is justified under utilitarian reasoning. The advantanges of democracy seen under this conception is that the majority of the population are satisfied with the governance they live under. The disadvantage is that the minority live under the power of the majority sometimes termed the tyranny of the majority, or mob rule. This can lead to the marginalisation of large portions of a population if the will of the majority is not restrained by a strong and just constitution and legal system.


 

government

Delisting of CANTV ADS not certain: Venezuela government 


Reuters via Yahoo! News – Apr 08 4:25 PM

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CreditCards.com: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report 


[Press Release] Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance – Mar 29 3:14 PM

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Nationwide Exchange Services (NES) Appoints Rick McEachern as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) 


[Press Release] Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance – Apr 05 12:53 PM

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36th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event Opens Strong 


Speed TV – Jan 18 11:58 AM

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100 years for Buick 


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Feb 12 9:32 PM

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Scott Hollifield: $144,995 a good deal – if car could talk 


The McDowell News – 38 minutes ago

The second-greatest Trans-Am in the world is for sale.

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Scott Hollifield: $144,995 a good deal – if car could talk 


The McDowell News – 38 minutes ago

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SOURCES: Chevy Camaro Will Go Into Production By 2009 After Hugely Successful Concept Debut 


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The Tour Blog Swinging through the 


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1995 Buick LeSabre Limited from North America – Comments 


Carsurvey.org – Mar 03 12:51 AM

Had a little groaning noise from the front, but a quick spray with some silicone grease onto a nut and bushing assembly inside the shock tower cured it.

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1995 oldsmobile aurora

1996 Oldsmobile Aurora from North America – Comments 


Carsurvey.org – Apr 09 10:45 AM

I love my 1996 Aurora, it has 80,000 miles on it and I just returned from the Keys.. we did over 4000 miles and the baby was smooth, the only problem I’m having is getting up in the morning for work and there is a small pool of dexcool under the car.. about a week goes by after topping up the resorvoir the pool returns and the low coolant lite comes on.. anyone give advice? …

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1969 buick skylark

Reborn to be wild 


Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – Apr 05 2:44 AM

Consider the plight of the Empty-Nester Male: Kids out of the house, tuitions paid, weekends free of family obligations. A man in this pitiable situation might start thinking about freedom about the open road about a new car, finally, and one thats cool.

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1979 pontiac trans am

1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from North America – Comments 


Carsurvey.org – Mar 27 3:45 AM

I bought a 79′ Trans Amlast summer for $3000. It’s solid and is a 4 speed car. It came with a tame 383 Chevy in it. This winter I changed to a radical 355 that was not in use. It is topped With a tunnel ram. It runs strong (probably in the 12’s). I just broke the T-10 the day before yesterday.

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2001 calendar

Tuesday, April 3, 2007, at the North Carolina General Assembly 


The Daily Comet – Apr 03 5:19 PM

– Leatherwood, Pitts, Swett elected to UNC Board of Governors – House gives preliminary approval to school calendarexemptions – Plan recommends N.C. aim to produce, sell 10 percent biof

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2005 nissan altima

Guilty plea in Harford road-rage slaying 


Baltimore Sun – Apr 07 12:38 AM

30-year prison term part of agreement Day after day, family and friends of Patrick John Walker have streamed to a makeshift memorial at the base of a tree in downtown Bel Air, lighting candles, leaving fresh flowers and notes and erecting seasonal decorations. Recently, Easter eggs replaced the shamrock-green St. Patrick’s Day trinkets, placed amid a collection of photos.

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2006 dodge charger

Police Blotter 


Baltimore Sun – 41 minutes ago
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2006 pontiac solstice

Two dozen passenger vehicles score well in government crash tests 


The Standard-Times – Mar 30 6:32 PM

WASHINGTON Two dozen 2007 passenger vehicles received top scores in government crash ratings yesterday under a system that is expected to be revised to offer more meaningful information for car buyers.

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2007 chevrolet camaro

Reborn to be wild 


Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – 2 hours, 16 minutes ago

Consider the plight of the Empty-Nester Male: Kids out of the house, tuitions paid, weekends free of family obligations. A man in this pitiable situation might start thinking about freedom about the open road about a new car, finally, and one thats cool.

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24 fitness

FIT TIP: Fun with a fitness ball 


Detroit Free Press – Apr 03 12:58 AM

“10-minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts” (DVD, $24.98) When the fitness ball was first introduced, most people knew only a handful of exercises to do with it. This new video shows the fitnessball can be used to work every muscle in your body.

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360 degree feedback

The Prairie Star 


Prairie Star – Apr 09 7:50 AM

The Wildlands Project is nothing new. The insatiable lust/addiction to control has been the sum total of some men’s existence for hundreds/thousands of years.

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3 day blinds

Matt Fox and Shari Hiller: At Home 


The Morning News – Apr 09 1:46 AM

Have you noticed that bright sunny days tend to brighten everyone’s spirits? Jobs that seem like torture on a gloomy daymagically become child’s play when the sun is shining.

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3d software

Spatial Delivers R17 of Its 3D Software Component Portfolio, Including ACIS Modeler, InterOp Translators 


[Press Release] Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance – 37 minutes ago

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—-Spatial Corp., a market-leading provider of 3D components, today announced the availability of the R17 release of its entire component portfolio, which includes the pervasive 3D ACISA® Modeler and its extensions, and the industry-leading 3DInterOp CAD translators.

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4 stroke pocket bike

President Bush Participates in a Roundtable on Health Care Initiatives in Tennessee 


[Press Release] White House News – Feb 21 12:44 PM

President Bush on Wednesday said, “And the mission… of government is to make sure that the quality of health care received by our patients around this country remains the best in the world. Private medicine works. And we need to make sure that we put good policies in place to make sure private medicine is the norm, quality care is given to as many Americans as possible.”

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411 directory

Telcom’s new 411 may need 911 


bizjournals.com via Yahoo! Finance – 1 hour, 20 minutes ago

By entering an agreement to outsource its directoryassistance to Metro One Telecommunications Inc., Hawaiian Telcom may be helping to save that company.

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4×4 off road

VIDEO From Medialink and DaimlerChrysler: The All New 2008 Jeep Liberty Remains True to Its Legendary 4×4 Heritage 


[Press Release] PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance – 1 hour, 51 minutes ago

The 2008 Jeep Liberty, which debuted for the first time at the New York Auto Show, has an all new, class-exclusive Sky Slider Roof that opens to reveal the first and second row — or just one row individually for an “Only Jeep” open-air experience.

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50 cent cds

50 Cent Launches Own Investigation Into Tony Yayo Incident 


MTV Music Television – Apr 02 1:44 PM

50 Centsaid Monday that he will launch his own investigation into G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo’s alleged attack on the 14-year-old son of the Game’s manager, Jimmy Rosemond.

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50 cent biography

S.F. International Film Festival announces lineup 


The San Francisco Examiner – Apr 04 3:07 AM

SAN FRANCISCO ( Map , News ) – Graham Leggat might have been inspired by Oscar Wilde in making plans for the San Francisco International Film Festivals 50th season, unspooling between April 26 and May 10: Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

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50 cent biography

S.F. International Film Festival announces lineup 


The San Francisco Examiner – Apr 04 3:07 AM

SAN FRANCISCO ( Map , News ) – Graham Leggat might have been inspired by Oscar Wilde in making plans for the San Francisco International Film Festivals 50th season, unspooling between April 26 and May 10: Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

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50 cent g unit

50 CENT READY TO UNLEASH THE JE-JE-JE-JEW UNIT: Rapper makes offensive remark while commenting on Yayo situation. 


Eurweb – 1 hour, 2 minutes ago

*Addressing the alleged child abuse perpetrated by his G-Unit member Tony Yayo, 50 Centcalled into Miss Jones in the Morning” on Hot 97 last week to say, in effect, that his Jewish lawyers will handle the situation.

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50 cent music

50 Cent Launches Own Investigation Into Tony Yayo Incident 


MTV Music Television – Apr 02 1:44 PM

50 Centsaid Monday that he will launch his own investigation into G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo’s alleged attack on the 14-year-old son of the Game’s manager, Jimmy Rosemond.

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50 cent pic

Hip-Hop Rumors: Jay-Z Says No Way! 50 Makes The Ban 


allhiphop.com – 39 minutes ago

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT JAY-Z DENIES THE BABY RUMORS! So, there has been much talk about Jay-Z and his baby moms & her son from Triniweeellllll, Jay-Z says all this is just frivolous talk! Rumors!

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511 tactical

Classy Vacare, Ashkal Way Post Gulfstream Wins 


BloodHorse – Apr 01 3:05 PM

Jon and Sarah Kellys 4-year-old Vacare, purchased in November for $2.8 million, remained undefeated in five career starts when she drove to a one-length victory over Aunt Henny as the 7-to-10 favorite in the $75,000 Magna Distaff Stakes Sunday at Gulfstream Park.

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va mortgage loan

HCI Mortgage Introduces New Ways to Help Military Men and Women Buy Homes With a VA Loan 


[Press Release] PR Web – Apr 04 12:08 AM

Those who are enlisted in the United States Military, or who have been in the past, now have a great opportunity to buy a home. HCI Mortgage can make a VA loana relatively simple and affordable way to purchase a house, requiring no down payment in addition to many other money saving perks (PRWeb Apr 4, 2007) Post Comment:Trackback URL: …

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pa mortgage rate

O-D BUSINESS DIRECTORY 


Observer-Dispatch – Apr 04 4:17 AM

Dont see your company on this list? The O-D Business Guide is posted at www.uticaOD.com and maintained online throughout the year. Please e-mail this information to infocenter@utica.gannett.com: * Company Name.

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va mortgage rate

Freddie Mac: mortgage rates show little change 


KRGV-TV Texas – Apr 05 11:18 AM

McLEAN, Va. (AP) – Not much change this week in long-term mortgage rates. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgageis averaging 6.17 percent, compared with 6.16 percent a week ago.

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pa mortgage

LEGAL NOTICES 4-5-07 


Drummer – 44 minutes ago

THE RIGHT TO VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT AND IDENTITY OF THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR WITHIN THE TIME PROVIDED BY LAW IS NOT AFFECTED BY THIS ACTION. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that default has occurred in conditions of the following described mortgage: DATE OF MORTGAGE: April 14, 2006.

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va refinance

Lenders are offering ways to refinance homeowners facing foreclosure 


Sun-Sentinel – Apr 06 5:18 AM

NEW YORK A· As home foreclosures mount, mortgage companies are knocking on doors, sending letters and making phone calls with a simple message for struggling homeowners: They’d rather modify your loan than foreclose.

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Delisting of CANTV ADS not certain: Venezuela government 


Reuters via Yahoo! News – Apr 08 4:25 PM

American Depository Shares of CANTV will not necessarily be delisted when the Venezuelan government buys out the media company in a nationalization push, the governmentsaid on Sunday.

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Thai PM In Hospital For Checks Until Thursday – Government Source 


Nasdaq – 1 hour, 30 minutes ago

Thailand’s Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has been admitted to hospital for medical checkups and will likely stay until Thursday, a senior governmentofficial said Monday.

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Vietnam Government Lifts Gasoline Retail Price Controls, Subsidies 


Nasdaq – Apr 08 11:01 PM

HANOI -(Dow Jones)- The Vietnamese governmenthas allowed importers to set their own gasoline retail prices in the domestic market to boost competitiveness in the petroleum trading industry, but will no longer subsidize gasoline sales, officials said Monday.

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Zimbabwe’s government responds with violence 


International Herald Tribune – Apr 08 7:19 AM

Critics say there is nothing subtle about the reaction of President Robert Mugabe’s governmentto the latest surge of political unrest in Zimbabwe, with scores of opposition figures being subjected to harassment and beatings.

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US Links Indian Government In Weapons Conspiracy by P. Parameswaran Washington (AFP) April 6, 2007 


Space War – Apr 08 6:49 PM

An Indian top executive at a US firm was charged Tuesday with shipping restricted weapons technology to the Indian governmentin a case that could put a pending bilateral nuclear deal under extra congressional scrutiny.

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Companies fill up federal government‘s former office 


BizJournals – Apr 08 10:01 PM

The federal governmentis packing its bags — and leaving some large empty spaces behind.

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Government accused of denying care to former atomic workers 


Casper Star-Tribune – 1 hour, 46 minutes ago

Harold Hinton is dying. He is slowly suffocating from incurable lung disease that the governmentacknowledges is linked to his work making nuclear bomb fuel during the Cold War.

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Thai government accuses Google of double standards 


Addict 3D – Apr 08 11:14 PM

Thai governmentaccuses Google of double standardsGoogles YouTube video sharing service has been blocked in Thailand since some time now.

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Government funds repairs for wiped out Hanksville Dam 


AG Weekly – Apr 08 9:16 PM

HANKSVILLE, Utah (AP) – The federal governmentwill spend more than $5 million to rebuild a washed-out dam that is critical for farmers and ranchers in a tiny southern Utah town.

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Free Government Help For Shopping 


KHNL News 8 Honolulu – Apr 08 9:06 PM

HONOLULU (KHNL) – For many, their computers have also turned into their own private portals to shopping and selling. It is big business and one governmentagency wants to cash in on the eBay bonanza.

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Last Update: 2007-04-09 06:02:26

 

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