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Portal:Politics

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Politics is a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, state or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to groups of members.

It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state. The academic study focusing on just politics, which is therefore more targeted than general political science, is sometimes referred to as politology (not to be confused with politicology, a synonym for political science).

In modern nation-states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party often agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders.

An election is usually a competition between different parties. Some examples of political parties worldwide are: the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the Democratic Party (D) in the United States, the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany and the Indian National Congress in India. Politics is a multifaceted word. It has a set of fairly specific meanings that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as "the art or science of government" and "political principles"), but does often colloquially carry a negative connotation. The word has been used negatively for many years: the British national anthem as published in 1745 calls on God to "Confound their politics", and the phrase "play politics", for example, has been in use since at least 1853, when abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared: "We do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us."

A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level. During the past decade two tendencies (1.Concern for theoretical explication and methodological rigor, and 2. The emphasis on field studies of the “emerging,” “new,” and “non-Western” nations) made it possible to overlook comparative politics.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and the works of Confucius.

Selected article

John Edward Brownlee

The John Brownlee sex scandal occurred in 1934 in Alberta, Canada, and forced the resignation of Premier John Edward Brownlee. Brownlee was accused of seducing Vivian MacMillan, a family friend and a secretary for Brownlee's attorney-general, in 1930 when she was eighteen years old, and continuing the affair for three years. MacMillan claimed that the married premier had told her that she must have sex with him for his own sake and that of his invalid wife. She had, she testified, relented after physical and emotional pressure. Brownlee called her story a fabrication, and suggested that it was the result of a conspiracy by MacMillan, her would-be fiancé, and several of Brownlee's political opponents in the Alberta Liberal Party. MacMillan and her father sued Brownlee for seduction. After a sensational trial in June 1934, the six man jury found in favour of the plaintiffs, awarding them $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. In an unusual move, trial judge William Ives disregarded the jury's finding and dismissed the case. The Supreme Court of Canada eventually overturned the decision and awarded MacMillan $10,000 in damages. This award was affirmed by the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, Canada's highest court of appeal at the time. All of this, however, was largely academic to Brownlee, who resigned after the jury's finding. During the next election, his United Farmers of Alberta were wiped out of the legislature, failing to retain a single seat.

Featured picture

Republican presidential ticket 1864b.jpg
Credit: Lithograph: Currier and Ives, Restoration: Lise Broer

A campaign poster from the National Union Party during the US election of 1864, showing presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln (left) and his running-mate Andrew Johnson. The Republican Party changed its name and selected Johnson, a former Democrat, to draw support from War Democrats during the Civil War.

Selected quote

Edmund Burke
Last of all he exercised his interest and his patience for eight years together at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. There is a fort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them, proof against the moil: fatiguing delays, the moil mortifying disappointments, the moll mocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgments of the ignorant upon their designs. Columbus had a sufficient share of this quality[disambiguation needed]. He had every day, during this long space, to combat with every objection that want of knowledge, or that a false knowledge, could propose. Some held that the known world, which they thought was all that could be known, floated like a vast scum upon the ocean; that the ocean itself was infinite. Others, who entertained more just notions, and believed that the whole of the earth and waters composed one vast globe, drew a consequence from it as absurd as the former opinion. For they argued, that if Columbus should fail beyond a certain point, the convexity of this globe would prevent his return. As is usual in such cafes, every one abounded with objections. His whole time was spent in fruitless endeavors to enlighten ignorance, to remove prejudice, and to vanquish that obstinate incredulity, which is of all others the greatest enemy to improvement, rejecting every thing as false and absurd, which is ever little out of the track of common experience ; and it is of the more dangerous consequence, as it carries a delusive air of coolness, of temper and wisdom. With all this, he had yet greater difficulties from the interests of mankind, than from their malignity and ignorance. The expence of the undertaking, inconsiderable as this expense was, was at the bottom the chief support of the other objections, and had more weight than all the rest together. However, with an assiduity and firmness of mind, never enough to be admired and applauded, he at length overcame all difficulties; and, to his inexpreflible joy, with a fleet of three {hips, and the title and command of an admiral, set fail on the third of August, 1492, on a voyage the most daring and grand in the design, and in the event of which the world was the most concerned, of any that ever yet was undertaken.
Edmund Burke, An account of the European Settlements in America, 1757

News and Current Events

Selected biography

George W. Bush

George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. Before that he was the 46th Governor of Texas, serving from 1995 to 2000. In a close and controversial election, Bush was elected President in 2000 as the Republican candidate, defeating Vice President Al Gore in the Electoral College. A series of terrorist attacks occurred eight months into Bush's first term as president on September 11, 2001. In response, Bush announced a global War on Terror, ordered an invasion of Afghanistan that same year and an invasion of Iraq in 2003. In addition to national security issues, Bush promoted policies on the economy, health care, education, and social security reform. Bush successfully ran for re-election against Democratic Senator John Kerry in 2004, in another relatively close election. He was a highly controversial figure internationally, with public protests occurring even during visits to close allies, such as the United Kingdom.

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