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Politics

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Political Parties: Crash Course Government and Politics #40

Today, Craig is going to talk about political parties and their role in American politics. So, when most people think about political parties they associate them with the common ideologies of the voters and representatives within that party, but the goal of a party is NOT to influence policies. The role of political parties is much simpler: to win control of the government. So today, we’re going got talk about why we have political parties in the first place and then finish with the five functions they use in reaching that goal. It’s a lot to cover, so next week we’ll talk about what each political party stands for and how that has changed historically.

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Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics #35

So today Craig is going to look at political ideology in America. We're going to focus on liberals and conservatives and talk about the influencers of both of these viewpoints. Now, it's important to remember that political ideologies don't always perfectly correspond with political parties, and this correspondence becomes less and less likely over time. So, sure we can say that Democrats tend to be liberal and Republicans tend to be conservative, but we're not going to be talking about political parties in this episode. It's also important to note, that there are going to be a lot of generalizations here, as most peoples' ideologies fall on a spectrum, but we're going to try our best *crosses fingers* to summarize the most commonly held viewpoints for each of these positions as they are used pretty frequently in discussions of American politics.

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Political Campaigns: Crash Course Government and Politics #39

So political campaigns are a pretty big deal in the United States. For instance the 2012 presidential election clocked in at the most expensive ever - at around $6 billion dollars! Needless to say, money plays a very big role in American elections. So today, Craig is going to take a look at why we have campaigns in the first place, why the campaign seasons run for so long, and of course why campaigns cost so much.

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Interest Groups: Crash Course Government and Politics #42

Today, Craig is going to talk about something you fans out there have been demanding for months - money in politics. Specifically, we're going to talk about special interest groups and their role in the U.S. political system. Special interest groups are groups of individuals that make policy-related appeals to government - like the NRA, AARP, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's all pretty controversial, as money plays an important role in the policies and people these groups influence, so we'll bring in the clones to argue for and against them.

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Political vocabulary and expressions in English

Learn vocabulary and phrases so that you can talk about politics and understand the news! I'll teach you new words and expressions to talk about government, elections, and policy. Is the candidate for president in your country promising to cut the crime rate? Is your president proud of the economic boom in your country. Like the video to vote for me, Benjamin!
Take the quiz on this lesson here:

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, there, guys. I thought I'd better dress up and put my glasses on today because I have decided to enter politics. Today's class, we're doing political collocations. Collocations -- what a long, funny word. What does it mean? Well, co generally means with, and location is a place. So with place. Political word that go together. So enter, you often find with politics or center management or a new thing. Okay? Enter politics. Today, I decided to enter politics. Great? Got it? To enter politics. Obviously, you can form this verb. He entered politics when he was 17. So we can have the past, he entered. Or you can have the future, He will -- you probably wouldn't say enter, though. You'd probably say get into. He will probably get into politics when he's older. Okay? He will -- blah, blah, blah. So enter, present and past, generally.

Now, to hold -- hold. I'm holding a pen. You can also hold a general election. It means organize, make sure there is a general election, okay? So David Cameron will hold a general election next year or the year after. I should know. I don't. To hold a general election. So often, we're going to use that with the future tense, will hold. Or you could do it with the past tense. A general election was held in 1992. So, A general election was held. Okay? So you've got an irregular verb there.

Now, to stand for something. If you want to become an important person, you need to stand for positions of authority and importance. To stand for the presidency. Yeah, I'm standing here right now, but you can stand for a position. So to stand for the presidency, if you're in North America. Or in the UK, we might say stand for the position of prime minister. But normally, you would get voted. People are going to say, You, you, you. Okay? You don't normally put yourself forward for the prime minister position.

To launch a campaign. I'm launching a rocket into space, okay? I'm beating the Russians. I'm beating the Americans. Benjamin, EngVid, launching a space rocket. Okay? But we can also use launch with a campaign. Notice the funny spelling, the -aign, but it's pronounced cam-pain. Okay? One of those words where the spelling doesn't look like the sound of the word. To launch a campaign, a campaign. So I might put posters up all over London saying -- I wouldn't do this, okay, because I'm not, you know, an idiot, but, Vote for Boris Johnson. Okay? I put a campaign. Everyone, do this. Do this. It's a campaign. I want people in London to do this. A campaign. I want them to take action. I really wouldn't do that. No.

To win an election, okay? You win or lose an election. The labor party might win the next general election in the UK. That's my little prediction. Have a little bet on me. To win an election, right? Okay? Win or lose it. You don't -- in football, we talk about winning or losing or drawing. You don't really draw an election, unless you're David Cameron, in which case you sort of have a bit of a partnership with Nick Clegg. Okay.

To serve four years as -- of course, the number doesn't have to be four. It could be seven. So you could say, I served for several years on a committee. Okay? So this is just a number that you put in and then what it is that you did. So, I served five years as a trivia quiz host in London. Okay? I'm serving. It's an act of giving.

I'm cutting up my meat for my dinner. But you can also cut the crime rate. Yeah? If you're in an inner city ghetto, you need the crime rate to be cut so there are fewer muggings. Yeah? Cut crime -- yeah, this is bad activity. Rate -- how often it happens. If you cut it, it happens less. To cut the crime rate.

Now, I might want to leave politics. Yeah? We talk about leaving -- exiting. You wouldn't say, I exit politics. I leave politics to pursue -- that's a lovely word. Let's get that up on the board. To pursue -- to do something else. Right? Good. Try and use this word. It's one of my favourites.

How Voters Decide: Crash Course Government and Politics #38

So today, Craig is going to try to get inside the heads of voters by discussing how voters make decisions. Now obviously, like all decision making, voter decisions are influenced by a multitude of factors, but the three we are going to focus on today (and the three political scientists seem to think play the biggest role) are party loyalty, the issues involved in an election, and candidate characteristics. Now this all might seem like common sense, and well it sort of is, but it's important to be aware of and take into account the factors that influence our decisions - especially when considering that many voters are not particularly well-informed.

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All attributed images are licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0


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Election Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #36

This week Craig is going to give you a broad overview of elections in the United States. So as you may have noticed, there are kind of a lot of people in the U.S, and holding individual issues up to a public vote doesn't seem particularly plausible. So to deal with this complexity, we vote for people, not policies, that represent our best interests. But as you'll see, this process was not thoroughly addressed in the Constitution, so there have been a number of amendments and laws at the state level implemented to create the election system we all know and (maybe) love today.

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All attributed images are licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0


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Media Institution: Crash Course Government and Politics #44

So today we're going to look at the rather thorny issue of the media and its role in politics. Wether you're talking about older forms of media like newspapers and radio or newer forms like television and the Internet, all media serves the same purpose - to provide information to the public. So we're going to discuss their strengths and weaknesses and examine how both content creators and consumers play a role in the information that is told. It could be argued that because the media only relays information it isn't actually important to the American political system, but when you look more closely at what and how this information affects voters as well as their elected officials, we can more clearly see its importance as a political institution.

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Party Systems: Crash Course Government and Politics #41

Today, Craig is going to dive into the history of American political parties. So throughout most of United States history our political system has been dominated by a two-party system, but the policies and the groups that support these parties have changed drastically throughout history. There have been five, arguably six, party systems since the election of John Adams in 1796 (George Washington’s presidency was an unusual case, and we’ll get to that), so we’ll look at the supporters and policies of each of the parties during these eras and look at how historical contingencies cause these policy shifts. We’ll also talk a bit about the benefit of a third party, which although rarely ever wins, helps to influence political debate.

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Public Opinion: Crash Course Government and Politics #33

So today, Craig is finally going to start talking about politics. Now up until this point we've specifically been looking at government - that is answering the questions of who, what, and how in relation to policies. But politics is different in that it looks at why certain policies are made. We're going to start today by looking at public opinion - specifically how the public does (and does not) influence our elected officials.


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All attributed images are licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0


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