Politician

Last updated
Politician
Kissinger Nixon Ford Haig.jpg
Politicians (Kissinger, Nixon, Ford, Haig) in the Oval Office discussing Representative Ford's nomination as the Vice President
Occupation
Names Congressman, chancellor, MP, mayor, premier, President, Prime minister, senator, governor, secretary, minister, Dictator
Occupation type
Politician
Activity sectors
Law, law enforcement, business, journalism, public relations, diplomacy, management, military
Description
Competencies Critical thinking
Law
Legal research
Legal ethics
Public speaking
Budgeting
Decision making
Communications
Education required
Only a fair and proper election to office is necessary, although formal education is highly recommended.
Fields of
employment
Courts, government, legal aid, military
Related jobs
Judge, Attorney, Business, Journalist, Spokesperson, Manager

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Contents

Identity

Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly. Discurso funebre pericles.PNG
Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly.

Politicians are people who are politically active, especially in party politics. Positions range from local offices to executive, legislative, and judicial offices of regional and national governments. [1] [2] Some elected law enforcement officers, such as sheriffs, are considered politicians. [3] [4]

Media and rhetoric

Politicians are known for their rhetoric, as in speeches or campaign advertisements. They are especially known for using common themes that allow them to develop their political positions in terms familiar to the voters. [5] Politicians of necessity become expert users of the media. [6] Politicians in the 19th century made heavy use of newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets, as well as posters. [7] In the 20th century, they branched into radio and television, making television commercials the single most expensive part of an election campaign. [8] In the 21st century, they have become increasingly involved with the social media based on the Internet and smartphones. [9]

Rumor has always played a major role in politics, with negative rumors about an opponent typically more effective than positive rumors about one's own side. [10]

Bureaucracy and spoils

Once elected, the politician becomes a government official and has to deal with a permanent bureaucracy of non-politicians. Historically, there has been a subtle conflict between the long-term goals of each side. [11] In patronage-based systems, such as the United States and Canada in the 19th century, winning politicians replace the bureaucracy with local politicians who formed their base of support, the "spoils system". Civil service reform was initiated to eliminate the corruption of government services that were involved. [12] However, in many less developed countries, the spoils system is in full-scale operation today. [13]

Careers

Mattozzi and Merlo argue that there are two main career paths which are typically followed by politicians in modern democracies. First, come the career politicians. They are politicians who work in the political sector until retirement. Second, are the "political careerists". These are politicians who gain a reputation for expertise in controlling certain bureaucracies, then leave politics for a well-paid career in the private sector making use of their political contacts. [14]

Characteristics

Numerous scholars have studied the characteristics of politicians, comparing those at the local and national levels, and comparing the more liberal or the more conservative ones, and comparing the more successful and less successful in terms of elections. [15] In recent years, special attention has focused on the distinctive career path of women politicians. [16] For example, there are studies of the "Supermadre" model in Latin American politics. [17]

Many politicians have the knack to remember thousands of names and faces and recall personal anecdotes about their constituents—it is an advantage in the job, rather like being seven-foot tall for a basketball player. United States Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were renowned for their memories. [18] [19]

Criticism

Many critics attack politicians for being out of touch with the public. Areas of friction include the manner in which politicians speak, which has been described as being overly formal and filled with many euphemistic and metaphorical expressions and commonly perceived as an attempt to "obscure, mislead, and confuse". [20]

In the popular image, politicians are thought of as clueless, selfish, incompetent and corrupt, taking money in exchange for goods or services, rather than working for the general public good. [21] Politicians in many countries are regarded as the "most hated professionals". [22]

See also

Related Research Articles

Spoils system

In politics and government, a spoils system is a practice in which a political party, after winning an election, gives government civil service jobs to its supporters, friends, and relatives as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party—as opposed to a merit system, where offices are awarded on the basis of some measure of merit, independent of political activity.

Irene Lailin Sáez Conde is a Venezuelan politician and beauty queen who was crowned Miss Universe 1981. She has been a model, was the mayor of Chacao, Governor of the state of Nueva Esparta and a former presidential candidate.

In ethics and governance, accountability is answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance, it has been central to discussions related to problems in the public sector, nonprofit and private (corporate) and individual contexts. In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies including the administration, governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.

A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, although the term usually connotes someone within an institution of government.

Campaign finance

Campaign finance, also known as election finance, refers to all funds raised to promote candidates, political parties, or policy initiatives and referenda. Political parties, charitable organizations, and political action committees are vehicles used in aggregating funds to keep campaigns alive. "Political finance" is also popular terminology, and is used internationally for its comprehensiveness. Campaign finance deals with "the costs of democracy", a term coined by G. Alexander Heard for his famous analysis of campaign finance in the U.S.

Arnaldo Forlani Italian politician

Arnaldo Forlani, is an Italian politician who served as the 43rd Prime Minister of Italy from 18 October 1980 to 28 June 1981. He also held the office of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence.

Republicanism in the United States Political philosophy of individual liberty and representative democracy

Modern republicanism is a guiding political philosophy of the United States that has been a major part of American civic thought since its founding. It stresses liberty and unalienable individual rights as central values, making people sovereign as a whole; rejects monarchy, aristocracy and hereditary political power, rejects direct democracy, expects citizens to be virtuous and faithful in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption. American republicanism was articulated and first practiced by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century. For them, "republicanism represented more than a particular form of government. It was a way of life, a core ideology, an uncompromising commitment to liberty, and a total rejection of aristocracy."

Kathleen Hall Jamieson American academic

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is an American professor of communication and the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She co-founded FactCheck.org, and she is an award-winning author, most recently of Cyberwar, about how Russia very likely helped Donald J. Trump become the U.S. President in 2016.

Progressivism in the United States is a political philosophy and reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century. Middle class and reformist in nature, it arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization such as the growth of large corporations, pollution and fears of corruption in American politics. In the 21st century, progressives continue to embrace concepts such as environmentalism and social justice. While the modern progressive movement may be characterized as largely secular in nature, by comparison, the historical progressive movement was to a significant extent rooted in and energized by religion.

Second Party System party system in the United States from 1824 to 1854

Historians and political scientists consider the Second Party System to be a term of periodization to designate the political party system operating in the United States from about 1828 to 1854, after the First Party System ended. The system was characterized by rapidly rising levels of voter interest, beginning in 1828, as demonstrated by Election Day turnouts, rallies, partisan newspapers, and high degrees of personal loyalty to parties.

Liberal democracy form of government

Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Also referred to as Western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either codified,, or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world.

Bureaucracy refers to both a body of non-elected government officials and an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials. Today, bureaucracy is the administrative system governing any large institution, whether publicly owned or privately owned. The public administration in many countries is an example of a bureaucracy, but so is the centralized hierarchical structure of a business firm.

Criticism of democracy is grounded in democracy's purpose, process and outcomes. Since Classical antiquity and through the modern era, democracy has been associated with "rule of the people," "rule of the majority," and free selection or election either through direct participation or elected representation respectively, but has not been linked to a particular outcome.

The New Politics Party, was a political party in Thailand founded on 2 June 2009. The NPP was the political party of the People's Alliance for Democracy, with which it shared the same principles and ideas. Ahead of the 2011 general election, the party broke with the PAD movement, and renamed to Thai Social Democratic Party two years later.

U.S. civil service reform was a major issue in the late 19th century at the national level, and in the early 20th century at the state level. Proponents denounced the distribution of government offices—the "spoils"—by the winners of elections to their supporters as corrupt and inefficient. They demanded nonpartisan scientific methods and credential be used to select civil servants. The five important civil service reforms were the two Tenure of Office Acts of 1820 and 1867, Pendleton Act of 1883, the Hatch Acts and the CSRA of 1978.

Political finance covers all funds that are raised and spent for political purposes. Such purposes include all political contests for voting by citizens, especially the election campaigns for various public offices that are run by parties and candidates. Moreover, all modern democracies operate a variety of permanent party organizations, e.g. the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee in the United States or the Conservative Central Office and the Labour headquarters in the United Kingdom. The annual budgets of such organizations will have to be considered as costs of political competition as well. In Europe the allied term "party finance" is frequently used. It refers only to funds that are raised and spent in order to influence the outcome of some sort of party competition. Whether to include other political purposes, e.g. public relation campaigns by lobby groups, is still an unresolved issue. Even a limited range of political purposes indicates that the term "campaign funds" is too narrow to cover all funds that are deployed in the political process.

Political party funding are the methods that a political party uses to raise money for campaign and routine activities. This subject is also called political finance. In the US, campaign finance is the more frequently used term.

Chinese scholars, thinkers, and policy-makers have debated about democracy, an idea which was first imported by Western colonial powers but which some argue also has connections to classic Chinese thinking. Starting in the mid-eighteenth century, many Chinese argued about how to deal with the ever-encroaching Western culture. Though Chinese Confucians were initially opposed to Western modes of thinking, it became clear that aspects of the West were appealing. Industrialization gave the West an economic and military advantage. The devastating defeats of the First and Second Opium Wars compelled a segment of Chinese politicians and intellectuals to rethink their notion of cultural and political superiority.

According to the United States Office of Government Ethics, a political appointee is "any employee who is appointed by the President, the Vice President, or agency head". As of 2016, there are around 4,000 political appointment positions which an incoming administration needs to review, and fill or confirm, of which about 1,200 require Senate confirmation.

The 1994 electoral reform in Japan was a change from the previous single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system of multi-member districts (MMD) to a mixed electoral system of single-member districts (SMD) with plurality voting and a party list system with proportional representation. The reform had three main objectives: change the one-party dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from the previous 1955 system to a two-party system with alternation in power, reduce the cost of elections and campaigns, and change campaign focus from individual-centered to party-centered.

References

  1. "politician - Webster's New World College Dictionary". Yourdictionary.com. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  2. "politician - Princeton Wordnet dictionary". wordfind.com.
  3. Gaines, Miller, Larry, Roger LeRoy (2012). Criminal Justice in Action. Wadsworth Publishing. p. 152. ISBN   978-1111835576.
  4. Grant, Grant, Donald Lee, Jonathan (2001). The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia. University of Georgia Press. p. 449. ISBN   978-0820323299.
  5. Jonathan Charteris-Black, Politicians and rhetoric: The persuasive power of metaphor (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2005)
  6. Ofer Feldman, Beyond public speech and symbols: Explorations in the rhetoric of politicians and the media (2000).
  7. Robert J. Dinkin, Campaigning in America: A History of Election Practices (1989) online
  8. Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Keith Spillette, The Press Effect: Politicians, Journalists, and the Stories that Shape the Political World (2014)
  9. Nathaniel G. Pearlman, Margin of Victory: How Technologists Help Politicians Win Elections (2012) online
  10. David Coast and Jo Fox, "Rumour and Politics" History Compass (2015), 13#5 pp 222-234.
  11. Joel D. Aberbach, Robert D. Putnam, and Bert A. Rockman, eds., Bureaucrats and politicians in western democracies (Harvard University Press, 1981)
  12. David A. Schultz, and Robert Maranto, eds., The politics of civil service reform (1998).
  13. Morris Szeftel, "Political graft and the spoils system in Zambia—the state as a resource in itself." Review of African Political Economy 9.24 (1982): 4-21.
  14. Andrea Mattozzi and Antonio Merlo, "Political careers or career politicians?." Journal of Public Economics 92#3 (2008): 597-608.
  15. Timothy S. Prinz, "The career paths of elected politicians: a review and prospectus." in Shirley Williams and Edward L. Lascher, eds. Ambition and beyond: career paths of American politicians (1993) pp: 11-63.
  16. Elina Haavio-Mannila and Torild Skard, eds. Unfinished Democracy: women in Nordic politics (2013)
  17. Elsa M. Chaney, Supermadre: Women in Politics in Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2014).
  18. Iwan W. Morgan (2010). Assessing George W. Bush's Legacy: The Right Man?. p. 45. ISBN   9780230114333.
  19. James E. Mueller (2008). Tag Teaming the Press: How Bill and Hillary Clinton Work Together to Handle the Media. p. 32. ISBN   9780742563926.
  20. Invitation to Critical Thinking - Page 319, Vincent E. Barry - 2007
  21. Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston, eds. Political corruption: Concepts and contexts (2011).
  22. Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston, eds. Political corruption: Concepts and contexts (2011).

Further reading