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Portal:Politics

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Introduction

Politics (from Greek: πολιτικά, translit. Politiká, meaning "affairs of the cities") is the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group.

It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

In modern nation states, people have formed political parties to represent their ideas. They 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 are the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the Tories in Great Britain and the Indian National Congress.

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 often does carry a connotation of dishonest malpractice. The negative connotation of politics, as seen in 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.

It is very often said that politics is about power. A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a given society. 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

CEUNPA-supported logo of a UNPA

A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that would allow for participation of member nations' legislators and, eventually, direct election of United Nations parliament members by citizens worldwide. The idea was raised at the League of Nations founding in the 1920s and again following the end of World War II in 1945, but remained dormant throughout the Cold War. In the 1990s and 2000s, the rise of global trade and the power of world organizations that govern it led to calls for a parliamentary assembly to scrutinize their activity. The International Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly was formed in 2007 to coordinate pro-UNPA efforts. Supporters have set forth possible UNPA implementations, including promulgation of a new treaty; creation of a UNPA as a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly; and evolution of a UNPA from the Inter-Parliamentary Union or another nongovernmental organization. Several proposals for apportionment of votes have been raised to address disparities in UN members' population and economic power. CEUNPA advocates initially giving the UNPA advisory powers and gradually increasing its authority over the UN system. Opponents cite issues such as funding, voter turnout, and undemocratic UN member nations as reasons for abandoning the project altogether.

Featured picture

British Columbia Parliament Buildings - Pano - HDR.jpg
Credit: Ryan Bushby

Located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and officially opened in 1898 with a 500 feet (150 m) long facade, central dome, two end pavilions, and a gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Selected quote

George W. Bush in 2003
Dealing with Congress is a matter of give and take. The president doesn't get everything he wants, the Congress doesn't get everything they want. But we're finding good common ground. A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it.
George W. Bush, 46th Governor of Texas (1995-2000), 43rd President of the United States (2001-2009), July 2001

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Selected biography

Yasser Arafat in 1999

Yasser Arafat (1929–2004) was a Palestinian militant and politician. As Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority, Arafat continuously fought against Israeli forces in the name of Palestinian self-determination. Arafat was constantly surrounded by controversy, as in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Fatah faced off with Jordan in a civil war. Forced out of Jordan and into Lebanon, Arafat and Fatah were the targets of Israel's 1978 and 1982 invasions of that country. Arafat was said to be a key planner of the Black September organization's murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The majority of the Palestinian people – regardless of political ideology or faction – viewed him as a heroic freedom fighter and martyr who symbolized the national aspirations of his people. However, many Israelis have described him as an unrepentant terrorist. In 1994, Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, for the negotiations in the Oslo Accords. In late 2004, after effectively being confined within his Ramallah compound for over two years by the Israeli Defense Forces, Arafat became ill and fell into a coma, and later died.

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