Addressing various aspects of democracy in political science. A vague term to reflect democracy controlled by restraints that only allow the seemingly good. Ie. This glossary is designed to demystify some of these terms and explain their from Safire's New Political Dictionary, should help you understand political talk a. Use our A-Z guide to find out more about some of the well-used but often misunderstood terms in US politics.


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The practice of smearing people with baseless accusations. Refers to the tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who in the s destroyed the careers of many prominent Americans by branding them Communists.

A journalist who seeks out the scandalous activities of public officials.

Glossary of Political Terms

When a political party chooses its official candidate for a particular office Nominee: The candidate chosen by a political party to run for a particular office Photo-Op: Short for "photo opportunity," an event staged specifically for news cameras to help a politician appear in magazines and newspapers, on television, glossary of political terms online Platform: The positions that a party adopts, and stands on, at the beginning of an election campaign Political Party: An organization that seeks to achieve political power by electing its members to public office Political Suicide: A vote or action that is likely to be so unpopular with voters as to cause a politician's probable loss in the next election Poll: A survey used to gauge public opinion concerning issues or to forecast an glossary of political terms Pork Barrel: Wasteful and unnecessary projects that politicians secure for their local districts, usually to gain favor with local voters.

The term dates from the days when salted pork was occasionally handed out to slaves from large barrels.

An observer once wrote that the mad rush of politicians to get their district's share of treasury funds looked like slaves rushing to the pork barrel.

A state election in which party members vote for glossary of political terms candidate from within their party.


The vote determines how many of that state's delegates each candidate gets. A political analyst, commentator, or columnist who usually works for a newspaper or magazine, or in broadcasting.

Politics 101: Glossary of terms

Derived from a Hindi phrase meaning "learned one. Usually referred to as the Left.


Those who support capitalism glossary of political terms point at the ability of competition to push innovation and efficiency providing us with ways to identify productive members of society meritocracyand a variety of choice.

Those who support free market economics are however divided, those who subscribe to Keynesian economics support government intervention through monetary supply of money and interest or fiscal tax and government spending policies.


Classical economists on the other hand argue that it is government intervention that leads to market inefficiencies and the ups and downs that come with it. Usually referred to as the Right. Those who support theories around Anarchism glossary of political terms that the best way to order a state is by not having a state at all.

There are two theories in which the abolition of the state is expected to come around, one by ensuring that all public services needed by a community are provided by private enterprise anarcho-capitalism.

The second, is by these public services be provided by the community itself glossary of political terms.

Politics Glossary of terms – Jade Saab

Fun-fact, anarchism is best known for teenagers running around drawing the symbol for anarchy, an encircled A. The American state of Nevada is a bellwether state for presidential elections in that, with only one exception, it has voted the same as the whole country for a century.

A bellwether is a ram with glossary of political terms bell attached to indicate to the farmer where the flock is when not in sight.