Учебное пособие: Учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку для студентов высших учебных заведений по специальностям Политология, Реклама
ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОЕ АГЕНТСТВО ПО ОБРАЗОВАНИЮ
Нижегородский государственный университет им. Н.И. Лобачевского
Учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку
Рекомендовано методической комиссией факультета международных отношений для студентов высших учебных заведений, обучающихся по специальностям 030201 «Политология», 032401 «Реклама»
Основы демократии: учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку. Нижний Новгород: Нижегородский госуниверситет, 2008 – 35 с.
Составители: Ю.С. Бузуева
Рецензент: д.полит.н, профессор М.И. Рыхтик
Учебно-методическое пособие предназначено для работы по развитию навыков чтения профессионально-ориентированных текстов, совершенствованию коммуникативных навыков устной и письменной речи в рамках тем «Демократия», «Демократическое государство», «Конституция», «Система демократических выборов», «Политические партии».
УДК 42.8 (07)
© Нижегородский государственный университет им. Н.И. Лобачевского, 2008
Настоящее учебно-методическое пособие предназначено для студентов 1-2 курсов факультета международных отношений, обучающихся по специальностям «Политология» и « Реклама».
Пособие носит комплексный характер, включая в себя систему заданий по взаимосвязанному обучению всем видам речевой деятельности с учетом запрограммированного уровня лексико-грамматических навыков и речевых умений, направленных на овладение лексикой в области политологии; оригинальные профессионально-ориентированные тексты, взятые из британских и американских СМИ; работу по развитию навыков интенсивного (подробного) и экстенсивного (просмотрового) чтения и последующего их совершенствования.
Лексический материал разработан таким образом, что лексические единицы повторяются в текстах пособия, способствуя не только расширению запаса слов обучаемых, но и его закреплению. Весь текстовый материал активно прорабатывается и должен научить обсуждать проблемы в области политологии на английском языке и участвовать в дискуссиях на заданные темы: основы демократии, демократическое государство, система выборов, политические партии и т.д.
В пособие также включены задания на отработку грамматического материала, представляющего наибольшую сложность. Авторы сочли возможным включить тексты, вызывающие при переводе затруднения, в целях развития и закрепления навыков перевода текстов в сфере профессиональной коммуникации.
При отборе текстов учитывается не только их профессиональная направленность, но и другие параметры: доступность по содержанию, наличие изучаемых лексико-грамматических единиц, а также коммуникативный подход к обучению и творческая работа студентов, что составляет основную методологическую базу учебно-методического пособия.
Последовательность и полнота выполнения заданий может быть такой как она предложена в пособии, а может быть изменена по усмотрению преподавателя в соответствии с его методическими установками или конкретными условиями обучения в той или иной студенческой группе.
Данное пособие рассчитано на широкий круг людей, изучающих английский язык: студентов языковых и неязыковых вузов.
1. Unit I “Democracy” ………………………………..5
2. Unit II “Democratic government”…………………12
3. Unit III “Constitutions”…………………………....17
4. Unit IV “Democratic Elections”…………………...21
5. Unit V “Political Parties”…………………………..28
Read the head of the unit. Investigate the idea of democracy.
a. What words and phrases are related to democracy?
b. How would you define the notiondemocracy?
c. Discuss your ideas in groups, compare and contrast your notes. Report back to the class different points of view.
d. Study the dictionary definitions of democracy:
1. Government by the people, or by elected
representatives of the people.
(Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture)
2. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives
(American Heritage Dictionary)
3. A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.
(American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition)
4. A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
(Meriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law)
e. What is similar and what is different about these definitions?
f. Compare your definition with the dictionary ones.
g. What role does democracy play in the modern world?
Democracy is a powerful system for social and political organization, which has spread around the world and takes many different forms.
Basically democracies are divided into two main types, direct and representative.
In a direct democracy, all citizens, without the intermediary of elected or appointed officials, can participate in making public decisions. This system is only used with small numbers of people. It can be applied in a community organization, tribal council or the local unit of a labour union, where members can meet in a room to discuss issues and take decision by consensus or majority vote.
Ancient, the world’s first democracy, practiced direct democracy with an assembly of 5000 to 6000 persons. Modern society, with its size and complexity, can hardly practise direct democracy.
Today the most common form of democracy, whether for a town of 50 000 or nations of 50 million, is representative democracy. In this type of democracy citizens elect officials to make political decisions, formulate laws for the public good.
The system of elections for such officials is different.
On the national level legislators are chosen from electoral districts that each elects only one representative. Under a system of proportional representation, each political party is represented in the legislature according to its percentage of the total vote nationwide.
Provincial and local elections can be similar to these national models, or choose their representatives more informally through group consensus instead of elections. Despite the method used, public officials in representative democracy hold office in the name of the people and are accountable to the people for their actions.
All democracies are systems in which citizens freely make political decisions by majority rule. But rule by the majority is not democratic: no one would call a system fair if 51 per cent of the population are permitted to oppress the remaining 49 per cent in the name of the majority. In a democratic society majority rule must be together with guarantees of individual or human rights that serve to protect the rights of minorities (ethnic, political, religious).
Democracy is more than a set of constitutional rules and procedures that determine how a government functions. Democracy includes not only government but also different institutions, political parties, organizations. This diversity is called pluralism, and it assumes that the many organized groups and institutions in a democratic society do not depend on government for their existence, legitimacy, authority.
These groups represent the interests of their members in many ways. They support candidates for public office, debate issues, try to influence policy decisions. With the help of such groups individuals have an avenue for participation both in government and in their own communities. The examples of such organizations are charitable organizations, churches, environmental groups, business associations and labour unions.
Pronunciation and Spelling
1. Watch the pronunciation and spelling of the following words
h. to function
2. Check the pronunciation of the following words in the dictionary
d. a guarantee
Skim through the text and answer the following questions:
a. What are two main types of democracy?
b. What do the two types assume?
c. What is meant by majority rule and minority right?
d. What are the characteristic features of democratic society?
1. Find in the text English equivalents to the following words and word-combinations; restore the context of their use:
c. принимать решение
e. большинство голосов
f. занимать пост
g. путь/ средство
h. допускать/ предполагать
i. законность/ легальность
j. законодательная власть
k. избирательный округ
l. общее количество голосов
m. вопрос/ аспект/ проблема
2. Match the words with their definitions. Use these words in the sentences of your own:
a. to participate
c. a legislator
d. a representative
e. a guarantee
f. human rights
g. to function
h. a procedure
i. in the name of
j. to be accountable to smbd for smth
l. to debate
1. a person who has been chosen to speak, vote, or make decisions for someone else;
2. a formal and firm promise that smth will be done or will happen;
3. responsible for the effects of your actions and willing to explain or be criticized for them;
4. to discuss a subject formally when you are trying to make a decision or find a solution;
5. to work in the way something is supposed to;
6. the correct or normal way of doing smth;
7. to take part in an activity or event;
8. the basic rights which every person has to be treated in a fair, equal way without cruelty, especially by their government;
9. doing smth as someone else’s representative;
10. someone who has the power to make laws or belongs to an institution that makes laws;
11. chosen for a position or job;
12. the opinion that everyone in a group will agree with or accept.
3. Fill in the gaps using the words and word-combinations from the exercises 1, 2
a. Elected or appointed _____ can meet in one room to discuss _____, _____ _____ by _____ or _____ _____.
b. On the national level _____ are chosen from _____ _____ that each elects only one _____.
c. Public _____ in _____ democracy _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ the people and are _____ __ the people _____ their actions.
d. This diversity is called _____, it _____ that different groups and institutions do not depend on government for their existence, _____, authority.
e. According to the principle of proportional representation, each political party is represented in the _____ depending on its percentage of the _____ _____ nationwide.
4. Complete the sentences
a. Democracy is …
b. In a direct democracy …
c. Ancient democracy practiced …
d. Nowadays the most common form of democracy is …
e. In this type of democracy citizens elect officials …
f. In a democratic society, majority rule means …
g. Pluralism is a variety of …, which assumes that … .
h. The organized groups represent …, support …, debate …, influence … .
1. What is democracy?
2. What types is democracy divided into?
3. What does a direct democracy assume?
4. Why can this system be used only in small communities?
5. What is the procedure of making decisions in a direct democracy?
6. Why is a representative democracy the most common form of democracy nowadays?
7. How do citizens elect officials?
8. What is different about the system of elections? What does it depend on?
9. How do majority rules and minority rights operate in democracies?
10. What does democracy include?
11. What role do different groups play in the building up democracy?
1. Study the following Pillars of Democracy. How do you understand them?
— sovereignty of the people;
— government based on consent of the governed
— majority rule
— minority right
— guarantee of basic human rights
— free and fair elections
— equality before the law
— due process of law
— constitutional limits on government
— social, economic and political pluralism;
— value of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation and compromise.
2. Read the following extract, translate it into English using the active vocabulary of the topic “Democracy”:
Демократия – форма правления государством или политическая система, при которой власть осуществляется через прямое народовластие (прямая демократия) либо через представителей, избираемых народом или какой-то его частью (представительная демократия).
— Современное понятие демократии включает следующие гражданские права и свободы:
— свободу слова;
— свободу вероисповедания;
— свободу выбора языка общения;
— независимость печати и других средств массовой
— право человека на жизнь, личную свободу и
— гарантии личной неприкосновенности граждан;
— независимость и беспристрастность суда;
— развитое гражданское общество.
Do the Russian citizens possess the above mentioned rights, freedoms and guarantees? Yes/ No, prove with examples.
3. Study the following quotes of famous politicians, philosophers and writers. Do you agree or disagree with them? Give your arguments.
a. The greatest argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)
b. Democracy is the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. (Abraham Lincoln)
c. A democracy is nothing more than an angry mob, where fifty-one per cent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. (Thomas Jefferson)
d. Democracy opens mouths but cannot fill them. (Leonid Sukhorukov)
e. Democracy is a very admirable form of government – for dogs. (Edgar Allan Poe)
In groups of three or four discuss the main features of democracy, its advantages and disadvantages, your personal attitude to it.
Answer the following question:
1. What is government?
2. What functions does government perform in a country?
3. How do you understand the term “democratic government”? What are its characteristic features?
4. What states with a federal form of government do you know?
5. What is this form of government based on?
Pronunciation and spelling
1. Watch the pronunciation and spelling of the following words:
d. to abolish
e. law enforcement
g. to assemble
2. Consult the dictionary and train the pronunciation of the following words:
b. to vote
d. to negotiate
f. to be subject to
g. to abuse
The system of checks and balances is one of the most characteristic features of democratic government. The system is based on the belief that government is controlled and close to the people.
In general, checks and balances has two basic features: federalism and separation of powers.
Federalism is the division of government between national, state or provincial, and local levels. For example, the United States of America is a federal republic with states that have their own legal status and authority independent of the federal government. American states cannot be abolished or changed by the federal government. Although national power in the US plays an important role, states are still responsible for such spheres as education, health, transportation and law enforcement.
The second feature of checks and balances is separation of powers. It assumes that political power is not concentrated within a single branch of the national government.
Therefore, separation of powers is a misleading term, because the system is based on shared powers more than on separate ones. For example, legislative authority in the USA belongs to the Congress, but laws passed by Congress can be voted by the president. The Congress, in turn, must assemble a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate to ignore a presidential veto. The president nominates ambassadors and members of the cabinet, and negotiates international treaties – but all are subject to approval by the Senate.
Separation of powers provides an important protection against the potential abuse of power by government.
1. Skim through the text and continue the sentences:
1. One of the most characteristic features of democratic government is …
2. The basic belief of the system of checks and balances is …
3. Two main features of the checks and balances are …
4. Federalism is …
5. The characteristic feature of the political system of the United States is …
6. National power in the USA …, though states are still …
7. Separation of powers assumes that …
8. The term of separation of powers can be misleading because …
9. The congress in the USA represents …
10. In order to ignore a presidential veto the Congress …
11. The president nominates …, negotiates …
2. Answer the following questions:
1. What is the main goal of the checks and balances system?
2. What does the term checks and balances mean?
3. What is federalism?
4. What responsibilities do the states possess in the USA?
5. What misleading sense lies in the term separation of powers?
6. What does separation of powers provide?
1. Find in the text English equivalents to the following words and word-combinations, restore the context of their use:
b. быть ответственным
c. принимать закон
f. понятие, термин
g. собирать, созывать
h. ветвь (власти)
i. 2/3 большинства
j. Вести переговоры, обсуждать
2. Find words and phrases in the text that mean the following, give examples with them:
a. a system of government according to which a country consists of a group of states which have their own government to decide their own affairs and are controlled by a single national government which makes decisions on foreign affairs, defence, etc.
b. a practice of controlling a government’s power by dividing it into three branches: the power to make laws (the legislative branch), the power to judge laws (the judiciary branch) and the power to give orders (the executive branch).
c. a country governed by elected representatives of the people, and led by a president, not by a king or a queen.
d. to officially end a law, system etc, especially one that has existed for along time.
e. the act of making people obey a rule or law.
f. likely to make smn believe smth that is not true.
h. to support a law
i. a formal agreement between two or more countries or governments
j. dependent on smth
k. to deliberately use smth, such as power or authority, for the wrong purpose
3. Fill in the blanks with the words from the text:
a. American States cannot be _____ or _____ by the federal _____.
b. The US is a federal _____.
c. _____ and _____ are the two main features of democratic _____.
d. States in the USA are _____ _____ such spheres as education, health, transportation and _____ _____.
e. Separation of powers assumes that political power is not concentrated within a single ____ of the national _____.
f. Separation of powers is a _____ _____, because it is based on _____ powers more than on separate ones.
g. _____ authority in the USA belongs to the Congress.
h. The laws, ___ by Congress, can be _____ by the president.
4. Translate the following statements into Russian:
— The system is based on the belief that government is controlled and close to the people.
— For example, the United States of America is a federal republic with states that have their own legal status and authority independent of the federal government.
— Although national power in the US plays an important role, states are still responsible for such spheres as education, health, transportation and law enforcement.
— Separation of powers assumes that political power is not concentrated within a single branch of the national government.
— Therefore, separation of powers is a misleading term, because the system is based on shared powers more than on separate ones.
— The president nominates ambassadors and members of the cabinet, and negotiates international treaties – but all are subject to approval by the Senate.
In groups discuss the following question:
1. Does the system of checks and balances provide stability in a country?
2. Do you consider federalism as an effective way of political division of a country?
3. What advantages and disadvantages does this principle have?
4. What can be said about federalism in Russia and the USA? What are its differences and similarities?
5. Why is separation of powers not always effective?
1. Make up a summary of the text, using the words from the Word-study exercises.
2. Prepare a monologue “Strong and weak points of the system of checks and balances”.
Compare federal systems in Russia and the USA. Write an essay devoted to this aspect.
1. What is a constitution?
2. What forms of constitution do you know?
3. What does it consist of?
4. What role does a constitution play in governing a country?
Every democratic state has its own constitution. This is the formal statement of its fundamental obligations, procedures and institutions. The constitution of the country is the supreme law of the land, and all citizens are subject to its provisions.
The constitution is usually a single written document. It establishes the authority of the national government, provides guarantees for fundamental human rights and sets forth the government’s basic operating procedures.
Despite the monumental qualities constitutions must be flexible for change and adoption. In general, constitutions consist of articles, amendments and statutes.
Actually, there are two schools of amending a nation’s constitution.
The first one is to adopt a difficult procedure, which requires many steps and large majorities. As a result, the constitution is changed. This is the model of the USA, whose constitution is a brief statement of the general principles, powers and limits of government.
A much simpler method of amendment is to provide that any amendment may be adopted by approval of the legislature and passed by the voters at the next election. If it is possible to change constitutions in this way, they can be quite lengthy, with specific provisions that differ little from the general body of legislation.
Consult a dictionary, check and train pronunciation of the words:
d. to establish
f. an amendment
g. a statement
h. a principle
Skim through the text and say whether these statements are true or false:
a. Constitution is an informal document which includes some rules of behaviour of citizens.
b. All citizens of a country have to obey provisions of a constitution.
c. Constitution is not necessarily a written document.
d. The constitution establishes the power of the national government, ensures guarantees for fundamental human rights.
e. Constitution has a strict form and cannot be amended.
f. There is one school concerning amending a country’s constitution.
1. Find the words in the text which mean the following, prepare examples of your own with them:
a. a moral/ legal duty to do smth;
b. a written document or improvement to a law or document, or the process of doing this;
c. the power you have because of your official position or because people respect your knowledge or experience;
d. a general rule on which a document is based;
e. smth you say or write publicly or officially to let people know your intentions or opinions, or to record facts;
f. the act of officially accepting a plan, decision or a person;
g. the act of making laws;
h. a condition in an agreement or law;
i. to write or talk about an idea, argument, or a set of figures;
j. to formally approve a proposal, especially by voting.
2. Translate the following words into English, restore the context of its use:
3. Fill in the table as in the example:
Verb Noun Adjective
to approve approval approved
1. to specify _________ ________
3. to state ________ ________
4. _______ authority _________
7. to amend _________ _________
4. Translate the following extracts from English into Russian:
a. At a minimum, the constitution establishes the authority of the national government, provides guarantees for fundamental human rights and sets forth the government’s basic operating procedures.
b. The world’s oldest written constitution, that of the United States, consists of seven brief articles and 26 amendments.
c. The U.S. Constitution is a brief statement of the general principles, powers and limits of government, together with specific provisions that differ little from the general body legislation.
d. Under the Constitution, each state legislature has the power to decide how presidential electors, as well as representatives and senators are chosen.
e. Although the Constitution has changed in many aspects since it was adopted, its basic principles remain the same now as in 1789.
f. The authors of the Constitution were keenly aware that changes would be needed from the time to time.
Answer the following questions:
1. What does a democratic government rest upon?
2. What does a constitution mean?
3. What does it establish?
4. At a minimum, the constitution provides guarantees for fundamental human rights as well, doesn’t it?
5. Must constitutions be capable of change?
6. How many schools are there concerning the process of amending a nation’s constitution?
7. What are the characteristic features of the first school?
8. What is the essence of the method of amendment of the second school?
9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the methods of each school?
Make up a summary of the text with the use of the words from Word-study exercises.
Discuss the following questions with other students:
1. Is the constitution important in running the Russian Federation?
2. Does it work effectively? Yes/No, why? Prove with examples.
3. Would you like to amend the constitution of the Russian Federation? If yes, what do you want to change? What procedures are necessary for making amendments in a constitution?
Think of the role of a constitution in exercising power in a country and in life of ordinary citizens. Prepare a monologue devoted to this problem.
Is it necessary for a country and its citizens to have a constitution? Why? Sum up your ideas and write an essay devoted to this topic
Look up in a dictionary the words to make sure of their pronunciation.
1. What are elections? What kinds of elections are known to you? Have you ever taken part in any elections?
2. What is understood by “democratic elections”? What elections might be called “democratic”? What features should democratic elections possess?
Read the text and find the characteristic features of democratic elections. Compare the ideas given in the text with your own ones. Have all the features been mentioned by you?
Elections are the central institution of democratic representative governments because, in every democracy, the authority of the government derives from the consent of the people. Thus, free and fair elections, where popular opinion is expressed, are the basis of any democracy.
Democratic elections possess certain characteristic features.
1. They are competitive. Opposition parties and candidates must enjoy the freedom of speech, assembly and movement. All these rights must be observed to enable the opponents to voice their criticism of the government openly and to bring alternative policies and candidates to their voters.
2. Democratic elections are periodic. It presupposes that democracies don’t usually elect dictators or presidents-for-life. On the contrary, elected officials are accountable to the people, so they must return to their voters at certain intervals to seek their mandate to continue in office. The only possible exception from the rule is judges who may be appointed for life and removed only for serious improprieties in order to protect them from popular pressure and help to ensure their impartiality.
3. Democratic elections are inclusive. A large part of the country’s population must be able to take part in the elections. A government chosen by a small, exclusive group is not a democracy, no matter how democratic its activities are.
4. Democratic elections are definitive. They determine the leadership of the government. Subject to the laws and Constitution of the country, popularly elected representatives hold the reins of power.
5. Democratic elections are not limited to selecting candidates. Voters can also be asked to decide policy issues directly through referenda and initiatives that are placed on the ballot.
When the election is over, the losers accept the decision of the voters. If the incumbent party loses, it turns over power peacefully. Both sides agree to cooperate in resolving the common problems of the society. As the next election comes around, opposition party will again have the opportunity to compete for power. Besides those defeated at the polls are offered alternatives for public service outside government. They may continue either as a formal opposition party or participate in the wider political process and debate through writing, teaching or joining private organizations concerned with public policy issues. After all, democratic elections are not a fight for survival but a competition to serve.
1. Read the text once again and answer the detailed questions.
1. Why are elections the central institution of democratic representative governments?
2. What is understood by the competitive elections?
3. Why must the freedoms of speech, assembly and movement be observed at the elections?
4. Should democratic elections be periodic? Why/ Why not?
5. Why may judges be appointed for life?
6. In what cases may judges be removed?
7. When can a government be called democratic?
8. What do democratic elections determine?
9. What are the other ways of deciding policy except the elections?
10. How must the losers behave after the elections?
11. What are the opportunities of the defeated of taking part in the political and social life of the country?
2. Complete the following sentences.
1. ……… are the basis of any democracy.
2. ……… must enjoy the freedom of speech, assembly and movement.
3. ……… are accountable to the people.
4. ……… may be appointed for life.
5. ……… must be able to take part in the elections.
6. ……… hold the reins of power.
7. ……… can also be asked to decide policy issues through referenda.
8. If the ……… loses, it turns over power peacefully.
9. ……… are not a fight for survival but a competition to serve.
1. Translate the following lexical units from English into Russian.
Authority, fair elections, possess certain characteristic features, competitive, opposition parties, candidates, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, voice criticism, presuppose, officials, be accountable to, be appointed for life, serious improprieties, protect from popular pressure, ensure impartiality, hold the reins of power, decide policy issues, referendum, losers, the defeated, incumbent party, turn over power, compete for power.
2. Translate the following lexical units from Russian into English.
Честные выборы, соревновательный, кандидаты, свобода собрания, озвучивать критику, чиновники, быть назначенным на пост пожизненно, защищать от общественного давления, держать бразды правления, референдум, партия власти, бороться за власть, обладать определенными характерными чертами, власть, партии оппозиции, свобода слова, свобода передвижения, предполагать, быть ответственным перед…, непристойное поведение, обеспечивать беспристрастность, решать политические проблемы, проигравший(2), передавать власть.
3. Match the following words with their definitions.
1. authority a/ express in words
2. derive from b/ look for, search for
3. voice c/ indecent behaviour
4. seek d/ holding an official post
5. be appointed e/ try to win something
6. impropriety f/ come from, originate from
7. incumbent g/ power or right to control
8. compete h/ get the post of
4. Give related words.
Verb Noun Adjective
Compete — competitive
— — inclusive
Define — definitive
— opposition —
— — accountable
Exclude — exclusive
— constitution --------------
— legislature --------------
— objections ---------------
— alternative ---------------
1. Watch the usage of the following irregular plurals. These words were borrowed from Latin and Greek that’s why their plural forms are not typical of English.
Phenomenon – phenomena
analysis – analyses
crisis – crises
datum – data
referendum – referenda
2. Complete the sentences with the suitable form of the words given above
1. … are rarely held in modern democratic countries. The last … in Russia was held in 1991.
2. The … received during the opinion polls on the day of elections help predict the results of voting.
3. A thorough … of public opinion can help determine the basic objectives and strategies of government’s activities.
3. Translate the following sentences from Russian into English. Watch the usage of the irregular plurals.
1. Феномен таких выдающихся политиков, как Сталин, Ленин, Гитлер, очень сложно объяснить.
2. Данные многих исследований показывают, что эти люди обладали харизмой, чем и объясняются их выдающиеся способности влиять на сознание людей.
3. Президенту страны важно не растеряться в кризисной ситуации. Необходимо сделать анализ возникших проблем и составить последовательный план действий по выходу из тупика. ( to overcome the deadlock)
Discuss the following questions.
1. One of the greatest dramas of democracy through the history has been the struggle of excluded groups – whether racial, ethnic and religious minorities, or women – to win full citizenship, and with it, the right to vote and hold office.
Do you know any examples of a liberation movement?
2. Have you ever voted at any elections?
3. Do you know any cases when elections were considered undemocratic? In what cases can it happen?
4. When are referenda held? When was the last referendum held in Russia?
Prepare a monologue on the topic “Democratic Elections are the Basis of Democracy”.
Render the following text in Russian using a dictionary.
Electoral system is any set of rules whereby the votes of citizens determine the selection of executives and legislators. Electoral systems are divided into several groups: plurality, majoritarian and proportional systems. For national elections, plurality systems are found only in Great Britain and some former British colonies (including the United States and India). Majoritarian systems are found in France and Australia for legislative elections and in about half of the countries with directly elected chief executives. There are many proportional systems in the democratic world. They differ greatly.
Each system has a number of distinctive features. Plurality systems tend to concentrate the vote on the two leading parties except where there are concentrated regional parties. Majoritarian systems are appropriate for presidential elections, since there is only one president who ought to have majority support at least against the last rival left in the field. However, using a majoritarian system to elect a legislature can lead to severe distortions. The number of parties elected under a proportional system is a function depending partly of the size of district it employs (the more seats there are in each district, the more parties will tend to be represented), and partly of the underlying cleavages in the society.
Write an essay of 200 words on the topic “The Electoral System of the Russian Federation”.
Group1: You are the members of the political party that won the elections.
Group2: You are a group of independent observers who consider the elections undemocratic.
Discuss the situation, give arguments to support your viewpoint. Try to reach a consensus.
While discussing use the following phrases.
To say you agree:
· I am exactly of the same opinion
· That’s quite right
· Oh, exactly.
· I can’t help thinking the same
· I absolutely agree
· I’m with you here
To say you disagree:
· I’m not sure, in fact
· I’m not at all convinced
· I’m afraid I entirely disagree with …
· I don’t think that’s right
· I can’t say I share your view
To say you partly agree:
· I agree with you up to a point but …
· I agree with you in a way but …
· I see what you mean but …
· There is some truth in what you say. However, …
· I agree with much of what you say, but …
· To a certain extent, yes, but …
· That may be true, but …
· That’s all very well, but …
· I agree in principle, but …
· There’s much in what you say, but …
· In spite of what you say, I think …
· Ok, but…
Look up in a dictionary the words to make sure of their pronunciation
Check you understand the meaning of the highlighted words below. Then discuss the questions in groups.
1. Do you know anyone who is a member of a political party ?
2. What kinds of things do left-wing political parties believe in?
3. What are the main views of right-wing political parties ?
4. What parties are called the centre ?
5. Which party came to power in the last elections in your country?
6. Are any political parties banned in your country? Why?
7. What was the last political party to be set up in your country?
8. Have any parties in your country split over the last few years?
Read the text and say what functions political parties perform in the life of a country.
A political system cannot exist without political parties. The most common definition of a political party is that it is an organization that sponsors and supports candidates for office under its label.
The functions of political parties within a system are numerous. They recruit, nominate and campaign to elect public officials; draw up policy programmes for the government if they are in the majority; offer criticism and alternative policies if they are in opposition; mobilize support for common policies among different interest groups; educate the public about public issues; and provide structure and rules for the society’s political debate. In some political systems ideology may be an important factor in recruiting and motivating party members; elsewhere party members may be united by similar economic interests or social outlook.
There exist various types of party organizations. On the one hand, most of multi-party parliamentary systems in Europe are tightly disciplined organizations run by full-time professionals. On the other hand, in the two-party system of the USA, the two rival Republican and Democratic parties are decentralized organizations which function mainly in Congress and at the state level. This situation changes every four years when national Democratic and Republican party organizations coalesce to mount presidential election campaign.
The election campaigns that are conducted by different political parties are often elaborate, usually time-consuming, sometimes silly. However, the aim of any election campaign is to provide a peaceful and fair method by which the citizens of a democracy can select their leaders and have a hand in determining their own destiny.
Read the text again and answer the following questions.
1. What is the most common definition of a political party?
2. What factors can help in recruiting and motivating party members?
3. How do party organizations and systems vary in different parliamentary systems?
4. What is the most important function of election campaigns?
Read the following statements and say whether they are true or false
1. Political parties are not an integral part of any party system.
2. The functions of political parties within a system are numerous.
3. If a political party is on opposition it doesn’t play any role at all.
4. In some cases party members may be united by similar economic interests or social outlook.
5. Types of party organizations are various.
6. The USA has a peculiar party system.
Summarize the text in about 7-9 sentences.
1. Translate the following lexical units from English into Russian
Left-wing party, right-wing party, centrists, member of a political party, come to power, banned parties, set up a party, split, sponsor, support candidates for the office, recruit, nominate, campaign, party in the majority, draw up a programme, offer criticism and alternative policy, be in opposition, mobilize support, multiparty system, tightly-disciplined organization, be run by…, two-party system, rival, decentralized, coalesce, mount presidential election campaign, elaborate, have a hand in…
2. Translate the following lexical units from Russian into English
Партия правого толка, центристы, партия левого толка, член партии, прийти к власти, запрещенные партии, организовать партию, распадаться, спонсировать, поддерживать кандидатов на пост, набирать, назначать, проводить выборную кампанию, составлять программу действий, партия большинства, критиковать и предлагать альтернативную программу действий, представлять оппозицию, собирать голоса в поддержку, многопартийная система, организация со строгой дисциплиной, возглавляться, двухпартийная система, соперничающие, децентрализованные, создавать коалицию, проводить кампанию, сложная, принимать участие.
3. Find the words in the text that correspond to the following. Make up sentences of your own to illustrate their meaning.
1. A set of actions aimed at obtaining a particular result
2. to find in order to employ
3. a person who wants to be chosen for a job or elected to a position
4. to unite in order to form one group
5. to increase in amount
6. full of detail, carefully worked out
7. take part in, participate
8. a person who holds an office
9. the set of all the significant parties in a country, their interactions and the electoral system
Complete these sentences with the correct form of do or make.
1. I think he’d … a good leader.
2. I don’t know why they … him party leader. He’s completely incompetent.
3. The People’s Party didn’t … very well in the last elections.
4. The majority party … a big difference since it came to power. Things are much better now.
5. I can’t … up my mind who to vote for.
6. The leader of the party in opposition is only here for a few days, so he should … the most of his time to get as many votes as possible.
7. A candidate for the post is meeting the electorate tomorrow, so he should … an effort to look his best.
1. How can the party system of Russia be characterized?
2. Which parties of Russia belong to the right wing / left wing? What do they stand for?
3. Which party is in majority now? What policy does it conduct?
4. What minor parties are known to you? Why aren’t they popular among the population of the country from your viewpoint?
5. What makes the policy of a political party successful?
6. Do you know anything about party systems in other countries?
Speak about the party system in Russia. Compare it with the party systems of other countries.
Read the following joke and retell it.
A Republican and a Democrat
It is easy to go to Washington now. You can go there by plane from any large city of the USA. There are also fast trains and, of course, you can go by car. But in the old days people had to travel several days to get from New York to Washington. People went then by coaches driven by horses or went on horseback. They stopped at inns to have a rest or to eat there and sleep.
They tell a story about a new congressman who stopped at an inn one night and asked for a place to stay. The inn-keeper wanted to know whether he was a Democrat or a Republican.
-Why do you ask? – said the congressman.
-Well, — said the innkeeper, — I always want to please my guests and I have learned that a Republican likes to have good food and a comfortable bed while a Democrat is more interested in the care and feeding of his horse.
-Well, it so happens, — said the congressman, — that I’m a Republican, but my horse is a Democrat.
In groups of 3–4, you are going to set up your own political party. You will need to decide the following:
· what you want to ban
· what you will crack down on
· what tax breaks you will give and who to
· what laws you are going to tighten
· what laws you are going to relax
· if you are going to legalise anything
Decide on a name of your party and conduct an election campaign. Then organize a class election. Remember that you are not allowed to vote for your own party!
8. to function
13. a guarantee
2. to vote
4. to negotiate
6. to be subject to
7. to abuse
11. to abolish
12. law enforcement
14. to assemble
4. to establish
6. an amendment
7. a statement
8. a principle
2. fair elections
3. possess certain characteristic features
5. opposition party
7. freedom of speech
8. freedom of assembly
9. voice criticism
12. be accountable to…
13. be appointed for life
14. serious improprieties
15. protect from popular vote
16. ensure impartiality
17. hold the reins of power
18. resolve policy issues
20. losers/ the defeated
21. incumbent party
22. turn over power
23. compete for power
1. Right-wing party
2. left-wing party
4. member of a political party
5. come to power
7. set up a party
10. support candidates for office
14. draw up a programme
15. party of the majority
16. offer criticism and alternative policy
17. be in opposition
18. mobilize support
19. multiparty system
20. tightly-disciplined organization
21. be run by smb
22. two-party system
26. mount presidential election campaign
27. conduct a campaign
29. have a hand in smth
Надежда Алексеевна Глазунова
пособие по английскому языку
Государственное образовательное учреждение высшего профессионального образования «Нижегородский государственный университет им. Н.И. Лобачевского»
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