International Relations, People, World Politics

Politics lingo

Many people don’t follow the political news and news about world affairs mainly because some of the terms used by news agencies are quite complicated for a layman to understand. In My Opinion is trying to change this by constantly putting up small, readable posts of various political ideas, terms and events which can easily be understood by common folk. Political awareness is an essential part of being a responsible citizen and it is therefore very important for us to familiarise ourselves with certain terms and concepts. Below is a handy list of 25 commonly used phrases in political news. 

  1. Incumbent- the person who currently holds an office. 
  2. By election- an election held in-between a term. Normally occurs when a member of the legislature resigns or dies. Sometimes also called a ‘special election’.
  3. Civil Servant- A person who works for the Government of a country.
  4. Budget- the yearly statement of the Government’s expenses and revenue. 
  5. Coalition- when a number of political parties come together to form  a government. This is normally seen only in multiparty democracies where there are more than two political parties. 
  6. Manifesto- the policy promises of a political party, released before an election. 
  7. Vote Share- the total number of votes won by a particular group or a candidate. 
  8. Opinion polls- surveys conducted before an election to predict the election result. 
  9. Exit Polls- surveys conducted after people vote but before the results are declared to predict the election result.
  10. Trial- When a court of law investigates and examines to find out if a person is guilty or not 
  11. Rule of Law- The idea that no one is above the law, even those who make the law. 
  12. Term Limits- The amount of time an elected official is allowed to stay in office.
  13. Re-election- When an incumbent official is contesting the elections 
  14. Supranational Organisations- When countries come together to form a larger organization. An Example would be the European Union.
  15. Parliament- The legislature of a country. It is called a ‘Congress’ in the US. It is in the Parliament that laws and regulations are debted, drafted and eventually passed. 
  16. Treaty- When nations sign an agreement to act or not to act in a particular manner. 
  17. Sanctions- When a Government imposes some form of economic or political restrictions of another country. 
  18. Civil War- When the war involves groups from within the country only. 
  19. Peace Treaty- An agreement which ends a war or conflict and establishes peace .
  20. P5- The permanent members of the UN Security Council- China, Russia, UK, US and France.
  21. Diplomacy- The art and science of using negotiation and talks to solve a conflict or to establish relations among countries. 
  22. NATO- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of countries led by the US which came up during the cold war. It is currently a ‘collective security arrangement’. 
  23. Brexit- The process of the UK leaving the European Union. 
  24. Referendum- An election where voters are asked to vote either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on a statement. The result of the referendum would help the Government take a popular decision.
  25. Self- Determination- The process by which a group of people in a region declare themselves to be a separate Independent country.

If you aren’t interested in politics, politics is interested in you.

Do you think we missed anything? Feel free to comment below! More such posts on the way!

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