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Two Sides: Definitions

Wondering about the meaning of terms such as caucus, bipartisan or federalism? We define those terms and more.

A Caucus is a meeting held among political party members to select candidates, elect leaders or set strategy. A Caucus may also refer to any group created to further its interests through the legislative process.

A Republic is a form of government which derives its authority from the people who elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf, and is subject to a Constitution which protects the rights of the individual or minority.

A Democracy is direct government ruled by the majority who, as a group, wield unchecked power and have ultimate authority.

The Electoral College is the group of people, aka electors, who vote directly for the President and Vice President. Electors pledge to cast their votes based on the result of the popular vote in their state. Each state has electors equal to the combined number of its Senators and Representatives.

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Federalism describes a form of government in which power is shared between the central or federal government and state governments.

The Legislature is the group of elected officials who are elected to make or change laws at a state or national level.

Bipartisan means taking the view of two political parties while nonpartisan denotes a lack of affiliation with any one party.

The Popular Vote refers to votes cast by the public as opposed to votes cast by members of the Electoral College.



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