Learn to talk (and complain!) about politics like an expert with the words below. There is a practice exercise at the end of the article to review the words.
Legislation = an uncountable noun to represent laws
The government will consider new legislation about the legalization of marijuana.
A bill = a proposed law presented to representatives for discussion
A bill was presented that will increase the minimum wage for workers.
Politician = a person who is involved in politics
She is a young politician who is gaining popularity with young voters across the country.
Government official = a person holding public office or representing a government department
A government official just confirmed that an agreement has been reached.
Representatives = the people who win an election and represent a group of people in government
Several representatives are expected to vote against new legislation.
Constituents = the people who a politician represent in government based on their geographical location
If he doesn’t support the bill, his constituents will vote him out of office.
Political campaign = a plan to try and get a politician elected
Her political campaign is based on a promise of lower taxes and more job opportunities
Political party = a group of people who share the same political beliefs and goals
Our political system is composed of three main political parties
Parliament/Congress = the groups of elected officials who vote on certain laws or measures
Congress will meet today to vote on a military spending bill
Left-wing = a description of political beliefs that are more liberal (often including more government involvement)
In the United States, the Democratic party is considered more left-wing
Right-wing = a description of political beliefs that are more conservative (often including less government)
In the United States, the Republican party is considered more right-wing
Democracy = the political system where people can vote for their representatives in government
I am glad to live in a democracy, where I have the freedom to vote.
Communism/Marxism = a political system in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs
The Soviet Union used the system of communism to manage their economy for decades.
Totalitarianism = a political system where the state’s power is unlimited and controls almost all aspects of public and private life
The people of North Korea are suffering under the totalitarianism in their country.
Authoritarianism = a political system that concentrates power with one leader or a small group of leaders who are not responsible or accountable to the people but provide a small degree of freedom to people
Augustus Pinochet used authoritarianism to maintain power in Chile.
Dictatorship = a political system where there is one clear ruler who holds absolute power
Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship in Germany led to World War 2.
Aristocracy = a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class
There was a revolution led by freedom fighters who wanted to overthrow the aristocracy in power.
Fascism = a system combining the most extreme forms of dictatorship and authoritarianism, which takes complete government control of the economy and prevents opposition through military or secret police, often with the purpose of devotion to the country first.
Benito Mussolini’s use of fascism in Italy inspired Hitler to take similar action in Germany.
To run for office/To run for (position) = when a person tries to win a position in government
Sometimes famous celebrities run for office and try to win based on their existing public image and popularity. Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for Governor of California and won!
To be/get elected = when a politician wins an election
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in 2016.
To be impeached = when a political leader is formally charged by the representatives in congress/parliament
Donald Trump was impeached in 2019 but he was not found to be responsible and kept his job.
To vote for/against (a person/a bill)
Are you going to vote for Anna Miller or Tom Wilson in the election?
45% of representatives voted for the bill while 55% voted against it.
To vote on (an issue)
Congress will vote on tax increases later this week.
To propose legislation
The Labour Party leaders want to propose legislation that will increase criminal sentences for violent offenders.
To pass a bill
The senate passed a bill that will provide more financial support to low-income families.
Types of People
An apologist = a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial
Many people see her as an apologist for the terrorists after she blamed the government for not negotiating with the terrorist group before the most recent attack.
A populist = a person who tries to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups
A new populist politician is running for President in France and is gaining support from the high number of unemployed people in the country.
A socialist = a person who advocates or practices socialism
His opponent claims that he’s a socialist but he denies it
A radical = a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims
If a radical gets elected into office, it will certainly lead to instability and possibly a revolution
A Marxist = a person who believes in Marxism
The success of capitalism has made it difficult for Marxists to gain political support
A dictator/autocrat = a person who rules a country through dictatorship
He is quickly seizing more control over his country’s resources and is starting to look more and more like a dictator.
A communist = a person who believes in communism
In United States in the 1950, many people were accused of being communists and spies for the Soviet Union.
A capitalist = a person who believes in capitalism
She is a true capitalist, owning her own company and investing in several real estate properties.
Choose the correct answer from the options in each sentence:
Her (left-wing/right-wing) views about more government support for low-income families is getting a lot of support from the public.
Everyone is going to vote (on/for) the housing bill but it's a controversial bill so not everyone will vote (on/for) it.
He was called a (capitalist/socialist) after claiming that taxes on the rich need to be higher and income needs to be distributed to be more equal.
The job of (constituents/representatives) is to act on the behalf of their (representatives/constituents).
(Authoritarianism/Totalitarianism) allows for a small degree of personal freedom while (Authoritarianism/Totalitarianism) restricts all freedom for citizens.
Bill Clinton, the former President of the United States, was (impeached/elected) for lying during an investigation.
(Political party/Parliament) must pass the bill for it to become a law.
He is being labelled as an (apologist/radical) for gun owners by refusing to admit the connection between guns and violent crime.
Her left-wing views about more government support for low-income families is getting a lot of support from the public.
Everyone is going to vote on the housing bill but it's a controversial bill so not everyone will vote for it.
He was called a socialist after claiming that taxes on the rich need to be higher and income needs to be distributed to be more equal.
The job of representatives is to act on the behalf of their constituents.
Authoritarianism allows for a small degree of personal freedom while Totalitarianism restricts all freedom for citizens.
Bill Clinton, the former President of the United States, was impeached for lying during an investigation.
Parliament must pass the bill for it to become a law.
He is being labelled as an apologist for gun owners by refusing to admit the connection between guns and violent crime.