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Portal:Politics

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Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action, the conduct of decision-making for groups. Although it is usually applied to governments, political behavior is also observed in corporate, academic, religious, and other institutions. Political philosophy is the study of topics such as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever. Political science is the field devoted to studying political behavior and examining the acquisition and application of power, or the ability to impose one's will on another. Its practitioners are known as political scientists. Political scientists look at elections, public opinion, institutional activities, the ideologies behind various politicians and interest groups, how politicians achieve and wield their influence, and so on.

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Selected article

John Edward Brownlee

The John Brownlee sex scandal occurred in 1934 in Alberta, Canada, and forced the resignation of Premier John Edward Brownlee. Brownlee was accused of seducing Vivian MacMillan, a family friend and a secretary for Brownlee's attorney-general, in 1930 when she was eighteen years old, and continuing the affair for three years. MacMillan claimed that the married premier had told her that she must have sex with him for his own sake and that of his invalid wife. She had, she testified, relented after physical and emotional pressure. Brownlee called her story a fabrication, and suggested that it was the result of a conspiracy by MacMillan, her would-be fiancé, and several of Brownlee's political opponents in the Alberta Liberal Party. MacMillan and her father sued Brownlee for seduction. After a sensational trial in June 1934, the six man jury found in favour of the plaintiffs, awarding them $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. In an unusual move, trial judge William Ives disregarded the jury's finding and dismissed the case. The Supreme Court of Canada eventually overturned the decision and awarded MacMillan $10,000 in damages. This award was affirmed by the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, Canada's highest court of appeal at the time. All of this, however, was largely academic to Brownlee, who resigned after the jury's finding. During the next election, his United Farmers of Alberta were wiped out of the legislature, failing to retain a single seat.

Featured picture

Cuban missiles.jpg
Credit: United States Air Force

Photo taken by a Lockheed U-2 spy plane of the San Cristobal MRBM launch site in Cuba, November 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although this image was taken days after the crisis had ended (October 28), this image has become iconic of the crisis to the point where it is often cited incorrectly as having been taken during the crisis.

Selected quote

Chairman Mao
In other countries there is no need for each of the bourgeois parties to have an armed force under its direct command. But things are different in China, where, because of the feudal division of the country, those landlord or bourgeois groupings or parties which have guns have power, and those which have more guns have more power. Placed in such an environment, the party of the proletariat should see clearly to the heart of the matter.

Communists do not fight for personal military power (they must in no circumstances do that, and let no one ever again follow the example of Chang Kuo-tao), but they must fight for military power for the Party, for military power for the people. As a national war of resistance is going on, we must also fight for military power for the nation. Where there is naivety on the question of military power, nothing whatsoever can be achieved. It is very difficult for the labouring people, who have been deceived and intimidated by the reactionary ruling classes for thousands of years, to awaken to the importance of having guns in their own hands. Now that Japanese imperialist oppression and the nation-wide resistance to it have pushed our labouring people into the arena of war, Communists should prove themselves the most politically conscious leaders in this war. Every Communist must grasp the truth, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party. Yet, having guns, we can create Party organizations, as witness the powerful Party organizations which the Eighth Route Army has created in northern China. We can also create cadres, create schools, create culture, create mass movements. Everything in Yenan has been created by having guns. All things grow out of the barrel of a gun. According to the Marxist theory of the state, the army is the chief component of state power. Whoever wants to seize and retain state power must have a strong army. Some people ridicule us as advocates of the "omnipotence of war". Yes, we are advocates of the omnipotence of revolutionary war; that is good, not bad, it is Marxist. The guns of the Russian Communist Party created socialism. We shall create a democratic republic. Experience in the class struggle in the era of imperialism teaches us that it is only by the power of the gun that the working class and the labouring masses can defeat the armed bourgeoisie and landlords; in this sense we may say that only with guns can the whole world be transformed. We are advocates of the abolition of war, we do not want war; but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.

Mao Zedong, Problems of war and strategy, 1938
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News and Current Events

Wikinews on Politics and conflicts
  • December 6: Yemen: Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed in Sana'a by Houthi militants
  • November 29: Israeli Health minister Ya'akov Litzman resigns in protest after Jews made to work on Jewish rest day
  • November 27: Time magazine refutes US President Donald Trump's Twitter claim he was nominated Time 'Person of the Year'
  • November 23: Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe resigns presidency after military coup, threat of impeachment
  • November 14: Poland: Thousands of far-right nationalists gather in Warsaw to march for white supremacy, anti-liberalism, and anti-Islam on Polish independence day
  • November 11: Qatar appoints four women to its law-drafting Shura Council
  • November 9: Turkey, US embassies resume issuing non-immigrant visas
  • November 7: Kazakhstan: President Nazarbayev signs decree to change Kazakh characters from Cyrillic to Latin-based script
  • November 6: U.S. government report says climate change is human-made
  • October 30: Puerto Rico power company cancels US$300 million Whitefish contract

Selected biography

Cosmo Gordon Lang (1864–1945) was an Anglican prelate who served as Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop of Canterbury during the abdication crisis of 1936 he took a strong moral stance, and comments he made in a subsequent broadcast were widely condemned as uncharitable towards the departed king. In his early ministry Lang served in slum parishes in Leeds and Portsmouth before his appointment in 1901 as suffragan Bishop of Stepney in London. In 1908 Lang was nominated Archbishop of York, despite his relatively junior status as a suffragan rather than a diocesan bishop. He entered the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual and caused consternation in traditionalist circles by speaking and voting against the Lords' proposal to reject David Lloyd George's 1909 "People's Budget". This apparent radicalism was not, however, maintained in later years. At the start of World War I, Lang was heavily criticised for a speech in which he spoke sympathetically of the Kaiser. After the war he supported controversial proposals for the revision of the Book of Common Prayer, but after acceding to Canterbury he took no practical steps to resolve this issue. As Archbishop of Canterbury he presided over the 1930 Lambeth Conference, which gave limited church approval to the use of contraception.

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