Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material: Glossary R

Political Science Glossary: R

Ratification

The process of ratification is the formal approval required by many constitutions which set up elaborate systems of checks and balances and which seeks to make certain kinds of constitutional change difficult to achieve without a substantial measure of political unanimity.

Recall System

This is an arrangement for recalling the representatives of the people before the expiry of their prescribed term by the majority votes by the electorates, if the representative fails to discharge his responsibility in the public interest. Thus it is the right of voters to recall their representative any time and elect a new representative. The Recall System is still prevalent in some Cantons (provinces) of Switzerland.

Red Giants

It refers to those Communist countries which are bigger in size and population. The red colour is identified with the communism. Generally, the Soviet Russia and China are referred to as the Red Giants.

Red Guards

Those young Chinese people were called the Red Guards, who used to tie red bands in their hands and propagated the principles and ideals propounded by their leader Mao-tse-tung. Red Guards were instrumental in the success of the Cultural Revolution in China.

Red Tapism

Traditionally the paper files used in the official works of the Government were tied with a red tape. Thus, the red tapism refers to undue delay in the movement of files or official business due to the bureaucratic hurdles at various levels. The undue delay in the official transactions and procedures defeats the very purpose of the Government policies and programs.

Referendum

The referendum is a method of referring a question or set of questions to the electorate directly rather than allowing them to be settled by the people's representatives in the legislature. It was used frequently in the USA from the revolutionary period at the state level and was used even earlier, and frequently since, in Switzerland. The policy question may originate from a group of electors directly via an initiative or from an official body such as a state government, legislature or constitutional council.

Repatriation

It means returning back of the people (refugees) or sending back of the war prisoners to their own country from/by another country. For example, India is gradually repatriating Chakma refugees to Bangladesh.

Republic

Republic is unusual among political terms in being one that is actually very easy to give an ostensive definition to, but of which it is rather hard to explain the history. A republic is, very simply, a system of government that does not entail monarchy, nor, at least officially, aristocratic or oligarchical rule.

Responsible Government

In general terms, it means a Government which is elected by the people and is responsible to them for its policies and programmes. More specifically, it refers to the Parliamentary form of Government in which the executive (the Council of Ministers) is responsible to the Legislature (the popular House of the Parliament) for its activities and programmes. It is also called the Cabinet Government.

Rightists

Rightists are those persons and groups that subscribe to the conservative views about change and restructuring of the society. They are opposed to the Leftists in ideological spectrum. Rightists have faith in the tradition and advocate gradual change, not revolutionary change. The term ‘Rightists’ also originated in France after the revolution to refer to those parties and groups who sat on the right of the Chair and opposed the radical socio-economic changes in the French society. Those groups and persons who adopt the middle ideological position between the Rightists and the Leftists are called the Centrists.

Rule of Law

The concept of Rule of Law was given by the British political thinker Dicey. It means that every citizen is equal before the law and will get equal protection of the law. No person shall be discriminated on the grounds of caste, creed, religion, etc. Also, no one should be given special privileges in terms of the legal provisions. Rule of law is the corner stone of the modern democracies and the basis of the Constitutional Government.

Rule of Presumption

It means that the enactments of the Legislature are normally presumed to be constitutionally valid, unless the person who challenges the enactment proves that the law is discriminatory. However, the rule is not absolute in its application and would depend on the facts and circumstances of a particular case.