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Politics (from Ancient Greek πολιτικά (politiká) 'affairs of the cities') is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studies politics and government is referred to as political science.

It may be used positively in the context of a "political solution" which is compromising and nonviolent, or descriptively as "the art or science of government", but also often carries a negative connotation. The concept has been defined in various ways, and different approaches have fundamentally differing views on whether it should be used extensively or in a limited way, empirically or normatively, and on whether conflict or co-operation is more essential to it.

A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one's own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising internal and external force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.

In modern nation states, people often form political parties to represent their ideas. Members of a party often agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders. An election is usually a competition between different parties.

A political system is a framework which defines acceptable political methods within a society. The history of political thought can be traced back to early antiquity, with seminal works such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Confucius's political manuscripts and Chanakya's Arthashastra. (Full article...)

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Debating chamber in Scottish Parliament building

The Scottish Parliament is the national unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh. The Parliament is a democratically elected body with 129 members who are known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). Members are elected for four year terms under the proportional representation system. The original Parliament of Scotland was the national legislature of the independent Kingdom of Scotland and existed from the early thirteenth century until the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Following a referendum in 1997 where the Scottish people gave their consent, the current Parliament was established by the Scotland Act 1998 which sets out its powers as a devolved legislature. The Act delineated the areas in which it can make laws by explicitly specifying powers that are "reserved" to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. All matters that are not explicitly reserved are automatically the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. The UK Parliament retains the ability to amend the terms of reference of the Scottish Parliament, and can extend or reduce the areas in which it can make laws. The first meeting of the new Parliament took place on 12 May 1999.

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Credit: U.S. National Archives

The resignation letter of U. S. President Richard M. Nixon on August 9, 1974 during the Watergate scandal.

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Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship... the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Hermann Göring, Nazi founder of the Gestapo, Head of the Luftwaffe

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Phạm Ngọc Thảo (1922–1965), a major provincial leader in South Vietnam and infiltrator of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), was a communist agent of the Viet Minh and later the Vietnam People's Army. As the overseer of Ngô Đình Nhu's Strategic Hamlet Program in the early 1960s, he deliberately forced the program forward at unsustainable speeds, constructing poorly equipped and poorly defended villages, in order to foster rural resentment against the regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem, Nhu's elder brother. Thao was posthumously promoted by the ARVN to the rank of one-star general and awarded the title of Heroic war dead (Vietnamese: Liệt sĩ). After the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War, the communist government awarded him the same title and paid war pensions to his family, claiming him as one of their own.

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