Vocabulary: Talking about POLITICS in English

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People all have different views when it comes to leadership and how to run a country. What about you? Are you liberal or conservative? Are you left-wing or right-wing? In this lesson, we will look at common vocabulary used to discuss politics. I will teach you words you need to know in order to understand the news, current events, and even have debates with your friends.
Next, watch Benjamin's lesson to learn even more political vocabulary:


So first we're going to look at the three main types of government. There are "democracy", "authoritarianism", and "dictatorship". "Democracy" is a process by which several parties... Okay? Several parties, each one has its own leaders and its own members, and they compete for the votes of the public. You have several to choose from, the public chooses. The one that gets the most votes or wins somehow the election in their system, they lead the country for a specified period of time. And then you have another election, you can choose the government again, you can choose another government. You can do whatever you need to do.

"Authoritarianism" is a system by which only one party... Or "in which" I should say. Only one party controls the government. So, you don't really have any choice, and the elections are not... If there are elections, are not very legitimate. There's one party, they are the controlling power, they make the decisions, everybody does what they want them to do.

"...ism". I'm just going to mention this. You're going to hear a lot of ism's when you're hearing about politics. Okay? It just means you're taking the concept of whatever the word is before it. So: "ism" is more about the concept of whatever.

"Dictatorship", this is a form of government where one person controls the government and has all the power, all the decision-making power. We're not going to get into the details of how each of these types of government rules or runs the country they're in, but we're just going to talk about what they are very generally.

Next, so here we're getting more into the specific views that people have. Most people are "Liberal" or "Conservative". Now, you're going to hear these words a lot. In America, for example, you hear about the Democrats and the Republicans. Generally, the Democrats are Liberal, the Republicans are Conservative. Liberal government or Liberal politicians believe in the individual. They want every individual to have an opportunity to succeed. They want, basically, to help everyone improve their lives somehow. Conservatives, on the other hand, they're more about everybody takes care of themselves. Sorry, Liberals, they want the government to help the individuals; Conservatives want the individuals to help themselves. And "Conservatives" comes from the word "conserve", there would be an "e" here. They want to keep traditions, they want to keep or maintain values, they don't like change. Liberals, on the other hand, want to change all the time to meet the needs of the people. More good for more people, as it were.

Now, if you hear about "left-wing" or "right-wing" or "centrist", you're talking about the spectrum. The spectrum is basically the range of political views. You have the far left-wing, you have the far right-wing, and you have the people in the centre; they're not really right, they're not really left. Although, they generally lean. "Lean" means "rooop", I'm leaning to the right or I'm leaning to the left. So, even centrists, they're usually centre-right or centre-left, it means they're a little bit more to one side than the other, but generally, they're... They want a bit of a mix. Left-wing politicians or left-wing views generally go with Liberals. Right-wing views or right-wing politicians generally go the idea of Conservatives. Centrists want a little bit of a mix. They will go with whoever will do the best benefit for everybody.

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💬 Comments on the video

The number one word about politics in my country is "corruption" :D

Author — Vadym Pro


well done! Liked! Don't stop making your videos!

Author — AppleFixPoint


One of the finest Engvid teachers. Salute.

Author — Nahid Ahmed


Adam ! I have a request. Could you make a lesson on punctuation marks such as colons and semi colons. I have difficulties in using them.

Author — Haan Rai


I didn't know the spin doctors thing! Thanks, Adam. Always helpful

Author — Walmir Neto


Adam, you have taught lesson into the lesson ☺ Well explained .Thank you. 💙

Author — An ee


One of the best teacher explain everything very clearly. Thanks for what you do.

Author — RazumChannel


I like this guy's character and pronunciation.Well done as usual.

Author — Enes Teymir


You are my favourite teacher! I always leasten to your speech with pleasure. Thank you, Adam!

Author — Julia Small


The spectrum is helpful for me, I only use the middle of two to describe this situation

Author — Olson Liu


That was great. I'd want to know more about politics

Author — Mohammed Boudad


No for the fifth mandate ✌Algerians where are you 🇩🇿

Author — strong heart


This lesson has been as good as always; and the final advice is a a really good one!

Author — Alfonso Rivera


There'll be lots of questions about my country when i go abroad. So im here 😅 thanks for the lesson!

Author — sabah akşam çeyrek dideral


for the last term ( spin )
I remembered Hillary Clinton when said: Trump has been evading from Taxes
then he replied that he is clever

Author — عبادة الشايب


this video is perfect, I have my finals soon and my teacher want me to write an assay about political issues, Im a university student by the way. So it is very helpful to me. Additionally, your style when you are speaking is very good, i mean the usage of the language. Keep going!! I love engvid.

Author — Berna Salman


Good! I'm an ESL Teacher, and I need to teach a little about politics :D

Author — SubPancho


When we talk about the mayor we can say "Mayoral elections"?

Author — Juan Ángel


hi teacher, very usual your class. now i can say in my english class that i am left wing :) thank you bye 😘

Author — Mercia Carvalho


¡Es el mejor profesor que he visto! 讲的很棒!很有用!

Author — 许华磊