The Basis of Selection

In an authoritarian political system (6.3.1), public servants are appointed by assessing their capabilities in an attempt to choose the best person for each job.  There are no politicians as such, but the public might well accept the process by which public servants have been chosen.  The system for choosing the leader of an authoritarian country depends upon whether it is a one-party State (, a dictatorship ( or an absolute monarchy (

In a democratic political system (6.3.2), politicians offer themselves for election – usually with the backing of a political party (6.2.6).  Voters choose politicians for a variety of reasons, as described earlier (, which may be loosely connected to manifesto policies or to a feeling that the candidate is someone like them.  Sometimes, though, politicians only tell people what they are against – and anti-establishment populism can be dangerous (

When politicians have served a term of office in a democracy, the public can take their performance (6.3.3) into account before deciding whether to vote again for the same individual.

The practical problems, and need for safeguards, in choosing the right politicians to represent the population in any political system are discussed later in this chapter (6.8.2).



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/6512.htm.