To what extent can the UK be said to be a Liberal Democracy? To answer this question it is probably best to refer back to, to define what is a Liberal Democracy; and Liberal Democracy can be broken down into 2 words; Liberal, Basic freedoms enjoyed by all, such as freedom of speech. And democracy, free and fair elections in which there are 2 or more parties for whom to vote. Under both of these ideas the UK could be classed as a Liberal Democracy; the UK has had freedom of speech since 1986 (under the Education Act) although this could be heavily affected in some ways. As your freedom of speech can be heavily hampered if you do not operate within the law; or you are voicing racist or offensive opinions, or your speech is threatening to “breach the peace” this is too say, what you are saying could be grossly offensive to some groups or individuals.
The free people of the United States elect representatives who can reflect their opinions and promote the common good of all. Theophilus Parson writes on translation of power between people and their representatives: “The majority of the representatives should also represent a majority of the people.” Government within the American regime, because of the equality of each citizen, should reflect the will of the majority, not the few. This prevents the tyranny of the few over the majority. Thus, the majority of people retain the authority of the regime. However, the Declaration of Independence states the founder’s beliefs about the abuses of any government, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.” The power of the legislative representatives is limited by the will of the people, and thus the authoritative element still remains in the hands of the people within the republican structure of
To what extent is Liberalism the dominant ideology in British politics? The term liberalism is generally associated with ideas such as liberty and equal rights. Associated with it are ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections and human rights. The UK government incorporates all the key aspects of liberalism in to their own organisation such as the fact that Britain comes from a constitution and the laws and rights of citizens are drawn from it. Liberalism was drawn from the age of enlightenment in which many religious restrictions were broken in order for meritocracy to strive which allowed individuals to strive on their own basis.
These countries with old democracies are usually known as Western-style liberal democracies. Liberal democracy can be defined as a political system ‘[m]arked not only by free and fair elections but also by the rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion, and property.’ (Zakaria, 2007: 17) In other words, describing a liberal democracy we can say that ‘democracy is not only about deciding who governs but also about how a country is governed.’ (Lynch, 1997:50) Illiberal democracies are usually referred to the countries which after 1990 made a transition to from authoritarian to democratic regimes by establishing multiparty system and elections. This is partly because these countries have established free and usually fair elections which let them be called democracies, however, considering the consolidation of democracy in these countries, it is evident to state that most of them failed to protect citizens of basic rights and freedoms and it mismatches with word’s liberal meaning. To sum up, it can be said that liberal democracies require not only free and fair elections, but also, strong institutions, a separation of powers, protection of human rights and freedoms. However, countries can be not only liberal democratic or illiberal.
Authority is power in a positive way because the Government has the right to tell others what to do but they can’t force anyone. The democracy in Britain is often described as a liberal democracy because we have the ideas of “Limited government – checks and limitations on the power of government in order to secure essential liberties; Civil liberties and civil rights- the existence of essential public freedoms that are often written into law; Open government – non-secretive government that can be seen to be fair and accountable; Independent judiciary – a just, impartial
Not only did the Canadians incorporated this in our judicial system they also incorporated the Hammurabi concept of trials by judges, and lastly our laws, similar to the Code of Hammurabi is categorized by family, criminal, and labor e.t.c. Our judicial system is also influenced by Roman Law that was introduced in 100 C.E. Justinian code emphasized equality. It declared that laws should be fair and everyone was under the law. The Romans also introduced the concept of ‘lawyers’ through this both sides of the story would be told.
Liberalism is a political current embracing several historical and present-day ideologies that claim defense of individual liberty as the purpose of government. It typically favors the right to dissent from orthodox tenets or established authorities in political or religious matters. Liberalism is also defined and understood in contradistinction to other political ideologies such as conservatism and particularly to totalitarianism, which represent the antithesis of liberal freedom. The term liberal stems from the Latin "liber" or "free", and this emphasizes the liberal ideal of being free from the rules and tenet of authority The tradition if liberalism has undergone numerous mutations and developments in political history. The origins of liberalism can be traced to the ideals of the Enlightenment in Europe.
‘Liberal democracy’ embodies a whole range of doctrines and devices that actually seek to restrain popular rule and prevent government from flexing direct will of majority. The liberal’ features are reflected in a network of internal and external checks on government. For example, guarantee of civil liberty and healthy civil society. The ‘democratic’ features are that it is a system of regular elections, universal suffrage and political equality. In contrast James Madison saw democracy as a defence against majoritarianism, with checks and balances on government, which would make government responsive to competing minorities and safeguards the propertied-few from the property-less masses.
The Federal government is one in which the powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments. Great Britain is a unitary government; the Parliament holds all the power of the British government. The advantage to a unitary government is uniform policies, laws, political, enforcement, and administration throughout the country. The central government can settle all problems and they don’t have to worry about state government interfering. The central government can create local governments if they are overloaded with work.
By adopting Australian voting laws, and laws similar to Australia, America would benefit from having fair elections, having the right candidate being chosen for office and creating a better overall nation. Australia is its own island and country. Australia is a country that takes national office and elections very seriously. Galligan states that “voting rights are at the heart of Australian federal constitutionalism and government.” The Australian constitution does not have laws about citizenship, but rather the parliament takes care of these matters. It does state, however, that voting for every adult “is compulsory and widely supported” (Galligan 50).