Democracy may be defined as a political system in which people exercise power over the decisions which affect their lives. In the case of the UK, there is much evidence to support the claim that it is democratic, but there are features which undermine this claim and this essay will attempt to examine the evidence. One of the strongest arguments in support of the claim that the UK is a genuine democracy is that we have universal adult suffrage, which means that all UK citizens aged 18 or above have the right to vote for representatives to make decisions on their behalf. In addition, democracy is also strengthened by the fact that the electorate can choose representatives at local, regional, national and international (EU Parliament) levels. In addition, the elections are held at regular intervals, which ensures that the representatives are accountable to the electorate.
Arguably the elected MPs are the reason that a representative democracy flourishes with the elected MPs superseding the knowledge of the public. However, it could be argued that MPs have the interest of toeing the party line, or even acting in their own interests rather than the constituent’s interests. Nevertheless, MPs are learned individuals who would make the correct decisions with the interests of their party, their constituency and themselves, effectively fulfilling the role of an MP. The government within a representative democracy is advantageous as it is held to account for its
Referendums were used this way in the 1998 London referendum on whether to adopt an elected mayor. Using referendums in these ways allows for participation from the people, therefore wider use of them could be said to increase legitimacy since the decisions are made by the people instead of by a government which may have had less public support. Referendums are a form of direct democracy, used besides the UKs
‘Referenda and other forms of direct democracy, represent a more democratic form of participation than the opportunity to vote in elections’ Discuss. 25 mark past paper question Referenda require the electorate to answer a specific ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question and are held on specific issues. They can only be initiated by the government and are a form of direct democracy in an overall representative democracy. Other forms of direct democracy are; initiatives, recall elections and e-petitions. Initiatives are a form of direct democracy which allows referenda to be initiated by the citizens of a state (through a petition of registered voters where in California e.g.
This was then followed by The Great Reform Act of 1832, where they introduced a system for the election of MP's, by the 20th century Britain had its separate parties.Then in 1945 the first truly modern election manifesto appeared with a clear program of reform and thus made representation farer. For representative democracy, each MP represents a constituency (incluiding N.Ireland and Scotland) they are expected to represent the interests of the constituency and make its constituents feel like they will be listened to and f needed solve their problems. An MP does not have to be part of a party therefore can have its own ideas on what is best for its constituents and can also use Burkean representation (expect to also use own judgement of best interests of its constituents, he should not be expected to follow instructions of those who elected him). If an MP is part of a party, they can retain independence within the party sturcture as for example in the 19th century, this was described as the 'golden age of the British MP' in doing so, they influenced over government policy. In certain
Firstly, Referendums are a form of direct democracy. In a direct democracy, there is no separation between the state and the electorate. All citizens are involved in the decision-making process and can participate in assembly sessions, vote on public policy and select officials. Supporters of referendums believe they encourage participation in the political process. In a country in which participation for many people is limited to Election Day, the greater use of referendums would stimulate involvement and lead to more public discussion of important issues.
Especially true where pro and anti- groups coexist, depicting all shades of opinion. Moreove, they fill gaps in the party system, by promoting causes which cut across party lines, esp by promoting moral and local issues, such as abortion, capital punishment, etc. Furthermore, they provide channels of collective influence and power for the public where individual action may be inaffectual and weak. Also, they provide channels of direct participation for the public through Parliament, by going beyond mere indirect participation. They provide channels of communication between the government and the governed, making it convenient for both to represent their views and reach conclusions.
Some pay more attention than others, but they all have to consider the views of the folks back home. Congress is also organized primarily along party lines, so party membership is an important determinant of a member’s vote. Each party develops its own versions of many important bills, and party leaders actively pressure members to vote according to party views. It is not surprising that representatives and senators vote along party lines about three-fourths of the time. Finally, what if a representative or senator seriously disagrees with the views of his or her constituents on a particular issue?
Since the foundation of democracy is based upon the concept of a government that is created by the people to serve the people, the range of participants must not be limited by factors such as social class. In “Pericles’ Funeral Oration,” Thucydides describes Athenian democracy by asserting that their “constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people,” (73). While the wealthy upper class of historical societies have always been dominant in swaying society to their will, democracy serves to make sure that the interests of everyone else have just as much pertinence when it comes to politics. Although elites may believe that the poor should not have a say because their agenda will serve to bring society down, if someone is contributing or wishes to contribute to
Running head: Democracies, Monarchies And Dictatorship Democracies, Monarchies And Dictatorship Dorkas Hernandez Allied American University Author Note This paper was prepared for SOC 135 Introduction to Sociology, Module 6 Homework Assignment taught by Jesse Kleis. Democracies, Monarchies And Dictatorship Governments. What better example of democracy then The United States. Living in the United States gives us the advantage of living under a government system that is a democracy. A democracy is a system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives (reference.com).