This principle is a result of the election of the Members of Parliament (MPs), by the electorate which gives them authority to represent and pass legislation on their behalf. Parliament being able to make laws on any matter can be traced back to the Bill of Rights 1689 where it was said that the monarch alone could not pass or repeal laws without Parliament's consent. Parliament is also free to modify its own makeup and authority. This is confirmed in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 which removed the veto powers of the House of Lords and the Life Peerages Act 1958 which apart from giving the Prime Minister flexibility to modify the composition of the House of Lords introduced female peers into the hereditary and male dominated second chamber. Therefore, parliament is still sovereign because it can make or unmake any law it wishes.
Parliament is almost the only source of legislation. When a party wins the general election, a government is formed consisting of various parties. This government then makes laws that become acts of parliament, the legislation, if having been passed by parliament. Most bills that are passed by parliament are government bills, however, some bills that are passed through parliament are private members bills, for example, the abolition of hanging in 1967 by Sydney Silverman. There are also private bills which normally only affect certain private interests and can be introduced by MPs, usually on behalf of a company.
To what extent is the House of Commons effective in carrying out its various functions? The House of Commons is the elected chamber of the UK parliament. The functions of the HOC include legislative functions and those that hold the executive to account. Other functions of the HOC are, representation, scrutiny and calling government to account, legitimation, legislation and deliberation. One of the functions of the HOC is representation.
Do political parties help or hinder democracy in the UK Political parties can be seen to help and hinder democracy in the UK, however in my opinion I feel that they help democracy more than hinder it, as political parties give the electorate a varied range of choice along with many other democracy enhancing factors. One of the main reasons as to why I believe political parties help democracy is because they provide the general public with a diverse choice of ideologies that can gain power, ranging from the conservative party to the monster raving loony party. The electorate can vote for a candidate in a party that they feel shares their beliefs. However, some people may argue that the three main parties (conservative, liberal democrat and labour) have all moved very central and now share similar ideologies detracting from the idea of “choice”. To this I would say that the parties may have centralised slightly, but their core values still exist, which is what most people are interested in.
To what extent does democracy in the UK need reform? Democracy refers to any society or political system in which the people are able to make or influence decisions and where government is accountable to the people. In short, democracy means 'rule by the people'. In the UK the nature and state of democracy can be viewed from three perspectives: the nature of political institutions, the nature of political processes and the nature of political participation. The UK has a multi-level government, a system of free and fair democratic elections is present, basic rights and liberties of citizens are protected and there is a wide range of political parties and pressure groups.
The nature of political groups means they can actively do this and commit acts that MPs would not be seen to do because of the nature of their role. Pressure group activists have a lot more leeway in what they can do. However, this can be seen as detrimental, as it means pressure groups are unaccountable for the actions they do, and may cause severe damage or disruption. For example, the Occupy movement in London caused a lot of distress for those who were using the roads, and especially the church, due to the location of the protests. This level of disruption imposed onto many people may make people apathetic towards politics, and wish to distance them, making political participation drop.
To what extent would the wider use of referendums improve democracy in the UK? This response will discuss to what extent the wider use of referendums improve democracy in the UK. Referendums are a tool of direct democracy where the electorate vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on an issue. There are many arguments for and against the wider use of referendums within the UK in an aim to improve the UK’s democracy; these arguments will be explored in this essay. The first argument links to the fact that politicians are in their position to represent the public’s interests.
Abolishing the Electoral College Here in the United States we have two primary voting systems, which consist of the popular vote and the Electoral College. The Popular vote is just that, popularity. The most desired and popular candidate is awarded the majority of votes cast by the citizens of the United States. The Electoral College, on the other hand does not consist on the votes directly cast by citizens but by a group of people elected by the citizens. This group of officials also known as “presidential electors” makes up the Electoral College.
What was the Founders’ view on the subject of direct democracy and the “will of the people”? Which form of democracy do you think is the best fit for the needs of the United States? Explain your answer Democracy can be interpreted in two different ways. One of them is known as representative democracy. Representative democracy is basically when there is a competition between leaders to earn as much votes as possible.
Gun Control: Who is in Control? In a democracy, it is the responsibility of state and federal legislatures to represent what the public wants and to then craft public policy around these opinions, while maintaining the good of the society as a whole. However, the reflection of public policy based on public opinion is not seen with the issue of gun control. The Second Amendment of the United States guarantees citizens “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” with few restrictions (Ginsberg). Yet, when asked by an ABC News Poll in April 2007, "Do you favor or oppose stricter gun control laws in this country?"