Hence, giving people the power to choose the answer to a decision can be seen as sticking to the social contract. Other supporters can claim that important decisions effecting the constitution have to require extensive popular consent of the public. In using referendums it allows the executive to come across and strong and legitimate. For example in 1975, the government held a referendum to decide whether Britain should remain a member of the European Economic Community. In 1974 the Labour government had been divided but after the referendum was passed and the public elected to stay in the EEC it united the Labour government, thus, making the executive a strong one.
Due to the increasing presidential style of recent prime ministers and the party loyalty of the executive one can consider Parliament’s control of executive power minimal. However, due to the development of independent bodies surrounding Select Committees and the delaying of legislation by the House of Lords it can still be argued to be effective. The government usually has an overall majority. This is due to our voting system of FPTP which gives preference to the two main parties, normally giving them majorities (and increasingly large ones) as opposed to coalitions and minority governments which are produced through other voting systems such as AV in Scotland and Wales. Although we are currently in a coalition the government still has a majority through the combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
This is criticised because the current political party in power have the ability to make their own decisions for the UK before listening to what the people want. This then becomes a problem because they may make changes that the majority of the population will not agree with. However, near to the next election they may decide to listen to people as they want them to vote for them (the current political party in power) during the next election. Secondly, the UK has a hereditary monarchy and a house of lords, both which are not elected. This contradicts a democratic society and is seen as a dictatorship because elections are the cornerstone of a democracy.
A voter could switch from voting for the Conservatives to vote for the Labour Party at the next election because they decide according to single issues. In general the public today is not really aligned to parties anymore. I would say that party allegiance is something which is nearly vanished in Britain’s voting behavior. There are still groups which are strongly related to one or the other party but that is not as common as was in the 50s and 60s. The important things today are which party has at the moment the right promises for the single voter and which party is better in delivering policy goals.
Although there has been the rise and fall the third party the now Liberal Democrats in their many forms it has always failed to win the amount of seats required to challenge either of the two parties. It is worth noting that the Liberal Democrats are disadvantaged by the first past the post system (FPTP) as the system means the party can’t turn votes into seats as well as the Labour and Conservative parties. Although in saying that the Lib Dems have managed to make it into Government, although it is questionable how much they have achieved in Government. Also this is more of a blip on the political landscape than a regular occurrence however if the third party can continue with such a high percentage of the vote (23% in 2010;which is only a few percentage points less than labour), it will force similar hung parliament outcomes meaning that a lot of power is held with the third party. This whole idea reinforces the idea of a two- party system as a third party finds it difficult to break through the barrier into proper Government yet it does make it more multi-party than that of the American system with the only real chances being with the Democrats and Republicans.
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
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
I have produced an introduction and some paragraphs for this question which should be helpful in providing you with a guide to the correct approach in essay-type questions. In particular, note the importance of linking the arguments to the wording of the questions and maintaining an objective approach, with supporting evidence. To what extent is the UK a genuine democracy? In assessing whether or not the UK is a genuine democracy, it is important, at the outset, to consider what is meant by democracy and the criteria which need to be met in order to regard a country as being genuinely democratic. Democracy may be defined as a political system in which people exercise power over the decisions which affect their lives.
To Vote or Not to Vote? Americans elect their senators and representatives. This direct link between the legislature and the people is a very important part of our democracy. Should Congress, then, reflect the will of the people? Or should they pay attention to their own points of view, even if they disagree with their constituents?