Although we are currently in a coalition the government still has a majority through the combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. This therefore often renders opposition as a form of scrutiny meaningless and also means that it is difficult for the executive to be held to account. Party loyalty is also very strong. The power of prime ministerial patronage renders many MPs excessively docile and loyal, hence the term ‘lobby fodder’. With the rise in the professional politician many prefer to remain loyal in order to gain power and move up in the hierarchy as opposed to become a rebel who remains in the back benchers.
It is difficult for a Backbench MP to influence government policy if a government has a large majority in Parliament. The power of individual backbench MPs is reduced making it harder to challenge the government. Also, the PM has powers of patronage which demand loyalty; few MPs want to cause a general election by defeating the government. Thus accepting their fate as lobby
A merit of this process lay in the fact that whilst turnout is low, those who are committed to the result of the election do turn out. Hence, caucuses tend to favour more ideological candidates compared to voters in the alternative primary system. In 2008, Republican candidate Ron Paul who is on the libertarian wing of his party had some of his strongest showings in caucus states. For example, he won 21% in the North Dakota caucuses and 19% in Maine caucuses. This exemplifies their significance as it means that a candidate elected in a caucus state is essentially in line with the true ideology of the party and some of the party's most committed participants- who, pivotally invest a lot of time and money which is vital.
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.
Furthermore, the actual turnout was only 61.4%, so they were only representing around a third of the population. In this sense, representative democracy does not operate effectively in the UK as most of the population did not vote for the winning party. Britain follows a representative system because we are all represented by MPs in Parliament who will take care of local problems and take important grievances to the government. When we vote for these MPs, we give them the legitimacy to make decisions for the constituency but expect them to take the majority
Furthermore, minor parties which secure a large number of votes, Liberal Democrats, will command a more reflective percentage of the seats in the Commons as each vote cast will be viewed with equal value over the whole country meaning a minority vote could no longer decide which party dominates the Commons. Overall, it will make the House of Commons more democratic but also at the same time making it more legitimate and giving it greater authority as the people votes actually reflect more in the government of the day. However there are some who do not like the idea of Proportional representation as they believe that by giving minority parties a greater representation will reduce the chances of one party dominating, as to some
This is amplified by the fact that the larger pressure groups can leave many smaller ones in their shadow. For example, the British Stammering Association is a small pressure group with a good cause but one that many people will not have heard of due to its lack of funds and support. Many say that pressure groups holding the government to account and challenging authority is a sign of a healthy democracy. After all, a democracy is a system of government where decisions are arrived at by majoritarian principles. If a certain group of people do not feel that they are being represented then a democracy has to be able to recognise them for anything to change.
However, this does not always happen, which can be seen in the current government. Since the election in 2010, the UK have been under a coalition government with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, with David Cameron as the Prime Minister and Nick Clegg as his deputy. First Past the Post is also a simple process, where each electorate has only one vote, meaning that the time taken to count the votes is very short, making it a quick and efficient process. The First Past the Post system also keeps extremist parties, such as the BNP party, away from power, so they cannot carry out their manifestos. For example, in their 2010 manifesto, the BNP party stated that if they were voted in as the leading party they would “The BNP will ban the burka, ritual slaughter and the building of further mosques in Britain” and that they would “reintroduce capital punishment for drug dealers, child murderers, multiple murderers, murderers of policemen on duty and terrorists where guilt is proven beyond all doubt”.
This led to dominance over the cabinet and Blair being seen more as a ‘President’ than a Prime Minister. During his time, Blair didn’t include the cabinet into policy decisions as much as previous leaders. This resulted in an increase in the ‘centralisation’ of power within the executive. An example includes the declaration of war with Iraq, before this decision was made, Blair didn’t gain consent from the cabinet, which shows the power he exercised. Blair also favoured the use of special advisors over his cabinet which lessened the role of the cabinet.
However it could be argued that Wilhelm II’s aims to crush socialism in response to Caprivi’s tolerance for Socialism in his years as chancellor disagree with this view as it suggests he is aiming for more of an autocratic state where he holds state control. Another notable factor which suggests Germany was a parliamentary democracy is Wilhelm II could ignore the views of the centre party; failed attempts to previously dismiss them such as the Kulturkampf were a failure because the party’s strong political views are extremely influential, and they have always had a substantial amount of seats in the party. This in turn meant the government was influenced by the parliament. However, there were many events which demonstrate the Kaiser