Is Parliament Representative? Essay

488 WordsFeb 20, 20152 Pages
How representative is parliament? Government in the UK is a representative body elected for and by the people. The UK uses the parliamentary system as its model of representation; this means the different areas of government which are the legislative, judiciary and executive branches work in and through each other as opposed to the Presidential model which separates the powers. It can be argued that there is usually a good range of political parties from which to choose. It may be said that the parties currently in the House of Commons represent a good cross-section of political opinion. At a general election, in most constituencies voters have a choice of at least three political parties, and usually five or six. For example in the UK, the two main parties are the Conservatives and the Labour Party, with the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party trailing behind. This creates a pluralist democracy which is ultimately incredibly representative as it is a system in which the freedom of choice is widely available and the electorate have a greater chance of finding a party that represents their interests best. Another argument for Parliament being representative is that it’s usually responsive to public opinion. When the public is moved by an event. Parliament can be quick to take these feelings into account. After the mass shooting of children at a primary school in Dunblane in 1996, Parliament moved quickly to tighten the law on gun ownership. However it could be argued that Parliament is sometimes overly responsive, many commentators agreeing that Parliament rushed to judgement too quickly when it passes the Dangerous Fogs Act after a number of highly publicised attacks by dogs on young children. On the other hand, there are also a number of arguments that Parliament is not sufficiently representative in certain key aspects. For instance, the fact that in
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