Introduced by government when we need to change our constitution or make a decision on a controversial issue where government needs approval of electorate. If the party in power's mandate was not very big, the party didn't have enough support. If a Referendum is held makes the government look stronger. Extending the wider use of referendums will affect democracy in the UK, this essay will explain if using referendums more often will improve democracy in the UK. Increasing the use of referendums will help make the system more like a direct democracy.
FPTP ensures a strong and stable government in the UK; however, FPTP can sometimes fail to do so. First Past the Post ensures there is a strong a stable Government by, guaranteeing a party will receive the majority of seats in an election more than 90% of the time. For example; in the history of election outcomes in the UK, there has only been two occasions when a party failed to gain more than 50% of seats. This situation occurred in 2010 when the Tories gained 306 seats, and formed a coalition with the Lib Dems. In 1979 Labour Party under the Leadership of Wilson gained 301 seats and ended up forming a coalition with the Liberals in 1976.
Evaluate the arguments in favour of adopting a proportional electoral system in the elections to the West Minster Parliament Currently in the UK we use a 'first past the post' electoral system in which the party who wins the most amount of seats across the UK wins the election. Under this system, each constituency has it's own member of parliament who stands for election in that constituency, where the people in that constituency vote for the MP they want. However, this system has come under scrutiny in recent times as it is seen as being unfair, and instead a proportional electoral system has been suggested to replace the current one. Proportional systems work on the basis that the percentage of votes corresponds with the percentage of seats and power that a party will gain. This system tends to favour and give more opportunities to smaller parties such as the Liberal Democrats, who currently feel that the first past the post system is unfair towards them and numerous other parties.
There are many arguments as to why we should or shouldn’t have more referenda in the UK. Both arguments are fair and it is simply a matter of opinion. There are also many reasons as to why we should have more referenda in the UK. Referenda are a device of direct democracy, giving the public some decision-making of the country. This makes sure that the public’s views and interested are truly presented, rather than being distorted by politicians who want more people to support their party.
There are further features of a Liberal Democracy which need to be held by the UK for it too fall into the category; Elected representatives and the government should be held to account by the people, something which is true within the UK as members of parliament are held accountable to the people, if they don’t do what they promise the people will not re-elect them, they are also held to account by legislature. Civil liberties must also be protected, this is done in the UK under the Human rights act, as well as the Human rights covered by the European Convention in 1953. There is some debate here as
This means that individual members don’t have the same amount of power than the MP's. Even though they don’t have the same amount of power then MP's and the Labour party members, yet they still have power to elect the final party leader. Labour party and liberal democrats members are also able to select a candidate for their local election (MP's). Firstly the candidate must be eligible to stand for the process of parliamentary candidates, and then the local party draws up a short list of hopeful party members. After the short list is drawn up party members from the particular constituency then vote for the MP they believe would be most suitable to represent their constituency.
Article III of the US Constitution establishes the judiciary branch - the Supreme Court. Although the US Constitution includes democratic principles such as checks and balances and the separation of powers to ensure the equal balance of power amongst the government branches, the legislative branch was designed to be most powerful. The organization and qualifications of Congress also contribute to the democratic shortcomings of the US Constitution. One of the biggest of these government decisions is electing the president, for which the system of the electoral college is in place. The US Constitution did not abolish slavery, and an interesting guarantee regarding slavery was included in Article IV of the Constitution.
As stated by Bowman and Dilascio, "...the Electoral College protects the interests of the minority vote". This facet of the College very vividly depicts the democratic influences involved with the system, as it very clearly states on how the system acknowledges and take consideration of even the most minor of groups. As to the College capitulating to the will of the people, this claim is made meaningless, as written into the very core of the system, is for the College to always keep natural interest at heart, and to prevent favoritism towards certain groups. As stated by Deatrick, "It’s possible for a presidential candidate to win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College vote". The quote expresses on how the College truly doesn't submit to the will of the people, as even if the vast population were to desire a certain candidate, the Electoral College could easily vote for another, thus defying the will of the
This is why some argue that the current Westminster electoral system is in desperate need of reform. There are many arguments in favour of reforming the current First Past the Post electoral system to a more proportional system, such as the Single Transferable Vote, the Closed Party List System, and the Additional Member System. This is also known as electoral fairness. Supporters of Proportional Representation argue that a party’s strength should reflect the support it has in the country- which is essential to a democracy. The current First Past the Post system leads to an unfair system of representation.
It can be argued that FPTP has created a clear two party system. This can be illustrated because post-war only Labour and Conservatives have been in power. Labour or Conservatives have been the government every election because they have a lot of support throughout the UK, and therefore come first in many constituencies. To form a government, a party must have the majority of seats throughout the UK, which Labour or Conservatives always do. In 2005, the Liberal Democrats had 22% of the overall vote in the UK, sharing, but because of the FPTP system they only won 62 seats out of the 646 constituencies in the UK, this shows this system as clearly an unfair.