Why Have Elections Been Criticized? Essay

959 Words4 Pages
Why has representative democracy in the form of general elections in the UK been criticised? Representative democracy in general elections has received a lot of criticism and been open to questioning on whether it is truly representative of the votes given and whether it is actually democratic in to whom the power is given. The transfers of sovereignty in a general election is democratic in the way it gives the people of the UK a chance to exercise their voting power and pass this power onto a politician of the majority’s choice. However this ‘transfer of power’ has been rightly criticised, the fact that the British people only have one chance every 5 years to exercise this power unless the prime minister calls another election, otherwise during the five year period, the people cannot really change what the government is doing even if they strongly disagree. Also, there is a problem in how the ratio of votes to seats is distributed. There are big problems with under and over representation in the UK election system. A reason for this is in the way the votes are concentrated in different areas of the UK, for example the Liberal Democrats, whose vote is thinly spread across the UK, achieved only 9% of the seats in parliament with 23% of the vote in the 2010 election, this is under – representation and results in millions of wasted votes and in effect could lead to a lower turnout as voters become disillusioned. The general public should also be able to hold the sitting government accountable, this is true in that we are able to vote out a political party out of power but only through a general election which only happens every 5 years, this was seen in 1997 when the conservative government was replaced with labour. An upside of this restriction is that it holds a stable government, if the public were able to remove a current government as soon as it did
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