How Democratic is the UK? (25)
Democracy can be understood as a process of people governing their state and managing community affairs all together, based on consensus. The origins of democracy lie in Ancient Greece. The very term was constructed from two Greek words ‘demos’, which means ‘people’, and ‘cratos’, which means ‘power’.
The UK is in many ways not democratic.
Firstly, Britain, amongst many other countries, claims to be a democracy. This would suggest that UK citizens, have effective influence over government, and over decisions that affect them. However, there has been much controversy over this claim, some arguing that power lies in the hands of just a few, and others standing by the allegation that power in the UK is widely distributed. Secondly, First Past The Post has had a big impact on UK democracy. The system we use to elect our MPs has a real impact on how politics works in Britain. It has a direct effect on whether politicians truly represent us and whether we can hold them to account if they let us down. The defeat of the 2011 Alternative Vote (AV) referendum means it is now more important than ever to discredit our failed system and we are continuing to build the case for change at Westminster. This in turn means any of our votes just don’t count. Millions of people have no chance of deciding who their MP will be. And our votes are wasted by the system. Additionally, parties continue to focus all their time, money and effort on a handful of 'marginal seats', so just a few thousand voters can decide who runs Britain. Thirdly,
However the UK is in many other ways democratic.
Firstly, the creation in 1998 of a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly and a Northern Ireland Assembly strengthened democracy. It gave constituent nations of the UK their own political voice for the first time. The representation of distinctive Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish interests through parliament was always inadequate because English MPs...
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